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Jan 30, 2009 03:37 PM

Minneapols on Valentine's Day

Sigh, does anyone have a suggestion for me and my partner for Valentine's day?
We're New Yorkers who are kinda foodies and will be visiting the twin cities on Valentine's day,

Also a brunch place the next day for a semi-business brunch?

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  1. I really liked a place in St. Paul called The Strip Club (I visited the area from D.C. last spring) and it was both friendly and intimate; it has a really good view, too, because it's on top of a hill.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jkosnett

      Since alois1 is visiting from out of town and might think you're having a joke at his/her expense, I'm just going to chime in and reinforce that despite the tacky name (and tacky theme in general that carries throughout the menu), The Strip Club is an actual restaurant (strip steaks, get it?) Lots of posts here on the Midwest board about it if you want to search on it.

      Here's their website (includes audio): (I pity the poor soul who tries to do a google search for "Strip Club").

      As for semi-business brunch, I don't know where you'll be located, but I like Craftsman on Lake Street in Minneapolis for brunch.

      Oh, and I love Meritage in downtown St. Paul for a lovely romantic dinner or for brunch the next day (again, be forewarned about audio).

      Finally, I like Heartland a lot for a romantic dinner (no audio, bless Lenny Russo's heart).


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Just for your info - the strip club does a pretty tasty brunch as well, though it doesnt have the most "business-ey" vibe.

        Heartland is really great, but be prepared for a pretty random out of the way (though quite convenient) location in a residential neighborhood. Heartland will give you a great taste of what cutting edge midwestern food can be (before i moved here from a coast i would have thought that to be totally oxymoronic).

        I like the strip club and meritage a lot also (and in terms of traditional notions of romantic i think meritage takes the cake) but neither are really distinctly Minnesota, if that matters to you.

        1. re: tex.s.toast

          I've been meaning to get to the Strip Club for brunch, but I wouldn't take anyone there for business.


        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          Thanks for your help. I am actually quite excited to see the twin cities
          - alois1.

      2. I second the Heartland suggestion. Very good hand-crafted food that draws on local ingredients. My first choice would probably be Restaurant Alma. And I have had good experiences at the Strip Club as well.

        I would make reservations for Valentines Day for any of these places soon.

        1. If it were me, I'd head to Restaurant Alma or 112 Eatery for Valentine's Day. I'll be at home that day, so you can have my spot.

          As for a business brunch, I'm clueless (I don't do brunch). If I had only one or two associates, I'd go to Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown. But that won't work for more than 2 or 3 people. Or I might head to Hell's Kitchen, if my business associates were hip enough...

          Have a great time in the Twin Cities! I also recommend the Midtown Global Market for lunchtime snacks - like Somali stew on rice, followed by decadent treats from the Salty Tart Bakery (I recommend the macaroons).


          4 Replies
          1. re: AnneInMpls

            I do love Al's (open for breakfast only), but one should be prepared for a potentially long wait, much of it outside (and the rest of it pressed up against everyone's coats --since you'll be there in February--that hang on the pegs on the wall), as there are only about 15 seats at the counter (no tables).

            112 Eatery is one of my favs. Never had a bad meal, or even a bad dish there. It's not what one would call typically romantic, but I always have a delightful meal there with my sweetie, especially when we go with the mindset of sharing dishes. That's romantic in my book.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              The wait for Al's this past Saturday (for two or three) was over an hour. Thankfully I was there alone so I was able to get in in under 30 minutes. It was also a spectacular day (45 degrees) so it was actually more comfortable outside than on my stool right in front of the "kitchen".

              1. re: MSPD

                Photo of Al's.

                For the uninitiated, I'm standing in the vestibule taking the photo through the window glass (crappy cell phone camera). This is a typical day at Al's -- and this is the ENTIRE place, except for the back kitchen and the grill area which is to my right.

                1. re: MSPD

                  What a great picture, MSPD! It captures the mood of Al's.

                  For the uninitiated, I want to stress your last sentence - this picture really does show the *whole* restaurant.


                  P.S. My suggestion of Al's for a business brunch was semi-tongue-in-cheek. (Though it works for me, because Al's patrons are the kind of people I like to work with.)

                  For a more "normal" place with tables and waiters, try Maria's for good American and Colombian breakfast food - try the corn pancakes or the huevos pericos (or both). But expect a wait on Sundays, and ask for the back room if you want to talk - there's an amplified musician in the front room. More ideas in this thread: .

                  Maria's Cafe
                  1113 E Franklin Ave Ste 102, Minneapolis, MN 55404

          2. It kind of depends on if you want to do Minneapolis or St. Paul - there's some great recommendations here for both, but I would add: If you're staying DT Mpls, you must try Barrio - a fairly new hot spot with the best margaritas EVER and amazing Tapas style Mexican dishes. It will be crowded, so prepare for that - a great "stop" with amazing service too. Cafe Lurcat is a great restaurant in Loring Park within walking distance to the sculpture garden/Walker - they have valet parking, or it's an easy cab ride or walk from DT - eclectic and interesting decor and crowd. The Sea Bass is mouth watering. For brunch, it depends on what kind of atmosphere you're going for - Hell's Kitchen has some of the best brunch food hands down and is now located on 9th & Marquette. If you want to be sure and experience Uptown, Cafe Barbette is a great choice, good coffee and always great service (on Lake St - Uptown) Enjoy your visit to Minneapolis, if you take the time to explore, I promise you will not be disappointed!

            Cafe Lurcat
            1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

            1. You should try for reservations asap, though. Open Table shows most if not all of htese places as being booked. So you may have to call around.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bob s

                Sometimes restaurants have tables available that do not show on OpenTable so it is worth a call. One place that has some OpenTable availability that I would recommend that is not mentioned above is Saffron. I like the mix of small and large plates and a number of things we had there, including the kofta meatballs and the braised lamb were very good. I think I would go to Strip Club, Heartland, 112 or Alma before Saffron, but they are all in my top 10 or so favorite places in the Twin Cities.

                1. re: LauraB

                  Agree about Saffron as a good choice. I was suggesting making calls because you can get tables not shown on OpenTable.