La Belle Vie

 October 27, 2011

510 Groveland Avenue Minneapolis, MN | www.labellevie.us

For my wife’s birthday dinner we decided to check out La Belle Vie, one of Minneapolis’ premiere fine dining restaurants. Headed up by Chef Tim McKee, a James Beard Award winner, I was looking forward to one of our first culinary adventures in our new home.

La Belle Vie offers an ala carte menu, but we opted to try the 8 course tasting menu featured for October. I was very excited to see some proteins that we don’t really have back in Hawaii, allowing us to have new experiences with those flavors. Here are some pictures from the night’s meal. Sadly, the last few pictures didn’t turn out well (very low light) so they are not posted here.

Bay scallop, bacon aioli, trout roe, broccoli flower – A nice, one bite amuse to start off the meal. This was a smokey, savory bite with just a hint of sweetness from the scallop.

Butter poached king grab with Roasted Beets, Watercress and Horseradish Cream – The main menu started off with this cool, rich dish of crab and beets. The horseradish cream and watercress added elements of spicy and bitter which complemented the creaminess of the dish well.

Sautéed Trout, Glazed Butternut Squash, Brown Butter and Sage Pesto – A delicious plate of crispy textures accompanied by sweet and savory sauces.

Rabbit Agnolotti, Sautéed Sweetbreads, Crème Fraiche and Truffle – A very rich and heavy dish, this agnolotti was one of our favorites of the night. The subtle flavors of rabbit and sweetbread all wrapped into the al dente pasta was an excellent combination.

Grilled Lamb Ribeye, Braised Lamb Shoulder, Celery Root and Porcini Mushrooms – An intensely “lamby” dish with great savory elements. The celery root and porcini mushrooms added additional flavor notes to the dish, but the ultimate star was the lamb ribeye and shoulder.

By far our favorite courses of the night were the rabbit agnolotti and the grilled lamb. Both dishes exhibited great balance and complex savory flavors, especially in the lamb. All the other savory courses were also quite strong, but these two just stood out from the rest. The last 3 courses of the evening included a cheese course, pre-dessert, and dessert. These were not as good as the savory items on the menu. Especially following the lamb course, which was very strong in flavor, I think that the final courses were perhaps a little underwhelming. I did enjoy the final dessert but had hoped for more.

Overall we did enjoy our visit to La Belle Vie and will be sure to return some time in the future.

La Belle Vie on Urbanspoon

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