The Chianti Grill wasn’t always the Chianti Grill. The property opened in the 60’s as Howard Johnson’s Restaurant. It became Ground Round in the early 70’s and was successfully so for more than 30 years. In the mid-2000’s, the Ground Round closed for a while, but was later re-opened as the Backyard Bar and Grill. If I recall correctly, this only last a year or two at most before the property was bought and remodelled, with Chianti Grill taking over in 2007.
The Chianti Grill has such a wonderful and inviting ambiance, warm, cozy, and clean. The entire restaurant is so well designed, no matter where you sit, you never run out of things to see, architecture to look at and friendly staff everywhere. The thing I like the most is the minimal wall decor, instead, architecture and strategically placed up-lighting adorn the walls.
On this particular visit, I was treated to lunch as a work meeting. So I decided to try the seasonal special of Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sweet Sage Cream Sauce; coincidentally, my coworker ordered the same thing. The difference with our orders was I got a Walnut Gorgonzola Salad.
The salad naturally came first and it was just fantastic smothered in a balsamic vinaigrette. The Gorgonzola gave it just a hint of creaminess with the tartness that the cheese gives, balsamic is always flavorful, and of course the walnut gave it a wonderful earthiness. The main dish followed and it was just delightful; the butternut squash. It was topped with fresh grated Parmesan which didn’t quite soak in, but gently sat atop the dish waiting to the spooned into the mixture. Upon doing so, I wanted to ensure that my first bite had a little bit of every element, so I made sure to get a ravioli, some walnut, cream sauce and Parmesan all in one, and it was just wonderful. There are few things in this world that go well with the Fall season better than butternut squash especially prepared with ravioli.
It felt as if I had devoured the dish quickly even though I know I didn’t. But it was just so tasty, I couldn’t resist but to eat it down. Overall the Chianti Grill is a fantastic restaurant, especially if you are a wine enthusiast as they have a wide variety of offerings, all of which the staff are very well trained in what selection would pair best with your meal of choice. I didn’t have any wine, but I could overhear servers making suggestions. I highly suggest visiting the Chianti Grill, such a terrific restaurant.
2050 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113