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NY gal needs help making December weekend dining decisions

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Solo gal coming to MSP area for just Fri-Sunday, no dining restrictions or price point. Comfortable eating at the bar or a table. Looking for interesting local food thats well crafted and tasty! Have done some research but didnt find a recent thread for a weekend plan. I m thinking Ill be able to do friday dinner, then cocktails/late night snack, Saturday b'fast/brunch, then dinner and maybe drinks/late night snack again (!) and Sunday brunch. So far I am considering Haute Dish, Travail, Butcher & Boar, Bachelor Farmer, Hells kitchen (brunch). Would love recommendations for brunch/lunch spots and need help picking when to go where and any recommended dishes. i know its sort of an annoying topic but any help would be welcomed, thanks :))

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  1. I've long been an advocate of Hells Kitchen, but we've had so much development on the brunch front in St. Paul, you may want to have a peek at this thread. Are you focusing exclusively on Minneapolis (rather than St. Paul) and will you have a car?

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8776...

    Here's another thread with some standouts in it. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8319...

    And some discussion about brunch at the bar at Haute Dish that might interest you. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8760...

    When I think of late night snack, I still think of 112 Eatery, but maybe that's passe. I've not been as active on the high end dining scene these past couple of years.

    ~TDQ

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      Yes will have a car! thanks for the help :)

    2. If you don't mind getting out of downtown for lunch I would recommend World Street Kitchen which just opened at 28th and Lyndale. International street food done well by the man behind Saffron which also would be worth checking out for dinner, downtown in the north loop.

      From WSK I can recommend the MFC (Moroccan Fried Chicken) biscuit sandwich, Korean beef lettuce wraps and the chaat appetizer. WSK is one of those order at a counter take a number to a table places but the food I have had so far has blown all the competition away.

      1. Where are you staying and will you have a car? That could make a difference in my recommendations.

        1. You must go to Alma. I travel to MSP just to eat there. Ask for a table downstairs.

          Was recently at 112 on the later side on a Saturday. Our res was at 8:30 and when we left around 10 it was still going strong.

          If I had to choose between Bachelor, Haute, and Hell for brunch I would put them in that order of importance for me based upon the past year. Unless H'sK has recently become awesome.

          Envying your weekend : )

          1 Reply
          1. re: holdthecow

            RE: HK, the food's still good, but HK in its new location has kind of turned into a HK-themed amusement park, with a bar, the added on bakery (which looks pretty fantastic actually, even though I've not been able to stop in and buy anything) and vastly expanded space. And even though this is HK's "new" space, it's already starting to look worn.

            HK still makes everything from scratch as it always has., but it has a lot of competition now from newer restaurants that aren't crazy, overgrown amusement parks and are doing things from scratch and using sustainable sourcing etc. Don't get me wrong--I still enjoy HK: the caramel rolls, the bison bread, the PB (which some people think is too sweet but that I adore), the free range eggs, the lemon-ricotta hotcakes, the wild rice porridge, etc. but there are so many more options on the breakfast front these days.

            ~TDQ

          2. For brunch (if you're willing to leave downtown) I would consider trying Tilia. The place can be packed for dinner, but if you get there on the earlier side for brunch, you should be able to get in without too much trouble, and it's some great food. I love the eggs in parmesan cream. It's also a lovely spot for lunch. It's in Linden Hills, which is within about 4-5 miles of downtown, but it can be a little tricky to find.

            1. The lounge for La Belle Vie really fits your Friday night idea. Same food as in the restaurant, nice cocktails, without all the pomp and circumstance.

              Travail is perfect for a single diner okay sitting at a bar. Get there before 5pm Saturday and wait for them to open if you're not prepared to wait a good while (although being a single might not be that bad). Another option in the same area, and similarly themed, is Victory 44.

              I like Blackbird Cafe's brunch a lot. High quality ingredients, not too much fuss.

              Haute Dish received Best Brunch honors from a local pub, and looks awesome, although I have not been yet.

              If you seek more adventure, try heading to St. Paul and finding a Hmong restaurant, or even the Hmong Village. The Hmong Village has various food stalls under one roof.

              Speaking of things under one roof, The Midtown Global Market could be a foodie stop for you as well. Many cuisines to choose from. I like the Left Handed Cook.

              I also hear raves about Saffron, though I haven't made that trip yet either.

              Bachelor Farmer is known for making toast. Make of that what you will. I have long believed they are the benefactors of much free PR as they come from a wealthy, connected family. I have not been, nor do I plan to.

              Heartland is completely overrated (and overpriced), and not even that "local" (I know they source some produce from the coasts).

              1. Bachelor Farmer for Sunday brunch. I am working my way through the menu and haven't found a miss yet.

                Thanks for the toast rec, A-I. I'll keep that in mind for the next visit.

                1. Here are my recommendations for DT and the nearby area. I know you have a car, but you probably don't want to be straying TOO far from your hotel.

                  Dinner (I'd recommend reservations to all of these):

                  -Alma is probably my favorite as well. They have some bar seating, which is perfectly fine.
                  -Saffron also has bar seating, though I'm not sure if they serve the whole menu from the bar. They also have some outstanding cocktails. If you don't get in, 112 is right across the street.
                  -I haven't been to B&B, but it seems to get mixed reviews around here. I'm going to try to make it in the next few weeks.

                  Brunch:

                  -Haute Dish is my favorite in Minneapolis. They have a HUGE bar and plenty of table seating as well.
                  -If you feel like a little driving, The Strip Club in St. Paul is my favorite brunch spot in either town. Great cocktails too, should you need an eye opener ;-)

                  Drinks/Late night:

                  -Bradstreet Crafthouse
                  -Eat Street Social
                  -La Belle Vie Lounge (only open until 11pm)
                  -Marvel Bar (Bachelor Farmer)

                  All outstanding choices.

                  I'd also put a nod in for Tilia, but try to go during off hours. The food is great, but they only serve beer (~20 taps) and wine, for what that's worth.

                  Enjoy your trip and be sure to tell us all about it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BigE

                    Thanks for all the great tips!!