Received the following an email from a friend. Any ideas?
"I have someone retiring who likes foodie places. Could you give me an east metro place to buy a gift certificate for her."
Do you mean St. Paul? East of downtown St. Paul? The East Side of St. Paul? Or Oakdale / farther out?
In general, there isn't a lot that direction, thus the need for more specific location.
Personally, I think a foodie is willing to travel, but as it's for a retirement gift, maybe they aren't terribly mobile?
If it is not strictly necessary that the "foodie place" be a restaurant, the Golden Fig would be an awesome choice. Some other solid options are Ngon, Meritage, and Heartland.
I would stray toward what Kristin is suggesting. Once you get east of St. Paul, things get more than a little spotty. I'd stick with one of the downtown spots.
On the East Side, I'd recommend:
The Strip Club - Forget the dumb name, good steaks and interesting small plates
Ward 6 - Fun neighborhood bistro with surprisingly good food. Not anything too fancy, just good solid neighborhood fare.
Once you get out in the Eastern suburbs, things get dicey. But those are two good choices on the eastern side of Saint Paul for someone who enjoys a good meal.
Have to echo a lot of what has already been said. There aren't a lot, or really any, 'foodie' destinations in the east metro beyond downtown St. Paul. Many of those previously mentioned are good choices though, all are in or near downtown St. Paul. I'd recommend Meritage or Strip Club, but Ngon, Heartland and W.A. Frost are all safe choices as well.
I'd consider Acqua in White Bear Lake. We've been there several times and had good experience each time.
I'll echo others and recommend The Strip Club, W.A. Frost, and Meritage. Brasa is also excellent.
My first recommendation to anyone talking east metro dining is always Phil's Tara Hideaway in Stillwater. Their meat is amazing (top notch steaks and pork chops), great specials and just a cool atmosphere. If your friend is claustrophobic it may not be the best option as the seating is tight.