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Oct 17, 2011 08:05 PM

Birthday then Anniversary-need recs

My b-day is this Thursday and then next Friday is my 6th anniversary. We are planning two nice evenings out, but I am SUPER stuck for ideas, because we hardly ever get out to NICE places having 2 small kids. The places we were considering were (* means we've been there before):
Bar La Grassa*
Restaurant Alma

We are open to more options, but you can see where we were thinking.

Please help me choose!

Restaurant Alma
528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Bar La Grassa
800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

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  1. Everything you list is in Minneapolis. Making the assumption you don't want to go further east. May be a wrong assumption, but...

    Also, BLG and Alma may be a challenge reservation-wise on short notice. If you can get in at Alma that works for you and your sitter, definitely make that one of your places

    Another place you really must try is In Season at 54th and Penn. The autumn menu right now is top notch. I'd also add Heidi's (29th and Lyndale).

    Parking is on the street, but free, for Alma. In Season has a lot. Probably paying for a meter or lot for Heidi's.

    1. HauteDish never been but everyone I know raves about it. It does have reservations Thursday 6:45

      1. Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! It sounds like you may have not made it to the new Heartland yet, either. If you're open to coming East, perhaps add that to your list.

        If you haven't been to Lucia's or Alma before, though, I'd see if you can wedge your way in there with a reservation just so you can see what all the fuss is about!


        1. Wow....I kind of thought the MSP board had instituted an "auto reply" that just says "Travail" for just about any request.

          So, I guess....Travail.


          Seems like there's a lot of the usual suspects.

          6 Replies
          1. re: MSPD

            Oh, you can never go wrong at Meritage. If the OP hasn't been out in awhile, then she probably hasn't been there since they added the oyster bar, this past winter, I think.

            That's always the hardest decision when you're a person that doesn't get often for special occasion meals: when you get your rare chance to go out, do you try to knock off the hottest, new restaurants, or do you try to go to the old favorites that you hear about all the time but haven't made it to? In this case, the fact that she's trying to make a decision for this coming Friday and Saturday, she might not be able to get into the hottest restaurants (the ones that take reservations) for her preferred time, or she might have to expect to wait. I personally try to knock off the old favorites, under the assumption that they will be easier to get into and maybe could use the business because the spotlight isnt' shining as brightly on them right now. I figure the hot new restaurants will be around a little longer and I can try them when they aren't white hot anymore... My weird kind of high-end dining triage.


            410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

            1. re: MSPD

              Not having kids, I can't claim much expertise here. However, the no-reservations policy and the recent fame appear to lengthen the wait time for a Travail table to "several hours and maybe not today at all."

              That can be hard on the celebrants and the babysitter. I wouldn't leave a special occasion and a rare night out up to such a gamble.

              1. re: MSPD

                I've officially filed Travail under the Yogi Berra classic "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." I love the place and what those guys are doing, but I've been there a few dozen times and don't feel like waiting 2+ hours when I can drive a few minutes to V-44 and get a meal on the same level.

                I'm also seriously bummed that Geoff left. Talking with him was one of my reasons for going.

                1. re: BigE

                  I believe he is at Barbette now.

                  There will always be the same suggestions as the top 15 - 20 restaurants are tops for a reason.

                  1. re: semanticantics

                    Which reminds me... Barbette is a good choice for this dinner. I'd opt for it over Lucia's. Setting is more romantic for anniversary dinner.

                    1. re: semanticantics

                      I read that yesterday...I guess that gives me a reason to check out Barbette for the first time.

                2. Thanks all. I think I'm going to take the Barbette rec. We went there on one of our first dates like 8 years ago :)

                  As for my b-day, which is Thursday, I'll figure something out. Maybe sushi...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MayrMN

                    If you are thinking sushi, you might find Masu to be fun. Has great food, fun drinks, and a cool vibe.

                    1. re: Brad Ballinger

                      I was looking into Masu. We are clearly of the same mind!