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Dinner with the Parents

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Need a couple of recommendations for dinner with my parents and my partner's parents this weekend. They like a supper club kind of place (similar to Jensen's in Eagan), but I'd rather do a neighborhood place (we live in S. Mpls).

Some fish lovers, one pork-aholic, and good drinks or wine are a must. Need a more "mainstream" menu since we've got some unadventurous types. I've been thinking about First Course or Craftsman, or maybe Al Vento.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery? Thanks for your help!

First Course
5607 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Al Vento
5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

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  1. Craftsman is an outstanding choice.

    Cafe Levain is another possibility, but I've not been there since at least 2 chefs ago, so I can't speak to the current quality.

    Corner Table is another great choice.

    I've also heard good things about Cafe Vin (55th and Xerxes), but I've never been.

    Corner Table
    4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

    Cafe Levain
    4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    1. Look into 128 Cafe across from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The atmosphere is kind of dumpy supper club, but the food has always been excellent. They usually have a fish, a meat, veggie option and ribs (which are quite good.) Beer/wine only.

      128 Cafe
      128 Cleveland Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

      1 Reply
      1. re: rockyd

        128 Cafe is a great suggestions. (Although not in S. Minneapolis.) The menu is small, everything is quality, I think. There would always be a fish choice. Quality but not exotic, I thinhk. And your pork-a-holic family members would definitely be happy. They are famed for their bar-b-qued ribs. The time I brought my nephew there (the one we call Pork Boy) he licked the ribs clean. Not a molecule of meat left on them.

      2. How about Tosca? Food is excellent and the room is quieter than Al Vento.

        Al Vento
        5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        1. We took our in-laws to Red Stag, and they loved it. I would rate it as the best place in the cities to take parents, though it is not in your neighborhood. I think Al Vento would be a good bet. It's (rightly) known for it's spaghetti and meatballs.

          Al Vento
          5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          1 Reply
          1. re: kevin47

            Even though you have to hop on 35W and drive north of the river into Nordeast, I would second the Red Stag if you think the parents would like supper club atmosphere. I live near the Craftsman and love it but it is a somewhat more formal (and more expensive) place. Al Vento is nice if you think Italian food would work.


            Al Vento
            5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          2. Just another couple options to look at... maybe not as "Supper club"-y, but good options as well.

            Broders Pasta Bar
            Tavern on France or Kozy's (maybe a little too far South)

            Tavern on France
            6740 France Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

            1. Red Stag is a great suggestion, and one that I hadn't thought of. Any recommendations? We're thinking of going there on Friday for the fish fry.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sullysully

                I've tried just about every fish on their fish fry and they've all been great.

              2. Had a great dinner at Red Stag on Friday night, four of us got the blue gill fish fry special, one got the softshell crab (amazing) and one got the pork.

                The food was great, thanks so much for the recommendation!

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