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Need Dinner Recommendation

snoboardbabe77 Jan 5, 2012 10:49 AM

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.

  1. The Dairy Queen Jan 11, 2012 09:33 AM

    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)...


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


    1. p
      Petey McNichols Jan 8, 2012 03:17 PM

      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
        semanticantics Jan 11, 2012 07:11 AM

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

      2. s
        stepawayfromthetable Jan 8, 2012 01:49 PM

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

        3 Replies
        1. re: stepawayfromthetable
          Petey McNichols Jan 8, 2012 03:22 PM

          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
            KTFoley Jan 8, 2012 03:40 PM

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

            1. re: KTFoley
              Petey McNichols Jan 10, 2012 11:40 PM

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

        2. b
          Brad Ballinger Jan 5, 2012 03:24 PM

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

          1. ibew292 Jan 5, 2012 03:10 PM

            One place fits the description Victory 44

            Victory 44
            2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

            2 Replies
            1. re: ibew292
              bob s Jan 7, 2012 02:00 PM

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

              1. re: bob s
                ibew292 Jan 7, 2012 03:14 PM

                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. m
              meljohns Jan 5, 2012 12:51 PM

              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
                snoboardbabe77 Jan 5, 2012 06:38 PM

                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
                  Brad Ballinger Jan 6, 2012 05:40 AM

                  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
                    snoboardbabe77 Jan 6, 2012 06:30 AM

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

                    1. re: snoboardbabe77
                      KTFoley Jan 6, 2012 07:51 AM

                      This one.

                      In Season
                      5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

              2. s
                soupkitten Jan 5, 2012 11:10 AM

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

                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
                  snoboardbabe77 Jan 5, 2012 11:19 AM

                  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
                    Db Cooper Jan 5, 2012 11:48 AM

                    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.

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