Recommend me a place to take my wife for a good anniversary dinner in the Twin Cities! I don't have a ton of money, so I would like to keep it under $100.
What say you?
I love Alma too (that's where we had our 2nd in March), but it can be tough to get out of there for under $100 if you plan on drinking wine or beer. They don't have a full bar there either. If you both get the tasting menu, you are at $100 right there alone.
I guess it depends on what you like to eat. Here are some of my restaurant value plays that serve good food and can lean toward romantic:
Steak: Erte in NE Minneapolis
Italian Non-Red Sauce: Cafe Biaggio
French: Cafe Vin
American: The Loring Pasta Bar w/drinks at The Kitty Kat Klub afterwards
Modern American: Haute Dish has a $35 dollar three course menu of a salad, lobster Mac and Cheese, and Tater Tot hot dish.
It's your anniversary so the food will never matter as much as the company on that day. I hope you have a good one.
re: Db Cooper
Totally agree about Alma.
I was going to recommend Ngon Bistro, too.
If you can go on Sunday, Cafe Levain's Sunday Suppers or Meritage's recession Sundays if they are still doing them...
Scusi in St. Paul isn't in the same caliber as the above, but it's in the old Heartland space and a very nice dining environment and affordable, pretty good food.
re: The Dairy Queen
One request if I may. Please come back after and let us know where you ended up going with a brief report. So many other anniversary threads don't end up with that information from the OP and it is frustrating. A lot of us here have to plan these meals every year and it is always nice to know what places do it right and which ones don't.
I appreciate it.
re: Db Cooper
My wife wanted Italian, so on the recommendation of a very good friend, I am going to Andiamo in Eagan. If I am to believe what I'm being told, apparently this place is one of the best kept secrets in the Twin Cities. We shall see... :)
I will be sure to report back tomorrow!
re: Db Cooper
OK, so Andiamo was quite good. How would I describe it? In a nutshell, I would say that it's a superior version of the Olive Garden. Very similar atmosphere, but FAR better food.
Would I recommend it for a romantic dinner for 2? For a "normal" night out, for sure. But I wouldn't say that it's ideal for a special occasion like an anniversary. And that's OK. That is not what Andiamo is going for. It is a down-to-earth family-friendly Italian joint. And that's a good thing.
The Cioppino and the Chicken Andiamo (what we ordered)were LEGIT. I would go so far as to say that the Cioppino is probably the best Italian dish I've ever had for under $20 (it was $19). Seriously delicious stuff right there.
I will end by saying that I have found my new go-to for Italian food. This place is definitely a gem, and I would recommend it for anybody. I can't wait to go back and sample more of their menu.
Without any sense of location or preference, there is a infinite universe. So, three places that have a more "romantic" feel.
Our go to spot is Grand Cafe. You could get out for $100 if you order well, but easy to go over that. I love the feel of the place (better after dark.)
Another odd little intimate space is 128 Cafe on Cleveland across from St. Thomas. Yes, it is a basement, but I find it a nice place to connect with my dining companion.
And, Al Vento is another favorite, but can generate quite an array of opinions on this board.
My go to is W. A. Frost - should be able to stay under $100. If you haven't been, the patio is one of the best in the Twin Cities.
I've always liked The Barbary Fig on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. It may not be the gastronomic pinnacle that Alma or Meritage are, but the place is attractive, the patio is a fun place to dine (when it's not 93 degrees out), it's fairly quiet and not crowded, and apps and dinner for two and wine should come in well under $100.
I like the Al Vento recommendation. If you are seated before 6:00, beer, wine, and nearly all cocktails are half price. Every night. That will stretch your honeybee a bit.
Also, Luci Ancora has some good prix fixe deals. Al Vento will be moderately loud. Luci Ancora much quieter.