JavaScript is not enabled.
Buona Sera Ristorante - 20 Reviews - 11949 W River Rd, Champlin, MN - Local Favorite Reviews - Phone (763) 219-8744
top 10

Buona Sera Ristorante

11949 W River Rd (at Edgewood Lane N)
Champlin, MN 55316
(763) 219-8744
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Buona Sera Ristorante - Champlin, MN


( 10 )
( 6 )
( 2 )
( 1 )
( 1 )


Having dined at Buona Sera for several years now, I have come to expect, if not enjoy, the hustle and bustle of what is a fabulously popular little hideaway. You don't always get ...


We waited 30 minute even with a reservation and 10 minutes at the bar just to get a wine list. One of the guests at the end of our table was constantly bumped into by the MANAG...

Nice 5/12/2009

The food is wonderful, it's small, quaint, and lively as can be for a mom and pop neighborhood restaurant without having to travel into the cities. My favorite is their Bruschetta and Penne Pasta Carbonara. You won't be disappointed. I have one small complaint, take out orders will not have priority on certain nights of the week, you will have to wait until way too late, so make sure you make a reservation to enjoy their Italian cuisine. more

Date night wonder 5/10/2009

This is a quaint little hole in the wall treasure. The location used to be a residence and that provides a wonderful cozy atmosphere. The pastas are to die for and a great value. The owner will come out to your table and recommend wine to compliment your dinner. Great value, we had an appetizer, 2 entrees and wine and desert and our bill was under $70 including tip!! more

Crowded, for a reason. 6/12/2008

Having dined at Buona Sera for several years now, I have come to expect, if not enjoy, the hustle and bustle of what is a fabulously popular little hideaway. You don't always get your table on time, but they also NEVEr push you out of your table once you are seated. The food is top notch. One example: I ordered the Rainbow Trout once and loved it. I can back, they were out. Next time, same thing. Finally, I asked Raffael and he said in his broken ItalEngish "If I don't get good quality, I don't get. I cannot find good Trout, so you cannot have it. These people (waving around the room) maybe they never had the Trout here and they love what I can get. But you, you have had the good Trout. You order it now, it's not so good, and maybe you think Buona Sera is also not so good. So, my friend, I am sorry but I cannot serve it. It was off the menu the next time we were in. The steaks are quite good and the Seafood Soup is unequaled. Expensive and unequaled. Pros: The experience. The whole experience. Cons: If you don't like a loud, close quarters restaurant, go someplace else. more

Great Romantic Spot with Friendly Environment 2/14/2008

After reading the reviews, I was worried as I pulled up and the temp was reaching -8 degrees, I was afraid I'd be stuck waiting at the cramped door. Just the opposite. For the size of the restaurant, the lot size was fine. We were seated immediatly, and the help was awesome. We started with the Bruchetta, and it was marvelous, the bread was absolutly delicious. Then my date and I both got past dishes. I absolutely loved the red sauce, I'm not a chunky tomato lover, and this sauce was smoot, and out of this world. Pros: Food, Wait Staff Cons: Small Area more

Best Italian north of 694 12/1/2007

Fabulous food and service. Can be tight, but buck up. The Chef is very friendly and the wine list is great. See also, La Grolla. more

Don't waste your money!!! 11/9/2007

I normally don't write reviews but I want to save other people the disappointment and money associated with dining at this restaurant. I tried it twice. Both times the food was average at best but I will call it awful. I can periodically talerate average food but not when it costs a far amount of money to eat it. I also don't mind spending $100.00 on a wonderful meal, so it's not that I'm cheap. Both times I left that restaurant feeling ripped off. Everything about it is average including the wait staff and seating. Too bad as it really has the potential to be a nice little spot. The owners should go get a meal at Figlio and take notes, even the Olive Garden at this point would give them an idea of eatable food. On my second trip ( I always give two chances as it could just be an off night) I had an open mind and high hopes. Bad food, bad dinner salad (get creative) and expensive. Pros: ???? Cons: Food taste, Cost, Food taste more

Flashes of brilliance 4/7/2007

My wife and I "discovered" Buona Sera several weeks ago. An hour after our reserved time we were seated, very frustrating. Then we got the food - outstanding, and it almost made up for wait. Because the food was so great we returned the next week and againthey were unable to seat us within 45 minutes of our reserved time. Most times this would be OK but here the waiting area is cramped and uncomfortable. Both times times we have been there people who are waiting start to get grumpy. The worst thing is that the stress this causes ripples throughout the staff - they are constantly apologizing and even give comped appetizers to make up for it. The kitchen seems to be forcing the food to get tables to turn, and it shows. Once the food was outstanding, once it close to unedible it was so bad that we will never return. What a shame, if they would just take a few less reservations I suspect that this could truly be one of the best Italian places in the entire Twin Cities. I hope they figure it out and get it right because everybody who works there is so nice! Pros: Friendly Staff Cons: Poor reservations management more

Best Italian in the Twin Cities 12/8/2006

The food is some of the best Italian in the cities. Must make reservations, as they get really busy. Prices are reasonable, and everything on the menu has been suburb. Cons: Must make reservations, and sometimes they run behind more

Great Little Italian Place 10/29/2006

The atmosphere is cozy and the food is delicious! It's a great date place. Because it is small and popular, you might have to wait for a table. But the wait is worth it! Pros: Food, ambience Cons: a little bit of a wait more

