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MSP - Uptown restaurant suggestions?

I always meet my friend in Uptown but we are just getting tired of the Chino Latinos and Figlios.

Do you chowhounds know of any little secret restaurants that I don't know about? Medium price range? Any cuisine will do. Thanks for those who provide suggestions ahead of time!

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  1. When we're in Uptown we usually end up a Lucia's Wine Bar or Barbette. We also recently tried Amazing Thai and were pleasantly surprised. If you want to head to Lyndale you can eat at the bar at jP for something different and a little more elegant. I can't really think of any hidden or uncommon restaurants though.

    1. Definitely Lucia's. Definitely jP.

      We like Barbette,
      Tum Rup (still no Chai's),
      Mysore was good,
      Tao has good sandwiches,
      Namaste is great but slow
      Bulldog depending on your mood,
      Crema,
      Nea,
      Duplex,
      Ecopolitan if you're feeling hippy,
      wings @ Rudolphs,
      many of the good little places we liked have closed recently and I'm not in Uptown much anymore...

      6 Replies
      1. re: Foureyes137

        a little south of uptown is Broder's pasta bar - 50th and penn. always excellent

        1. re: St Paul Susie

          Some more suggestions in the name of being exhaustive:

          Yum! Kitchen and Bakery is just on the other side of Lake Calhoun. It's not sit down service - more like a deli counter. Rick Nelson really likes it, I do too. And it's pretty reasonably priced. It's on Lake, right around where it splits off to Minnetonka Boulevard. Uptown-ish.

          http://www.startribune.com/456/story/...

          There is a Punch Pizza in Calhoun Village, and there is also a Pizza Nea right next to Tum Rup Thai (my pick for Thai food),

          Bryant Lake Bowl is pretty much Uptown - Bryant and Lake. Good things can be found on the menu, and their date night is a great deal.

          It's Greek to Me and Fuji Ya are at Lake and Lyndale, which is reasonably close. Not a fish person so I can't really vouch for Fuli Ya's sushi but I really like the food at the Greek joint.

          Oh, some people love Stella's Fish joint. Not much of a seafood person myself, so I've never been. But it's an option to bear in mind.

          I love hanging out at The CC Club (26th and Lyndale). It's not known for the food, but the burgers aren't too shabby. I think it's a matter of time before the Lyndale Bulldog - pretty much right across the street - gets the food makeover the NE one got.

          I live right in the heart of Uptown, and this thread pretty much covers what's good.

          Has anyone ever eaten at Herkimer? I'm curious to try it, but haven't heard any word of mouth on it. That's on 29th and Lyndale, next to the old theatre and the VFW.

          1. re: pgokey

            Herkimer is supposedly well known for their sweet potato fries. I've eaten there twice over the past couple of years and it's pretty much bar food, although their beers are quite good.

            I was at Stella's recently and while the food was good, the service was kind of disrupting. The busboy asked to take our plates away twice when we clearly weren't done eating. I wouldn't have thought twice about this except someone else mentioned they experienced something very similar there recently.

            1. re: pgokey

              Herkimer used to have really good burgers. I was last there just after the smoking ban went into effect, and I thought they had gone downhill.

              This is a pretty comprehensive thread. I would add French Meadow Bakery, which has a fine dinner menu and half-price wine on... some night. I can't recall which.

          2. re: Foureyes137

            another vote for lucia's and barbette-- actually truth be told, we don't bother with anything in uptown except lucia's nowadays. if lucia's is closed might go to barbette or further down lake street-- or maybe crema, in season.

            chiang mai thai's food used to be good, quality dropped off & became boring, i'm not sure how it is now.

            as far as "hidden restaurants"
            i've had some good food at corner table and really like the space, but i've yet to have a great starter, entree, & dessert all in the same meal, somethings always uneven there it seems like. still can be a nice evening though.

            1. re: soupkitten

              I forgot to mention La Bodega (and whatever they're calling the adjoining place these days - post-renovation) on Lake and Lyndale. It's Spanish/tapas, and a pretty decent wine bar.

              The mention of Crema (34th and Lyndale) also reminded me of two other places near there - El Meson, and Pizza Luce on 31th and Lyndale. Luce is always good for a decent pizza, and I like their lasagna well enough - for a good old fashion American-style lasagna, anyway. El Meson is on 35th and Lyndale - it's Spanish/Caribbean. It's pretty good.

              http://www.elmesonbistro.com/

          3. Bryant Lake Bowl is fun and not too expensive.
            http://bryantlakebowl.com/

            For cheap and delicious eats I really like Marla's Indian and Caribbean Cuisine.
            http://www.marlascuisine.com/

            1. Barbette. Definitely Barbette. Good wine list, interesting food, good servers and interesting decor. Price seems reasonable, but I wouldn't call it cheap eats.

