Life has a way of getting busy. I mean, that’s life, right? Well, sometimes you can get super busy for so long, that you forget to date your spouse. Sound familiar? We started racking our brains (and the brains of Google, if we’re being completely honest) looking for fun date ideas in the Twin Cities. We didn’t love many of the “fun date ideas in the Twin Cities,” that we found. So, we put together our own date night in St. Paul, Minnesota.
We had a craving for ramen, and decided to base our evening around the tasty Japanese noodles! So, we headed out for a ramen date night in St. Paul, or better said, “a Rah’mn date night in St. Paul.” Our style is not our own, but we want to share it with you. It always creates a fun memory and helps the night not go too fast. For evenings out on the town, we do them a bit in the Italian style.
Our good friend Giovanni told us, “you never take your espresso where you order your food, and you always get gelato from a shop that only sells gelato.” So, turns out…he’s totally on to something! Generally speaking, a café will sell you a better espresso than a restaurant. Dessert is more likely to have a flair for the dramatic at a shop specializing in desserts and treats. Brews will taste better if you are drinking them in a taproom, mere steps away from where they were brewed. So now, whenever we line up a date night, we go to one spot for one thing, the next spot for a main, and finish with dessert or a nightcap at a third location.
This series will show us as we make our way through the diverse subset of distinctly and solely Minnesotan eateries, venues, and taprooms. As Minnesotans, we like to see the local shops get paid. When you have as many talented locals as Minnesota does…it’s not hard to do!
First Stop: The Wine Thief & The Ale Jail
Not being entirely familiar with the area, we parked a block away from The Groveland Tap. They totally have their own parking, but we aren’t prophets, so we didn’t see that coming! This turned out to be a stroke of luck for us, as we pulled to a stop right by The Wine Thief & The Ale Jail.
If you support local merchants selling local products, this is your new corner store. From the outside, it blends in with the neighborhood. Think “Ma’ and Pa’ shop.” But, when you step inside the place really opens up to a nice aesthetic. The Wine Thief & The Ale Jail is a little treasure trove of sorts. Carrying trendy and underrated local brews, tasty spirits and fine domestic and international wines, there is something for every palette.
The Wine Thief & The Ale Jail boasts a vast collection of local brews and wine of fine quality. It’s worth mentioning that the owners only sell wine that they try themselves, and approve of. Based on the vendor they chose to conduct the wine tasting that evening, and the cordial chat we had with them, I trust them and their palette. We’ll certainly be back. There may not be a better way to add some spice to the front end of your date night: by trying something new in a friendly atmosphere!
With fresh deliveries made Wednesdays, free sampling of local brews on Thursdays from 5-7pm, and also free wine tastings and samplings of spirits on Fridays (4-7pm) and Saturdays (3-6pm)…the reasons to check out this local flavor house abound. The property is not expansive. But this only adds to the charm of The Wine Thief & The Ale Jail …you’re able to interact with people who care that you enjoy your purchase, not just that you purchase. This just in, it’s always fun to start out a date night with a free wine tasting. What’s more, having that free wine tasting showcase a lineup of wines you’ve never heard of, but need to hear about? Better. So, thanks for that The Wine Thief & The Ale Jail, hadn’t set out looking for you, but we’re glad to have made your acquaintance.
Second Stop: Groveland Tap
From there we continued on down the block to The Groveland Tap. They run a Minnesota Nice happy hour. Three. Dollar. Drafts. $3 drafts. Not $3 PBR’s. $3 local brews (Freehouse Brewery) on draft. The owners of The Groveland Tap also own Freehouse in the North Loop, so because they brew their own beer there, they are able to offer a lovely happy hour selection. A tasty happy hour selection, at a tastier price. Their IPA is certainly not the hoppiest concoction, but if you like pale ales in general, you’ll certainly enjoy theirs! And, with over 40 beers on tap, you’ll be able to find something to your liking.
The atmosphere is fun, and The Groveland Tap really plays like an English-style pub. From the lettering of the marquee, to the close quarters and laid-back vibe, it really takes you to another place. They offer a full menu of American pub fare…and a little insider tip: don’t sleep on the chorizo nachos. You’re welcome.
Third Stop: Rah’mn
Now, for dinner. We’ve been really curious about this new ramen joint that opened up in St. Paul this past year. If you haven’t been curious, get curious…about Rah’mn. The owner has a fresh and user-friendly take on the ramen experience! The layout of the store has great flow, and ordering your food is fast, easy, and inclusive. It may not be the absolute best ramen in the Twin Cities but it is the best ramen in the shortest amount of time! Start to finish, we had our bowl of ramen in our hands, in less than five minutes. We loved not having to wait for our food and we enjoyed how at ease and satisfied our tummies felt when we left.
I can safely say there are no two people who can’t eat exactly the style of ramen they want at Rah’mn. Wanting to ensure that all customers plate equally, there are noodles, broths, meats, meat substitutes and oils that accommodate for an incredibly diverse subset of food allergies and sensitivities. All who choose to eat at Rah’mn have first-class food options at an affordable price.
The ingredients are fresh and everything is made from scratch daily. They don’t have a freezer on site and none of their ingredients have spent any time in one. Don’t believe me? Just taste a bowl of this ramen! Not overly salted and built back up with fillers…we enjoyed the home cooked taste that we received in under 5 minutes! The broth is vibrant, and a bowl of hot soup really hits the spot on a cold Minnesota winter’s night.
Fourth Stop: Cold Front
But who are we kidding, we are Minnesotans. We’re not afraid of a little cold weather, so dessert at a local ice cream shop it is! Cold Front has been turning out sweet, chilled treats, sodas and hot espressos and teas for over three years now. We went with the Zanzibar Chocolate milkshake. Think dark chocolate with a creamy, smooth and rounded flavor. Now, set that to a 1950’s-style ice cream parlor, with a bright modern twist as your backdrop… Cold Front is a proper shop to finish a fun date night in St. Paul. And that’s true in the heat of the summer, or the middle of a “cold front.”
Now, it’s your turn for a date night in St. Paul!