Bad service 10/15/2006

We waited 30 minute even with a reservation and 10 minutes at the bar just to get a wine list. One of the guests at the end of our table was constantly bumped into by the MANAGER. He at one point was almost knocked over! I would not go back to this restaurant. I feel there are far better Italian places to go in the city. Cons: to small and not good service more

Our Favorite Italian in MN 5/5/2006

Being of Sicilian descent and having grown up in NJ, I'm pretty picky about Italian food and pretty negative on what's available in MN. But, Bouna Sera is the real deal. My wife and I continually find ourselves craving their food. Service can vary, but is generally good. The seafood chowder is to die for. Haven't had an entree yet that wasn't wonderful. And if owner/chef Rafael is around and stops by to tell a few jokes, the evening is perfect. Be sure to make reservations, and expect it to be loud due to the small space, but that's part of the ambience. To top it off, some nights they offer a free Amaretto to end your meal. Pros: Great Food, Romantic Cons: Limited Parking more

Good food!! 3/29/2006

I really liked this place. I went with my boyfriend last night after seeing it on here. I thought the food was good, usually I am not one to eat my whole plate before I get full, but I HAD to keep eating beyond full because it was so good. It was also a nice place for romance, with the lighting and the small resteraunt. I really like this place and I will go back. The only thing that I did not like was the waitress seemed a little rushed toward us because we got there at about 8:15pm and they close at 9:00pm. But she was not too bad I still tipped her the same as I would have without her seeming to be rushed. Pros: Small, Romantic, Quiet more

Be prepared to wait. 5/24/2005

Reservations are a MUST here. Even with reservations, if you are dining after 7:00, be prepared to wait much longer to be seated past your reservation time. We've waited over an hour past our reservation time and ended up walking out without eating. There is no waiting room, so you must stand in the entrance or outside while waiting. We usually make reservations for early in the evening. The restaurant is very small. It's a romantic atmosphere with decent Italian food. Not a place for children though. PROS: Romantic atmosphere. CONS: Crowded. Long waits. No waiting room. more

Great Date Place! 3/6/2005

If you like good wine, great atmosphere, and excellent Italian, this is the place. An unassuming exterior welcomes diners into a cozy, almost cramped setting, where the bread is fabulous and free, the wine is excellent, and the waitresses always ready to recommend their favorite dish. A great value for the price, and some of the best food I have eaten! DO MAKE RESERVATIONS! They are always busy! more

Great Veal/Great Value 6/9/2003

What a great meal and value (appetizer, entree, dessert, coffee, wine, tip for $100). Pros: Food, Value, Wine Cons: Ambiance, Music more

A great hidden spot in the 'burbs 2/18/2003

Always a treat at Buona Sera. It's a regular stop on our list of restaurants we visit. It's close and the food is excellent. Given time (when they are not super busy...) the kitchen seems to welcome requests that are not on the menu. The wait staff is very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu and wines. A wonderful value in the middle of the suburbs! Keep up the great work! Pros: Friendly, Excellent value, Great food Cons: Parking is limited more

Group of Ten 1/4/2003

10 of us went there for a 50th bday party. Seated immediately, great table, Fabulous server. Had appetizers, entrees, drinks and dessert. Our group was never rushed. I recommend for a group the corner table and later seating. Everyone enjoyed their food-not a complaint. We had the antipasto appetizer-NOT TO BE MISSED! Tirimusu was fabulous. Can't say enough good things about this "Diamond in the Rough". Pros: Parking, Food Quality/Flavor, Excellent Service Cons: Small dining room more

I'm Not Sure Why It's Not A Top 10 12/15/2002

You need to know this restaurant is there or you would miss it in the middle of the residential houses it's surrounded by. The atmosphere is comfortable, warm and inviting and the food is wonderful. We always have a great time as the service is friendly and prompt. If you don't live in Champlin, it's worth the drive. more

Saves the cost of airfare to Italy!! 11/3/2002

The restaurant is in an old rambler style house, if you aren't looking for it you may drive right past it. more

Finally I've found one... 7/23/2002

Finally an Italian restaurant thats not Minnesota "I"talian. Reminds me of the little places in Chicago that I grew up with. Pros: Small and intimate, Great veal dishes, Tiramisu Cons: location(maybe) more
< Previous 1 Next >

Menu for Buona Sera Ristorante

15% OFF all yearly plans
Use year15 at checkout. Expires 12/30/2018

Owner Message

  • Born in Southern Italy, Chef Raffaele began spending time in the kitchen with his Mama at a very young age, where he learned that the only thing that makes food so special is the amount of affection you cook into it. In Italy, they use only the freshest ingredients to prepare food for the people they love.

    Since moving to the United States in the early 1970s, Raffaele has earned a great reputation in the Twin Cities restaurant scene for wonderful food with a pleasant dining experience. Buona Sera is the latest of Raffaele's creations, a cozy neighborhood restaurant and wine bar featuring the wonderful and authentic Italian recipes. When you walk in the door, you're treated like family. Enjoy good food, good wine, good company and of course, a "good night".


  • In Short
    Drive up to this little house in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and it feels like you're arriving at the neighbors' for dinner. Inside, it's noisy and rambunctious,...

  • 6/7/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Sun 5pm-9pm, Tue-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat 5pm-10pm
  • Payments:

    Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, Diner's Club