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Nice dinner in Bloomington, MN

ffthought Jan 23, 2009 09:03 AM

Hey folks,

We live in Minneapolis and really do not leave the city . . .pretty much ever. My folks got us a room next weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn on American West Blvd in Bloomington for a night away from the kids. Is there anything to eat around there or do we need to eat in the city and the go back out. We are looking to do it right; multiple courses, well-paired wines, great service, great room. Any ideas?
ps. other than Caio Bella

  1. AnneInMpls Jan 29, 2009 04:31 PM

    I work near 494 & 100, but I have never taken the time to dine here. The immediate area is a dead zone as far as food is concerned. But how about venturing into Eden Prairie? I think there are a few high-end places tucked into strip malls.

    For example, is Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano still there? It's a chain, but my tastebud-enabled co-worker told me that he really liked the place.

    Or perhaps Campiello - the "replacement" for the now-closed Uptown restaurant.

    These are both places that an inner-city dweller would be unlikely to visit. (Heaven knows there's no reason to brave the drive under normal circumstances...) But since you'd be in the neighborhood anyway...

    Note: I haven't been to either of these places, so be sure to do more research if you go this route.


    4 Replies
    1. re: AnneInMpls
      drew13000 Jan 30, 2009 06:51 AM

      I've been to the Biaggi's in Maple Grove and had a really super braised short ribs. Better than the average suburban mall fare. Can't speak to their wine list though; I had a beer. I loved Campiello Uptown, so if the Eden Prairie menu is the same, I'd recommend it. They always had a good martini list, and I think since they're an offshoot of the D'Amico empire, they probably have a thoughtful wine list.
      There's a new McCormick and Schmick's in the Southdale area. Not much for atmosphere, but decent seafood. And I like Crave, in the Galleria.

      1. re: drew13000
        dc1515 Jan 30, 2009 09:51 AM

        I had such a bad experience at Crave. Our round table of 6 was jammed in such that servers asked us to scoot in every time they wanted to get to any of the tables next to us. Also, the bottle of wine we ordered was bad, after sharing this with the waiter he at first refused to take it back, upon us further pressing he took it. Upon returning he said the manager had decided to taste it and indeed it was bad. At the end of the meal he made a big deal out of notifying us that he decided to take the original bottle off the bill.

        Granted, this was a while back. Have they improved?

        1. re: dc1515
          drew13000 Jan 30, 2009 10:05 AM

          That sounds terrible. I've never had issues with service or food, but a friend's husband went shortly after they opened and said the experience was so bad he wouldn't go back. I chalked it up to being a new restaurant, but maybe they actually do have some service issues. Or, at the very least, some serious inconsistency in service.

          1. re: drew13000
            dc1515 Dec 2, 2009 08:31 AM

            Its been a few months - I'm trying Crave again. Any recommendations?

    2. s
      shinmn Jan 29, 2009 03:05 PM


      We've dined at the Bloomington Chop House and were pretty pleased with the whole experience. Granted, this was for their special Thanksgiving Prix Fixe offering, but it gave us no reason not to go back.

      1. l
        Loren3 Jan 29, 2009 01:33 PM

        Just curious as to why not Ciao Bella?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Loren3
          Jordan Jan 29, 2009 03:06 PM

          Never heard of it. What's the scoop?

          1. re: Loren3
            ffthought Jan 30, 2009 06:16 AM

            Some friends took us there when we first moved here and I was underwhelmed enough to not go back. It was too loud, the food was not memorable, and the Italian wines on their list were all of the large-production, usual suspects. Honestly, I have a pretty strong bias against Italian restaurants who do not put much effort into their Italian wine selection.

          2. Jordan Jan 23, 2009 02:43 PM

            Out by 100 and 494? No, not a lot of options. You could try the Sofitel, as cheeseguysgirl suggests, but call ahead. I heard that they were converting at least one of their restaurants to banquets only. Kincaid's is close by and it's not bad for steaks and the like.

            Otherwise, I would suggest that if you really want a special night, drive into town or, at minimum, the 50th & France area, where there are some good options -- Broder's Pasta Bar, Heidi's, Cafe Maude.

            1. cheeseguysgirl Jan 23, 2009 01:03 PM

              There's the french restaurant in the Sofitel-- Chez Colette, maybe? There's also Kincaid's in that area. It's a chain, but it depends on how much you want to stay in the area, or how much you're willing to travel. There's Via near Southdale, which isn't too far.

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