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Twin Cities: Top 5 Romantic Restaurant Destinations

  • m

especially with Val Day approaching.

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  1. My personal top 5:

    1. Fourpaugh's
    2. WA Frost
    3. Kincaid's in Bloomington
    4. Auriga
    5. 112 Eatery

    1. Loring Pasta Bar's ambiance is positively romantic, but I find the food pretty sub par. A give and take, I suppose.

      1 Reply
      1. I had always heard that Nicollet Island Inn is super romantic.

        1. Can I list LBV five times. Its the only place I would like to be taken in the cities for a romantic dinner.

          Too bad Schumacher's in New Prague closed.

          1. Not for everyone, but if you're big on irony, short on funds, have a sense of humor, White Castle does a sweet job. They put out tablecloths and candles, and print up little menus describing their "beef and poultry" and "seafood" entrees. The staff (which seems to be either high school kids or folks of retirement age) dresses up in their best outfits and provides table service. They even have a roving photographer who snaps a photo of you and your sweetheart as a keepsake.



            1 Reply
            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              This is just too cute for words! Almost I am persuaded to go to White Castle this year. (But I haven't had a slider since back in the day, after drinking until the wee hours.)


            2. I love the "lounge" at La Belle Vie. It is absolutely beautiful and has little half-moon tables where a couple can sit side by side. There is a very nice (and inexpensive) lounge menu, but you can also order off the main menu from the formal restaurant (which is also superb). It's great to mix and match between the menus. Also wonderful Champagne by the glass list. Get the Pierre Peters.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Michael Florey

                I never thought such a high-end restaurant could be so accessible but LBV seems to pull it off flawlessly.

              2. My votes would be:

                1. LBV, I like the cozy aspect of the lounge, too.
                2. 112 Eatery, good food is always romantic! Love the brick and tin ceiling, too.
                3. Vincent.
                4. WA Frost's
                5. Possibly the garden outdoor at Black Forest? But that's only a summer thing... Or perhaps the lounge at Lurcat?

                1. I'm going to extend this to include anything within 1/2 hour drive of the Twin Cities:
                  1) Bayport Cookery
                  2) Levain (sobs)
                  3) LBV
                  4) 112
                  5) Azia

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: g rote

                    Levain romantic? You must be kidding. It was cacophonous, extremely overcrowded, had terrible service, and the front door opened right into the dining room, for a nice cold blast of air on winter nights.

                    1. re: Jordan

                      quite serious, actually...we had a fantastic romantic evening there last august. do you have a list of your own?

                      1. re: g rote

                        I had a few romantic dinners there too. I guess it depends on what people consider a romantic evening to look like.

                        For me, Levain was the best food I have ever had in MSP - Steven Brown was an inspiring chef, the wait staff was awesome with their wine knowledge and tolerance for guests bringing in their own special bottles, and the overall restaurant left a lasting impression on me. Romance was inspired through the love that went into the design of the food and the fact that everything I always had was unforgettable.

                  2. - La Belle Vie
                    - Alma
                    - the counter at Town Talk Diner (trust me here): not intimate-romantic, but it's so fun, and funny (make me laugh and i'll love you sincerely!), and the staff makes you feel special, like calling you by your first name throughout the meal.
                    - sushi bar at Origami gets a mention... because it's sushi!!!

                    1. I loved Levain, we even got engaged the first night we ate there so it holds a special place in my heart but I will totally agree that, especially on special occasions it was extremely over crowded. We were there last Valentine's day and seriously couldn't avoid starting up a conversation with the people at the table next to us we were sitting so close.

                      Also, since I'm sharing the negatives, the floor on the way to the bathroom was SO slippery I dreaded walking on it - and it was a significant walk to the bathrooms. I'm sure the wine didn't help but I could never understand how the staff could run back and forth back there.

                      1. 1. Ted Cook's BBQ. Bring your take-out-only food to nearby Minnehaha Park for a lovely meal. (This is slightly less romantic in the winter, unless it's snowing and you have really good long underwear.)

                        2. Punch (St. Paul location). I wonder if they'd make a heart-shaped pizza if I asked? Doesn't matter - the wine and the buffalo mozzarella make it super romantic for me.

                        3. Tanpopo. What's more romantic than slurping a bowl of noodles together? And I love the decor here. (Disclaimer: My brother-in-law did the bar and some of the floor.)

                        4. Los Ocampo and La Sirena Gorda in the Midtown Global Market. Feed me enough fresh ceviche and Al Pastor tacos, and I'm in love forever!

                        5. Izzy's Ice Cream. Who agrees with me that an all-ice cream meal in February is the height of romance? That is, you can't eat ice cream in the winter if you don't have a sweetie right there to keep you warm.

                        So I'm a peasant at heart, and I prefer cheap and casual food! If I had to pick a fancier joint, I'd go for Alma, Vincent, or Mairin's Table.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                          Swoon! That's my list in a slightly different order. It's just missing Hien Deli. Fortunately I already married a girl who shares my sense of romance ;)

                        2. I've got to vote for W.A. Frost, because I had my wedding and reception there. The decor is a little bit Victorian twee, but the food is amazing, the service is usually good, and it does have a lovely vibe in the winter. I especially like the bar.

                          1. Alma
                            Sample Room (though I am tired of their unchanging menu)
                            LBV Lounge
                            jP Bistro Dining Room

                            1. In order (my opinion of course..)

                              1.LBV lounge (w/out a doubt )
                              2 Tampopo (I ate there on a rainy spring day once..perfect)
                              3. A Rebours (especially in the winter)
                              4. Black Forest Patio(cliche but true.)
                              5. Monte Carlo (I know.. but in a booth in the back w/some 7 minute martinis,trust me)

                              Levain too so sad. I agree about the floor on the way to the bathrooom though. Had the tasting menu (and it seemed like not that much wine) but we seriously skated to the bathroom..

                              Loring Pasta Bar..so pretty. but true the food is "sub par" and that's being nice. too bad.

                              Also Alma, I agree I just always forget about it..

                              Oh and Campiello at the bar. the bartenders are the best and the food really is great. We call it
                              Camp Yellow. Oh and free valet parking (you must tip ofcourse..)

                              sorry so long..my first post i got called out for being verbose (sorry I just found this today and Ihave alot to say..)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cherrylime

                                Campiello is a good pick and one I had not considered.

                                I don't care if you have a grudge against the D'Amicos, the great smells and better lighting (plus a terrific panna cota) make it a winner for romance. Also, the food, while good, is not so WOW that it will distract you from your date or him/her from you.

                              2. I have to amend my choices and add Luci Ancora. Not exactly quiet and romantic, but I love the HP neighborhood and the food there is always high quality and the lighting is outstanding.