Another Friday Night Question - MSP
Okay.... Looking for a little brainstorming on a date night for Friday. Work in MPLS and live in Saint paul so either of those works well (not uptown etc)
Its a date night so we are thinking no kids menus and a good solid wine list. Maybe a bar scene for a little people watching - but no real requirements.... Not afraid to drop a little cash if its worth it.
Thoughts???? Why when I'm going to make reservations all the places that I've said to myself "next time I'm going there!" disappear from my mind?
nice room, they tried. Multi Kinks
Seated, table for 2, menus looks good, wine list solid, fairly well organized
I blow out the liquid candle since it smells like the flamable liquid. Which isn't appealing.
Water - bottle or tap.... (tap)
drinks - proseco for me - Hubby has vodka & club soda which is presented to him without a lime.
he flags someone down to request a lime wedge.
rolls - hard as little rocks and smell & taste a little like bacos.
Waitress excellent in giving us her opinions & in timing in general.
amuse - a small sliver of cuke with 2 different homemade mayos. It was a joke. like a scrap. Almost like there should have been a mini crab cake or something that it was forgotten. (I often have a drink at the heartland wine bar and I've always been impressed with what they create for the amuse bouche - even if its not something I like)
Apps - we both get the heirloom tomato and buff mozz salad. excellent. I was concerned since there was a lack of salt and pepper but the tom/mozz was perfectly seasoned
wine - we select a brunello - we wait for the wine captain to open and pour it. (bottle is not at our table - he has it) we wait, we wait, we watch him pour other tables, we wait, we watch. It gets to be an unfunny joke how long we sit without any alcohol on the table. The wine captain seemed like a nice guy and was certainly not rushed. However, I don't really care who opens my wine....... I'm certain our waitress could have easily handled.
finally have a nice glass of wine in front of me.
Hubby - beef tenderloin, excellent flavor, perfectly cooked on a bed of undercooked diced potatos billed as a hash I think.
me - lobster risotto. lobster good, risotto barely cooked and sent back to the kitchen. Replacement lobster risotto provided, not charged for my main course.
desert - hubby opts for bittersweet choco thing - was VERY sweet, more milk choco than anything.
Me - blend of herbal teas which was OUTSTANDING.
So....as I said, LOTS of kinks. I look forward to returning in a few months. We went between the pre and post show rushes so I can't imagine that when they are full and bustling that the wine captain isn't slowing everything down and that the kitchen isn't churning out undercooked food.
re: St Paul Susie
Thanks for the report, Susie. It sounds like Cue has some promise, but, as you say, a few kinks to work out, which I suppose is to be expected with a new place. I think this place is quite a bit bigger than Heartland, too. I remember the amuse bouche at Heartland being pretty teensy, too. We found it,well, amusing. ;-)
Cue for tonight -
But MANY excellent date night idea are now printed out and bulletin'd to my desk!
Never eaten at Heartland - but enjoy that new wine bar they have a lot - have had a few fancy snacks there which were decent. Would like feedback to recent dining room visits as well.
Signature is always excellent!
a Rebors is an excellent idea - I've never been, yet.
And my new favorite quote ever is
"Eat the food, drink the wine, breathe deeply, repeat"
Do your people watching at the bar in The Saint Paul, where they don't shake a Manhattan. Then amble down the street to A Rebours. Get a window table, so you can see street and room. Bartender there makes a good Manhattan, too, but the bar isn't as nicely setup as the Saint Paul's for bar enjoyment.
If Watson is working, she is a terrific server.
Eat the food, drink the wine, breathe deeply, repeat. Rejoice in having woken up breathing yet another day.
112 is certainly a livelier room. Sometimes oppressively so. Good menu. But I've found it, in my limited experience, to be more variable in its quality.
For that matter, have a drink, snack (mmm, crab salad), and people watch at the bar at 112, ease across the river for dinner at A Rebours, and if it isn't too late, perch outside Izzy's for a cone on a late summer evening. Choose your Izzy scoop with care.
Of course, if you are looking for an intimate date night, Signature Cafe is a cozy room for grownups, and they take delight in cooking for you.
just my .02
enjoy, in any case.
Okay - had a table at Auriga (never been & I used to live in mpls) and switched to Cue. Menu looked like a few more options.
Just went to Vincent 2 weeks ago - food was excellent - room was a little old & dull people watching wise....
LBV - went there not that long ago - need to wait for a season change b4 I go back.
Lucia, Cosmos on my "next time" list right now. Thanks
Spoonriver - wasn't even on my radar - Thanks x2!
Do you guys use opentable at all??? - there are so many for MPLS on there and like 12 for st paul......
re: St Paul Susie
I've never had much luck with Open Table. I've found that they typically don't have many slots at the "prime" times (which we generally need in order to get babysitters). Often when I've called a restaurant where Open Table says there are no reservations, I'm still able to get one on the phone.
(I don't know for certain, but I've always assumed that Open Table gets a fixed allocation of reservations ahead of time and doesn't have "live" reservation info for the restaurants. Perhaps restaurants release more slots to Open Table as dates get closer, but we typically want the certainty of a reservation if we're hiring a babysitter.)
I guess the point of this reply is this: call the restaurant to see if you can get a reservation for the time you want even if Open Table says there are no openings.