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Seeking a twin city gem for party of 16

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scottyni1 Sep 15, 2011 05:52 PM

Hello Chowhounds. I am looking for recommendations for a lovely dining experience for a party of 16. The majority are in from out of town. My goals are great food (preferably local, see below), charming atmosphere (not a board-room setting), reliable service, and main courses in the $16-$30 range.

I am nearly devastated that Grand Cafe is closed on Mondays - the night of this event. Other restaurants I typically consider worthy of these goals are Tilia, In Season, Al Vento and Rinata, Trattoria Tosca, Cafe Le Vain, and the one I am leaning towards now - Cafe Vin.

As you may gather from that list I live in SW Mpls, but anything from Eden Prairie to Downtown Mpls is fair game for location.

Thanks for any advice.

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Al Vento
5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Rinata
2451 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405

In Season
5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

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  1. b
    Brad Ballinger Sep 15, 2011 07:16 PM

    Levain was the first thing to come to my mind. 16 of you can comfortably fit in the "kitchen seating area" where they host groups similar to yours. I've eat in that space plenty of times with wine groups, and 20 of us will be there again on Sunday. Chef Adam Vickerman would even create a menu for all of you, if you so desire.

    In Season may be too small (your group would take up nearly half the restaurant. Tilia doesn't take reservations. Trattoria Tosca would also work. Don't know anything about Rinata.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Brad Ballinger
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      scottyni1 Sep 22, 2011 07:15 PM

      Thank you for your reply. We have reservations at Cafe Vin but it was hard to choose against Levain and Trattoria Tosca. They are on the list for my work "foodie club", for sure!

    2. m
      meljohns Sep 16, 2011 05:54 AM

      Cave Vin is great and your group could easily fit in the center of the back room. It's one of my favorites. And I think Monday is a half price wine night.

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      Cave Vin
      5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

      1 Reply
      1. re: meljohns
        s
        scottyni1 Sep 22, 2011 07:16 PM

        Thank you for your reply. Yes, I am excited about Cafe Vin and the Monday deal on wine!

      2. m
        MNSilverfox Sep 22, 2011 01:40 PM

        Check out Bachelor Farmer. The food is great and they have some fantastic rooms for large groups.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MNSilverfox
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          scottyni1 Sep 22, 2011 07:16 PM

          Wow, how have I missed this one? Looks great. Thank you so much for the idea.

          1. re: scottyni1
            k
            KTFoley Sep 23, 2011 08:56 AM

            Beware -- they're relatively new and their service has been noted by critics & other diners as famously bad so far.

          2. re: MNSilverfox
            danionavenue Sep 24, 2011 07:56 AM

            I have had 2 different friends go to the bachelor farmer and both have rave reviews and the Marvel bar downstairs I guess is, is gorgeous.

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