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Need a QUIET place to eat...

We'll be dining with older friends with whom we want to converse while we eat. We ate with them at Bar La Grassa (where we loved the food) but it was extremely noisy and hard to talk. (FYI--I went to BLG with my daughter at a different time and specifically requested a quiet table. We ate at a different location in the restaurant, but it was still really noisy.)

Would Travail and Victory 44 be this noisy?

What are some restaurants where you can get wonderful food that are not too noisy? One person in this group does not like Thai and Vietnamese food, another does not like Ethiopian, and I don't like sushi. Otherwise, it's pretty wide open.

We prefer to stay within Mpls or Saint Paul (no driving, say, to Eden Prairie) but Travail in Robbinsdale seems like a reasonable drive.

Thanks in advance.

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Victory 44
2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

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

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  1. My suggestions would be the Craftsman, or the Grand Cafe. The Grand Cafe can get loud, but I can always hear my dining companions.

    Also, I just had a very nice dinner last night at the Tea House on University. They have little booth-like tables in the back that I think would be really quiet. (Though if Thai and Vietnamese are out, maybe Chinese is not high on the list. )

    1. Travail is pretty noisy. A) It's always packed, B) they play rock music on the stereo and C) it's all concrete and high ceilings, so the sound bounces everywhere. I don't know about V44, I was never there when it was busy.

      What day / time were you looking for? You might get different recommendations based on traffic.

      1. It's been a while since I've been to Corner Table, but if I remember correctly, it was pretty quiet. La Chaya was also pretty quiet. Both are delicious.

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        Corner Table
        4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

        1. We went to Victory 44 on a Friday evening, and it was quite loud. Open layout, lots of people. What about Sapor (very near BLG) or Alma?

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          Sapor Cafe-Bar
          428 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401

          Victory 44
          2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

          1 Reply
          1. re: cfretty

            You neglected to mention when you are going to dine. Please don't expect to go to any good restaurant at 7:30 or 8:00 on a Friday or Saturday evening and not be disappointed about the noise. Timing is everything...

          2. I second Corner Table and Grand Cafe. I also like Cafe Ena and Kings as well, along with Blackbird and Cave Vin. All easy to converse in.
            The last time I ate at V44 it was really noisy inside- outside on the deck (ok, it was late summer) was perfect.

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            Corner Table
            4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

            Cafe Ena
            4601 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

            Cave Vin
            5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

            1. saffron. alma. other places may also work, depending on day/time.

              2 Replies
              1. re: soupkitten

                Re timing---if we were to go to Travail, we'd go VERY early---at 4:50 or so---to avoid waiting in line. But even at that time, it sounds like noise would be a problem there (and at Victory 44). Tonight I'll look at the menus of Corner Table, Grand Cafe, Ena, Kings, Blackbird, Saffron, Alma, Sapor, and Cave Vin. One member of this group has eaten at Craftsman and was underwhelmed.

                Thanks, all.

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                Sapor Cafe-Bar
                428 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                Corner Table
                4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

                Cave Vin
                5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                Victory 44
                2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                1. re: soccermom13

                  If you want to add one more, The Butcher Block is definitely quiet.

              2. Doesn't look like anyone else has suggested 112 Eatery, but that would get my vote. Great food, and doesn't get loud, last time I was there is was a Sat night 6-7ish...

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                112 Eatery
                112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                3 Replies
                1. re: WeZeL27

                  really? i think 112 can get pretty noisy, and crowded, depending on where you are sitting.

                  1. re: soupkitten

                    We were upstairs up by the windows (not right next to them though) and had no issue with the noise. I haven't sat downstairs, maybe that area is louder down there?

                    1. re: WeZeL27

                      i've eaten both upstairs and down. you are right, the tables upstairs by the windows are pleasant and not too loud. downstairs can be loud, cramped and echo-y, which i actually don't mind, but the time we took my mom there it was a little loud and a little crowded, i think, for her preferences. the op could request a quieter table upstairs at 112 and probably be just fine.

                2. A couple of suggestions for you. Someone above mentioned Butcher Block (occupying the space that at one time was Fugaise). This is about as quiet as it gets. If conversation is what you most desire, I would strongly support this recommendation. Plus the food is quite good, and last time I was there everything is under $20 (although I'd pay more for some dishes).

                  I'd also recommend In Season at 54th and Penn. Closer quarters, but you can still quite easily be heard by your dining companions.

                  Another recommendation above is Sapor. That, too, will be quite quiet.

                  I also think Heartland would work well for you. Either the dining room or the bar. Bar seating may actually be quieter.

                  Travail is going to be louder than you want no matter what time of day you plan on going. Craftsman and Grand Cafe could end up louder than you'd like. Ditto Alma.

                  1. It's been a long time since I was there, but W.A. Frost near downtown St. Paul I remember as being nice and quiet, both in volume and in atmosphere.

                    The big real-log fireplace in the dining area was a plus too, as it was a cold day when I ate there.

                    Come to think of it, I've been meaning to wander back over there some time. Might have to do that soon.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shadowfax

                      My family faced the same concerns when we dined with my grandfather on a regular basis. We had the additional constraint of wanting to stay in St. Paul. After much experimentation, we settled into a holding pattern - back and forth between W. A. Frost and the Lexington. I strongly prefer the food at W. A. Frost over the Lex, but the Lex is kind of fun in a retro kind of way, with solidly executed (though not very creative) meals.

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                      The Lexington
                      1096 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

                      Wa Frost and Company
                      374 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102

                    2. In St. Paul, Ngon Bistro is always quiet, and the food is lovely.