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Forepaugh's - 35 Reviews - 276 South Exchange Street, Saint Paul, MN - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (651) 224-5606


276 South Exchange Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-5606
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Forepaugh's - Saint Paul, MN
Forepaugh's - Saint Paul, MN


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If your looking for something special or need to entertain your best client look no further. Forepaugh's has got it all. Best food, service, and ambience you can find anywhere in...


Do not go to Forepaugh's if you hope to eat relatively quickly. We allotted 1 1/2 hours for our office's Christmas lunch. We ordered, then waited. And waited. And waited. Fin...

Dinner in Your Own Private Mansion 10/10/2010

My husband and I went here to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary on a Sunday night. It was still moderately busy with a wedding party and a couple other anniversary celebrations but service was excellent. I'm a little confused as to some of the recent reviews regarding the lack of service. We had an exceptional waitress that was very helpful and friendly but perhaps we didn't need to rely on her too heavily; we already knew exactly what we wanted. We ordered the samosas for an appetizer, my husband got the strip steak, and I got the 6 oz. filet. Everything was incredibly delicious, including the sides and sauces we ordered (I got the grown up mac and cheese, he got the fries). Service was considerably slower than your usual ""in and out"" restaurant but that was exactly what we wanted. We never felt rushed and no waitress was hovering over us to move us along to the next course. The room was cozy and intimate and there was only one other couple there for the majority of the time. It truly felt like we were getting a delicious and homemade dinner in our own private mansion. They offered us some sparkling juice and a free dessert (best chocolate cupcake on the planet!) for our anniversary and I was touched by the gesture. more

Best Place to take your Client 10/6/2010

If your looking for something special or need to entertain your best client look no further. Forepaugh's has got it all. Best food, service, and ambience you can find anywhere in the Twin Cities. Down the street from the Xcel Energy center it is a perfect meeting place for a quick appetizer before the event. more

Best of the Twin Cities 10/6/2010

If your looking for something special or need to entertain your best client look no further. Forepaugh's has got it all. Best food, service, and ambience you can find anywhere in the Twin Cities. Down the street from the Xcel Energy center it is a perfect meeting place for a quick appetizer before the event. more

So, so wrong! 5/5/2010

We'd been to Forepaugh's for the first time just after they'd acquired new management, but never returned. That usually means we didn't like it, but because we wanted to go somewhere near our downtown hotel for our anniversary, we decided to give it another try. Our first mistake. From the moment we walked in, the servers, bartender and host seemed flustered, yet it didn't look overly busy. Even so, you want to project an image of calm, don't you, even when (especially if?) Rome is burning? We were told our table would be ready in a few minutes and we could wait in the bar. I never say no to a drink, but what's the point of ordering a drink and then being ushered to your table before it arrives? There's no proper waiting area, not to mention a very unattractive sight right next to the host's desk of unwashed dishes and what I think is the dumbwaiter. Aside: who in the hell is drinking their Martinis on the freaking rocks? Please stop! Bartenders apparently need to be reminded every time I order one that I'd like it up. Our waitress was very sweet, but she looked like she was going to cry from the get go. I'd overheard her telling another table that the food was on its way. Our appetizer of ""foie gras carbonara"" was soupy and unimpressive and skimpy on the foie gras. My Wellington, and the food in general, seemed to be salty and underseasoned at the same time: not sure how you accomplish that. The worst was the icky side of sauteed cilantro, a veritable bed of it. Someone needs to sit the chef down and have a heart to heart. Not all of your amazing ideas are amazing. Stop the madness. Additionally, but sadly, not surprisingly, my husband's plate was missing the duck leg confit. He was already done with his meal before they could bring it out. I have to say that he is one of the slowest eaters on the planet. On the way out, the host asked how everything was. I said it was okay, and he inquired further. I told him that a duck leg was missing from the plate, and he said, yes, that they'd removed it from the bill. I had already thanked the waitress for that, and again thanked him. Then he made the fatal error of explaining why things had gone wrong: it was prom night, these kids had shown up late, etc., etc. Frankly, they all looked out of their league from the minute we walked in. Such a sad experience: it's such a lovely old house but the food and service is really sub par. When we go out, we really don't look for ""value,"" but in this case, the prices were not commensurate with the food at all. I really liked the description of if as Norma Desmond: faded and sad. I'm writing this with management and the chef in mind: take a look at your competitors (WA Frost, even the St. Paul Hotel Bar and Grill) and up your game. No one can rest on their laurels for long, especially in this economy. Pros: Pretty but fading Victorian house Cons: Service; Food; Price more

