Welcome To My Restaurant Review & Guide To

Downtown Saint Paul & The Surrounding Areas.

Please Note! This guide was created from about 1998 to 2000 - it is NO longer maintained, as I moved from St. Paul in 2000.  The data remains, but I would certainly not judge an establishment based on a review of 4 plus years ago...







  • The Saint Paul Hotel
  •     Guide to the Ratings:

    *****     Absolutely Fabulous - A BEST Bet

    ****       Fabulous - A Great Choice

    ***         Somewhat Fabulous - You'll Be Satisfied

    **           Not So Fabulous -
                        You Can Find a Better Option

    *             Absolutely NOT Fabulous - Don't Go There


    This guide was created between 1997 and 2000, at which time my partner and I resided in St. Paul.

    Restaurants are listed alphabetically:

    A to D E to L M to R S to Z

    Searching for a specific restaurant?  Just use your browser "Find" feature!

    Please note: The reviews are based on our PERSONAL experiences having visited or patronized the particular establishment. In most cases, we were or are regular customers. The views expressed here are solely those of the writers and we claim no responsibility for the listings provided. 

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    Downtown Saint Paul (And Surrounding Areas)

    An Absolute Favorite:
    Forepaugh's - "The Best in the Twin Cities"

    The Finest - Our 5 Star Selections:
    Carbone's West St. Paul, Cherokee Steak House in West St. Paul, Forepaugh's, Mancini's on West 7th, The St. Paul Gril

    Great Options - Our 4 Star Selections:
    Babani's Kurdish Restaurant, Beirut Middle Eastern Restaurant, Carbone's West St. Paul, Christo's at Union Depot, Cosetta's Italian Market, Day By Day Cafe, Dixie's on Grand, Fabulous Fern's on Selby, Khan's Mongolian Barbecue, LeAnn Chin's at Union Depot, Moscow on the Hill, Olive Garden, Patrick McGovern's Pub, Sawatdee, Snuffy's, Trattoria Da Vinci, Woolley's, Yarusso Brothers on Payne Avenue

    "Al Baker's Bar & Grill" 3 1/2 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 3/2000

    3434 Washington Drive, Near Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan, About 15 Minutes south of Downtown

    Review: The very first place I dined in the Twin Cities! During a visit in March 1994 while considering a transfer to the Residence Inn by Marriott, I was treated to dinner at this local institution. No longer working in Eagan, Brent and I have visited Al Baker's on occasion over the past two years. Although generally very good, our last visit was sour grapes.  A letter to management turned a bad situation good.  We will visit again in the future. The new look is nice, but expect an increase from the "classic prices" to a more "TGIF" pricing style.

    A much improved experience on our last visit!

    Smoking Section & Cocktails

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    "Awada's on Plato" 3 stars

    Date of Last Visit: 12/99

    199 East Plato Avenue, one block east of Robert Street, Minutes from Downtown

    Review: Tucked away in this somewhat industrial area sits a very nice bar and grill. The most successful venture in this tough market, Awada's offers a nice selection. The bar features cheap drinks and free food at Happy Hour, though the crowd is quite local from the industrial sites nearby. The separate restaurant is relaxed and features good food at reasonable prices. Service is down to earth. The crowd is very mixed with several older diners who appear to be "regulars".  Nothing too spectacular.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Babani's Kurdish Restaurant" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 8/2000

    544 St. Peter Street (Between 10th & 11th), Downtown Saint Paul

    The countries first and Saint Paul's only Kurdish restaurant! Middle Eastern cuisine served very authentic. A delicious and different choice for lunch or dinner.   Open 7 days a week.

    NO Smoking Section, Cocktails


    "The Back Street Grill" 3 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 6/2000

    On Robert Street South, Just over the bridge from Downtown

    A favorite lunch spot, the service is good and the price reasonable. Nothing too spectacular. Open only for breakfast and lunch, except one day of the week they are open late.  GREAT MALTS!

    Smoking Section, NO Cocktails


    "Beirut Middle Eastern Restaurant" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 3/2000

    1385 South Robert Street, About 5 to 10 outside of Downtown Saint Paul

    Another popular lunch spot for us, the menu is unique and authentic. Lunch prices are very reasonable and I believe the dinner menu is similar. Service is prompt, polite and knowledgeable of the menu. We've never been disappointed.  Brent & Sue love the garlic sauce!!!

