Altony’s Italian Cafe

The weekend after Valentine’s Day is usually when couples catch up on the holiday, going out for dinner if they were too busy on the actual day. I assume that was why Altony’s in Moorhead was so jam-packed that Saturday.

I was forced to go to the nearby Fryn’ Pan and had a pretty awful experience.

But a few days later, I headed back over to Altony’s and got a tiny little table for two in the also-tiny dining room.

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Altony’s is actually a converted Taco Bell. The owners have done quite a bit of work in the cramped space, putting in a small wine bar where you’d normally order your chimichangas and churros. It looks pretty nice, considering.

But, from the small two-top tucked in right next to the hostess stand, I felt like I was in the way, nearly getting elbowed in the eye by our server. Other than that, my first experience was fine. Unfortunately, (don’t judge) I was trying a no-gluten thing that night, and the Pasta Alla Toscana was unavailable. They had run out of the gluten free noodles.

Instead, I got the new appetizer of steak medallions ($8.95), and my dining mate got the mushroom ravioli ($9.95 half).

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The medallions came out with a delicious gorgonzola sauce that I would buy if they bottled it. And the steak pieces were cooked nicely, to a medium-rare, although a few of them were unevenly cooked.

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So while I didn’t really tasted all that much of the menu, I wanted to let you know about this tiny, local place. I highly recommend it as an alternative to massive, corporate Olive Garden. If you want to support a family business in town, try out Altony’s. I’ll be back… and eating up the gluten.

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D’Amico and Sons in St. Paul

I’m spending a few days in St. Paul, visiting my brand-new nephew Jack.

Whenever I travel, I’ve gotta try a new place, so this Saturday we headed out for a light lunch at D’Amico and Sons on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

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