If you want to try something a little different, but with cozy, comfortable ambiance and delicious food, look no further than Moscow on the Hill.
Located in the lovely Cathedral Hill neighborhood in St. Paul, Moscow on the Hill is owned and operated, as well as well-attended, by Russian Americans. Now THAT'S when you know the food will be authentically Russian. Everything from the herring, borscht(served warm or chilled), and endless selection of vodkas makes you feel as though you are in an opulent restaurant in a sophisticated neighborhood in Moscow. The difference is that while this might be a bit higher end dining than what I am used to, the prices aren't terrible. The average entrée can run from $10-$20 dollars, and there is a wide range of selections. My favorite is the Siberian Pilmeni--simple, delightful meat-filled dumplings with sour cream and vinegar on the side. One plate can easily serve two people. Order this with a bowl of hot borscht and you have the perfect Russian dinner.
A word of caution to vegetarians/vegans: you might just want to stop by for dessert and drinks and skip dinner. The vegetarian options on the menu are few and far between
Speaking of which, the dessert menu and martini list alone make the trip to Moscow on the Hill worthwhile. Check this place out for a unique date night--the neighborhood is lovely for a romantic, post dinner stroll.