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First date suggestions for St. Paul?

Looking for somewhere in St. Paul, that is good but isn't a chain. Type of food really doesn't matter. I like trying new places and can't really think of anywhere to go for a date. Would like somewhere that isn't loud since it will be a first date and would like to talk to my date. Any suggestions?

Oh this is what she told me: "You are in charge of location: nothing fancy, please."

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  1. My sister and I just enjoyed a glass of wine and a shared a mediterranean flatbread yesterday at the Finnish Bistro on Como Avenue in the St. Anthony neighborhood. The first thing I said was "this would be a great date place." Nice beer and wine selection, very good flatbread, salads, casual menu, fresh baked goods, small, quiet, really cute place in a classy neighborhood.

    If you are thinking downtown St. Paul, I would recommend The Barrio (great tequila selection, good guacamole and small plates that would be fun to share) or the new Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza joint (a little louder, but unique pizza, nice salads).

    6 Replies
    1. re: rp1760

      Just thought of another great place, but location might not work for you. Sea Salt Eatery at Minnehaha Falls would fit my bill for a great, casual first date. Bring a warm blanket and throw it on the grass for a lovely Spring Picnic!

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      Sea Salt Eatery
      4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

      1. re: rp1760

        Didn't know Sea Salt moved to St. Paul. Their website didn't mention the change?

        I'd recommend the bar area at Senor Wong's as well. They have a large menu with a ton of different appetizers along with a great cocktail list. I'd stay away from the Donkey Punch as that stuff might get you a little too drunk for the date. Unless she's into that ...

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        Senor Wong
        111 East Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55101

        1. re: Db Cooper

          No, silly, they didn't move. That's why I noted that "location might not work for you."

          1. re: rp1760

            I suppose it depends on which part of St. Paul you're traveling from, but I consider Minnehaha Park (in Minneapolis) so close to St. Paul that I often include Sea Salt in my "St. Paul" recs, too. You do have to cross the river tho. Note that there is some kind of fun run or something through Minnehaha Park this weekend that might be annoying if you're trying to make your way to sea salt.

            ~TDQ

      2. re: rp1760

        How is Barrio for noise levels on a Friday night?

        1. re: Matronix

          You might be OK for an early dinner at Barrio St. Paul, but it becomes extremely loud (as in dance music so loud you can't hear the person shouting at your from across the table) later at night - at least on Fridays and Saturdays.

      3. I like Ngon on university. Great food, local beer list, quieter, but still has great music going.
        Senor Wong's in DT is also fun. Great drinks, fun appetizers, interesting fusion food.
        If you are looking for a fancy first date Meritage is perfect, romantic and quiet.

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        Meritage
        410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

        Senor Wong's
        111 Kellog Blvd, St Paul, MN 55101

        6 Replies
        1. re: run2eat

          Meritage is not quite at all. The rest applies.

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          Meritage
          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          1. re: semanticantics

            I disagree. Meritage can be quiet. All depends on when you go there. That said, I wouldn't say it meets the "nothing fancy, please." part.

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            Meritage
            410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

            1. re: Seige

              When the weather gets nice, I would completely recommend Meritage on the sidewalk patio for Sat/Sun brunch. Somehow, dining on the sidewalk takes away the "fancy" edge. But, I agree: dining indoors at Meritage would be too intense/fancy for a first date. Besides, you have to leave some place to go for when things get more serious!

              ~TDQ

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              Meritage
              410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I've been to Meritage before, I don't think that will fit the "nothing fancy" part of the date clause. :)

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                Meritage
                410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                1. re: Matronix

                  Have you been on the patio for Sat/Sun brunch? I recommend it once the weather's nice. It's more casual than dining indoors. I think we're a good month away from that anyway, so maybe you'll be on to 3rd or 4th date by then.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Patio and Crepe Stand are actually supposed to open May 1 - tomorrow! Oh and the crepe stand is going to be open Tuesday - Saturday. We so, we so excited! :)

        2. There is a dish at Que Nha where they serve the fixings for a spring roll. Lots of fun, very tasty, then split a dish of Lemongrass Chicken. Guaranteed to be a first date neither will forget. The chicken is not all that spicey.

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          Que Nha
          849 University Ave W Ste 101, Saint Paul, MN 55104

            1. I had lunch for the first time Wednesday at Twisted Fork Grill on Grand Ave. It's reportedly owned by Green Mill and is in the same building with them

              The menu is interesting with lots of variety; the quality isn't stellar but certainly acceptable; and it's a fairly quiet neighborhood place with some booths with high backs. They serve breakfast until 3:00 as well as lunch and dinner (I think). It's well decorated in a chainy sort of way, and prices are reasonable. Might that work?