Where can I impress a weekend guest?


So, I'm having a very special "friend" visit next weekend from San Francisco and I want to take him to some excellent eateries. Any suggestions on most romantic restaurants, good places for breakfast, best ethnic? Any suggestions on drinking, too? I'm picking him up at the airport late on Friday night and dropping him off Sunday afternoon.

Why not kick off the weekend with something a little swank? For Friday night, I'd suggest the La Belle Vie lounge--dinners can be pricey, but you can soak up the same ambiance while you tip back a knockout cocktail or two (I like the G&T with Earl Gray when the temps are high). See if you can reserve one of the corner booths and you'll be snug as a ball in a baseball mitt.

For dinner on Saturday, 112 Eatery or La Grassa would be great date spots--the former if you want a more intimate ambiance (especially the booths downstairs), the later if you want something with more energy. Barbette might just have the most romantic vibe in Uptown, especially the sidewalk seats under the twinkly strings of lights, if you want to head there for a drink or dessert afterward.

San Francisco probably has Minneapolis beat in almost every ethnic category--I've been to two amazing Burmese joints out there, whereas I couldn't even name one in the Twin Cities. The exception to that rule may be Vietnamese--between Minneapolis and St. Paul we might just have the upper hand. I like several spots on Eat Street, including Jasmine Deli and Quang.

For breakfast, I'd hit the new Patisserie 46--take that, Tartine! (Your order: ham and cheese croissant, chocolate croissant, a canelé, a Gibassier, and two cups of coffee.) But get there early or be prepared to wait. The lines on Saturdays and Sundays have been known to last as long as you wish your weekend would. Have a great time!

Have a question for City Pages food critic Rachel Hutton? Send it to [email protected]