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Need Dinner Recommendation

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I figured if I stayed generic, I'd get lots of responses!

Info: I know the restaurants I love and hate - I moved from St Paul to Mora, MN (yes...I know) and therefore, have missed my city restaurants. ...ever...soo...much...

Meeting with my best friend on 1/20 (Fri) for dinner and staying overnight away from the hubs and baby. Having a few cocktails too.

Price: I'd say $50/piece including a few glasses of wine before tax and tip. However, her and I managed to spend over $100 at Blackbird Cafe for LUNCH (so perhaps we had a few too many glasses of wine).

What I don't want: Asian/Sushi, Steak place, French

What I do want: a good CH restaurant where I can have a nice convo with my best friend that doesn't require me to feel like I'm 20 again (think: Chino) but isn't divey (I like dives, but I don't want one for this occasion).

Location is open but preferably Minneapolis or St Paul.

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  1. bar la grassa? can be loud esp on weekend prime times.

    sapor.
    in season.

    sorry if i am pushing the price point, a few glasses of wine can mean a wide range of price variables. i'll keep thinking, too

    2 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      SK - Thanks! I've heard good things about Bar La Grassa....perhaps.
      Not pushing price point - just picked one to start with. Who knows. We weren't anticipating $100 at Blackbird for lunch...so...sometimes you just keep talking (and apparently drinking) :)
      Typically for wine - we'd probably just split a bottle - nothing crazy. Maybe $40-$50. By glass, typically no more than $10/glass.

      1. re: snoboardbabe77

        Some of my favorite affordable choices:

        -First Course in South Minneapolis
        -Tapas/Small Plates at The Sample Room in NE
        -The Pot Roast or anything else at The Modern Cafe in NE
        -Pub Favorites (Fish Chips/Sheps Pie) at Anchor Bar in NE
        -Eli's Fine Food and Cocktails on Hennepin Downtown
        -Cafe Biaggio (Italian) on University/280
        -The Brass Rail in Grandy for Broasted Chicken...Ok, just kidding, but it's worth the drive
        -The Loring Pasta Bar for dinner/Kitty Kat Klub for drinks in Dinkytown

        There's a decent list to start. All have pretty good food at what I consider to be fair and reasonable prices. I left off Cafe Vin since you nixed French. Let us know where you decide to go.

    2. Grand Cafe
      I've never been able to actually reserve a table at In Season and I'd love to since I've heard such great things about it.
      Heidis, but you'll easily get to $100, probably more.
      I also like Broders, which gets mixed reviews on this board, but it's always good to me.
      And Cafe Ena, which can sometimes miss.
      One of my favs is Cave Vin but it's french, as noted earlier.

      4 Replies
      1. re: meljohns

        MelJohns - I have been to Grand Cafe - however, it's been awhile. Both times were when Jon Radle was still chef. IThe first time I went there was when a girlfriend won a silent auction and it included a tasting menu and wine. If you scrounge around, you'll find my post. I believe it said: Grand Cafe, get there..get there now. It was seriously one of the most memorable meals I have had (and that includes dining in other states). It was just amazing. The second time was for wine and dessert - nevertheless, it was an overall pleasant experience. Don't know how the restaurant has done since but if you're not able to get a reservation in season (I think mine was in the mo of Oct?), it means it is still doing something right! When you can, eat there and let me know how it is... :) Hmm...second nod to Cave Vin..I may need to re-think French....

        1. re: snoboardbabe77

          meljohns was referring to getting a reservation at the restaurant In Season; not getting an in-season reservation at Grand Cafe.

          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            Ah..In Season...this restaurant I've never heard of?

            1. re: snoboardbabe77

              This one.

              -----
              In Season
              5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

      2. One place fits the description Victory 44

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: ibew292

          Won't it be too loud there? My experiences on Friday nights (admittedly not recent) were fairly loud.

          1. re: bob s

            I've never had to yell to be heard. The dining room is fairly small. If one sits in the bar area it is even quieter. I also haven't been there on Friday night for a while.

        2. Minneapolis: 112 Eatery, Red Stag, Cafe Ena
          St. Paul: Joan's in the Park, Luci Ancora, The Lexington

          1. Brasa, The Modern. Birchwood has half price wine nights on Mon and Tues.

            3 Replies
            1. re: stepawayfromthetable

              Brasa can be a pain to eat at in the winter when you're trying to enjoy a nice dinner with friends because of the small size and garage doors. The drafts from the opening doors manages to hit all of the dining room.

              1. re: Petey McNichols

                That may apply more to the Minneapolis location than the St. Paul one.

                1. re: KTFoley

                  Never been to the St Paul location. The Minneapolis location can be a little bit of a pain in the winter.

            2. Travail - 4154 W Broadway, Robbinsdale (763)535-1131
              Heidi's - 2903 Lyndale Ave S (612)354-3512
              Sample Room - 2124 Marshall St NE (612)789-0333
              Bachelor Farmer - 50 N 2nd Ave (612)206-3920
              Tilia - 2726 W 43rd St (612)354-2806

              1 Reply
              1. re: Petey McNichols

                I love Travail, but it's very loud in there.

              2. We've missed you!

                I've only been for breakfast, but what about Cafe Caribe in St. Paul (in the spot that was formerly Jay's Cafe and Chet's before that)...

                http://www.caribemn.com/Caribe_Caribb...

                Affordable, different, very calm quiet setting. They have wine. I like their mofongo (though, I'm not an expert in any way...).

                ~TDQ