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Date night within 15-20 minute drive of Como Park

My husband and I have two kids, and no family in the area, so we don't get out by ourselves very often. However, we have someone to watch the kids on Saturday, Feb 16. Since it's Valentine's weekend, I want to go ahead and make reservations somewhere.

I'd like to find somewhere...
*within a 15-20 minute drive (we live close to the State Fair Grounds)
*not completely booked for V-day weekend (we'll be eating around 5:30, so hopefully that will help)
*not a chain
*not a lot of kids
*reasonably priced ($15-$25/basic entrees)

The last place we went was Salut on Grand. We both enjoyed it, but would like to try someplace new.

Thanks!

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  1. I think Ngon Vietnamese Bistro (www.ngonbistro.com) would be a great choice. The menu has both a "traditional" (ie. Vietnamese) section as well as an Western/Asian fusion type menu. All dishes I have had have been excellent it is a great value for some seriously chow-worthy food.

    Very nice atmosphere and service too. Make sure you have the rabbit dumpling appetizer.

    1. +1 on Ngon. It was the first place that came to mind before I scrolled down and saw that Dale beat me to it. I will also echo that you'll like the atmosphere for date night. Better than the atmosphere at Salut.

      1. Meritage or the strip club would be nice. I think they both have a more polished service/space than ngon. You could pretty much get anywhere in 20 minutes, minus downtown minneapolis with the parking.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mitch cumstein

          Someone needs to explain the Strip Club to me. I don't get it. I had a mediocre, and really expensive meal there. Service was indifferent and the space not all that cozy. Why do you like it so much?

          1. re: rockyd

            For the OP, if they like Salut, I would say that Strip Club is in the vein of meat and potatoes, like Salut.

            I sit at the bar at the strip club, so service is right in front of me and I never write a place off after just 1 meal. but it does have higher priced stuff on the menu, but meat (especially pasture raised meat) costs what it costs.

        2. + 1 for Ngon, but also since you are going so early, lots of options in my mind.

          -Muffuletta (the only Parsole place I like)
          -Cafe Biaggio-on University (generally quiet on the weekend, at that time you might be alone.)
          -Craftsman (might be 25 minutes and little pricey, depends how you order-but I love the space and feel is quiet and adult)
          Also look at the places along Selby and Dale/Western (La Grolla, kind of sweet space, or Moscow on the Hill (never been.)

          5 Replies
          1. re: rockyd

            How is the craftsman pricey? Every dish but 1 is below $25.

            1. re: mitch cumstein

              Not to quibble, but per their latest online menu, 5 out of 9 entrees is 25 or higher. I guess the economy is on the mend! Yes, they do have also have "sandwich" items on the menu.

              1. re: dalewest

                jeezus. this is the most frugal market I have ever seen. quibble away for a f'ing dollar that you would save on the not having to pay valet, or park in a ramp. Count your blessings minneapolis, so many CHEAP restaurants for the quality of food you get. Craftsman serves high quality ingredients with a not enormous portion size...but responsible for the cost of the ingredient. Go to manny's for "fine dining" then if you want mediocre waxy meat and a few pounds of starch.

                1. re: mitch cumstein

                  Lighten up Mitch.

                  I live in the neighborhood and eat there at least three times a month. Its still a great value for excellent food. I was just pointing out for the readers' benefit that your numbers might be a little outdated.

                  Regards

                  1. re: dalewest

                    Sorry, Dale. I'm a little sensitive on the price thing, but thanks for clarifying the info for the op....

          2. As Mitch mentions, just about everywhere is within 15-20 minute drive. Are you specifically seeking "Date Night" promotions?