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Jul 19, 2007 09:35 AM

MSP- Birthday Spot

I know, I know, another special occasion restaurant request post but since some of you know me online and in person I thought I'd call for suggestions.

My 30th birthday is in 2 weeks and my husband will be away. A group of friends have offered to go out and celebrate with me and have asked for restaurant suggestions. Together we've already been to Alma, Solera, El Meson, and many Thai places. Also for previous special occasions I've already been to La Belle Vie, Cosmos, Craftsman, WA Frost and um, well, lots of places that are now closed (Levain, Five, etc.). I want to keep the price point on this reasonable but still make it nicer than a mid-week dinner.

Here's what I've thought of so far:

Levain Bistro
Ngon Bistro

Any other ideas? Two of us are in Minneapolis and two coming from the Western suburbs so Minneapolis is slightly easier than eastern St. Paul.

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  1. Try Moscow on the Hill for good Russian and a great selection of vodkas. Ask to sit in Chris's section. Definitely try the chef's appetizer tasting plate and the borsht. Get one appetizer plate per two or three people depending upon your appetites.

    1. Chambers Kitchen? I haven't eaten there, but the bar is really nice.


      Cafe Maude?

      Saffron Restaurant & Lounge
      123 North 3rd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401

      Chambers Kitchen
      901 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      Cafe Maude
      5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

      3 Replies
      1. re: pgokey

        I definitely second the Saffron suggestion. Tasty tasty food, great service, and a reasonable price point.

        Another option closer to the western 'burbs would be Cafe 28 in Linden Hills. It's not quite on a par with 112, but it certainly measures up against Lucia's or Brenda. And, they serve their own beer, Surly, on tap.

          1. re: Loren3

            Ok, that didn't work.

            Cafe Twenty-Eight
            2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

      2. how about lucia's restaurant?

        1. Bank is pretty swanky, although pricepoint might be an issue, but it sure is beautiful in that space. Maybe Bank for drinks and apps followed by something else (I've always liked Ike's, but that might not be the style for the evening).

          The Grand (38th & Grand) is a wonderful place for celebrations, too. Great food, excellent service - a little less loud than a lot of places seem to be these days. Also, I love Vincent.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Samanth2

            I haven't been to Bank, but Dara rakes it over the coals in this week's issue.

            1. re: pgokey

              It's funny because though I know what you say is true, her review actually has me wanting to go to B.A.N.K. I was going create a thread on the Food Media/News board to address this but I got lazy.

              Is it crazy to crave tomato soup with grilled cheese sticks, a thing so easily prepared at home? In this weather? Yes. Must be brain fever.

              Still, I think I will go soon to have a grapefruit cosmo and maybe the deviled eggs and the above mentioned soup.


              1. re: MplsM ary

                I don't think it's crazy. I admit that the food looks so pretty in the pictures. I think many of us would love to hear a report of the place.

          2. Thanks for all the suggestions! I've been to Moscow on the Hill and just am not a huge Russian food fan, unless I'm specifically in the mood for it.

            Saffron is a fantastic idea, I completely forgot about it. Lucia's is another great option, extremely reliable delicious food.

            I keep hear mixed reviews about Chambers and am not sure what to think. I think my husband would want to go there so I'll save it for another time.

            Any idea if Cafe Maude is a table service restaurant? I got the impression since they advertise coffee that it might be an order at the counter more casual place but with wine. Has anyone been?

            I was also scared off from Bank because of Dara's review today.

            I'm mad at Bakery on Grand (Grand Bakery? What's the new name?) that they don't have the brie sandwich on the menu anymore. It was so amazing toasted with truffle oil. I don't know if I can forgive them ;)

            Wonderful options though!

            4 Replies
            1. re: katebauer

              Maude is full service, and they take reservations.

              1. re: pgokey

                pgokey is right; the counter service at breakfast and lunch didn't go over so well, so they're switching that around. But it was & is table service at dinner.

                For BANK, I was interested to visit the bar but less so for the restaurant unless I ordered very, very carefully.

                Interestingly, another newspaper reviewer (R. Nelson or K. Jenkins or J. Iggers, I forget which) did note that the food would please hotel guests but might not bring locals in looking for an inventive menu. Dara said as much, but so

              2. re: katebauer

                The Grand Cafe is the new name/place. Call Mary there and tell her 1)its your bday, 2) you want the back room (depending on your group size) 3) you want a brie sandwich.

                She is a doll and so laid back. I need to go there soon as well!

                I've had good meals at chambers - but I agree to save it for hubby & not the best spot for a group.

                1. re: St Paul Susie

                  Would she need the back room for just the 4 of them?