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Jan 9, 2013 04:14 PM

Need a place to eat Friday night after work with friends....can you make some suggestions?

Two of us work in downtown St. Paul, one in downtown Mps., so a location somewhat in between would be great. We are looking for good food, good drinks, and a place that is quiet enough that we can talk. (Re the drinks: We could live with wine and beer only, but a place that serves cocktails would be awesome.)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. That's a tough one. There really isn't anything that fits your criteria that is "somewhat in between" the two downtowns. You might want to try Muffuletta on Como. It is not cutting edge or anything, but the menu is Chef-driven and it has a wonderful dining room that is perfect for conversation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeff55432

      Hey Jeff and Slightly Grey,
      Thanks for your suggestions. This is a bit of a tough one, isn't it? Muffuletta was actually on our list, but I don't think they have cocktails. However, we may go there anyway because except for that, it sounds ideal.
      SG---Interesting to get your take on Twisted Fork. We live fairly close and have eaten there a few time. I find the menu items very uneven; some are great and some are dreadful. I have had some lovely wine there though.
      Thanks again.

    2. Salut on the St. Paul side - kind of in between, or Twisted Fork a bit more down Grand, although I wasn't impressed with the new items on the menu.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Slightly Grey

        I'll second Salut, even though it'll be a bit far for the Minneapolis folk.

      2. What about Craftsman on E. Lake? I haven't been in a long time, so can't comment on recent quality, but otherwise it meets your criteria.

        6 Replies
        1. re: dsg

          +1 on Craftsman. They do a good job with their cocktails.

            1. re: shoo bee doo

              +3 on Craftsman. Great food. I don't think there's anything in between downtown STP and MPLS thast comes near Craftsman in quality.

              Salut is mediocre at best. Anything on Grand is mediocre at best (other than Brasa).

              Ngon and Frost are hardly between the two downtowns (did you read the OP's request?).

              Another option is South MPLS - easy to get to from both STP and MPLS. In that case, Al Vento would be a great choice. While not technically "in between", Al Vento is easy to get to from both downtowns, and is a quality resto.

              1. re: shoo bee doo

                Happy Gnome and Cheeky Monkey while technically are between STP and MPLS, are both a 15 minute walk from downtown STP, and a 25 minute drive from MPLS. I don't think that's what the OP had in mind by "in between".

                1. re: foreverhungry

                  Considering the OP works in SP and seems to post on this board fairly regularly, I think she is capable of determining what she has in mind by "in between" and probably would appreciate more suggestions rather than fewer.

                  While I think Craftsman does meet that criteria (and has had good food in the past - haven't been there lately), I don't think your suggestion of Al Vento is much "in between" either. The fact of the matter is that there ISN'T much "in between" and you're pretty much resigned to having to pick a place that's significantly closer for one or the other. So let's not get too nitpicky here, ok?

                  1. re: Seige

                    A big pile of what Seige said. I even touched on the 2 vs. 1 in my suggestions.

                    Al Vento is 25 minutes in ideal traffic from DT St. Paul. About the same as Victory 44.

          1. Ngon Bistro. Beer / wine only, but a nice menu and not overly noisy. WA Frost is a bit fancy, but the bar and it's downstairs Lounge are quite cozy. Otherwise one of the zillion ethnic restaurants on University.

            I'd rather get pizza at Green Mill than go to Twisted Fork.

            Where does everyone live. I think that might be more important than where you work for logistics. But generally, the odd man out gets to drive farther.

            1. How about the Happy Gnome? Great atmosphere and great beer. They have cocktails (though I have no idea of their quality, because, beer). Food is good. A little more toward downtown SP but still definitely one of my go-to spots.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 3Bros

                Big shock - Seige comes out of the woodwork for a Happy Gnome post. :) But they do have pretty good cocktails and decent wine and beer and of course, I like the burgers. Only slight downfall is that it can be a bit noisy depending on who else is in the dining room. Bar would definitely be too noisy.

                Another option is Cheeky Monkey. Limited beer and wine, no cocktails and more bistro cuisine, but good food and quiet and cozy for conversation.