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Fancy-schmancy lunch ideas for Mom's birthday

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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.)

Thanks,
Anne

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  1. Perhaps Meritage or Cosmos?

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    Meritage
    410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    1 Reply
    1. re: MrSlippery

      Love Meritage.

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

      ~TDQ

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      Meritage
      410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    2. 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

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

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        Meritage
        410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

      2. 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

          Link wouldn't take for some reason.

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

        2. 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

            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!