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MSP - Dinner for a group this weekend!

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A friend of mine was asking for advice on where to take her post grad school fiesta. I know it is last minute, so p1lease keep that in mind when providing suggestions! I know that you all will have much better ideas then I would have come up with.

Here is the criteria:

Dinner this Saturday (5/17)
12-15 people, want reservations (don't want to wait)
Non-chain restaurant
St. Paul highly preferred
Needs to have a diverse menu, picky eaters and foodies attending
Looking to spend no more than $15 a plate (preferably less.. )

I think this is all the info I have, but let me know if you know anywhere that wouldn't laugh if a reservation was called in for a group this weekend! Grad school delayed any pre-party planning.

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  1. Little Szechuan would be my first call. Caviat: I believe even the most picky/bland eater can find something good from the Americanized stuff on a Chinese food menu.

    Otherwise, focusing on the late reservation challenge, the under-the-radar places with decent food/prices come to mind: Puerta Azul, Jay's Cafe and the like come to mind.

    1. Hey Sareen,

      While it isn't the greatest food, I find that you can get large group reservations at the Downtowner Woodfire Grill on short notice.

      1. Mai Village in St. Paul off University would be my suggestion. They have such a great space and it's never a problem getting a large group like that in there.

        1. I always love Moscow on the Hill - they have a great little ante-room for larger groups & the menu is very reasonably priced and surprisingly diverse (do NOT skip dessert - White Russian Tiramisu, Napoleon Torte, etc. are fantastic). I don't know if they take formal reservations, but I'm pretty sure that if you called ahead they would be more than happy to accommodate your group. They also have a nice patio (weather permitting) and chances are pretty good that Valeri will serenade your group with his astounding accordion stylings! Behind the bar, Lisa (I mention her specifically because I think she's the only one who makes it) has created a delicious grapefruit cocktail for summer - mmmmmm!

          -----
          Moscow On the Hill
          371 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          1. Muffaletta has a nice private room that would accomadate that number perfectly. Might see if it's available. About half the menu would be over $15, but half is under, and the food is quite good.

            Also Shish on Grand Ave. has a back room that would hold 15 easily. The food is really good, and everything is under $15.