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Small Reception in MPLS/St. Paul

Hi all, I am new to the board but I have been reading for some time. All of the best restaurant recs come from this site so I thought I would post my latest need for a rec...

I am getting married at the end of August, hopefully at a park in St. Paul...it will be a Friday, late afternoon with only about 50 guests. We are having a small guest list so we can go all out with a dinner/cocktail party afterward, then we are having a larger "BBQ style" party the next day for all of the extended family.

Anyway, does anyone have any recs for a good spot for the 50 of us to do a dinner/cocktail hour? There are a lot of restaurants I like but it is always a wonder how they handle large parties...

We are also looking for cake recs, and in that area, taste is much more important than style, has anyone actually ever had great tasting wedding cake? If so, share please!

Thanks Chowhounders, in advance!

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  1. Do you want to stay in St Paul after the ceremony? Are you looking to break the bank? Probably not if you are having another party the next day....

    With only 50 guests you might want to consider renting out an entire smaller/medium place. Lots of places tend to do that for groom's dinners so why not your reception?

    If budget isn't an issue perhaps Chambers in Minneapolis? I'm going to a party next week about the same size.

    I've hear that muddy paws cheesecake (on Snelling I think) does an excellent job for weddings.

    1 Reply
    1. re: St Paul Susie

      Muddy Paws' Snelling location closed, at least the one near Minnehaha, they have one in uptown.

      http://www.muddypawscheesecake.com/

    2. SPS - Thanks for the questions! Yes, we would like to stay in St. Paul after the ceremony, which is tough b/c we know St. Paul less than MPLS...but we love places like WA Frost (atmosphere) and others...

      About breaking the bank, not necessarily, but we know that with a smaller party we can focus a bit more on the food and spend more. We just want an intimate affair with delicious food. If we had a large home we would do it right here and cater in, we are a casual bunch and would like to mingle and relax...

      Thanks for the dessert rec as well!

      1. Congrats! For a great-tasting wedding cake, I would check out the top bakeries in town.

        Franklin Street Bakery has birthday cakes that are delicious and completely over the top; I'll bet their wedding cakes are even better.

        http://www.franklinstreetbakery.com

        The Baker's Wife does more traditional, rich, wonderful bakery items; not sure if they do wedding cakes, but I'll bet they do.

        The Baker's Wife
        4200 28th Avenue S, Minneapolis

        The Birchwood makes MARVELOUS cakes. Maybe they'd do a wedding cake. It's worth a call - or a visit to sample a cake or two. (Their carrot cake has my vote for the best in town.

        )

        http://www.birchwoodcafe.com

        For a St. Paul choice, how about Cafe Latte? I don't think they're as great as the places above, but they're pretty good. And perhaps they'll let you sample cakes before ordering.

        http://www.cafelatte.com

        Then there's Patrick's, out in the suburbs, for something frothy and French. (Or loaded with dark chocolate.) I've never tried their cakes, but their breads and pastries are great.

        http://www.patricksbakerycafe.com/abo...

        Have fun choosing a cake!
        Anne

        1. Wuollet also does great cakes.

          If you want the "invite everyone over to your house atmosphere" without actually inviting everyone over to your house, give Nathalie at Signature Cafe a call. ( http://www.signaturecafe.net ) Their (cancelled due to overwhelming demand) was the epitome of going over to a friend's fancy house for brunch - as were their old lunch "buffets." I bet she could create that atmosphere for you with something outstanding.

          Your group might be a little big for the wine room at Muffuletta, but you could give them a call too: http://www.muffuletta.com/index.htm

          1. okay - food... August seems slow in the metro area so places might really be excited to have 50 people for dinner on a friday night....

            Cafe 128? Could they fit that many people? that would be lovely and fun - if you could rent out the whole place.

            Heartland on St Clair...I was at the wine bar one night and the whole rest. was closed for a grooms dinner. again I'm unsure how many people they can fit.

            The lexington has a nice sized room with its own bar - however, its a traditional room and traditional food and a little to heavy for 'wedding in august'

            The new spot on Selby - in the old vintage space - Il veno vesci? I'm butching the name & have a mental block. I'm eating there SOON... I've heard the food has come around and they have a few floors - one of which I think is for big parties.

            And (again with the mental block -need more caffine!) what is the club next to ordway? is that the Minnesota Club - they do weddings. I think the food is good....haven't personally been. similar to a hotel wedding...

            There is always the ST Paul Hotel as well - I've been to a huge wedding there and it was good. But its a hotel wedding no matter how good it is....

            still thinking....

            1. I know you specified St. Paul, but last October a close friend was married and had the reception at Al Vento (just off the parkway at 34th and 50th). Their were 60 guests, they did a wonderful appetizer bar. And then a terrifice 3 course dinner. The space is lovely and the chef/owner and staff couldn't have been better.

              http://www.alventorestaurant.com/

              1. The Taste of Scandinavia used to have awesome cakes, I haven't gotten cakes there in awhile though. http://www.tasteofscandinavia.com

                My personal favorite is the Scandinavian Strawberry Torte
                "Three layers of yellow sponge cake with one layer of chocolate mousse and whipped cream and one layer of raspberry jam and fresh sliced bananas. Garnished with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, and a sprinkle of slivered almonds. "
                What more could one ask for?

                The Buttercream Collection has gotten great reviews from brides and Dara from the City Pages.

                http://www.buttercream.info/

                have fun cake testing!

                4 Replies
                1. re: starburst

                  I know for a fact that Taste of Scandinavia no longer serves the same quality Strawberry Torte as they did in "the old days". Soile Anderson sold the business, name and recipes to Festival Foods and it has since become a mass produced corporate operation. If you have your heart set on one of those cakes you could try calling The Deco Catering and see if she would make one for you but I wouldn't bother with Taste of Scandinavia anymore.

                  Otherwise I would suggest Jerabek's Bakery on the Upper West Side of St. Paul for outstanding and reasonably priced cakes.

                  1. re: Sven

                    Thanks for letting me know. Last year, I did get get the Strawberry Torte from there and was sooo dissappointed at how dry it was...but I thought it was just a fluke.

                    1. re: Sven

                      Soile Anderson did sell off Taste of Scandinavia. I believe that her current business is the Finnish Bistro, on Como Avenue in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul. I've seen some beautiful cakes come from there.

                      It might be a good result to try The Deco Catering, the other arm of her current business, and ask whether she still makes a version of the strawberry torte. Whatever she makes would be lovely.

                      1. re: KTFoley

                        You are correct, she does own the Finnish Bistro on Como Av as well as The Deco Catering. If your into chocolate, her Flourless Chocolate Cake is pretty damn good too.

                  2. Wow everyone, thanks for all of the recommendations! I will definitely be checking out all of these suggestions, thanks for Al Vento as well, yes, of course if we find the right place and it is Minneapolis we will make it work!

                    On the cakes, interestingly, right before checking this site, a friend at work had suggested "Taste of Scandinavia" and specifically for the "Scandinavian Strawberry Torte"...so, thanks for the head's up on their current situation.

                    On the reception, the same person at work had suggested Forepaugh's but she had never been, has anyone here experienced this place?

                    Thanks again, I will follow up with what we decide...