I am trying to find a restaurant in the southern suburbs for a meet-up and am having no luck. A former co-worker lives in Faribault and she's going to meet me for dinner, so I want to pick somewhere that won't require her to drive all the way into the Cities. I am thinking Lakeville/Apple Valley/Burnsville/Eagan. I'm hoping to do better than Applebees.
Great question--and not an easy one as the south metro comes up shorter on good dining options than it should. I'm afraid your friend is probably going to have to cross the river.
Your best bet for something city chic would be D'Amico's new-ish Parma 8200.The menu is mostly Italian classics like veal-stuffed cannelloni with a few items that break from tradition such as sockeye salmon with preserved lemons--whatever you choose, be sure not to miss the sauteed asparagus with hazelnuts and burrata.
If Parma seems a little spendy, you might consider Purple Sandpiper, with a few caveats. The food was *very* uneven when I reviewed it, but I've heard their new chef has made major improvements. If you stick with something simple, you'd be just fine--the Sandpiper's burger is great and the craft beer list is the best in its area.
Bloomington's famed Da Afghan, is sadly closed and Wally's roast beef sandwiches are tasty but probably too casual, but Cantonese food at Mandarin Kitchen or Szechuan at Grand Szechuan would both be great inexpensive choices.
Oh, and one more option to consider: go a little further east to Hoban in Eagan. Your friend probably has a tough time finding Korean food in Faribault.