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Last great meal in Minneapolis/St. Paul?

Our time in Minnesota is coming to a close as we move to the east coast in 2 months. We have probably 2-3 more occasions of going out to eat at an "adult" restaurant and a handful more than that of hitting new kid-friendly locations. I'm wondering if there are any "must not miss" restaurants in cities that we haven't been to yet. Or, your opinion of where your last great meal in Minneapolis/St. Paul would be.

Here's a not exhaustive list of the commonly-recommended places we have eaten, perhaps it will help you see where the holes are. Off the top of my head we haven't been to Sea Change, In Season, Bangkok Deli, or the new place in Midtown Global Market.

112
Bar La Grasa
Bachelor Farmer
Heidi's
Piccolo
Cosmos
Heartland
La Belle Vie
Strip Club
Manny's
Travail
Cafe Levain
Blackbird
Cafe Maude
Saffron
Pizzaria Lola
Alma
Cave Vin
Al Vento
Sea Salt
Broders
Ngon BIstro
Masu
Tanpopo
Haute Dish
Red Stag
Brasa
Obento Ya
Punch, PIzza Nea, Black Sheep
Tilia - for brunch
I think every sushi restaurant in the cities - for those that remember our efforts from 4 years ago
Most Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian restaurants

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Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Cafe Maude
5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

Cave Vin
5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

The Strip Club
378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

Cafe Levain
4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Al Vento
5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Sea Change
806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

In Season
5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

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  1. Meritage would be a good place to try if indeed you have not been (I did not see it on the impressive list above). I have been very impressed the last few times I have been there and I really like the new oyster bar space.

    If I were leaving, I think the two places I would want to return to the most before I left would be:
    The Strip Club - I love the small plates and overall experience. It is also such a "Minnesota-specific" restaurant both in ingredients, inspirations for the menu, and history of the space.
    Piccolo - I find the food to be creative and like the small plates approach. While not as uniquely Minnesotan as the Strip Club, I think it still definitely has a Minneapolis-specific vibe.

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    Meritage
    410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    The Strip Club
    378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

    1. Have you been to Khyber Pass for Afghan food? Sadly, they might not be around when you come back to visit.... There's also Flamingo for excellent Ethiopian....

      As far as last meals, I'm kind of a broken record, but for us it would definitely be Alma. Just such a midwestern vibe: great food, not pretentious, local ingredients...

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      Khyber Pass Cafe
      1571 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

      1. We actually have been to Meritage and Khyber Pass - I forgot some restaurants on the other side of the river! I would like to get back to Khyber Pass before we leave, especially because we can take our daughter there. We thought the food at Meritage was great, but the space was busy and cramped and didn't quite replicate that sitting in a brasserie in Paris vibe they're going for.

        I'm now reminded that Gorkha Palace too might be a must do again place.

        I was also thinking a last meal at Alma might be at the top of our list. Thanks for the reminder!

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        Khyber Pass Cafe
        1571 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

        Meritage
        410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

        Gorkha Palace
        23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

        1. Maybe one last round of BBQ ribs and tres leches cake? We'll miss you, of course.

          Honestly, though, I'd say a stop at Kramaczuks. Izzy's. Whereever your favorite farm is for Honeycrisp apples. I know these aren't "adult" restaurants, but they are what screams Minnesota to me. Maybe Hell's Kitchen for the porridge and lemon ricotta hotcakes. A stop at the Hmong market. One final visit to the St. Paul Farmers Market. These would be my must do's if I were to leave. Maybe some combo of Heartland, Meritage (though it sounds like this isn't a must-do for you), Ngon, and 112 Eatery just because they have been particular favorites of mine and the food is solid. Also, the Nook.

          ~TDQ

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            First off, SweeTango > HoneyCrisp. Run to Byerly's, Kowalski's, or an Apple Orchard and see if they have any SweeTangos left (last time I was at a Byerly's they had some, but they were not in very good condition, almost all had some bruising). Plus, you can find HoneyCrisps nationally. SweeTango still isn't available in large enough quantities to have wide availability.

            After that, go for one of the restaurants that sources local ingredients. I'd probably pick Heartland. You'll be able to get great food on the east coast, you won't be able to get stuff from our farms there.

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            Byerly's
            1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

            1. re: Danny

              Whether it's SweeTango or Honeycrisp, get it from an apple farm, not Byerly's!

