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BDay Dinner in Minneapolis

mrshappy Aug 16, 2007 08:38 AM

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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    pgokey RE: mrshappy Aug 16, 2007 12:30 PM

    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. mcgeary RE: mrshappy Aug 16, 2007 01:19 PM

      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. h
        happysnacker RE: mrshappy Aug 16, 2007 02:18 PM

        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
          pgokey RE: happysnacker Aug 16, 2007 02:24 PM

          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. m
          mrshappy RE: mrshappy Aug 17, 2007 06:08 AM

          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!

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