Far exceeded our hesitant expectations. 2/16/2009

We booked a Valentine's day reservation and were worried that the service would be extremely busy to provide us a good experience. Thankfully, that was not the case. We were very satisfied with the level of service we got, water was always full and the waitress had time to explain the menu and answer our questions, some of which were not menu related, but small talk. Pros: Ambience and attentive service Cons: lengthy stay, not all seating is as good as ours appeared to be more

Nice Renovation, Great Service and Ambience. Menu change displeasing, Less for More 2/16/2009

We were engaged at Forepaughs, Valentines Day 5 yrs ago & made it tradition to return every year since. We were unaware of the renovation until we got there. It turned out well, not taking away any charm of the house or atmoshpere. We arrived early & were very welcomed by the hostess who seemed to recognize us from previous years. We relaxed in the bar until our table was ready, we ordered & PAID for our drinks at the bar & were surprised at the $20 charge for a Tom Collins & Captain Coke. We had a 9:30 reservation and were seated timely. Our waitress Samantha was very friendly, attentive & informative. We were surpised at the menu change, not at all what we were used to and expected to order, we always ordered the stuffed chicken ""Meal"" which came w/ salad, potatoe & vegetable. We decided on Pan seared walleye which the waitress informed us was a bit spicy w/ a curry sauce. We decided to try it anyway. We found out it no longer included a salad. The menu is ala carte now. We decided to split a $8 blt wedge which was very good. Our walleye came in a huge plate with a very small fillet soaking in a sauce which had bits of veggies, more like soup. It took up only 1/4 of the plate, very small but probably a ""healthy"" size portion. We tasted more ginger in the sauce than curry & it had a very asian flavor to it. We did not like it at all. We took our walleye out and ate it seperate from the sauce. The waitress noticed & offered to get us something else but we said we were ok, it wasn't her fault. So for $27 each, we got a small palm sized walleye fillet which was cooked to perfection but not filling by any means. The waitress insisted on giving us free desserts (which were good) after informing Mgmt we were displeased. We got our bill & found we were charged AGAIN for the drinks we had downstairs. They gladly took those off. Food & Drink prices were much higher. We felt like we got LESS for more, we left hungry for $100 bill for two. Sadly not sure if we'll go back. Pros: Ambience, service, story of the history of Forepaughs Cons: Food, drink prices much higher, extreme menu change, meals not filling, LESS for more more

Awful New Year's service - partially redeemed by complementary meal :( 1/1/2009

We had 6:00 reservations, ordered by 6:30, i think, and proceeded to wait OVER AN HOUR between our soup and our entrees. Waitress and then hostess both came an apologized profusely, but it was VERY painful. Fortunately, we had no other New Years Eve plans, as we were in the restaurant for more than 2.5 hours. When we complained to the hostess, she apologized and said they would comp our entire meal. Even after that, when they should have been concerned, it still took 20+ minutes for our food. My food (lamb) was very tasty, although amazingly, it was not sufficiently hot. We were seated on the 3rd floor, and they may have had some trouble getting food up there, as they also had to comp (entrees only) the table next to us. After our horrible service, they told us the entire meal was free, encouraged us to order dessert, and even brought us glasses of champagne with dessert. Even at that point, the desserts were unacceptably slow in arriving. To be fair, this was New Year's Eve, but we were there from 6 until almost 9 pm, and all times there were at least a few open tables in our room, so they were definitely not full. (The restuarant is quite broken up, so we were not able to see if other rooms were full.) They also turned their (normally free, i believe) surface lot into $5 valet parking only, but did not have enough valets on hand to get your car promptly. We left feeling marginally satisfied, since they comped our ~$125 meal, but it's really tough to sit there that long, and stressful to be put in that situation. I understand they just reopened a few months ago, but they clearly do not have their act together (yet). I'd be very careful. Pros: atmosphere is nice and interesting, food was ultimately adequate Cons: HORRIBLE service. more

