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BDay Dinner in Minneapolis

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We're taking my mom out for a nice b-day dinner this weekend and I'm looking for some advice. The early contender is the Craftsman. I browsed the earlier posts about this restaurant and they seemed pretty favorable.

Does anyone have any recent experience with the Craftsman? Are there any other suggestions out there? The criteria ( in addition to delicious food) are: location in Minneapolis or St. Paul, medium price, cozy/relaxed atmosphere. Maybe Spoonriver? We went to Lucia's last year for her bday, so that's out. Thanks for your advice!

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  1. I was there about 2 weeks ago. It's a lovely, cozy room, that doesn't feel small. The food is fantastic and the prices are really reasonable. The outdoor patio is really, really nice - surrounded by nice greenery.

    I just can't see someone unhappy with the choice.

    1. I had dinner there last night, in fact, and was really happy with it. I had the special: pan-roasted walleye served over couscous with an accompaniment of spicy Thai aioli and a sauté of lobster mushrooms, baby summer squash and baby bok choy. Their menu is based around local ingredients and has a pretty wide range of price points -- everything from burgers to nightly specials like the one I had (it was $25). The patio and dining room are both lovely, I think (it's supposed to be rainy this weekend so you may end up inside). I'd recommend it for a great evening.

      1. We have always had great meals and service there. BUT, I took my parents 2 Friday nights ago, sat inside (corner area by the patio door) and it was SO LOUD and clattery that we had no chance of a conversation. BUT wow is the food great!

        1 Reply
        1. re: happysnacker

          I was there on a Friday with a 6 o'clock reservation on my last visit. We didn't leave until 7:30 and the place wasn't half full, and the noise level wasn't bad at all - nothing like Town Talk. I don't meant to dispute that it can get loud when it's full, but when it's not packed, it's not loud, and it wasn't packed as of 7:30 on a Friday yet. The hostess promised me that it would get really busy really soon.

          I tend to avoid places during peak hours. You just don't get as good as food or service.

        2. Thanks for your advice! The walleye and accompaniments sound delicious. We'll be giving the Craftsman a try tomorrow. We live less than a mile away, so it is almost unforgivable that we haven't been there yet!