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(MSP) Date Night (1 Yr Together) - Italian or Mexican

Matronix Dec 21, 2009 06:17 AM

Looking for a nice place to take my girlfriend tonight. Looking for a nice Italian or Mexican place to go. Any Suggestions?

  1. s
    StPauliGirl Dec 21, 2009 07:01 AM

    Run don't walk to Bar La Grassa for Italian. I recommend the cold pork plate for a starter; at least one of the bruschettas (I've had the ricotta & roasted tomato and the roasted pork shoulder -- both good); and absolutely order the gnocchi with cauliflower and orange.

    Bar La Grassa
    800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

    1 Reply
    1. re: StPauliGirl
      kevin47 Dec 21, 2009 12:40 PM

      If you go to Bar La Grassa, do walk. It's slippery out there. Alternately, I recommend Rinata, which provides exceptional value and also happens to feature 1/2 price bottles of wine tonight. It's a cozy little spot in Uptown, and I have always been happy with my meals from the Al Vento/Rinata sisters.

    2. b
      b ster Dec 21, 2009 07:34 AM

      100% agree with Bar La Grassa....and it's a Monday so you might be able to get a seat last minute. It's not authentic Mexican, but Barrio is solid choice on that side. Cool atmosphere, and we've had consistently good food. Lots of small plates to share.

      1. t
        turtlebella Dec 21, 2009 12:17 PM

        Our go-to Italian has always been Osteria I Nonni but their chef left and I haven't been since, so can't say that it's as good as it was. But it's a nice, romantic place to have a good Italian meal.

        I'd say try Bar La Grassa, if you can get in, or Trattoria Tosca. I've not been to either but both have gotten good press. Butcher Block is also on our list to try, the chef there used to be at I Nonni.

        As far as "nice" Mexican (ie, not a taqueria) Masa would be my only recommendation, I think.

        1 Reply
        1. re: turtlebella
          bob s Dec 21, 2009 01:17 PM

          I can highly recommend Trattoria Tosca. I don't think of it as traditional Italian though. They have pasta dishes, but much of the menu is not "traditional" Italian. Take a look at the menu to see if it fits the bill.


          Masa's also nice.

          1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

          3415 w 44th St, Minneapolis, MN

        2. jfood Dec 21, 2009 12:52 PM

          jfood has enjoyed BLG twoice now and it is fantastic. Majoir hit last time was the pork and the soft polenta. The pasta are the major hit and they should not be missed as well. jfood really liked the rabbit and the pulled pork brusshetta was fantastic as well.

          Rinata and Al Vento are owned by the same people and both have very good pastas as well, BLG is better. Nonni was a year ago and jfood placed that in the A-class.

          Mexican are Masa and Barrio. Masa a little more upscale and Barrio more fun especially when the weather is much warmer and you can sit outside.

          Call BLG and see if there are seats at one of the bars.


          1. c
            churchka Dec 21, 2009 01:23 PM

            Or for the best Mexican of your life, in a totally unromantic place, go for Los Ocampo at Chicago and Lake.

            2 Replies
            1. re: churchka
              salvage7 Dec 21, 2009 01:32 PM

              Agreed, if you're going for real Mexican don't go to Masa or Barrio. Wander down East Lake and hit up a place.

              1. re: salvage7
                Matronix Dec 22, 2009 05:15 AM

                We have hit up a few places on Lake before and enjoyed them. I do agree with Los Ocampo being very good.

            2. m
              Matronix Dec 22, 2009 05:14 AM

              Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We ended up going to Barrio last night. That was actually on our list of places we should go to anyways. The food was very good.

              We ordered the Queso Fundito and then one of each of the tacos (minus the Mahi Mahi) and shared it all. For dessert we had the Churro (very good.)

              We enjoyed all of the food there... I know my favorite items (besides the Churro) were the Potato-Chorizo Taco and the Red Chile Enchilada. My girlfriend's favorite was the Pork Carnitas. That will be a place we will go back to.

              I will add the other places to my list of "Must go places"

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