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Feb 28, 2008 09:32 AM

MSP - looking for quaint place w/good food

Hello All,

This is my first post, just found this site yesterday. Been reading through many of the local threads, but didn't find what I was looking for. I've only lived in the area for 2 years now, so don't know all the good places yet.

Anyway, the wife has had a hard week and I want to take her out to a nice quiet little place this Saturday. I'd prefer to stay away from any high end place, I don't think she wants to get too dressed up. My daughter, who is a pastry chef in CA, just told me about Heidi's. Would this place fit what I'm looking for? I'd love to hear your recommendations. We have fairly open taste buds, but there's nothing like a well made filet in some kind of creamy sauce. A nice piece of fish seasoned just right can hit the spot too.


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  1. If Heidi's is in your neighborhood, then you are blessed with that spot, Blackbird, Maude's Cafe, Al Vento and Corner Table (which hasn't gotten a ton of attention on this board, I don't know why?)

    Cafe Maude
    5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

    Blackbird Cafe
    3800 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55409

    2903 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    3 Replies
    1. re: KTFoley

      Whoops, got lost in the middle of the linking operation.

      These are smaller places with well-regarded menus and a comfortable atmosphere for whatever you're wearing. The first three are worth calling to see if they have reservations available, since the buzz of newness still keeps them hopping. Others can weigh in on whether the spots are quiet??

      To range a bit farther afield, lovely small spots include Signature Cafe, Jay's Cafe and Craftsman.

      Corner Table
      4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

      Al Vento
      5001 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55417

      1. re: KTFoley

        Dagnabbit, once you get out of linking you cannot get back in.

        Signature Cafe & Catering
        130 Warwick St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

        Jay's Cafe
        791 Raymond Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55114

        Craftsman Restaurant
        4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

        1. re: KTFoley

          According to an article in City Pages (mid-Feb), Jay's Cafe has lost its dinner chef (bummer). I'd be interested in hearing how the dinner holds up, if anyone has been very recently.

          EDIT: P.S. --food_snob, welcome! I don't know that section of town well, so I'm afraid I don't have any additional recommendations. Of the places on KTFoley's list that I've eaten, (Signature Cafe, Craftsman, Jay's), though all very good, I'd say Signature Cafe would qualify as the most "quaint." Craftsman is more polished and Jay's is more austere, for want of a better word. All three of these places focus on sourcing locally when possible.


      2. KTFoley, thanks for all the suggestions. I have some surfing to do now.

        TDQ, Thanks for the additional info. Using local sources is something my wife really likes.

        Thanks again.

        1. I'd also add Lucia's or Lucia's Wine Bar and Duplex to the mix. Lucia's is a little more formal than Lucia's Wine Bar, but I don't think that you would feel out of place even if you are not dressed up.

          Lucia's posts its menu weekly, so you can see if anything tickles your taste buds.

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

          Duplex Restaurant
          2516 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405

          1. I really like Mairin's Table in NE Mpls. It's small, quiet (though call to check about live music), and moderately priced. They do American and Moroccan-influenced food.

            Moscow on the Hill has a nice salmon kebab on the menu. They also have a steak with Cabernet sauce (which I've never tried). This restaurant is nice, not too fancy, and has been quiet when I've been there.

            The Sample Room is small and has great food. If the other patrons aren't shouters or shriek-laughers, it will probably be pretty quiet, too.


            P.S. Here's a related thread, in case you have time for more surfing:

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

            Sample Room
            2124 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

            Moscow On the Hill - Duplicate
            371 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN

            1. HA! I mid-read the post and thought the OP was looking for a restaurant nearish to Heidi's and wondered why people were recommending restaurants all over the Twin Cities. Sorry about that. A few more places I like a lot that have casual, yet charming settings

              Ngon Vietnamese Bistro (University Ave in St. Paul) --very charming dining room and fun, affordable menu with decent wine list.

              Tanpopo--Japanese noodlehouse (downtown St. Paul), very peaceful setting and the noodles hit the spot this time of year, especially

              Khyber Pass--Grand Ave at Snelling, St. Paul--again, nice setting. Not a huge menu, but just enough to choose from.

              Please let us know where you end up and what you thought!