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    "Boca Chica" 3 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 7/2000

    11 Concord Street, Minutes from Downtown 651-222-8499

    Review: A popular Mexican restaurant on the outskirts of Downtown in the Historical Hispanic Neighborhood. We have dined for lunch and dinner and been satisfied in both cases.  A quality choice, but nothing to write home about, service is often slow.


    "Carbone's West Saint Paul" 5 Stars (New Higher Rating, Was 4 Stars)

    Date of Last Visit: 10/2000

    South Robert Street at Wentworth, West Saint Paul, Minutes from Downtown 651-457-8383


    Casual Italian fare including pizza and lots of favorites.  A favorite (busy) lunch spot, service is always with a smile and the food consistent, consistent, consistent!  The best lunch special in town.  The best alternative to the "chain pizza places" (except they don't deliver, but it's worth the drive).   Locally owned and operated.

    Smoking Section, Wine & Beer


    "Carbone's East Side" 3 Stars

    680 7th Street East, Saint Paul, About 1 Block East of Metro State University 651-771-5553

    Although we have only ordered carry-out on occasion, the quality was consistent with our favorite lunch location in West St. Paul. Probably the best pizza and certainly the best Pizza Sandwich on the East Side!


    "Carbone's Roseville" 0 Stars

    Date of Last (& Only Visit): 12/96

    This is the location in ROSEVILLE on County Road B - don't waste your time! The service is awful and rude!


    "Carousel" 3 stars (New Improved Rating - Was 2 Stars)

    Date of Last Visit: 12/99

    Located on the Rooftop of The Radisson Hotel, 11 East Kellogg Blvd., Downtown

    Review: I took my folks there during their visit many years ago. The food was good and the service was OK. The atmosphere was drab, but the rooftop setting exciting. Unfortunately, only the inner section revolves giving the guest a 360 degree view of the city. The outer section (which is/was the smoking section) does not move. We would like to visit again to see if things have improved.

    In December 1999, we visited again, this time with a visiting business associate who was staying the Radisson.  We stopped in on a very quiet Monday night.  Again, we were in the outer (non-revolving) section - the view was still fabulous!  Pretty city lined streets, though only an occasional car or person.  We all agreed the food was excellent (a good 4, maybe 5 stars).  But the service continues to plague this establishment.  The server was coherent, at best.  In comparison to other fine-dining establishments, the Carousel will never achieve the level of quality found at other 5-star restaurants if they do not address their service failures.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "The Cherokee Steak House (Casper's)" 5 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 10/2000

    There are two locations, the original near the High Bridge (Highway 13 & Smith Avenue) in Saint Paul, and a second location in the suburbs of Eagan. I have been to both but our review is based on the location in Saint Paul.

    651-457-2729 (Saint Paul)


    Review: Another great alternative to the "chain steak houses". Excellent food, great service and we love the historic pictures on display in the Saint Paul location. In June 1998, we took our families there for Brunch - it was their first meeting! Challenging enough. The food and service were great! On our recent visit, Brent enjoyed the Prime Rib and I enjoyed the Land & Sea combo. Both were excellent. Be sure to take a few moments and look at the pictures adorning the walls, where else can you see the signatures of "The Professor" from Gilligan's Island and "Wilma" of the Flintstones?

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Christo's" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 8/99

    Located in the Historic Union Depot Building, 4th & Sibley, Downtown Saint Paul

    Review: An original Greek restaurant offering a wide variety of special entree's. Reasonably priced fare with full bar. This open-air restaurant sits in the center of the historic Union Depot building. Be sure to try the special cheese appetizer flamed at your table! We have dined here for lunch and dinner - during the weekday lunch hour, they feature a nice and reasonably priced lunch buffet.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Cosetta Italian Market" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 1/99

    Located on West 7th Street near "Seven Corners", walking distance from the RiverCentre.


    Review: A wonderful Italian Market & Restaurant. Served cafeteria style, only better, visitors make their way through the service line selecting from Hot & Cold sandwiches, salads and great Hot Entrees, and Pizza of course. Plenty of room for dining on the second floor. If you're in the mood to eat-in at home, then Cosetta's is the answer again! Aisles of fresh Italian food can be purchased so you can create your own masterpiece at home.

    NO Smoking Section, Wine & Beer


    "Costello's Bar & Grill" 3 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 10/99

    393 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul's Cathedral Neighborhood; 651-291-1015

    A local institution features a wide variety of sandwiches and full entrée's in a casual atmosphere. Service staff is limited but QUICK and friendly!  Locally owned and operated.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Day By Day Café" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 9/2000

    West 7th Street, Saint Paul 651-227-0654


    A wonderful café for breakfast or brunch. The best coffee too (ask for Dunn Brothers)! Try their private, somewhat shaded outdoor patio in the Summer.  Very original, service is good, the food is great.  BREAKFAST always served!