Slow Service Ruins Otherwise Good Meal 12/17/2008

Do not go to Forepaugh's if you hope to eat relatively quickly. We allotted 1 1/2 hours for our office's Christmas lunch. We ordered, then waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, almost ONE HOUR later, half of our orders arrived. The last order did not show up until more than an hour after we had ordered. They did comp that last meal and give us extra cupcakes, but should have done much much more in my opinion. The place wasn't even that busy! The service was simply unacceptable. The food, on the other hand, was good, some of it even quite good. It's a shame -- I certainly will not be returning. Pros: food was good Cons: service was unacceptably slow more

Not What It Used to Be 11/7/2008

New Forepaugh's is bitterly disappointing at best. I was hesitant to try the new establishment, as prices have risen drastically. I thought perhaps the prices would be justified by quality. Not so. For $35+, I was served an undersized, bland, and disintegrating dish of Beef Wellington. My ""Vegetable Medley"" was four pieces of limp asparagus. For a starter, I ordered the corn soup, which came up luke-warm, and with a greasy, fried pepper. Pros: No wait for table. Cons: Very long wait for food, disappointing food. more

The Best Birthday Gift 10/11/2008

When my son asked where would you like to go to celebrate your 65th birthday, I thought of Forepaughs, I hadn't been for a while. Personally, I couldn't have asked for a better evening. I've travelled the country on business and have eaten at some of the best French and American cuisine restaurants. We had reservations for 7p. The staff from the moment we drove up, were friendly and attentive. The Hostess looked as if she had been expecting us and was very glad to welcome us. Our seating was made to our satisfaction. When travelling, my son and I like to try new dishes, and since this was my first time since the remodeling and his first time, the Beef Wellington was exquisite, melt in your mouth experience. He had the Lamb, which was equally as good! Our attendent Michelle was overly attentive, although appeared busy, was patient and informative regarding questions we had. We sent our compliments to the Chef, and later Mathew showed up for us to tell him in person!All in all, a wonderful way to end 65 years and start on the 66! I won't wait, however until the official date to return. Pros: Ambience, Service, Valet more

Beware! Forepaughs will no longer honor their own 2007 gift certificates! 10/6/2008

Warning! Forepaughs is under new management and has gone to the dogs! We purchased over $200 in gift certificates last November and tried to use them since the restaurant re-opened and the new management will not honor them. We were sent to a supper club in Minnetonka instead to talk with the former owners about our purchase. So the moral of the story is this: what the new owners saved by not honoring our gift certificates they lost ten-fold in customer loyalty. We will never eat at Forepaughs again. Shameful."" Pros: Victorian Mansion setting Cons: Terrible customer service, new management, no longer serving Brunch more

Avoid this moldly oldie 12/29/2007

My husband and I took his and my parents to dinner here a couple of nights ago. We thought it would be a charming and appropriate place to dine after our tour of the James J. Hill house. Pros: At least they have valet parking Cons: Very slow service, bad food, worn out decor, freezing temps more

Friendly but absent waitress 12/15/2007

We went here for brunch and our waitress was friendly but where did she keep disappearing to? Luckily our wait assistant was always hovering near-by. The food was okay but the house/history is so interesting that I would make it back here just for the ghosts. Pros: Beautiful Historic Landmark more

