By Anna Berend

Sometimes the loud, crowded, dizzying, drunken New Year’s Eve scene doesn’t fit the bill. Sometimes just getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and spending time gazing into your honey’s eyes is just what the doctor ordered. If that’s the kind of party you’re looking for this New Year’s Eve check out these lovely dining options.

I picked these spots based on the food, the atmosphere and the low lighting. Most of these places are full of diners every night of the year, and New Year’s Eve will be no different. Several of these places are tiny and the seating cram-jammed in, but you’ll have eyes for only one and then it doesn’t matter what is going on around you, it will all fade away.

(credit: W.A. Frost website/

This classic establishment is warm with a fireplace, dark woods and heavy furniture. The food is top-notch and they’re sure to have a special menu for New Year’s Eve. The restaurant’s bar is completely separated from the restaurant and won’t disturb your intimate meal, but you could make an appearance around midnight if you wanted more company. Don’t forget to order the cheese plate!

(credit: Nicollet Island Inn website/

This beautiful old restaurant and inn will make you feel like you’re at home. That is, if your home has excellent servers waiting on you hand and foot and serving you delectable meals. The service is impeccable and there many secluded dining spots throughout multi-room dining space. They’re sure to have a fun menu for the evening.

(credit: Tilia website/

The phenomenal food is the centerpiece of Tilia, but the real feat is how they can fit all those people into such a tiny space every night and no one notices that how very close they are to their neighbors. I think it’s the amazing food, the flawless service, the interesting and very affordable list of wines and the lick-your-plate-good food. Oh wait; did I mention the food already? Well, it’s all true. And I think it would be a fabulous place to dine on New Year’s Eve because you’re surrounded by throngs of strangers and you can feel the energy of the place and hear the constant hum of conversation and laughter, but you’re only tuned in to your only one.

(credit: Barbette website/

There’s something about Barbette that oozes romance. Perhaps it’s the rose lighting that makes everyone glow with youth and beauty or perhaps it’s large pieces of art hanging on the wall or the Bohemian feel of the design, but whatever it is, just go with it and enjoy the most delicious food. If you meal ends before midnight, then you could walk up the street to the intersection of Lake and Hennepin and surely find a party at crash, if that strikes your fancy.

(credit: First Course Bistro website/

Tucked into a quiet strip mall on a quiet street in a quiet neighborhood, First Course runs a quiet, but amazingly delicious business. The menu is well-balanced with seasonal flavors and tried and true signature dishes. It’s close quarters inside, but the well-designed space never feels too crowded. If you want a tasty, intimate dinner with your sweetie and you’re looking to avoid a loud countdown to midnight, this is your place.

Anna Berend is an attorney and the author of Motherly Law Blog. On Motherly Law, Anna writes about legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources that pertain to those legal topics. On occasion, inspiration strikes and Anna writes about something totally unrelated to the law.You can find Anna at, on Facebook at Motherly Law and on Twitter @MotherlyLaw.

  1. felcus says:

    FYI, Travail is not open for New Years Eve.