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a "NICE" dinner mpls/wi

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Hello hounds. Wondering if anyone can give me some suggestions to some nice restaurants for dinner. Comparable to Murray's DT Mpls. We've been to Kates on State -italian, in LaCrosse, that was a 10. We've been to the Mississippi Belle -italian, in Hastings, that was a 10. It doesn't have to be italian, and traveling isn't really a big issue, anywhere from LaCrosse/Rochester area, to the Cities, to Eau Claire. All suggestions welcome. I haven't really found anything of that quality in Hudson, Rocheser or Eau Claire, so if there are any hidden gems anywhere, please share. :)

Thanks, Jen

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  1. Since a country drive doesn't seem to be an issue, go to Canoe Bay in Chetek, WI. 30 miles north of Eau Claire and food consistent with the quality of any MSP restaurant maybe with the exception of La Belle Vie (although my last meals at Canoe Bay were on par with my most recent meal at LBV). On our last visit, after a bison short rib that was probably the finest piece of red meat I've ever eaten, my wife had to lock me in our room to keep me from breaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night looking for more.

    That said, know that their focus is on dining as a supplement to their lodging guests, so the menu/price is set -- whatever they make that day is what you get. They take wine seriously as well. Not casual -- jacket is required for men.

    Canoe Bay
    715-924-4594
    www.canoebay.com

    1. We just found a true blue hidden gem in North Hudson. It is a must visit for any foodie. It's called Idaho Chucks Santa Fe' Grill and Cantina. It bills itself as serving southwestern cuisine and also features a woodfire grill. Everyone in our party enjoyed their meal and vowed to come back for another trial. Check it out and let us know what you think :-D

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      Idaho Chucks
      708 6th St N, Hudson, WI 54016

      1. Try Confluence on Main Street in Prescott WI. It has a high quality short menu and the owner / chef is willing to do specials for vegetarians, etc. Good wine list too. www.dineatconfluence.com is their website.

        1. Just discovered chowhound, LOVE IT, by the way; thought we'd kick in one gem in Hudson, Wisconsin that we've found.
          Mama Maria's Italian Ristorante'.
          800 6th St. North Hudson, 715-386-7949
          Their italian food is so, so good. Everything we've had there is wonderful, would return again and again. The bread and garlic butter is good, the ravioli, the chicken, all great. Atmosphere: very romantic, cozy, comfy. Decorated really nice for seasonal like at Christmas it was very well done. TRY IT !

          1. In that general neighborhood, Nosh in Lake City is very good. Also Harborview in Pepin WI, but that's closed for the winter and will re-open in spring. Good places in Rochester for a nice dinner would be Prescott's or Jasper's, but nothing else in Rochester would be worth eating if it's just as easy to drive to the twin cities.

            1. I went to school in LaCrosse, and the best food finds were:
              Lindy's Subs (incredible-a must have)
              breakfast at Fayze's isn't bad-cheap and it's a nice old school hangout
              coffee at Jule's-it's attached to a nice bookstore
              Edwardo's definately. I don't think I've ever had their pizza, but they have cheesecurds the size of your head. Only order a half order-even if there's two of you. SERIOUSLY!
              My sisters both liked Buzzard Billy's (cajun food) downtown, but I was never impressed by it
              The Pearl is a cute little soda fountain/candy store downtown
              I always heard of Piggy's ribs and the Freighthouse, but I never got to either of them. I always thought LaCrosse had pretty good food. Maybe not fancy, but really good.

              1. I see the OP is looking for nice restaurants, not just any restaurants in the area. In that vein, I would recommend Native Bay, in Chippewa Falls. Looks more casual from the outside than it does from the inside, but once you get in there is a really lovely serene ambience, right on the lake. The food is very good, surprisingly so in an area with not a lot of fine dining. Locally sourced, regional, seasonally changing menu, from a creative chef.

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                Native Bay
                9504 County Highway S, Chippewa Falls, WI

                1 Reply
                1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                  Well, I know Kate's on State in LaCrosse, and it is really good, but not super fancy. Edwardo's in LaCrosse is probably a "nicer" restaurant than that..I would recommend it-I had my graduation party there. I don't think they serve lunch though.