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Jul 8, 2013 08:38 AM

Girls dinner out

I'm looking for a good place to go for a group of people for a friend's birthday. The place needs to inexpensive, sensitive to shellfish allergies, and preferrably serve alcohol. We were recently at Brasa with a group of people so we are looking for someplace different. The location can be MSP/STP area or south. (Most of us live near MOA) Any recommendations would be great!

Thank you!!!!!!!!

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  1. Inexpensive is relative. Here are a couple of my suggestions based on what I think is inexpensive for a birthday dinner with a small group of 4-6 people in mind.

    i would think most thai and vietanmese places are out due to the shellfish allergy. (Shrimp paste is in almost everything Thai.)

    I have had some nice group dinners at Scusi on St. Clair and it can be moderately priced depending on how you order. The salads and entrees are designed to be shared. Reservations are a must.

    I think the Barbary Fig would be fun, but the menu may be limited for unadventurous people. (wine and beer only.)

    Its Greek to Me on Lake and Lyndale might fit the bill. The food is OK, but my friends swear by the bartender. If you can get on the patio, it is really nice out there.

    If South is the preference, how about Indian (Surabi in Bloominton) or mexican(not a cusine I eat often so no suggestions for you.)

    1. Rincon 38 in Minneapolis would fit the bill. It is a tapas restaurant. Open late, good wine list, and the food is excellent. Portions are large, and prices very reasonable. Get a pitcher of sangria and a bunch of tapas. The sea bass especially is great.

      Also second Scusi and Barbary Fig in Saint Paul. Either would be fun.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Michael Florey

        Michael: I, too, like Rincon 38, but depending on the size of the group, there might not be room for all of them.

      2. I'd suggest First Course in South Minneapolis. It's intimate, but big enough to handle a group like yours. It has a wide variety of food options including tapas if you want to do the small plate thing. Most of the main meals are under $20 unless you want to splurge on the fancier stuff. They do serve alcohol.

        This restaurant never gets a ton of publicity from the mainstays, but it's been around for a long time and is one of the better neighborhood joints. It's close to the MOA so thought it might fit your needs.

        1. My fiancee and her freinds often go to Bar La Brassa for their girls night out dinners. Fun atmosphere, and they each get a small pasta dish, or sometimes 2 each, and share them. It's one of the best quality-for-the-price restaurants around.

          6 Replies
          1. re: foreverhungry

            The food at la Brassa is great.

            I think the noise is almost unbearable when it is busy and last time I went with a group, I could only talk to the person immediately next to me as I could not hear anyone else.

            1. re: rockyd

              I'm losing track -- are we talking about Brasa or Bar La Grassa?

              1. re: KTFoley

                I assume that's Bar La Grassa, as Brasa is where the OP went last time.

                BLG is excellent. It's not inexpensive (but not very expensive, either), and I agree with rockyd that it can be EXCEPTIONALLY loud.

                1. re: rockyd

                  Absolutely true. The menu at BLG is a gem. Interesting, well executed food at decent prices. But the noise is beyond silly. The space is naurally loud, and then they layer bad, loud music on top of the ambient noise. It should be a great restaurant, not a club.

                  1. re: Michael Florey

                    The only bad noise experience I've had at BLG is with my 80 year old parents on a Friday night. Yes, BLG can be noisy. It's no Piccolo or I Nonni as far as volume standards go. But it is what it is - right now a pretty hip place to go to for great food at decent prices. I'd put Masu in the same region, though louder. If you're with soft talkers or folks that want to kick back and relax, no, BLG isn't your place on a Friday or Saturday night. For the younger crowd more willing to put up with louder music, BLG is your place (other than Masu, should have thought of that as well, great birthday place for the more adventurous, very reasonable prices for what you get.)

              2. It's a little divey, but Pancho Villa can be fun for a group. Mexican food, full bar, and pretty cheap. I haven't been for a little while, but they used to have a deal where if you had a group of six, the birthday person got free margaritas. They're on 26th and Nicollet.