For a truly festive evening, invite your guests to join you for dinner in picturesque St. Paul. Stroll through Rice Park and admire the skaters twirling on the ice, then make your way to Pazzaluna. Overlooking the main dining area, the private Mural Room, which seats up to 50 guests, is made cozy by the signature painted wall and velvet drapery. Indulge your guests with a many-splendored Italian meal including pizza from the wood-fired oven, butter and sage potato dumplings, scaloppini, and other house specialties. After dessert, order a round of grappa and toast to an abbondante (abundant) new year.
360 St. Peter St. N, St. Paul, 651-223-7000, pazzaluna.com
Cooper Pub & Restaurant
On a chilly December day, there’s nothing like a classic Irish pub to warm the cockles of your clients’ hearts. Cooper—the name means “whiskey-barrel maker,” but also references the former Cooper Theater—offers two cozy spaces for private parties. The Cutting Room, located right inside the bar, seats up to 35 people, and the Screening Room seats up to 40. Welcome your guests with a round of “big gingers,” made with Cooper founder Kieran Folliard’s own 2 Gingers Irish whiskey and ginger ale, followed by an Irish-style feast of fish and chips, curried chicken, and other specialties.
1607 Park Place Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-698-2000, cooperpub.com
For a fun flashback, invite your guests to the new Figlio. An Uptown landmark from 1984 to 2009, the newly reborn Figlio is now located in the Shops at West End. Longtime Figlio fans will be pleased to find the same extensive and beloved menu (carpaccio, tortellini, and pollo mattone), plus some new surprises from chef J. P. Samuelson, and a frisson of the original vibe in a stylish new space. Book the private Milano room, which seats up to 24 guests, or the Torino room, which seats up to 48, or combine the two spaces for a big holiday bash.
5331 W 16th St., Shops at West End, St. Louis Park, 952-345-2400, figlio.com
Jimmy’s Food & Cocktails
Under the watchful eye of owner Mike Jennings, the fundamental things apply, even as time goes by. Invite your guests to join you in the cozy Fireside room, which seats up to 34 guests, or the Cellar Room, which seats up to 18. Beautifully decorated for the holidays, both rooms are lovely settings for a classic meal of Jimmy’s wicked barbecue shrimp, prime rib, walleye stuffed with crab and shrimp, and mashed potatoes made with Hope butter, accompanied by a glass or two of Silver Oak cabernet.
11000 Red Circle Dr., Minnetonka, 952-224-5858, jimmysfoodandcocktails.com
Blvd. Kitchen & Bar
Like a scene from It’s Complicated
, Blvd.’s Soho-loft-meets-Hamptons-farmhouse interiors provide a perfect backdrop for a stylish holiday party. Mingle with the powerful and beautiful at the bar, then retreat to the private room, which seats up to 45 guests. Illuminated by the glow of the outdoor fire pit visible through the French doors, guests will enjoy a Barefoot Contessa–style meal of haute comfort food including lobster mac and cheese, crab cakes, pork tenderloin, red velvet cake, and lemon bread pudding.
11544 W Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka, 763-398-3201, blvdkitchen.com