    Our last few visits have been somewhat disappointing.  Higher prices, lower service and for all you smokers, they went non-smoking too!

    NO Smoking as of February 2000!
    No Alcohol

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    "Dixie's On Grand" 4 stars

    Date of Last Visit: 3/2000

    695 Grand Avenue in Saint Paul 651-222-7345

    Review:  The food is excellent and the service very good.  Our only exception to this was when we had reservations on New Years Eve (1996) and upon arrival, waited much too long.  There were 5 in our party and we were TWICE seated at tables for 4.  We finally demanded a larger table and were seated accordingly. Unfortunately, this turned into a first and last visit for some in our party.  On non-holiday events, service has been better.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Ember's America" 3 1/2 Stars

    1200 East Highway 36, Maplewood, Minutes North of Saint Paul's East Side near Highway's 61 and 36.

    When it comes to basic food done cheap, no one beats THIS Ember's location for price, value, consistency and service! Breakfast featured 24 hours a day - and great coffee too! This location was a favorite for visits with our dear friends Robin & Teresa who recently moved to (near) Hartford, CT. You have to have the Coffee Cake - Yum!

    Smoking Section, No Alcohol


    "Fabulous Fern's" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 10/2000

    400 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul's Cathedral Neighborhood; 651-225-9414

    A good standing neighbor in the beautiful Cathedral area of Saint Paul, just minutes from Downtown. Fern's features a full menu ranging from fresh salads to unique sandwiches and fabulous entrée's! Great wine list and dessert menu completes the bill. For a quieter dining experience, be sure to request the main restaurant and not the busy bar area. Outdoor dining is seasonal. Reasonably priced for their location.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Forepaugh's" 5 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 10/2000

    276 South Exchange Street, Saint Paul

    Review: Five star dining at its finest. The staff is attentive, the food spectacular. We went on my birthday. When our server heard there was a birthday at the table, being prepared, she pulled a candle and lighter out her pocket and placed one on my dessert!  That's service!

    On a recent visit (1/99), there were a few marks in their great record: 1) Although smoking was offered and available at time of reservation, upon being seated we were told that smoking would only be permitted until 7:30pm at which point the room we were already in (and smoking) would become non-smoking. Granted, this still gave us 90 minutes of smoking time, though the entire evening lasted 3 hours; 2) The bartender had his sleeves rolled up and looked rather "sloppy"; 3) Our server, while friendly, was too attentive and much too chatty for this dining venue.

    Our most recent visit (7/00) was again excellent restoring our faith in this long-standing established restaurant in St. Paul.  We again recommend without hesitation!

    Smoking Section (See Notes in Review) & Cocktails


    "The Green Mill" 1 star

    Date of Last Visit: 1997

    Off Highway 94, near Century Avenue and the Country Inn Hotel, 10 minutes East of Saint Paul

    Review: Our food and service was POOR on our last visit. Our server abandoned us (going off shift) and her replacement never appeared. The lettuce on my salad was brown and wilted. The manager said "they are all that way". Why do restaurants seat people with servers who are going off shift in 30 minutes? Hello?


    "The Hearthrob Café" 3 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 7/2000

    Sadly, after nearly 15 years, they closed late Summer 2000.  Rumor has it they were shut down by the new owners of the World Trade Center.

    World Trade Center at 7th & Wabasha in Downtown Saint Paul
    (651) 224-2783


    Review: Unique! The only place we know of in the Twin Cities where your servers wear roller skates! Tasty burgers & sandwiches and delicious fountain treats await you. Stick to the main menu selections. Be sure to check out the vintage posters and photo's throughout the restaurant while you listen to the tunes from the 50's and 60's. Birthday? The Hearthrob Café is a must for birthday celebrations. Expect a diverse crowd from the families with kids, young adults, couple's on first dates and some older folks too! Fun for everyone. Be sure to visit on your trip to the Minnesota Children's Museum which is across the street.

    NO Smoking, Wine & Beer


    "Keys Robert Street Café" 3 stars

    Date of Last Visit: 1/2000

    Robert Street, Downtown, between 9th & 10th, Across from Pedro's Luggage, Not Open for Dinner
    (651) 222-4083

    Review: We stopped going when they rudely and abruptly stopped offering a smoking section. While I don't smoke (Brent does), I respect the rights of smokers as I do non-smokers. The Keys collection of restaurants all discontinued smoking areas, a bad move for a place that thrives on an older clientele who enjoy morning coffee, breakfast, the paper and a cigarette! Even with smoking, the food was plentiful and good, but a bit overpriced for the market.

