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Jan 28, 2008 05:54 AM

MSP Birthday Dinner - Recs?

My friend had suggested a bunch of us going to Barbette for his Birthday tonight. Looking a the menu, It is a bit out of my price range and I wanted to pose a couple of other suggestions of places we could try. Are there any exciting interesting places that have entrees in the 12-22 range, apps in the 4-10 range and dessert in the 4-7 range, that have 20-30 dollar bottles of wine on the menu? Any type of cuisine is okay, but he would probably prefer something Europeanish. St. Paul is probably out of the question because of distance, but if there is a restaurant there close to the boundary, I could make it work. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Are you going to pay for him, or are you just concerned about your own bill? I only ask because I really think you could have a good and inexpensive meal at Barbette. I've never gotten one of the entrees, I usually start with the olives and fruit and cheese to share, and then an order of the mussels is more than enough to fill you up. It looks like you could also get the risotto, Moroccan stew, or chicken within your price range.

    While the service at Barbette is sometimes lacking, there really are few other places that have the same ambiance so it would be hard to recreate it for less money. Otherwise I would suggest sitting at the wine bar at Lucia's.

    1. I'd second Kate's suggestion of the wine bar at Lucia's. The other place that came to mind in the Uptown area was Duplex. I took a quick look at their menu and it looks like their price points basically hit yours. (There were a couple of "market" prices that might go above.)

      Edit: You might also want to check out this thread called "the cheap fancypants food challenge" for some other ideas:

      Lucia's Restaurant
      1432 W 31st St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

      Duplex Restaurant
      2516 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob s

        Anne makes a good point below regarding wine that I hadn't considered. Wine at Lucia's by the bottle may not hit your price point and I have not checked out Duplex's wine list. Wine by the glass may work though for you.

      2. How about a place that has half-priced bottles of wine on Mondays? Getting wine for $20-$30 isn't always so easy. (Wine markups are NASTY in this town!) Some of my info is out of date, but these places might have 1/2 priced wine tonight:

        - Kafe 421 (Dinkytown)
        - El Meson (Uptown)
        - Mairin's Table (N.E. Mpls)
        - Erte (N.E. Mpls)
        - Duplex ? (Uptown)
        - Saffron (Downtown)
        - Solera ? (Downtown)

        The Birchwood Cafe also has half-priced wine on Mondays (and Tuesdays), but it's not ideal for a group because you order at the counter, and there's a coffeeshop atmosphere (that noisy espresso machine). But the food is great!

        Here's the source(s) of my info:

        Happy birthday to your friend!


        1 Reply
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Here are some places links so you can check menus and prices. (And call to check on the half-priced wine deal.)

          Birchwood Cafe
          3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

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

          1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          Kafe 421
          421 14th Avenue S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55415

          El Meson
          3450 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

          Mairin's Table
          23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

          323 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN

        2. Thanks everyone! We are going to give Duplex a try. The half-price wine was a perfect idea. I'll report later this week on how it was.

          1. Not being a barbette fan myself I can relate to your dilema. If you can spread your wings a bit and venture to the smaller city on a Thursday Caspers Cherokee Sirloin room offers a birthday special where the birthday diners meal is free. Standard steakhouse fare. I have always had decent service and found the prices reasonable. If I have sparked your interest in a steakhouse experience the atmosphere at mancinis is fun and works well for a group of people.