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Date Night in Minneapolis?

My husband and I have a 9 month old baby and haven't been out for date night in months. That ends this Saturday night! Where to go though?? We always end up at our standbys (Cave Vin, Tilia, Broders) because they're nearby and we know we will be happy with our experience but I'm itching to branch out and go somewhere new. Our "criteria" are; not crazy expensive but romantic and somewhere in Minneapolis or Edina. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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  1. One of our first date nights post baby was at Piccolo. It's an intimate setting and it's fun to pick and share small dishes with your partner. Some of the dishes were stronger than others, but overall a really excellent and enjoyable meal.

    The bar at La Belle Vie is another great choice. We've only eaten in the dining room, but I'd imagine sharing drinks and food on the couches in the bar area would be very romantic.

    Finally, although we haven't been there in a few years, Al Vento sticks out to me as a good S. Minneapolis date night restaurant.

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    La Belle Vie
    510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

    Al Vento
    5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    1. Lucia's. Very intimate. Beautifully done food without being extreme. Quietly classy. Parking lot. Drive around the lakes before or after.

      1. I second the idea of the bar at La Belle Vie. I love the space. You could either share a set of small plates or have the lounge tasting menu (~$45 for 3 courses).

        I like Piccolo too. The tables are a bit closer together, but I love the small plates concept. We went there earlier this week on a date and very much enjoyed it. I especially loved the duck egg, swordfish belly, and veal chuck roast dishes.

        Blackbird Cafe would be another idea (not as romantic - atmosphere more like Broders, but with antlers on the wall). I like the mix of things on their menu and the food was quite good when I went for dinner a few weeks ago.

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        La Belle Vie
        510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

        2 Replies
        1. re: LauraB

          For the La Belle Vie lounge - I meant 4 courses. However, just as a heads up, I think there is only one set menu without choices for this option - I think they usually have a pretty current one on-line, but if you decide to go this route and are somewhat fussy, I would call ahead to check.

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          La Belle Vie
          510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

          1. re: LauraB

            You can also get the full restaurant menu in the bar.

        2. congrats on the opportunity to enjoy a date night:)

          the past two years, my s.o. have tried many places for special date nights. the only places i haven't been sort of let down for the price point are meritage (which is in st. paul but worth the drive in my opinion), and we just had a wonderful evening at cosmos in dt minneapolis. i've been to la belle vie and felt the food was just as satisfying and a better value at cosmos--you can order the five course tasting menu for $45. heidi's is also wonderful-and last time i checked, entrees didn't top $20.

          1. The Piccolo idea is great, but snaring a reservation might be tough on such short notice. Two other places I'd recommend that are near your "favoriets" are In Season and Cafe Maude. Both are at 54th and Penn, on opposite side of Penn from each other. A reservation at In Season might also be dicey on such short notice. Good atmosphere in both.

            I also like the Barbette recommendation.

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            Cafe Maude
            5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

            In Season
            5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

            1. Cafe Levain is another good choice. Beautiful little space with an intimate open kitchen much like the one at Tilia. I've been going there through ups and downs in quality and consistency and I can say that they're on right now. Had dinner there just a couple weeks ago and it was on my short list of best meals of the summer.

              Plus, they always have tables available, it seems.

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              Cafe Levain
              4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              1 Reply
              1. re: keithinmpls

                I believe Adam Vickerman is back, which would explain the uptick in quality.

              2. Isn't Piccolo one of the more expensive places in town, in terms of dollars to portion?

                1. Our go-to date night is Alma, though I very much doubt they'd have a reservation available for Saturday night.... But you never know!

                  1 Reply
                  1. We are "reserved" at Cafe Levain! We haven't been and the neighborhood gem aspect has me hooked. I'll follow up with how it was. Thank you all; Piccolo, LBV, Alma, and In Season are all on our "get to asap" list (we've been to Cafe Maude & Al Vento and enjoyed).
                    Yum!

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                    Cafe Maude
                    5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

                    Cafe Levain
                    4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                    Al Vento
                    5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                    In Season
                    5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419