              But, if you DO go to Byerly's because you don't have time to go the orchard, get some wild rice soup while you're there.

              ~TDQ

          2. For a "Minnesota memory meal" with your little one, Bread and Pickle for local food, a walk around Lake Harriet, and cheese curds.

            1. Two places I don't see on there are Victory-44 and Corner Table. I know Scott is gone from CT, but the sous chefs always put out great food for me. And V-44 is about as good as it gets right now.

              For my last meal, I'll pile on with mtullius to say I'd go to Alma.

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              Corner Table
              4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

              2 Replies
              1. re: BigE

                (Scott isn't at CT anymore? Where did he go?)

                I love your list and the suggestions you're getting. It would be Alma for me for one of the last "adult" meals.

                1. re: karykat

                  He's at Minnesota Valley Country Club. You can read his last CT blog post here:

                  http://www.cornertablerestaurant.com/...

              2. We'll miss you! I've really enjoyed your posts and comments on this board.

                Have you ever been to the Harbor View in Pepin, WI? With a stop at the Stockholm Pie Company (to get a whole pie for later)? I think a drive down the Mississippi river would be a good way to say goodbye to the area. And it's a great trip with a kid.

                In the Twin Cities, how about:

                Bewiched - I think you'd love the food. The soups are awesome. My favorite sandwiches are the pastrami, tuna confit, and turkey-date wrap, Seems relatively kid friendly (though there aren't many young families in the area) and the music is always loud enough to cover reasonable kid noises.

                The Himalayan - wonderful food and very kid friendly. It's similar to Gorkha (though I prefer H over G), so if you're short on time, one or the other would do.

                Victory 44 - More casual than Travail, and easier to get into. Plus, it seems like it would be kid friendly if you go at an odd hour, when they're not slammed and slow.

                My last meal would be at Alma, too. Man, I'd miss them if I moved away!

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                Victory 44
                2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                1. Definitely gotta get to Corner Table, Himalayan, and the Strip Club. I'd also throw in the Butcher Block.

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                  Corner Table
                  4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

                  The Strip Club
                  378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                  1. I love In Season and would choose that - especially at this time of year. Sorry to hear that you're leaving us. Come back and visit the board sometime.

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                    In Season
                    5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

                    1. Kate! I am sorry to see you go. A few years ago, I posted a similar thread, when my family left the Twin Cities for California. Oddly enough, I'm becoming more active on this board now because we're returning to Minneapolis in a few months. The pull of Minnesota is irresistible, I guess.

                      When we left, I had a little bucket list of places to get to -- a few fine dining, but mostly some favorites that did burgers, or pizza, or whatnot the way I liked it. We went to the (late, lamented) Town Talk Diner, the Nook for great burgers, Pizza Nea, French Meadow for breakfast, 112 Eatery, Saffron, Ngon Bistro, and a blowout meal at La Belle Vie.

                      I recommend you go to the places that are meaningful to you, not to punch anyone else's list.

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                      112 Eatery
                      112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                      La Belle Vie
                      510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                      Pizza Nea
                      1221 W Lake St # 106, Minneapolis, MN

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Jordan

                        welcome back! and Kate, we will miss you. you will have to come back to visit.

                        if it were me i'm sure i'd hit piccolo and alma. i would get myself some grass fed beef burgers all over town and prepare myself to not have so many places that offer them, wherever i'd move. i'd then go to all of the places, hi and lowbrow, which had happy memories.

                        i hope that you can get good/better sushi, wherever you are moving to :)

                      2. Piccolo. It's the best.

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                        Piccolo Restaurant
                        4300 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

                        1. I agree with BigE--Victory 44 is a must-try. I also would recommend Jax in Northeast if you're looking for some great prime rib!

                          -----
                          Jax Cafe
                          1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                          Victory 44
                          2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                          1. A quick check-in while we're on vacation. Thank you for all the suggestions and friendly notes! We're moving to Philadelphia so I've already started stalking that board. Speaking of spots with good memories, we'll have to add Origami to our list as that was the site of our first date. Husband has been to Victory 44, but I haven't, so we'll try and do that too.

                            I want to add The Nook to our list, but my husband is advocating for Matt's. We might be able to do both since they're kid-friendly locations.

                            I did pick up some SweeTangos this week (although they were from Kowalskis...)

                            -----
                            Victory 44
                            2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: katebauer

                              Target has SweeTangos for half the price of Kowalskis.