    Now that Brent successfully quit smoking, we gave keys another try while visiting an Antique Show downtown.  Nothing much has changed, though they feature a newer menu, with higher prices and lower quality coffee.  Service remains very good.

    NO Smoking, No Alcohol


    "Khan's Mongolian Barbecue" 4 stars

    Date of Last Visit: 12/98

    County Road C at Snelling Avenue, Roseville

    Review: A unique dining experience. We visited with several friends recently on a busy Saturday, yet service was ample and quick. Choose your selections from the "raw" buffet, then have it cooked to order with as little or as much spice as you can take. Pile on as much as you can, or visit the buffet multiple times. There is also a location along Highway 94 in Bloomington.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails

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    "Leann Chin" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 7/99

    Located in the Historic Union Depot Building, 4th & Sibley, Downtown Saint Paul

    Review: We have dined here several times, almost always on weekends when they feature the all-u-can-eat buffet for around $13.00 The food is prepared well, probably the best Chinese buffet in the area. The dining room is formal, though the dress is casual. A really unique way to enjoy your Leann Chin dinner! Buffet style only - but a nice one!

    I think they have a smoking section; Wine & Beer


    "The Little Oven" 3 stars (New Lowered Rating - Was 4 Stars)

    Date of Last Visit: 6/2000

    1786 Minnehaha Avenue East at White Bear Avenue, East Side of Saint Paul, about 10 minutes from Downtown

    Review: A small, successful family owned business. You'll wait for a table on Monday night, but the food and service are worth the wait. Sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salads and steaks - all done right! Excellent Value. Parking is limited, but off-street parking is nearby is this mostly residential area. We have yet to get there for breakfast, but we hear it's wonderful too! On our recent visit over Valentine's Day weekend, we enjoyed a fabulous meal with terrific service - Brent enjoyed the "all-u-can-eat" Prime Rib, for only $12.95!   And it was as good a cut of meat as any steakhouse!

    Update: On a recent visit, service was not the quality we have come to expect. We were served water in a very chipped glass. When we pointed it out to our server, she said "Oh."

    We have since returned for lunch. They were out of cocktail sauce for my shrimp platter. The server was very apologetic and gave me a "free lunch".  This is the service we have come to expect from the Little Oven and helps them to regain their standing.

    Recent visits continue to show a decline in service.  We have been very disappointed with their lack of "service".

    Smoking Section, Wine & Beer


    "Mancini's Char House" 5 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 6/98

    531 West 7th Street, Minutes from Downtown 651-224-7345


    Review: An institution in Saint Paul. Featuring steaks and more steaks, always done to perfection. Don't expect to pay those inflated "chain" prices. Reasonable prices, great service in a classic atmosphere. My parents visited from New Jersey in 1994. Four years later on their second visit, my Dad insisted we return again!

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


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    "Magnolia's Restaurant" 3 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: Summer, 1999

    1081 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul's East Side, 651-774-3333

    Nestled on Payne Avenue within walking distance of several antique shops, Magnolia's offers your basic American fare done well at a reasonable price. While they don't have the following of Yarusso's or The Little Oven, a good choice among the many East Side restaurants. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.


    "Maria's Restaurant" 3 stars

    Date of Last Visit: Spring, 1998

    Located at 1248 Arcade Street, 2 blocks south of Maryland Avenue on the East Side of St. Paul.

    Review: A good choice for breakfast. Prices are exceptionally reasonable! Service is good. The food is plentiful and good. They usually have a good crowd on weekend mornings.


    "Mickey's Diner" 3 Stars

    4th & St. Peter Streets, Downtown Saint Paul, 651-222-5633

    No trip to Downtown Saint Paul is complete without a visit to Mickey's (even if you just have coffee or a malt). By no means a choice for dinner on the town (try Café Da Vinci or Christo's), Mickey's is in institution in St. Paul. Saved from destruction by the Historical Society (now listed on the National Register of Historic Places), Mickey's continues to offer basic American fare in a greasy atmosphere 24 hours a day! The dining car was originally built in Paramus NJ around 1929 and moved to Minnesota several years later.


    "Moscow on the Hill" 4 stars

    Date of Last Visit: Valentine's Day, 1998

    371 Selby Avenue, minutes from Downtown, near the Cathedral

    Review: A Russian-European restaurant in the beautiful Selby neighborhood. Excellent Service and authentic food.


