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MSP pre-theatre recs?

drew13000 Jul 25, 2007 10:26 AM

My mom and I have tix for Spamalot at the Ordway on Saturday night, and we'd like to eat someplace before. It's not necessary that it's walking distance, though that would be nice. I don't want anywhere terribly pretentious or uptight, but would like it to feel like a treat, so nothing too casual either, since we'll be dressed up. My mom's not good with exotic, so sushi is out. What would you recommend?

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  1. p
    pgokey RE: drew13000 Jul 25, 2007 10:35 AM

    Everything I can think of near there is either upscale or causal but some of the upscale places are certainly welcoming and approachable. I know when I am out with my grandparents, they are certain places they dislike because anything about bistro level makes them uncomfortable (and these upper-scale places aren't at all pretentious.)

    Well, I'll throw out three places, and I am not sure if they fit the bill or not.

    Pazzaluna is very close, and it's a nice Italian place that isn't off-putting.

    Definitely causal, but suggesting it anyway because I love it: Cossetta's. It's a cafeteria-style place. I've been there in a tie before, and didn't feel weird about it.

    How does she like Thai? Ruam Mit is pretty good, and not that far away and doesn't strike me as exotic. Don't know your mum, so it's hard to gauge.

    Cossetta Italian Market
    211 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    Ruam Mit Thai Cafe
    475 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    360 St. Peter St, St. Paul, MN 55101

    2 Replies
    1. re: pgokey
      bob s RE: pgokey Jul 25, 2007 10:54 AM

      It's my understanding that Ruam Mit closed a month or two ago.

      1. re: bob s
        pgokey RE: bob s Jul 25, 2007 11:00 AM

        No! I guess I can't complain too much since I haven't been there in a long time.

    2. The Dairy Queen RE: drew13000 Jul 25, 2007 10:35 AM

      How about A Rebours? The food can be a little uneven there, but is good overall. The setting is adorable. Not too fancy, but still feels like a nice meal out.

      EDIT: their website (a link to which is included in the "places" link) has a copy of their menu as well as some photos so you can get a good feel for the place to decide whether it suits you.


      A Rebours [CLOSED]
      410 St Peter St, St Paul, MN 55102

      1. autmommy RE: drew13000 Jul 25, 2007 11:07 AM

        The Downtowner Woodfire would fit what you are looking for. Nice but relaxed, pretty "normal" food, but with a few more adventurous items if someone wanted to try something a little different. Nice environment for mom. Check out their website

        253 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55102

        1 Reply
        1. re: autmommy
          St Paul Susie RE: autmommy Jul 25, 2007 01:08 PM

          I second the downtowner - solid option for the evening.

          enjoy the show.

        2. m
          martaru RE: drew13000 Jul 25, 2007 01:53 PM

          St Paul Grill is a bit uptight but I had a fantastic meal and great service when I sat at the bar there. I took my mom there for Mom's Day and she loved it.
          And it's right across from the Ordway on the other side of the park.

          1. katebauer RE: drew13000 Jul 25, 2007 09:59 PM

            We're also going to Spamalot on Saturday and going to Heartland before. The funny thing is, I totally thought Heartland was in downtown St. Paul so was going to recommend it to you. Turns out it's near Macalester. Good thing I looked it up before we headed out on Saturday!

            1 Reply
            1. re: katebauer
              St Paul Susie RE: katebauer Jul 26, 2007 03:21 PM

              Kate - please report back. Haven't been back in eons. (used to favor the wine bar side)

              Enjoy the show!

            2. BillyP RE: drew13000 Jul 26, 2007 07:59 AM

              How about Brasserie Margaux? It isn't too far. My favorite places to go in the summer are Muffuletta, and W. A. Frost. Both of there menus are pretty strong, and they have nice patios. Frosts have a great bar too!

              W.A. Frost & Co
              374 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102

              Muffuletta In the Park
              2260 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108

              Margaux [CLOSED]
              486 N Robert St, St Paul, MN 55101

              1. drew13000 RE: drew13000 Jul 27, 2007 11:24 AM

                Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! After looking at several online menus, I decided on Margaux. Actually, Pazzaluna was my first choice, since I looooove risotto, but wouldn't you know it, they were booked solid! I' rarely get to St. Paul for meals so I'm really excited about Margaux and I'll report back next week.

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