              For cheap eats, I'd head east of Lyndale along lake street and wander into a random mexican place.

              1. I ate at Marla's Indian & Caribbean Cuisine last night and would recommend it. While it doesn't have the "atmosphere" as most of the other places being recommended, the food is good.

                We started with ginger beer for the husband and a Maharajah beer for me (both very good) and a plate of vegetable pakoras. The pakoras were on the small side and dried out during cooking more than I would have liked.

                Husband ordered a jerk chicken roti which was very good. He is very particular about his Caribbean food and this place passed muster. I got a chicken tikka masala with a side of naan which I thought was excellent as well.

                Drinks were reasonably priced, entrees were in the $10-15 range for dinner, and of course with the portion sizes we each ended up bringing half of ours home. It was good, and we'll go back.

                1. My two favorite places are KihnDo and Sobas. Both I think are under-appreciated.

                  KihnDo (something like 26/Hennepin) is a standard looking Vietnamese place, but they have great spring rolls and really good sesame tofu dish.

                  Sobas (something like 25/Lyndale) has a very eclectic menu, with morrocan food, and very well-prepared vegetables with whatever you order. They are actually more well known for their brunch (cheese stuffed french toast) but that is a little over the top for me!

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: evasnitkin

                      Kihn Do is on the corner of 28th and Hennepin. Thom Phan worked there when he was 17. They have terrific lunch specials there, but if you're looking for serious Vietnamese, you can do better in Uptown-ish, IMHO. Try Eat Street, which is less than 5 minutes away. Quang comes to mind, for example.

                      I can't recall the name of the new place going in where Sobas was (I'll miss the breakfast there). But the signs in the window have certainly piqued my curiousity about it - it sounds good.

                    2. I and my friends alwayls end up going to Zeno for the late night desserts and some drinks. I really like their Creme Brulee and Lava Cake though they cant beat Creme Brulee at Pane Veno Dolce. Zeno also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, but mostly just simple cafe food like soup, salad, and panini.

                      http://www.zenocafe.com/index.html

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: moomon

                        If you're going for desserts and a hipster crowd, yessiree.

                        Anything other than dessert at Zeno I've found unbearably, actually "take back to the kitchen" salty. And I've tried a few dishes before and after going back to the kitchen. Several times. It's in my neighborhood and I'd love to love it.

                        Desserts are delightful at Zeno. The wines are overpriced but a fair choice and some pair perfectly with the desserts. And the coffee though again extraordinarily, nay, out of this world spendy match the desserts.

                      2. Hi there, just a quick question. I've been thinking about meeting some friends (no more than four of us, probably) for a quick bite on a weeknight at either Lucia's Wine Bar, Barbette or Crema. These are all places we can sneak into on a weeknight without reservations and/or waiting an absurd amount of time, right? (Look at brave me, crossing the river into Mpls on a school night!)

                        Thank you!

                        ~TDQ

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Depends on the week night IMO. Lucia's & Crema very likely, especially with patios open. Barbette I have seen somewhat busy on a Thursday, but again, with sidewalk seating open, you should be ok.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Should be no problem at Barbette so long as it's not a Friday or Saturday.

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I have not eaten dinner at Crema, so take the following with a grain of salt. I don't know how their dinner operations work, but would think that you might have a little wait for your food there because it seems to be thinly staffed. If you're going at a time where they are busy, I don't know how their service is. You could definitely do worse, though, than sitting outside on their patio while you're waiting for your food.

                              I agree that you're probably ok at Barbette on nights other than Friday or Saturday, although it can be busy on Thursdays as well at peak times.

                              Lucia's patio is busy on nice days, but the wait usually isn't too long. The wine bar's usually slow on these days. Remember that Lucia's is closed on Mondays.

                              Thanks for visiting us on the west side!
                              Bob

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                You can forget about getting into Barbette for a while. Sigh. http://citypages.com/databank/28/1384...

                                Damn that woman! Now my favorite thinking, eating, coding on my laptop greasy with fry residue spot will be overrun with, you know, people! Grrr.

                                1. re: MplsM ary

                                  Yeah, I hate hate hate it when one of my favorite places gets a good review. Or a place I've been meaning to try (like those two Thai restaurants Dara reviewed two weeks ago). Ah, well - the crowds will die down eventually.

                                  Anne

                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                    This will end up being a mistake. Kim will be busy in NE, leaving this kid to muck things up in her absence. I hope he doesn't as I still like the tikes food.

                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    Thanks (as always) for the terrific info everyone. We changed directions and won't be heading to Uptown (this time), so, alas, I'll have to tuck this away for my next adventure across the river, which should be soon. Maybe the Barbette excitement will have calmed down by then.

                                    ~TDQ