HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >
What are you cooking today?

Fancy-schmancy lunch ideas for Mom's birthday

AnneInMpls Apr 13, 2011 04:26 PM

Mom's best friend is coming to town to take her to lunch on her birthday. They want something "really nice" and I'm on the hook for ideas.

They'd like to go to Restaurant Alma, but it's not open for lunch. Ditto for the places I've thought of - Heartland, Piccolo, Bar La Grassa, Saffron, ...

My only idea so far is Lucia's Restaurant. I think they'd love it, but perhaps they would prefer one notch up on the fancy/expensive scale. Plus, I think they've both been there, and might be looking for a new place.

I need help with some ideas. No steak joints, though - as ladies "of a certain age," they're not big red-meat eaters. (Actually, my mom can scarf down a 32-oz steak with the best of 'em, but that's not what they're looking for this time.)


  1. AnneInMpls Apr 14, 2011 08:26 PM

    Thanks for all the ideas! TDQ, I think that WA Frost might just be the ticket - the perfect combo of atmosphere and good food.

    Me, I thought about recommending Meritage, but I was partly underwhelmed by my lunch there last month (the French Onion Soup was fabu, and the service was great, but the rest of the food was rather blah), so I didn't think it would work for this extremely special event. So I've sent her to WA Frost with my best wishes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AnneInMpls
      AnneInMpls Apr 19, 2011 10:32 PM

      Reporting back to say that Mom loved WA Frost. She had the hangar steak and her friend had the salmon; they both loved the food. And the service. And the toasty warm fireplace on a cold day. Thanks for the advice!

    2. MplsM ary Apr 14, 2011 06:27 PM

      Ok, this might be completely off the mark, but how about Mary Tyler Moore's table at Basil's? When I took my mom there for her birthday (a number of years ago), she was thrilled with the service, the chef's salad and her extra dry Tanqueray martinis. It really was a treat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MplsM ary
        MplsM ary Apr 14, 2011 06:29 PM

        Link wouldn't take for some reason.

        Basil's Restaurant
        710 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402

      2. b
        baa Apr 13, 2011 05:48 PM

        Vincent is a great spot for fancy lunch, if they don't mind going downtown. It's sometimes a little leisurely for a business lunch, but for a birthday lunch I think it'd be great. (And actually, every time I'm there at lunch there seems to be at least one table celebrating a birthday.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: baa
          sandylc Apr 13, 2011 05:55 PM

          Not fair! They took my ideas! Ha. Meritage and Vincent came first to my thoughts as well.

          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

        2. m
          MrSlippery Apr 13, 2011 05:02 PM

          Perhaps Meritage or Cosmos?

          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          1 Reply
          1. re: MrSlippery
            The Dairy Queen Apr 14, 2011 06:52 AM

            Love Meritage.

            Or WA Frost if patio season coincides with your mom's birthday. Happy Birthday to her!


            410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          Show Hidden Posts