    "Ol Mexico" 3 Stars

    Larpentur & Lexington Avenues, Saint Paul, 10 minutes outside of the city 651-487-2847

    Review: A great alternative to the "chain" Mexican restaurants! Service is decent. The food is plentiful!

    Smoking Section & Cocktails!


    "Olive Garden" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 9/2000

    Maplewood Mall Area on Beam Avenue, About 10 minutes North of Saint Paul

    Review: Yes, this too is a chain, however.....This location is excellent, the food, the service, the atmosphere! We have always been very pleased. Overall, a better choice then Ciatti's which we feel is overpriced and not any better then the Olive Garden.  Consistently great service and food!  But VERY busy all the time - expect to wait for a table.   We don't feel a 45 minute wait is worth it for any chain restaurant.

    Our last visit (7/00) was extremely disappointing (email for details).  A call to Olive Garden Customer Service (in Florida) somewhat corrected the matter.  An apology note and gift certificate was mailed.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Pannekeoken" 2 Stars (New Lowered Rating! Was 3 Stars)

    Date of Last Visit: 1/2000

    Located north of Maplewood Mall at 1845 East County Road D, About 10 minutes North of Saint Paul 651-779-7844

    Review: The only surviving Pannekeoken in the Twin Cities! This location opened (we believe under new management) after the chain closed it doors several years ago. Still featuring the famous Pannekeoken on a very large menu featuring Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. A little pricey and they haven't done too well yelling "Pannekeoken" on our visits. Very clean, service is fair. On our last visit, service was still mediocre, or worse. They still look like an establishment trying to get their act together. We dined with a friend, one of our meals had a hair in it. When pointed out to the manager, she promptly apologized and removed that item from the bill. On our most recent visit, service was better, but the days of yelling "Pannekeoken" are no more.

    No Smoking, No Alcohol


    "Patrick McGovern's Pub" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 7/2000

    225 West 7th Street, Just Minutes in Walking Distance to Downtown, Close to RiverCentre

    A well-established pub and restaurant near Historic Seven Corners in a turn-of-the-century building. McGovern's features a delicious (and economical) lunch menu.   Be sure to try one of their delicious salads.  Service can be somewhat slow, so if you're in a hurry at lunch, make another selection! 

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Perkins" 1 1/2 stars (Was 3)

    Date of Last Visit: Lunch, 8/99

    1365 South Robert Street in West Saint Paul, Minutes from Downtown 651-457-1331

    Review: If you need a fix for fast sit-down low-price food, then this is the only Perkins we suggest! Service is remarkably quick and pleasant.  The food is consistent.

    Update: On our last lunch visit, seated in full view on the kitchen prep area, I watched as my server (and other servers as well), reached into a large container of pre-tossed salad - with bare hands! I immediately notified the manager who sincerely apologized and insisted this was unacceptable. Needless to say, I passed on the salad. We watched as servers continued to do this - even after speaking with the manager. We haven't been back since.

    Smoking Section, No Alcohol (It's Perkins darling)


    "Red Lobster" 3 1/2 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 8/2000

    Robert Street, West Saint Paul, Minutes from Downtown 651-552-0700

    Review: Yes, it is a chain restaurant, but we have always found the service at this location very good. When we pick Red Lobster, we pick this one!  The same can not be said for the Maplewood location.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "The Saint Paul Grill" 5 stars

    Date of Last Visit: Summer, 1995

    Located in the Saint Paul Hotel on Rice Park across from the Ordway Theatre, Downtown

    Review: Another five-star dining option that does it right. Great for a fine dinner before a show at the Ordway, though you will need reservations well in advance. Valet Parking.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "The Savoy" 3 stars

    Date of Last Visit: Summer, 2000

    East 7th Street at the Entrance to Highway 52, Walking distance to downtown

    Review: A long-established pizza restaurant justs on the outskirts of downtown. A crowded busy dining room with full bar. Take-out available (which we suggest). On our last visit, service was poor.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Sawatdee" 4 stars

    Date of Last Visit:   2/2000

    289 East 5th Street, Lowertown section of Downtown across from the St. Paul Farmers Market.

    Review: Thai cuisine done well. Your server will help you customize your menu needs from authentic and "hot" to "extremely mild".  Excellent service, great food in a historic building!

    Update: On a recent visit earlier in 2000, the menu had been redesigned, but not for the better.  Long-time favorites were gone and the choice was more limited.   A very disappointing experience.


