Last night in Mpls (Sunday)
- wyf4lyf Feb 10, 2009 09:16 AM
At the beginning of May, I'm surprising my spouse with an anniversary trip to his favorite part of the country...and our last night will be in Minneapolis, staying on Nicollet Island. I'm looking for a very special place for dinner...romantic...perhaps with a view of the city and/or the river. We will want to take a carriage ride after dinner, and will need to be back to our hotel for that, so don't want to go too far from there, if possible.
Money not too much of an object...hubby doesn't drink, I might have a glass of wine...total can be around $250 if need be. But certainly open to a bargain!
I really want to end our trip with something memorable...knock our socks off!
Thanks for your help...
Views and good food tend to not go together.
Close by your hotel is Fugaise. I would definitely recommend it as something special, and it's easily in your price range.
A little farther away is La Belle Vie, the best restaurant in the state. If you aren't going crazy with the wine, they will also easily fit under your price limit.
Another special option is Solera, an upscale tapas place with good, creative small plates.
You aren't far from Restaurant Alma. I've had nothing but mediocre experiences there, but many people swear by it.
This is a nice idea -- and you don't have to have a ticket for a production to get into the building or eat at the restaurants, since they're open to the public. Tim McKee of La Belle Vie/Solera/Smalley's/etc. is taking over the dining operations at the Guthrie, which will likely mean massive improvement, but that's supposed to happen in April and I'm not sure they'll be up and running again by the time you're in town.
In my opinion, one of the nicest rooms in the Cities is Cafe Lurcat. It looks out over Loring Park which, depending on when spring comes, may be lovely at the beginning of May. The food is quite good, but is not, admittedly, on the same level as La Belle Vie. (I think that LBV is probably the most consistent "knock your socks off" place in the cities.)
For food, I'd agree with Jordan's recommendation of Fugaise. I also think that Cosmos and Vincent are at the upper level of food in the Cities. I've not been to Porter and Frye, but many here like it. (For what it's worth, I also agree with Jordan's feelings about Alma - but I think we are in the minority on this board.)
Other nearby places to consider include Solera (as recommended), 112 eatery, and Chambers Kitchen. Solera and Chambers can be loud and fun but not classically romantic - both have solid kitchen but are a half step below the top places in the cities. 112 eatery is also a board favorite, but I don't find it to be particularly romantic.
The only other possibility with a good view that I can think of downtown is 20.21 at the Walker Art Center. If you can snag a window table, you will have a great view. I've only eaten there once several years ago. It was fine, but did not knock my socks off.
Being on Nicollet Island, you'll already have the most spectacular view of Minneapolis available. My advice, based on what we have available here, is to keep the dining and view separate.
If this was me making plans, I would walk up the street to Surdyk's at some point on Saturday (they are closed Sunday). Grab some chocolates and/or cheeses and stash them in your room. Then, go to La Belle Vie for dinner on Sunday.
After dinner, I would do the carriage ride, have them drop you off at the Pavilion (across the street from the Inn) and have chocolates on the benches there. This is the ultimate view of Minneapolis (and also where I proposed to my wife almost 15 years ago).
I would have recommended walking up to Fugaise for the dinner as others did, but they're closed on Sundays as well.