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Amore Victoria

18 Aug

Ryan
Lauren had been gone to some sort of family function the weekend of July 25, so when she arrived home late Sunday afternoon, I wanted to go grab a bite somewhere with her before heading back to work for the week. We walked downstairs and outside our apartment and debated which way to go. It was a perfect summer evening with no bugs, mild temperatures, and clear skies, so we wanted to sit outdoors. Lauren remembered reading about good happy hour specials at a local Italian place called Amore Victoria. We had tried to go there on Valentine’s weekend this year and found it was insanely packed, and we had wanted to go back sometime when it was less busy.

We were greeted by the host who seated us, and proceeded to tell us a three-minute story about how he watched Top Gun on LaserDisc many years ago with his ex-girlfriend who now lives in Fargo. It was very odd but he was funny and we felt sufficiently warmly greeted.

The drink specials included a short list of half-price bottles of wine, $3 house taps, $5 featured taps, and a selection of inexpensive glasses of wine. We opted to start out with a half-price bottle of Riesling for $17, an excellent choice for a nice summer night. The happy hour food menu featured some $5 appetizers, $5 one-topping pizzas, and Angus hamburgers or steakburgers for $5.50. As per usual, we agreed on the calamari fritti appetizer, while I ordered the Angus steakburger with fries.

Service was pretty good to start the night. Our waitress Liz was pleasant and stopped by frequently to check in. The view of the intersection of Lake and Irving was nice as the sun went down. The outdoor tables were pretty well full most of the night and everyone around us was in cheerful spirits.

Our calamari with marinara sauce arrived, and we dug in. I ate the big pieces with visible tentacles while Lauren stuck to the ring-shaped pieces. We’ve had calamari as an appetizer so many times recently. I don’t know if this was as good as Saji-Ya’s calamari, but I would say it seemed lighter. My burger arrived shortly thereafter, but without fries. The waitress admitted her mistake and didn’t charge us for them, and soon a heaping basket of steak fries were delivered.

Amore Victoria, Minneapolis - calamari fritti

Our $5 appetizer, the Calamari Fritti

My burger was kinda odd. I guess I’ve never had a steak burger like that before. The texture seemed as if it was ground-up steak that was pieced back together in the shape of the original piece of steak. Slightly unusual, but filling and relatively agreeable with the palate. It was served with a mound of lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. My only complaint was the burger was over-seasoned with salt.

Amore Victoria, Minneapolis - happy hour Angus steak burger

The happy hour special, $6.50 Angus steak burger.

Amore Victoria, Minneapolis - happy hour french fries

Our big plate of french fries for just $1.50!

As the night went on, we ordered a couple more drinks and chatted as it became dark outside and a few bugs came out. Amore Victoria was close to closing, and most of the outdoor patrons had left. Our service became a little sparse towards the end of the night, but I left a 14% tip anyway.

Overall, I liked my experience at Amore Victoria. Next time I will try one of their more authentic Italian dishes, which seemed reasonably priced, ranging from $13-$20 a plate.

Food: 6
Portions: 7

Value: 8
Atmosphere: 8
Staff: 7
Experience: 7

Lauren:

After I returned home from a family weekend in La Crosse, WI, Ryan and I were eager to have a little bit of weekend to spend with each other. He didn’t attend the family party due to his having to DJ a wedding. We wanted to enjoy the truly stunning  late July weather on a local patio, and I recalled seeing Amore Victoria’s charming sidewalk tables a few days earlier so I suggested that…I’m a sucker for a good sidewalk cafe!

As Ryan mentioned, when we first arrived we were bombarded by a truly bizarre story from the host about watching Top Gun with a girl on her dad’s Laser Disc. Wow. It was extremely awkward, made more so by the fact that Ryan and I admitted that we have not seen the movie, which always garners shocked expressions and admonitions that we “just HAVE to watch it as soon as possible”.

We quickly settled on the Alice White Riesling, which was cold and crisp and a bit fruity. The perfect antidote to a hot summer day!

Of course, we HAD to get the calamari! It’s almost a joke at this point…but we love calamari. This was no disappointment! I am definitely in disagreement with Ryan as I thought this was much better than the large, tough pieces at Saji-Ya.

I wasn’t too hungry, but Ryan was so he ordered the Steak Burger with fries. I thought the burger was almost terrible… SO salty. But the fries were delicious! Absolutely terrific.

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