    "Snuffy's" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 10/2000

    Larpentur & Lexington Avenues, Saint Paul, 10 minutes outside of the city


    Review: The best burger and malt shop in town! Expect a short wait on weekends at dinner time. Try their "soon-to-be-famous" Chili (though it's honestly not that famous) and it's somewhat pricey.  Be sure to share a shake or malt or get one for yourself!

    Smoking Section, No Alcohol


    "Sunset's" 3 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 10/2000

    Located in the other Retail Metropolis, Woodbury, across from Tamarack Village, 15 minutes from Downtown. 651-735-1997

    Review: They get 4 stars for the Food and 2 stars for the service. We have dined here several times, often gathering with friends from the area. On every occasion, service has been average at best. While the servers are usually friendly, they are generally slow (short-staffed?) or otherwise "not with it". Either you get 2 drinks, or none at all. Refill on coffee??? The check is usually left without notice and before a dessert is offered. If you can overlook this mediocre service, then try "Sherry's Chicken Salad", it's worth the hassle. You'll find lots of TV's in the large bar area with plenty of sports. But this establishment does not look like a sports bar and grill by any means. They also have a location in Minnetonka, but we have yet to dine there.

    Update!  Service was almost 5 star on our last visit in January 2000.  It was a quiet Sunday late afternoon, so that may have been the reason.

    Smoking Section in Bar Area Only, Cocktails


    "Trattoria Da Vinci" 4 Stars
    (Formerly Café Da Vinci)

    Date of Last Visit: 1/2000

    400 Sibley Street (At Sibley & Sixth), across from Mears Park, Downtown Saint Paul

    Review: A warm Italian restaurant with a nice menu selection.  Portions are very nice, prices reasonable. The ambiance is romantic!  A nice choice for an evening out with friends or that special someone!  Free downtown parking in the adjacent lot.  After dinner, enjoy a stroll through lovely Mears Park just outside their door.

    Smoking Section, Wine & Beer


    "W.A. Frost" 2 stars

    Date of Last Visit: 10/99

    Selby Avenue just Minutes from the Cathedral of Saint Paul & Downtown


    Review: In a wonderful historic neighborhood minutes from the Cathedral and although the structure is an institution in the Twin Cities, experiences over the last year by ourselves and several friends have been very disappointing. We dined there for my birthday in 1999, but had not been there for about 2 years, mostly because of negative reviews by our friends. We learned first hand why our friends were disappointed. We dined on a Sunday evening. Although the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant (less the dead fly and fruit fly at our wine), the service was below average and the food was only average. For whatever reason, our server found herself hard pressed to speak with us about anything, but neighboring tables received menu tips for both food and wine. The food was simple, nothing extraordinary and by no means equivalent in value to the price paid. With so many fine dining choices in the Twin Cities, we see no reason to return to W.A. Frost. If you're looking for a special evening out, try Forepaugh's, Café Da Vinci, The St. Paul Grill, or even Woolley's in the Embassy Suites.

    Smoking Section (Only in the bar) & Cocktails


    "Woolley's" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 9/99

    Located in the Embassy Suites Hotel, 10th & Jackson, Downtown Saint Paul
    (651) 224-5111


    Review: Tucked away in the hotel you'll find a nice restaurant and lounge. Wooley's is worth this trip. Nice fare and reasonable prices. The restaurant regularly participates in "Dining Out for Life", a metro area program that raises awareness of and financial support for AIDS through the Aliveness Project. We visited with some friends during their participation in 1999's Dining Out For Life campaign and were again very pleased. Unfortunately, they have discontinued their table side desserts, although they still appeared on the menu during our visit. The server checked with her manager who insisted they would find a way to serve "Banana's Foster" to our group. They did and it was wonderful. Rumor has it they will be dropping their more formal approach to dining for a more casual atmosphere - as of September, the menu had not changed. Parking is free in the hotel's parking lot.

    Smoking Section & Cocktails


    "Yarusso Brothers" 4 Stars

    Date of Last Visit: 7/2000

    637 Payne Avenue, About 1/2 North of East 7th Street, East Side, Saint Paul


    Review: A charming cozy family restaurant in service for decades! We first discovered the restaurant on the invitation of a friend for dinner. I believe there were 12 or 14 of us. Service was local, friendly and personal! We've already been back a second time for lunch. Inexpensive delicious food and great coffee! And be certain to read the restaurant's history on the menu!

    Smoking Section & Cocktails







    Last Updated, March 2004
    ©2004 Christopher Clay

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