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romantic restaurant near MSP airport?

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hi everyone... I am meeting up with a friend near MSP soon, and I am not familiar with the area. He asked me to pick the restaurant that we would go to. I'm looking for someplace with a really nice atmosphere (romantic would be good!) with cocktails and good food (a little expensive is okay, but prefer mid-range prices). Someplace that is conducive to intimate conversation. Thanks for any help you can provide!! Happy Holidays! :)

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  1. What first leaps to my mind is Al Vento, but I haven't been there for a long time, and I've seen iffy and negative reviews lately. It's a nice atmosphere, though it can get a bit noisy (like most places these days).

    Another thought is the Riverview Wine Bar - it's warm and cozy and has a fireplace (I think). But it's not very expensive, and has a limited menu.

    Oh, wait - what about Cafe Levain? It's not super-close to the airport, but it's not terribly far away. I haven't been there yet, so I don't know how quiet and romantic the atmosphere is... but I think the food is good (I've seen rave reviews, and my chowish co-worker loves the place).

    If you want a romantic drive up River Road, you could go to Craftsman. It's on Lake Street, about 4 miles from the airport - and you'll want to drive slowly to admire the snow and Christmas lights!

    Best wishes for a romantic get-together!
    Anne

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    Craftsman Restaurant
    4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

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

    Riverview Wine Bar
    3747 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

    Cafe Levain
    4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    2 Replies
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      There's a great California Pizza Kitchen on the F concourse...

      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Levain can be quiet if it is empty. On a weekend night or when otherwise crowded, it can be very loud.

        Al Vento would be my choice. My meals have been consistently excellent there. It definitely has romantic atmosphere in spades, too.

      2. I'll further recommend Al Vento. Good Food, 'great' lighting for a romantic evening.

        -MaryMN

        1. Because you mentioned "cocktails," I'll pile on and also recommend Al Vento. It is less than 10 minutes from MSP International. The food is good. It will suit your romantic needs (unless it's a crowded weekend night). And they have a full bar.

          1. I'd say Axel's or I nonni

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            I Nonni
            981 sibley memorial hwy, Lilydale, MN 55118

            4 Replies
            1. re: mnxd9

              Axel's is romantic? Huh.

              1. re: Jordan

                Sure. Nothing says romance like sliding on your favorite pair of penny loafers, firing up the Oldsmobile and hitting Axel's. Maybe they'll even be playing your favorite cassettes on the sound system.

                1. re: MSPD

                  Do they have the romantic dualing pianos at the Mendota location? If not, get yourself to the St. Paul location; nothing says romantic like two obnoxious buffoons screaming Piano Man at you.

              2. re: mnxd9

                Axel's

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                Axel's River Grille
                1318 Highway 13, Mendota, MN 55150

              3. I nonni

                I Nonni
                981 Sibley Memorial Hwy West St Paul MN

                Great Call! One of the best restaurants in town but a little expensive.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wineglas

                  Mancini's or Ristorante Luci.