Don't Let Ghosts Scare You Away 4/15/2007

Ghost stories are many but the deliciously divine sauces and seasonings discovered in each and every item they skillfully prepare is cooked just for you. Food that tastes like real home-cooked delights right from Paris. Traditional dishes are their specialty. No fooling around the only scary thing could be dinner prices for folks who are scared of higher prices. The food is worth the cost. The service is turn of the century comfort, with a wait staff that truly pampers your dining adventure. Our best treat is to come early ahead of your reservation and start with a Brandy Alexander made from real ice cream in the cozy bar just as you step inside. Want to see Minnesota's governors? Their pictures are in the room across from the bar. Yes, rooms are Forepaugh's feature too. This mansion once was the Forepaugh residence. We prefer the long staircases to each level, but there is an elevator. This is a white linen and napkin experience, and great tasting coffee is served from silver pots. You can join a shuttle to many evening events. A dessert cart offers more than your tummy will safely hold. If a canary ventured in from the balcony that is opened seasonally he would share Forepaugh's secret to everyone. Pros: Ghost stories and good food in one place Cons: weekend reservations are really needed more

Worst service ever! 9/20/2006

It seems the ghosts are actually paying customers. Even lousy service is preferable to be ignored. more

We were invisible! 9/19/2006

For a restaurant that has had a combination of good food and quality service, this past evening was absolutely horrible. Pros: good food Cons: no service more

Faboulous 9/6/2006

Forepaughs is with out a doubt the BEST restraunt I have been to (and I eat out frequently). My girlfriends and i were encouraged by our faboulous server to try the house infused martini. We then decided on a couple seafood samplers. Complimented with a delicious and again recommended pomigranted martini. After our appetizers we had salads. There house salad was suprisingly great considering it's a vinagear base and i'm a ranch fan. After perfectly spacing everything out our waitress brought our entres. I had the specialty,Beef Wellington. The meat was oh so tender, my girlfriend enjoyed scallops that she raved about for weeks. The other two ladies had the walleye with bannana, yes, bannana! It was magnificent. After dinner our waitress bought us over a port list that was very impressive. We each tasted a different one. We then picked out deserts from their HUGE desert cart. We all shared the gateu and crembrule. My girlfriends and I will definitly be back to enjoy the wounderful food and phenominal service. Everyone needs to have this experience. Faboulous!!!!!!!!! Pros: Service, cocktails, ports Cons: Not as hip as id like more

Magnifique! 1/13/2006

I've been twice, once in the bar, once upstairs, and will be back for more! This is classic French cuisine in a classy atmosphere. The rooms can be a little quiet, but it is elegant. Food is very well done, service is relaxed, and the rooms are gorgeous. I am picky about my French, and I love this place. Not busy during the week, but can be busy on weekends (I overheard the staff talking about a bunch of weddings on weekends) Pros: Classic French, Atmosphere, Unique more

Avoid this restaurant 12/3/2005

This restaurant was the BIGGEST let-down I have experienced in the twin cities. Wall paper was falling off the wall, felt like we were sitting on the tables around us, service was slow and failed at recommending entrees, and worse of all, the food was horrible! Ordered the veal and couldn't eat more than a couple bites because of terrible quality and lack of any palatable flavors. Went there for my husband's birthday and is now a running joke of how bad dining can be. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY! We love eating out and wouldn't care spending $100 + for the two of us on a good meal...I wouldn't go here again if they paid me! Cons: Horrible Food, Decrepit Decor, Expensive more

Great spot - some things could be better 9/10/2005

Love the mansion and the ambiance, but the dining room is so quiet that you can follow the other conversations going on. Stay away from the lamb kebab, I guess, lamb should be eaten as chops. Limited menu and few people during the week. Pros: Romantic, Ambiance more
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Menu for Forepaugh's

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  • In Short
    Three floors of bedazzled rooms are romantic and lush enough to inspire longings in even the black-hearted. Good thing the new menu, laden with hearty American and European fare,...

  • 8/21/2008 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Monday To Friday From 11:00 AM To 02:00 PM Monday To Thursday From 05:00 PM To 09:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:00 PM To 10:00 PM Sunday From 11:00 AM To 02:00 PM Sunday From 05:00 PM To 09:00 PM
  • Payments:

    Diner's Club, American Express, Visa, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    West Seventh