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MSP- Splurgy celebration!

Today I found out I am getting a really nice bonu$ from work. CG and I have a tradition of spending a portion of any windfall on "gum and candy" which for me, means a really nice Mont Blanc pen and a totally splurgy decadent dinner out. I am wondering where you would choose to go for your "money-is-no-object" meal? We're not big drinkers, so the size/quality of the wine list is not really a big draw for us. But if it is for you, then by all means recommend away!

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  1. For me it is always La Belle Vie. I choose it every year for my birthday. I love the 3 hour dining experience where every course looks beautiful and tastes better. I looks forward to it every year and always try to find a celebration excuse to go more often. My favorite place in the city!

    1. I'd second Maureen's recommendation of La Belle Vie. Other top choices that pop into my head are the tasting menu at Vincent, or dinner at Cosmos or D'Amico Cucina.

      There are lots of pretty good choices on the high end - I'm sure others will add to this list.

      Vincent A Restaurant
      1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      La Belle Vie
      510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

      D'Amico Cucina
      100 N 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      Cosmos Restaurant
      601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      1. I'll third La Belle Vie.

        But, if money was abundant I'd do sushi. My prefered sushi place is the St. Paul Fuji Ya. I'd let the chef pick everything (what's that called again?) as long as a lot of uni was involved.

        1 Reply
        1. We're headed to Cosmos on Friday (followed by a night at the Graves) for our "we didn't go anywhere for spring break" splurgy celebration. I can't wait.

          1. Me, I'd probably go to Heartland. I haven't been there yet - it would be a big splurge for me - but the menu has been looking glorious lately. I'm a wine drinker, so I factor in the cost of wine for my splurges. (Wine can double the bill, even though my husband doesn't drink!)

            La Belle Vie would be my second choice. In fact, this place might be downright affordable (in a manner of speaking) if you don't have wine.

            I love Alma and Vincent, too, but we "always" go to one or the other for my birthday. Price-wise, they're not quite as splurgy as La Belle Vie and Heartland (not counting the wine bar, which seems like an excellent value).

            Have a great celebration!


            Restaurant Alma
            528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

            1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

            3 Replies
            1. re: AnneInMpls

              I would also throw in the tasting menu at Fugaise. We went there for valentine's day and it was super yummy as well.

              1. re: AnneInMpls

                I can never second AnneInMpls enough when she mentions Alma.

                I love it - my 100% fave in Mpls/Stp. I enjoyed LBV but when I got the bill I spit out "that's 3 alma's"

                Heartland oddly enough isn't on my radar since its almost "too close" to me for me to consider it for a fancy night out. we've dined at the bar and after a looong run wine drinking and snacking there we were treated badly and have never eaten dinner there. Someday.....

                1. re: St Paul Susie

                  upon second thought

                  I've had amazingly outstanding meals at D'amico over the past 6 months.

                  Highly recommended. And now my mouth is watering thinking of it.

              2. Right now, today....I would head straight to Porter & Frye. I love using unexpected money on fine dining splurges, especially to try new places.

                You can't go wrong with LBV, Cosmos, Heartland or Fugaise either. Meritage and The Strip Club would also rate high on my list.

                If it's a really huge bonus, a weekend at Canoe Bay in Chetek, Wisconsin would be in order. Absolutely amazing cuisine -- morning, noon and night. But, at minimum, it'll set you back about $1,500 for two nights (worth every penny). You can dine there without staying as far as I know.

                1. Also, not to be forgotten, Bayport Cookery...and if you could wait just a bit...May is the beginning of the Morel Menu....highly recommended!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Dragon

                    Oh drooooool, I'd have to wait for May, too. We were there in January for the truffle menu and (with the exception of the deeply weird truffle creme brulee) the meal was insanely good.

                  2. Questions for those suggesting La Belle Vie: I've been interested in going there for a loooooong time, but as a grad student I've assumed it is just out of my reach. This may sound tacky, but can someone tell me what it really costs to have dinner at LBV, with and without wine if you can, for two? Thanks!

                    I love Heartland and plan to celebrate there when I get my degree, btw, since I love it and I am also so proud of the midwest sourcing that I want to bring out of town guests there. I also have had impeccable service there. Have fun splurging and please report back!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: slowfoodgrrl

                      If you go to their website they have their menu with prices. I'd recommend the tasting menus. Without wine they are $65 and $80 per person for 5 and 8 courses (with little things possibly thrown in.) There are two wine flights that you can choose with each of them, or you can go on your own.

                      Then there is the bar menu, also listed on the website, which is cheaper.

                      1. re: slowfoodgrrl

                        Things get expensive quickly at LBV. I took my girlfriend there last month and we did the 5 course tasting menu + 1 additional dish + a glass of cheap wine each (~$6/glass) + a generous tip = ~$200-220. It was definitely worth it though and hopefully I can find an opportunity to go back again soon. You can read my "review" of sorts on the MSP Foodies website at http://www.mspfoodies.com/2008/02/la-...

                        Fugaise is another favorite of mine that is definitely worth the price. I wasn't a huge fan of Heartland's food when I tried their tasting menu but maybe I just caught them on an off night.

                      2. Haven't been to either I Nonni or Heartland yet but have heard great things about both of them.

                        1. I think we're going to go to Porter and Frye--- despite what Kathie Jenkins says. I'm going to go with Andrew Zimmern on this one. I'll report back!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                            Forgot the link to P+F.

                            Porter and Frye
                            1115 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                            1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                              I win, I win, I win!!!! Do you get to go with you as a prize!?!? OK fine...so it's not *exactly* "my" idea.

                              Anyway.....have a great time and please report back. Congratulations on your bonus!

                            2. My girlfriend took me out to Masa for my birthday and it was fantastic. I had Achiote marinated Mahi-Mahi, she had mole chicken. Both were delicious, nice plating, good service. It was nice to have Mexican food that wasn't a grease-bomb wrapped in a tortilla. The sangria is fantastic, too. If that isn't swanky enough for you, Vincent is right across the street. Check out Chambers Kitchen, Cafe Lurcat, Pierre's Bistro, and Broder's, too.

                              Chambers Kitchen
                              901 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                              Cafe Lurcat
                              1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                              1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                              Pierre's Bistro
                              2221 West 50th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419

                              Broders Cucina Italiana
                              2308 W 50th St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: amgarrison

                                We almost went to Masa last night, but then headed to Heidi's instead. We really enjoyed Chamber's Kitchen on our 1 month-iversary- that was a nice splurge. Have been to Pierre's and Broder's as well, but I wouldn't really consider those splurgy at all. Nice, decent food, but not in the vein of LBV, Cosmos, P+F, Chamber's Kitchen, Alma, Vincent, etc.

                              2. Thanks to all for your wonderful suggestions-- we went to Porter and Frye Thursday night, and it was AMAZING! I will post more details when I have a chance-- I was so overwhelmed that it's taking me a while to collect my thoughts. I know you all have had experiences like that-- where you don't have the words right away to give it justice.

                                1 Reply