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LauraB's Profile

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Restaurant for 3 30-somethings

I very much enjoyed my latest meal at Borough. It was a good combination of innovative and comforting. Borough makes good cocktails themselves and is linked to Parlour Bar located on the lower level which makes delicious cocktails.

I also like Bar La Grassa (could very easily be preceded or followed by cocktails at Parlour Bar or Marvel Bar - downstairs from Bachelor Farmer - as they are all within a few blocks).

A suggestion not on your list is Brasserie Zentral. I have been there a couple times and have been quite impressed with the food and drinks.

Eat Street Social and Icehouse are good for drinks, but the food is not on the same level as the places above in my opinion. (I really like brunch at Icehouse, dinner has been pretty good at Icehouse but not amazing, and Eat Street Social is mixed where some things are good and other things just feel like they could be so much better with a few changes.)

Sep 12, 2014
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Parents 50th anniversary

The first place that came to mind was Brasserie Zentral. I have been twice since they opened and was very impressed both times. It feels both classical and yet unique at the same time. The pasta (spaghetti and speck) and the gnocchi (with lambs neck ragu) were especially delicious. I agree that La Belle Vie also would be an excellent choice.

A few days in Minneapolis area - did my CH homework

One other idea: The Bachelor Farmer does a nice Sunday brunch - no reservations, but it seems to work fine to get a table easily if you arrive near the time when they open at 10am. It is not "old" Minnesota, but is based off of Nordic/northern European cuisine. Last time I was there I had a dish that involved pork shoulder pastrami and caraway hollandaise that was delicious and seems like the sort of thing you might be after.

Happy Hour places with relaxing ambience and a plethora of low carb foods

Lucia's Wine Bar has a nice vibe (especially if it is nice and you can grab a seat on the patio). Their wine bar menu currently has some things that should work - spiced nuts, olives, charcuterie and they do have some happy hour specials.

May 15, 2014
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Host/Hostess gift

Another idea would be something from the 45th Parallel Distillery based in New Richmond, WI. I think both the Border bourbon and the New Richmond Rye are tasty. I also second the High West recommendation.

Apr 08, 2014
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A few days in MSP, looking for some suggestions

One more thought - I just noticed below that you had the La Belle Vie menu without meat. If you are trying to avoid meat, Saffron is a better choice than Piccolo as they tend to have meat in many of their dishes (although I have never tried to ask about modifications...).

Mar 02, 2014
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A few days in MSP, looking for some suggestions

I think Piccolo would work for a small group (4, maybe 6) for business as long as the group members are a bit adventurous in their tastes. It is also one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities, but not really very well suited for less adventurous diners. If you do go, I very much enjoyed the salsify soup and the N'djua agnolotti on a recent visit.

Of your other options below, I think Saffron would work well for a business dinner if you wanted a slightly "safer" option.

Mar 02, 2014
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Anything Open on New Year's Day?

A few places I saw announcing they were open tomorrow on Twitter:

Pizzeria Lola
World Street Kitchen
Brasa

Dec 31, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

List of places open the evening of 24th, or sometime on the 25th?

I saw a current list on eater that might be helpful.

http://minneapolis.eater.com/archives...

Dec 13, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Thai Curry Paste

I like the pastes that comes either in a can (Maesri) or a tub (Mae Ploy) from any one of the many Asian markets in town. I think these both have better flavor than the Thai Kitchen paste which is more like a compressed powder. In a pinch, the Thai Kitchen is okay, but having used both back to back recently I would suggest that the trip to an Asian market is worth it.

Oct 24, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A week in downtown Minneapolis--where do I eat?

Some of them are a more lesiurely walk than others, but if you are okay with walking 20-25 minutes then yes, I think everything above would be "walking distance".

For solo dining, the pasta bar at Bar La Grassa is great and you get to watch an amazing efficient kitchen operating (no reservations, but solo diners usually have a pretty easy time snagging a seat). You could easily eat there for <$50 even with a beverage or two.

The bar at La Belle Vie would be another good spot that I would be happy to eat at by myself. If you get the lounge tasting, it would be probably a bit over your original budget.

I also second the Black Sheep rec above. Another place I would add would be Saffron.

Oct 08, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Small (tiny) wedding dinner in Downtown Mpls

Saffron might be a good option - a little less formal than Alma, but still has a "special occasion" feel. I think the food is delicious and they have many vegetarian options.

Oct 01, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Chef's Table?

We had an excellent meal at the kitchen table at Corner Table in May of this year (12 courses + wine for $125/person). I think they can seat up to 6. The food was delicious and I appreciated the chance to talk to the chefs and learn a few new cool tricks.

Sep 16, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2013 State Fair

I also went when it was hot so I must disclose that the heat may be influencing my selection of favorite items this year as they both involved a freezer. :-) The two things I liked best were the mini-donut ice cream from Hamline/Izzy's and the Minneapple fried pies (both apple and pumpkin - we got one of each as a group and split them) with cinnamon ice cream.

Aug 28, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Seeking advice for the best of Minneapolis

Sounds like a good mix to me. I hope you have a fabulous trip. I would recommend the suggested tasting menu options at Alma and Piccolo (or at Piccolo put together your own tasting menu of the same number of dishes that sound the best if two from one menu section sound more amazing than from another section). I think trying more than just two or three courses is part of what I love about both Alma and Piccolo. At Butcher and the Boar, my favorite things that I have tried are the cured meats/sausages and the grilled oysters.

