One of the most renowned restaurants in the Twin Cities, La Belle Vie serves traditional French Mediterranean cuisine crafted by James Beard Award winning chef, Tim McKee. La Belle Vie takes pride in their attention to detail, from the food to wine pairings. Every experience at this restaurant is one to remember, and you will be doted on hand and foot.
La Belle Vie is known for its tasting menus. They offer both a Chef’s tasting menu with eight courses and a smaller five course tasting menu. On a previous occasion a few years ago, I had the pleasure of ordering the five course tasting menu. This is an experience to savor and not rush. Dishes like Oven Steamed Copper River Salmon with Fava Beans and Langoustine Brandade; and Pan Roasted Poussin with Peach Mostarda with tantalize your palette.
On my most recent trip to La Belle Vie, we opted for a more casual dining experience and ordered drinks and appetizers to share. I ordered the Crispy Soft-Shelled Crab Sandwich with Avocado, Cucumber and Dill Aioli. The sandwich was unique and bursting with layers of flavor. I loved the crispy crab, but thought it was a little oily. I also wish there had been more avocado and a little less aioli. Our table also shared the House-made Potato Chips with Rosemary and Garlic, and Curry Truffle dipping sauces. If you like potato chips, there will be no turning back once you try these. They are light and crispy and perfectly salted. And the dipping sauces only enhance the flavor.
La Belle Vie has an amazing cocktail menu of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Each martini and cocktail is made with extreme attention to detail, like the Parlez-Vous martini with raspberry vodka, pineapple juice and cava topped with orange-passionfruit foam.
After a few cocktails and appetizers to tease us, we had to order a few desserts. We tried the Chocolate Custard Torte with Cocoa Almond Cake and Edlerberry; the Pistachio Cake with Blueberry, White Chocolate, Avocado and Yougurt Sorbets; and the Valrhona Caramelia Beignets with Mirabelle Plum Sorbet and Caramel Powder. While all of the desserts had layers of flavor, my favorite was the chocolate custard torte. The custard had a delicious and rich flavor that paired perfectly with the mild cocoa almond cake. The favorite of the table was overwhelming the beignets. They were perfectly crispy fried balls of dough that had a delicious caramel filling. The only element I wasn’t a fan of was the avocado ice cream on the pistachio cake. I’m not sure if the avocado wasn’t ripe, but it tasted a little sour and like the inside of a pumpkin smells.
If you are looking for a restaurant for a special occasion, La Belle Vie is not to be missed.
When you go: La Belle Vie is located at 510 Groveland Avenue in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. They are open for dinner with both a dining room menu and lounge menu. They are also available for private dining. For more information, call 612-874-6440.