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Twin Cities restaurant for double birthday

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I share a birthday with a friend and we and our spouses are going out to eat on Thursday (this week). What are some suggestions for something new, not too expensive. We are late 50s- early 60s.

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  1. hi there Aeromed, welcome to chowhound. my late dad was an aeromed so you know i'm going to do my best to help you out on your birthday!

    not knowing more about your tastes and budget, my first thoughts are meritage (st. paul), levain (south minneapolis), & ngon vietnamese bistro (french-influenced vietnamese, university ave st paul).

    a recent surprise hit with my family was when we brought my mom and her best friend (from girlhood, they are both in their 60's now) to obento-ya, which is a japanese restaurant in se minneapolis with a fun vibe and an extensive menu which includes bento boxes, noodle soups, small plates, and sushi. both ladies just had a great time, tried foods that were new to them, and they talked about the food for weeks, they were really pleased.

    all 4 of these restaurants have pretty moderately priced menus that have well-crafted food, and the ambiance is nice.

    i am sure that the other minneapolis/st paul area hounds would love to offer additional suggestions, they always have great ideas. if there is a part of town you'd like to dine in, or a type of food that interests you, this information would give them more to go on. also if you can list some places that you enjoy, so that we'd have more of an idea of your tastes? also a more precise idea of the price range that you're looking for would be very helpful.

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    Ngon Vietnamese Bistro
    799 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

    Meritage
    410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    Cafe Levain
    4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    Obento-Ya Japanese Bistro
    1510 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    1. I am not sure what exactly qualifies as "not too expensive" or "new" to you, but here are some ideas.

      For "newly opened" places - I liked Bar La Grassa - especially the pastas (which nicely come in both small and large sizes). It has a nice open kitchen sort of atmosphere, but is not super fancy.

      For delicious and potentially "new to you" places - I really like Soupkitten's suggestion of Meritage (I need to get back there myself). Another idea I had was Craftsman on East Lake Street in Minneapolis. I love their seasonal approach to cooking and they have a range of prices on their menu.

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      Craftsman Restaurant
      4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

      Meritage
      410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102