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Fun 30th b-day in St. Paul or Mpls

6-8 people going out for a shared birthday. We want something more on the fun side than super serious foodie side. Belle Vie, Cue and 20.21 are not what we're looking for. What's the best in the Zander, Auriga, Corner Table range?

thanks in advance...

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  1. Zander is always fun...Havn't tried it yet but the menu at il vesco vino in the old vintage space looks great. the other place those guys have is good too, and i think the same chef...happy b-day

    1. Are Auriga and Zander that much different than Cue and 20.21? I would actually expect a younger, more urban festive crowd at Cue and 20.21. With the system of shared items at 20.21, I would have put that in the "more fun than serious foodie" category. Maybe I'm missing something.

      The oft-mentioned 112 Eatery is laid back and fun, but no sacrifice at all on the meal. It might be tough to land a table for 6-8 as they only have maybe one seating that size. The bistro at Five has a good unstuffy vibe.

      I plan regular nights out for my wife and I and two other early-30s couples, as well as my last few birthdays and looking for similar criteria, we've done Masa, 20.21, Five, Chino Latino, Babalu, 112, Azia, El Meson and Origami. They were all picked for "fun, relaxed, something-for-everyone-yet-adventurous" over formality and all were good to excellent.

        1. Previously Zander was my fave of all faves. Won't enter anymore....had a few bad food & bad service combos.

          For pure fun with a party that size I'd vote Azia - great drinks, you can have a great time, & the bill won't kill ya. Plus if you get loud no one notices!

          Have a blast! Happy bday!

          1. we often celebrate at The Sample Room. The experience is better if you are into food sharing. Like the name suggests the menu is comprised of many small plates with different combinations as well as regular entrees available. The ambiance is relaxed and cozy. You would proabably have to call in advance as they have few large tables.

            The Sample Room; 2124 NE Marshall St, Mpls.; 612.789.0333

            I think duplex is reminiscent of zander that people have mentioned above (chef Michael Hart is longtime Café Zander veteran). Would also require reservation due to the small space. I think there used to be an option of BYOB but don't know if that is still the case.


            1. Try Chino Latino http://www.chinolatino.com. The menu is a nice Asian fusion and most of the platters are meant to be split to either 2 or 4 people.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chefschmitty

                The menu as the name suggest is asian and latin. I do have to say that during the weekend the place is full of teen boppers dropped off by hummer limousines. Its ok if thats your crowd.

              2. I had my 30th b-day last year at Solera. I lived in Spain for half a year. Spainards will meet friends for tapas and drinks, spending hours chatting and having fun. Meeting for tapas almost a national pass time. I wanted to go some place where the emphasis was on the experience and not on turn over. Solera does that well.

                1. I agree with most of the suggestions here, esp. Azia, Chino, Solera, 20.21 and 112 because of their fun atmospheres. A place with good cocktails is also important for a fun birthday, instead of just beer/wine, and all of these places do them well, too.

                  1. I just spent my birthday with two friends at Azia. Great food, fun atmosphere and a killer martini.