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“True Fine Dining” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Belle Vie

La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-3220
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Ranked #22 of 1,414 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: French, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Bar scene, Romantic, Doing business, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Moorhead, Minnesota
Top Contributor
560 reviews 560 reviews
464 restaurant reviews
249 helpful votes 249 helpful votes
“True Fine Dining”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013 via mobile

La Belle Vie is a wonderful restaurant. The space is gorgeous with the most impressive public space. The dining room is a delightful room where tables are far apart and the center is dominated by a high service table where wines may be decanted and other centralized activities may take place. The menu is fantastic. There are three tasting menu choices plus ala carte service. We had a great meal there as usual and the service is quite attentive although not perfect. Our waitress was hard to catch near the end of the night but it was not a big deal. Overall it may be one of the top two three restaurants in Minneapolis. Delightful.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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183 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“For a special occasion, this is the place to go!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

We celebrated our anniversary here! The chef's tasting menu was fabulous. There was only one course that wasn't great, but overall the food was great!! The service was fabulous and we were able to have a romantic dinner without a huge crowd! This restaurant is very expensive but worth it for a special occasion!!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“The best we've had in Minnesota. (And it should be at the price)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Don't go if you're expecting a high qpr, a good but simple meal, or some basic wines. Go here if you want to enjoy some fantastically prepared food with clear & unmuddled flavors, a broad and selection of European wines (nothing wrong with America, but there are plenty of great wines beyond our shores), and service that was (mostly) personalized, genuine finesse.

The 5 of us had the chef's tasting menu (8 courses), and 2 of us had the accompanying wine flight (7 wines). In addition to the tasty breads, we also started with a round of Gougères and some small fish & citrus amouz-bouche. (Here the service fell down a bit - we didn't know what they were, and had to ask.)

The courses had several ingredients that required wiki help to define, but it was an adventure.

The wines were a superb blend, often providing a striking (positive) counterpoint to the food. In addition to the planned wine courses, we were treated to a tasting of a recently-added wine that I had inquired about (a Cheverny), Also, one wine was substituted based on my preferences (but I had not asked for) - it was the most perfumed and structured Beaujolais (Morgon) I had ever had, and I really appreciated the change. My only complaint on the wines was the use of a sparkling pear cider for one of the courses; it didn't match well with the course, and it would have been more at home in an Irish pub. Please just stick with vinifera.)

I do agree with a previous review that mentioned the poor timing / lack of coordination between the delivery of the wine and the delivery of the food through some of the courses. This occurred a few times, and made the pace seem a little unbalanced.

Another element of the service that could be improved was the volume of the food announcement. A few of the courses were introduced and described in a voice that I'm sure 1/2 the dining room was able to hear. The rest of the time it was in an understated tone; far better for the surroundings.

Yes, it was expensive. But that should not be a surprise to anyone.

Overall - great special-occasion event.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Pains us to give it three stars, but here's why”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

We live in Minneapolis and so usually don't review local places, but we felt that since this is such a destination place for special occasions and fine dining, we'd write something up. This is our third time here - once before we had the nine course chef's tasting menu, and once we ate in the bar area. The nine course with wine pairings, along with the service, were superb - this was back in 2008 - and so when we got married this past June, instead of flying to Chicago for dinner at Tru or some other fabulous place, we stayed in downtown Minneapolis and did the 13 course chef's grand tasting menu with wine pairings at La Belle Vie. With tip, by the way, this was nearly a $600 affair.

We knew going in that portions were small, and with a 7:45 reservation, we actually had drinks and appetizers at Bradstreet Crafthouse at 5:00. The food at La Belle Vie is exquisite, and presented beautifully - like little edible Faberge eggs of yumminess. Standouts were the pata negra, the langoustine bisque and the sweet pea tortellini. A couple dishes had bizarre saltiness issues (either too much, or not enough) but this is a very minor quibble; overall, amazing five star food.The wine pairings were also fantastic.That being said, the portion sizes are miniscule. Three bites max per course. Wine was 1.5 ounce pours per course, and there was 10 minutes in between each course.So, that's the 13 course tasting menu.

This in and of itself isn't bad, but what sunk the evening for us were a couple things: the pacing of the courses and the service. Quite often our waiter would pour the wine, and then we'd sit and wait for the food...and wait....should we drink our two sips of wine and not have anything to go with the food? Drink a bunch of water? Order another drink as a filler?

Part of what you pay for when ordering a tasting menu at a place like La Belle Vie is waitstaff who understand the food and wine pairings and why they work together - and tell you. For example, in one course we were presented with a really cool alchemist-like glass contraption with herbs sitting in it, but no one bothered to explain what it was for - so we stared at it for five minutes until our waiter came back.

Our waiter was a complete dummy. We guess that he was a novice - he spilled some wine on one of the pours, and he was so very, very careful about pouring precisely 1.5 ounces every time, it became amusing after a while to watch. We mentioned it was our wedding (both when we made the reservation, and to our waiter at the beginning of the meal), and while we didn't expect heraldic trumpets, we did look forward to the "surprise" our waiter mentioned he had for us. So, after all the courses, we waited, and waited...and finally asked for a cab to be called. Then we waited some more, and waited....and finally decided to leave and wait outside for our cab. On the way out we ran into our waiter, who told us "I was just about to find you, your cab is here - and hey, congratulations!" It ended the whole evening on kind of a lame Denny's restaurant-esque tone.

The net result is that we would not come back here again for a special occasion.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, MD
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Not up to expectations”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Expected to have a great experience here, but was somewhat disappointed. It's hard to point to any one thing, but they just keep "just missing" making it a great experience. The food was good, but definitely not a value. I'm really not sure why this place gets such great reviews.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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