Romancing the Twin Cities: Our picks for a perfect date night

A look into the dining room of one of the Twin Cities' most romantic restaurants, Vincent.

A look into the dining room of one of the Twin Cities' most romantic restaurants, Vincent.

Earlier this year, in a poll done by USA Today, St. Paul was named the most romantic city in America. Now, USA Today has extended that accolade a bit by including St. Paul's sister on the other side of the river, Minneapolis, in a recent round-up of weekend trips for romance. 

The article pours out its top Twin Cities picks for romantic excursions, and they've definitely picked some doozies, but we have a few more we'd like to add.

See also:
Best Restaurant for Romance 2013 - The Kenwood
Best Restaurant for a First Date 2013 - Kings Wine Bar

The article's nominations for hot spots include Meritage, W.A. Frost, 112 Eatery, Cave Vin, Saffron, Christos, Sea Salt Eatery, and for the ultra special occasion, La Belle Vie

While Meritage and W.A. Frost are indeed excellent choices for a romantic evening in St. Paul, we also might suggest looking into downtown St. Paul's Heartland for night of wining, dining, and swooning. Helmed by Chef Lenny Russo, a three-time nominee for the James Beard Award, Heartland's food is legendary and the dining room is stunning, so after a few truly elegant courses (and a bottle of wine), your evening of romance while be running on high. 

Another St. Paul spot sure to make your partner's heart flutter is the Strip Club Meat & Fish, and not only because you get to make the joke about bringing that special someone to the Strip Club (actually, maybe don't make that joke). The food and cocktails here coupled with the lush red and brick decor are enough to make your heart sing amore.

Jumping over to the Minneapolis side of the river, Vincent is another must for a heartfelt adventure out on the town. Top shelf food and wine is the standard here, and its location downtown makes it perfect for an evening spent in the bright lights of a big city. But if something quieter is more your speed, we'd also recommend South Minneapolis' Cafe Levain. It's rustic, approachable, and Chef Adam Vickerman's food is often described as one of Minneapolis' best kept little secrets, so it's also a chance to impress your date by proving you're in the know.

We can't argue with USA Today including La Belle Vie on its list, but would add that instead of waiting for a really special occasion to splurge, you should consider hitting up La Belle Vie's lounge for a night out that's equally as romantic at a fraction of the cost. For a spontaneous Friday night date night, the lounge is an excellent option.

Truly, it is hard to beat out Sea Salt Eatery for a great place to have an afternoon date. With Minnehaha Falls nearby, it just doesn't get any more impressive for a romantic luncheon. However, the Twin Cities boasts plenty of other water-side eateries, many of which can be a little less crowded if Sea Salt is in high season. Bread & Pickle on Lake Harriet and Tin Fish on Lake Calhoun are both good for romantic day dates, but we especially love Lake Nokomis' Sandcastle at dusk. It's perfect for a meal followed by a walk along the beach, and since Sandcastle's offerings will soon include soft serve, you can add an ice cream cone to that scenic post-prandial promenade.

So what do you think? Where are your top romantic spots in the Twin Cities for a special excursion out with that special someone? Leave your hot tips in the comments section below.

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