Aug 27, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Wine bars

Not 100% sure about the "get a seat on a Friday night" as it would depend on what time you were going (when I was there at 6 a few weeks ago on a Friday a seat would have been easy, but might have been trickier when we left around 7:30), but I think the bar at Meritage would work quite well for good wine + good food.

I always like the bar at La Belle Vie as well.

Aug 21, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

anniversary dinner

I second all TDQ's suggestions (although Bar La Grassa is a little more "dinner with friends" than "anniversary" to me). If the main dining room at La Belle Vie looks too expensive, they also have a lounge that is a gorgeous space (and has its own smaller, less expensive tasting menu). Meritage is definitely further, but probably actually would not take much longer to get there at dinner time since most of the drive would be on the freeway. I love the wine list at Meritage.

Since you say you like Middle Eastern, I would recommend you add Saffron to your list of possibilities. I have been very impressed with the food the last few times I have been there. One other idea would be Al Vento in South Minneapolis. It is a cute little space and I think their pastas are very good.

Aug 04, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Breakfast and Lunch on S. Hennepin Ave.

One more thought...apparently The Lowry has breakfast burritos... I have not had breakfast at the Lowry, but in general, I think they are very solid for a neighborhood restaurant/bar sort of place.

Jul 17, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Breakfast and Lunch on S. Hennepin Ave.

I like the World Street Kitchen idea. A little further up Hennepin (on 31st just off of Hennepin) is Lucia's To-Go which I think has excellent "lunch food".

Vegan Options in Minneapolis

I have not asked about vegan at Saffron, but they are very good for vegetarians (and a decent fraction of the veggie dishes do not obviously contain animal products). I would certainly recommend calling before going, but that might be one option.

Another idea would be Barbette - there current menu looks like it would have at least a few vegan options.

Jul 10, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Recommendation for Lunch and Dinner near the Downtown West Area of Minneapolis

I like a lot of the suggestions above (especially Butcher and the Boar and Saffron). A couple I would add that are a little further, but still either a nice weather walk (~1.5 miles) or a not too bad cab ride are Bar La Grassa (they have a pasta bar that is perfect for solo dining - you get to watch the kitchen and the pastas come in small and large so even as a single person you could try a couple), Black Sheep Pizza and Borough.

Jun 09, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner in the Loop During Twins Games

I would say 7:30 would better. I spent a number of years in Boston going to restaurants right near Fenway park about 30 minutes after the ballgame started and it was the best time to go there. I think getting in, etc would be about the same (although I have not been to Bar La Grassa specifically in this situation), but in general, I think it is better to arrive at restaurants just after the craziness is over rather than as all of the craziness is leaving. It makes for a more peaceful and enjoyable experience for me.

May 13, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis Itinerary Advice

Just as a heads up - the Capitol building itself is likely to be very busy on Monday. Of course, if you went on Monday you could witness the Senate voting on an important issue which in my opion would make it totally worth the crowds.

Izzy's is my favorite ice cream scoop shop in the Twin Cities so I definitely recommend that. :-)

May 09, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis Itinerary Advice

Sounds like a delicious list to me. :-) I love Piccolo!

At the ballpark, my favorite thing is the Kramarczuk's sausages. Also, depending on where you are sitting, the Town Ball Tavern is a good place to get beer. Only a $1 more for local Summit Saga IPA than for a generic light beer. (There are few other locations that also have better beer, but I do not know where they are off the top of my head and I have been near the Town Ball Tavern the last few times.)

May 09, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner for group of 8-10

Saffron? Delicious and I remember them having a number of larger tables the last time I was there.

The reserved table at Brasa is also nice. I like that it is more of a round table (but not so huge that you cannot talk to people).

May 01, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis-St. Paul Dish of the Month May 2013 -- Voting

Papaya salad

Apr 28, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Friday Lunch

One idea would be Meritage in St. Paul (more on your way to Hudson...). I have not been for lunch, but really enjoy dinner and brunch there.

Apr 18, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Downtown Eats for Saturday night

I really enjoyed my meal at Borough a few months ago (and my cocktails/munchies at the Parlour bar downstairs a few weeks ago). It is a place where you could spend a little or a lot depending on what you order. We did shared a number of small/medium plates and it was fun to try a bunch of dishes among our group of 4.

Saffron is another good choice for the downtown vicinity (not new, but quite delicious the last time I was there and is reasonably priced for the quality).

Apr 15, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Local Beer of the Month April 2013 (Tie): Surly Furious vs. Steel toe size 7

I had Steel Toe Size 7 at the Republic the other night. I liked it a lot and thought the hop bitterness came across as refreshing rather than unpleasantly bitter. Of the local hoppy beers I have had recently, I think it was my second favorite. The Lift Bridge Hop Dish still holds first place. It had a ton of flavor, but still managed to come across as crisp rather than overwhelming.

Apr 14, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis-St. Paul Dish of the Month April 2012: Hot dogs/Sausages.

A few I like that I did not see mentioned above:

Lamb sausages from the Wedge
Bulk Italian sausage from Seward
Jalapeno Corn Dogs in the beer garden at Butcher and the Boar

Apr 14, 2013
LauraB in Minneapolis-St. Paul