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Restaurant for 30th Birthday Dinner

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I'm planning on going out to dinner with a few friends next month for my thirtieth birthday. Looking to try someplace I haven't been and outside of my neighborhood (south Minneapolis, Longfellow neighborhood). Some places I'm considering are: NE Social Club, Ginger Hop, Ngon Vietnamese Bistro. Anyone have suggestions in a similar vein or want to give a thumbs up or down? The past two years for my birthday we've gone to the Sample Room and El Meson, probably looking to stay around those for dress/price.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

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  1. Some of my favorites are Corner Table, Peninsula, Sanctuary, Kindee Thai. Hope this helps!

    1. Happy Birthday!

      How many diners are "a few"?

      As a Nordeaster, I would say there are better options than the two listed (check out Yelp for more detailed reasons why) in our neck of the woods. The Modern, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Red Stag, and Brasa (especially) are good choices and likely within your budget.

      Ngon Bistro is an excellent choice.

      Other short listers: Barrio (St Paul...bigger and generally quieter), Heartland, Craftsman, Town Talk (if it is still good), Barbette, Bradstreet, or perhaps NE Bulldog.

      I like the Corner Table suggestion. Also in south; friends who have dined at Piccolo have raved but we've not yet had a chance to try it.

      Keep in mind several of the restaurants listed are beer & wine only if that matters.

      1. I can highly recommend Ngon Bistro! We love it there, we eat lunch there about once a week. The entrees are a nice fusion-y american/vietnamese/french kind of thing- I am currently obsessed with the sweet potato/butternut squash ravioli, it's very, very hard for me to order anything else. On occasion, I do enjoy the Bún too. My husband is obsessed with their version of báhn mi. The space is sophisticated yet casual in atmosphere - kind of Indochine/French Colonial - and there's usually music playing on a turntable (nice, huh?). Amazing local beer list, if you are into beer. Nice organic wine list too. I don't think they have a full bar otherwise though. I would say that it's worth a trip outside of your 'hood over to Ngon!

        I've not heard good things about Ginger Hop but lots of people seem to really enjoy NE Social Club, I haven't tried it yet.

        Hope you have a nice birthday dinner, where ever you end up. Report back!

        1. I had a great meal this past weekend at Victory-44 and highly recommend it. It would be a great and reasonable place to go with a small group. They take reservations for groups of 6 or more.

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          Brasa Rotisserie
          600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

          Heartland
          1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

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

          Craftsman Restaurant
          4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

          Corner Table
          4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

          Barbette
          1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          Modern Cafe
          337 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

          Red Stag Supper Club
          509 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

          Sen Yai Sen Lek
          2422 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

          Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine
          2608 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          Victory 44
          2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

          Northeast Social
          359 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

          Sanctuary
          903 Washington Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55415

          Kindee Thai Restaurant
          719 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

          Barrio Tequila - St. Paul
          235 E 6th St, St. Paul, MN 55101

          Bradstreet Craftshouse Restaurant
          601 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55403

          Ginger Hop
          201 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

          1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I'm thinking a group of 6-8 people, so most of these places should be able to handle that no problem, and we will probably get reservations if available.

            Like I said, I'm trying to visit a place I haven't been before, so will probably pass up NE Bulldog, Barrio, Town Talk, Peninsula and Red Stag. Although I've only been for brunch and lunch at Red Stag so maybe that should remain in the running.

            Otherwise I'm probably leaning toward Ngon Bistro still (good reviews, thanks!), Sen Yai Sen Lek, or Corner Table. I really want to get to Brasa but not sure it fits my vision of my birthday dinner (a little upscale). On the other hand even a little bit upscale comes with a price tag...

            1 Reply
            1. re: emress

              Emress-I live only a few miles from Ngon and to date, I have not been disappointed. I've been there for lunch and dinner. It'd be a great place for your 30th....it's low key, bustling groups of varietal peeps (couples, girlfriends, families), there is plenty to choose from, the service is good, the food is great, reasonably priced--and it's a nice ambience.

              I know there is a debate about the authenticity of Sen Yai Sen Lek, but regardless, if you like thai (of any kind) you will appreciate the flavors. The place is simple and pleasant-it's a great place to grab a glass of wine and be able to celebrate and have a conversation and you'll definitely leave with a full belly. I will say though, depending, I've sometimes had REALLY slow service-but other than that, no complaints.

              If you're looking for that "new and trendy" place, it definitely seems to be NE Social. Food is good, but if you go, MAKE SURE TO MAKE A RESERVATION.

            2. Grand Cafe is delicious.