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MSP - Rehearsal dinner in Downtown MPLS?

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Anyone had any good experiences eating out with a big group lately?

My wedding is in June in Minneapolis, and I'm looking for ideas for where to have the rehearsal dinner. Everyone's staying downtown, and I'd like dinner to be close. There will be 22 at dinner, and 5 of them are kids. So I'm looking for something casual and fun.

Suggestions so far:
Joe's Garage - roof patio - I like that space, but not sure if i love the food there.
Solera's roof - not that kid friendly
Red Stag - maybe to grown up

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    1. Joe's Garage is really good.

      I didn't think the Red Stag was that great - the dishes tried too hard, and our pork was undercooked. They get points for using local indgredients though, and we may have just hit them on a bad night.

      112 Eatery is worth checking out, it's nice and intimate and not overpriced.

      1. Isn't Pizza Nea or Punch Pizza in one of the spaces that used to be Bobino or the Starlight Lounge? There's a great outdoor patio space betwen the two, if it is still being used as one. If you have nice weather, that might be an option.

        1. Confirming that Punch used to be the Starlight Lounge and there is definitely a nice patio.

          I don't think you'll fit 22 on the patio at Brasa, plus they don't take reservations...unfortunately.

          Red Stag is not too grown-up (might be not grown-up enough on some nights). The pork chop is prepared medium unless requested otherwise...and I eat my pork medium-rare so I may not be a good judge. We love the Stag, and they have been very consistent the past few months. Also, depending on the night, they will have live music after 10ish.

          You may be able to fit 22 upstairs at 112 and they will take a reservation. Just know you will want to book it ASAP.

          Be aware there is a limited menu on the roof at Solera (at least there has been in the past), but many of your favorites are likely on it. There is a private patio on the 3rd floor (before the roof). I believe you have to book that floor to have access to it, however you may be able to just book that patio. Call and ask for Rick.

          Mill City Cafe in NE is a favorite for large parties and they have several options for the menu (they can do family style or sit-down). Super casual.

          Loring Pasta Bar could accommodate, the food isn't great, but it is good, affordable and the place certainly has a "fun" vibe to it.

          I would recommend Lurcat/LBV/P&F/Cosmos, but I think they will be more formal than you are looking for.

          Nick and Eddie's may be able to accommodate a party your size, it is currently stocked with good cooks, and they have a family-style option that is very affordable. Hell, considering Steven is there right now, he may come up with a menu with you.

          Depending on how close to downtown you'd like to keep it, there are several options in Uptown as well.

          Congratulations!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Foureyes137

            Thanks re: Brasa. I hadn't thought about the "no reservations".

            1. re: Foureyes137

              Other than not being downtown, Mill City Cafe is a great suggestion! It's pretty close, though - only three miles away (across the river and just south of Lowry Ave).

              I keep forgetting about this place. Foureyes is right - it's very casual. It'd be perfect for a family party with kids.

              Mill City Cafe is a lovely space for a small party - the web site says they can handle up to 75 people, but that would be REALLY tight. It's be more comfortable with 25 to 50, so 22 people is just about right. And there's a really nice (small) patio.

              I went there last fall for a party (a wake, actually, which was all the nicer for being at MCC). They provided appetizers rather than a meal, and the food was fine - nothing spectacular, but everything was good.

              http://www.millcitycafe.com/

              Now I'm trying to think of an excuse to have my own party there!

              Anne

            2. Thanks everyone! This is extremely heplful.