Faces: Lisa Vitale-Strom of the Littl...

Faces: Lisa Vitale-Strom of the Little Venetian

There are 10 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Aug 14, 2008, titled Faces: Lisa Vitale-Strom of the Little Venetian. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Occupation: Co-owner of Vitale's Little Venetian Age: 43 How did you wind up in the restaurant business? I've always been in the business.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

Tony Baxter

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Aug 18, 2008
Only in Minnesota would an Italian-American have blond hair. This EYE-talian hotdish is super. Yeah Sure ! You Betcha !
ccc

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Aug 18, 2008
anyone who says Applebee's is their favorite restaurant can't that good of a food critic....
bill

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Jan 21, 2009
why do you say that about applebees it is a vary good place to eat ccc i bet your cooking is crap unlike applebees is so there.
jct

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Jan 22, 2009
bill wrote:
why do you say that about applebees it is a vary good place to eat ccc i bet your cooking is crap unlike applebees is so there.
Applebees is not that good. About the same as Perkins....family restaurant with a little for all but nothing standoutish.
kay

Burlington, IA

#5 Jan 28, 2009
believe it or not some northern Italians are actually blonde . In the case of the Vitale family there are at least a couple of natural blondes so lets not be so quick to stereotype
bjw

Saint Paul, MN

#6 Apr 3, 2009
I come to this strip mall all the time to go to the Dollar Tree, and I also eat at Caravelle around the corner once every other month or so.

Since I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, I was hungry so I thought I should have some lunch. I would normally have gone into the nearby Dollar Tree and gotten a bag of snacks (nuts, jerky, etc.) but I decided to stop into this place and hoped to be able to sit down, get something to eat and get out in a reasonably short time.

When I got in the place was empty except for one table of two. But it was 2:30 so what I could I expect?
Half of the dining room was extremely sunny, and half was just right. I sat myself sown (no one greeted me at the door so I guessed it was OK) at a table on the not-sunny part of the dining room and it must have been 5 minutes before anyone acknowledged my presence. Of course, only by sheer coincidence, another couple came in after me and was greeted right away, so when the waitress came out to greet them, she couldn't help but notice me.

I overheard her say that the special today was all you can eat fish fry for $9.XX, to include fish, french fries and coleslaw. I thought that would be OK, figuring the food would be ready and I could just dash out once I've had enough to eat.

Not so. They have a deli counter type set up, you go up front and ask for what you want to eat and then they take your money and give you a table card with a number on it.

I sat down after paying for my lunch and waited a
minute or two before calling the waitress over to let her know to skip the coleslaw for me, since I did't care for it.

She nicely offered to make me a small salad, which I appreciated, and she brought over quickly. The salad consisted of iceberg lettuce mix with the token one shred of red cabbage, and about 3 baby green leaves tossed in. It was topped with store bought croutons and the dressing I asked for (Italian, not creamy), was almost all (WHITE) vinegar with a splash of oil and a crapload of bottled garlic.
I just about choked when I took my first bite of salad, because I got quite the lung-hit of vinegar from it.
I decided to spoon out the rest of the dressing that collected in the bottom of my salad bowl and onto the salad dressing cup.
The waitress also brought a small basket of bread along with my salad which tasted fresh enough, but it was quite obviously not homemade or else it was the kind you buy frozen and throw in the oven. It had cornmeal dust all over it and was tough on the outside.
A few minutes after I was done messing around with the tough bread and the toxic salad, my order came. I got about 20 crinkle-cut fries, obviously baked, but they tasted OK. No salt on them however.
The 2 fillets of fish that came with my order were fairly good sized. They were supposedly cod, and had been battered and deep fried. There was tartar sauce on the side, and a wedge of lemon & a twisted orange slice sat atop a leaf of lettuce as if to impress me. The lettuce that was on the plate would have made for a better salad, as it was your greener, more sturdy and nutritious leaf-style lettuce.
The first piece of fish I dove into was rubbery and had been cooked too long. The 2nd was not so much, and more flaky and tender. But they were both incredibly greasy.
I wasn't too happy with my lunch, but I ordered it and ate it because I was very hungry and had to go back home and get to work in a hurry, after being out all afternoon.
So I ate as much of the meal as I could and left. I wasn't going to leave a tip, but the waitress was pleasant, and nice to offer a substitution, which most places frown upon.
I would not go back there. At least not for the fish fry.
I have yet to try any Italian fare, which is apparently what keeps them afloat.
bjw

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Apr 3, 2009
PS - not two hours after I get home, I'm scootin' to the bathroom with a case of you know what... the "D" word. Too much grease, people!

Not going back there again, for sure, now.
get a life

United States

#8 Aug 31, 2009
bjw you are the most pathetic person I have ever met your a self involed duesh bag get a life nobody cares about you or your fat ass eating lunch I e=would like to punch you in your face go back to work changing sanitary cakes in urenals LOSER
bjw

Saint Paul, MN

#9 Aug 31, 2009
Dear sir or madam from AZ-

YOU must be the one working at such a job, else why would you know so much about that kind of work?

As it happens, I am self-employed as a business consultant doing marketing and web design for small businesses.

You are the clear loser for responding with such drivel. There's nothing wrong with leaving a review of a restaurant online!

Oh. And my ass is not fat.

Suck on that.
Another BOFH

Saint Paul, MN

#10 Dec 3, 2009
I'm sorry but I have to agree with BJW's general assessment of dining at the Little Venetian.
Unfortunately, My wife and I have ate there three separate times and were disappointed each time.

The first time we went there we ordered a simple combo dish that was similar to olive gardens tour dish, and the sauce tasted like they had dumped an entire bottle of vinegar into it, and the lasagna was almost completely dried out, tasting TOUGH & CHEWY. Since I come from an Italian family, I know what's good Italian and that simply wasn't it...

The second time we ate there was during a company sponsored outing and both my wife & I ordered their "Fillet Mignon" dish that they offered among their three choices of dishes, but what we got tasted something more akin to a dried out pot roast.(And I gather that the company owners weren't too impressed either since they never went back there again for their other company events.)

Since my wife and I tend to follow what we call the three strike rule, we gave them one more chance. So, the final time we went, we ordered something we thought was pretty simple Italian food - garlic cheese bread and spaghetti dishes.

The garlic cheese bread came burned and didn't have very much cheese but had a bunch of singed garlic cloves on it. And we soon found out why, the sauce underneath the cheese tasted awful. And when we got our two spaghetti dishes we discovered that the server must have been trying to cover up the sauce foul up because we could easily see there was two distinct sauces on both plates - it looked like one was used to try and cover the other, and the sauce on the bottom tasted like it had come from the batch that was on the garlic cheese bread. Needless to say, that was strike three and we haven't been back since.

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