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Top 5 Restaurants for B'day Dinner

As much as I want to try Travail, I'm leaning towards a restaurant that allows for reservations for my b'day dinner. My week has been and will continue to be rather hectic, I haven't seen my sweetie in two weeks, and, come Saturday, I think I'm going to want a night "in". Of course, he wants to take me out somewhere special so who am I to complain? So, what would be your Top 5 choices? They must be restaurants that take reservations. I figure I'll give him the list and he can surprise me with his choice. Thanks:-)

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  1. 1. Piccolo
    2. In Season
    3. Bachelor Farmer
    4. La belle Vie
    5. Ill Gato

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    In Season
    5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

    1. 1. Bar La Grassa
      2. Restaurant Alma
      3. Meritage
      4. Capital Grille (I don't normally pick chains, but they make some AMAZING steak)
      5. La Belle Vie (last on the list only because I've not been there yet, but am constantly told amazing things about it).

      1. 1. Piccolo
        2.Restaurant Alma
        3. Heartland
        4. Heidi's
        5. Bar La Grassa

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

        1. 3.Saffron
          1.Gorkha Palace
          2.Meritage
          5.La Belle Vie, great but........
          4..Victory 44, I know they don't take reservations(only for 8 or more so make it a party) but you will be able to get a table. In my mind almost or equal to Travail but not as cheap.

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          La Belle Vie
          510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

          Meritage
          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          Victory 44
          2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

          3 Replies
          1. re: ibew292

            I second Saffron and La Belle Vie (along with Piccolo and Alma). Gorkha Palace is great but not at all of the caliber of the other places, and we found Meritage very loud and crowded - not great for someone who is craving a special night with their partner.

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            La Belle Vie
            510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

            Meritage
            410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

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

            1. re: katebauer

              I disagree. Gorkha ranks with the top places in Minneapolis. You may think the food is not refined but I think that it is a Special Place. Skip the reservations and go to Victory 44. You will love it. Meritiage is also at the top of their game. Sunday dinner was wonderful. I would stay home on Saturday and go out on Sunday.

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              Victory 44
              2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

            2. re: ibew292

              I would have said Victory 44 too, but ruled it out because of the reservation criteria.

            3. 1. La Belle Vie
              2. 112
              3. Saffron
              4. Grand Cafe
              5. Heidis

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              La Belle Vie
              510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

              1. 1. Piccolo- fantastic food, laid back atmosphere for foodies
                2. La Belle Vie- old world formal
                3. 112 Eatery- somewhat casual if you are looking to relax
                4. Sanctuary- romantic and unique
                5. Sea Change- stylish

                Note: Saffron- Absolute disappointment each time.

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

                La Belle Vie
                510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: ashii

                  Ashii,

                  I've been to Sanctuary late one night. We had the place to ourselves. The waiter was wonderful, the food was divine, and I LOVED the atmosphere. It was dark and cozy, dare I say romantic? I'd like to try somewhere new but THAT is the exact type of place I am seeking for Saturday night's dinner.

                  1. re: Inasuitcase

                    I would try the upstairs for 112 then, not as cozy and unique, but nearing there- and the service is excellent.

                2. La Belle Vie is world-class. I can't think of a better place in the Cities for a birthday celebration for someone who loves great food.

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                  La Belle Vie
                  510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                  1. 1. Heidi's
                    2. Saffron
                    3. Heartland
                    4. Cosmos
                    5. Piccolo

                    I like those five because, in addition to outstanding food, they offer the level of service I want for my celebration.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: kevin47

                      Couldn't disagree more about Saffron. Had a birthday there, would have gotten better food and service at a Burger King. I guess for a romantic birthday (which it seems is what you are after), I'd lean French, Italian or possibly Mediterrian and will try to think of smaller restaurants that to me seem that way:

                      -Meritage followed by a night at the St. Paul Hotel. It's probably the most romantic restaurant in the Twin Cities right now.
                      -Murrays for the silver butterknife for two followed by a night at the Graves (Hit Cosmos for drinks after dinner)
                      -Cafe Biaggio on University near 280 is a quaint little restaurant with very good Italian food.
                      -W. A. Frost and get a table near a fireplace or in the bar.
                      -Barbette in Uptown is dark, dimly lit, and offers good food with even better small plates and drink deals.

                      Try something different and think out of the box instead of the same boring suspects

                      1. re: Db Cooper

                        Just a quick clarification, I would say Bradstreet for drinks, not Cosmos.

                        MSPMag review from last month was less than kind with relation to drink creativity at Cosmos.

                        http://www.mspmag.com/dining/restaura...

                        1. re: BigE

                          I was thinking more about the modern room/lounge at the Cosmos versus the variety of cocktails available. For me, I could care less if it's Johnny Michaels or Johnny Johnson is behind the bar because it doesn't take a mixologist to pour a scotch on the rocks or a glass of red wine. For me, I'd be more interested on my birthday in a nice vibe, cool room, and my wife. So I'll stick with Cosmos, but good advice if a cocktail program is that important to you.

                          1. re: Db Cooper

                            I also forgot to type the ying yang aspect of Murrays and Cosmos where Murrays reminds you of restaurants when you were young while Cosmos is the modern version of today.

                            Like I've written, was trying to think about the event being celebrated and some creative ideas around it versus reeling off the same top five list. If La Belle Vie had as many diners as recs on this board, Tim McKee wouldn't have to be slumming for Parasole.

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                            La Belle Vie
                            510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                        2. re: Db Cooper

                          I find W.A. Frost to be about as boring as it gets, and the food/service extremely inconsistent. If going off the beaten path, I'd recommend Cave Vin,

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                          Cave Vin
                          5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                          1. re: kevin47

                            Funny, Cafe Vin was my omission in sixth. WA can be all those things, but it's definitely a romantic place and I've found that atmosphere, especially when celebrating events like b days and anniversaries, can be much more important versus food itself. Food is more important when you are just going out for dinner because your sole purpose is just to eat vs celebrate. Thus my somewhat different list. I could easily agree with you on Cafe Vin as a substitute.

                            1. re: kevin47

                              Or Cafe Maude, good drinks, ive never had the food.

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                              Cafe Maude
                              5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

                        3. Manny's, Oceanaire, Origami, Meritage, 112 Eatery

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

                          Meritage
                          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                          1. 1. Piccolo
                            2. 112 Eatery
                            3. Bar La Grassa
                            4. Restaurant Alma
                            5. Grand Cafe
                            It's all about the food, service and ambiance.

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                            Restaurant Alma
                            528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

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

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

                            1. 1. Heidi's - if they're still serving the lobster/truffle pappardelle pasta, it's incredible. I could eat this every day.
                              2. Saffron
                              3. Bar la Grassa
                              4. Meritage
                              5. Cosmos

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                              Meritage
                              410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                              1. All the places I've seen posted so far are great, I would add Lurcat in Loring park, and Osteria I Nonni in Lilydale. Both are great.

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                                I Nonni
                                981 sibley memorial hwy, Lilydale, MN 55118