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“Deinitely the best in MPLS” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Belle Vie

La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-3220
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Ranked #10 of 1,405 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: French, Mediterranean
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Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Romantic, Doing business, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Minneapolis, MN
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Deinitely the best in MPLS”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2007

La Belle Vie is not only the best in MPLS, it is one of the best in the country. And considering that, it is well worth the splurge. You can get a $65 dinner five-course menu at the restaurant, or even a $40 dinner four-course menu at the lounge. In NYC or LA this would hardly get you lunch in comparable places. The food is absolutely wonderful. Great French/mediterranian cuisine, fresh ingredients, beautiful presentation. The place is stunning (though the restaurant may be a little stuffy - I recommend the hip attached lounge), and the service is great.

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178 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2006

La Belle Vie is not the most expensive restaurant I have been to but it is one of the better ones. I do not find it uncommon or unreasonable for the chef to request that the entire table agree upon a tasting menu or a la carte prior to ordering. What was surprising and uncommon was that the tasting menu didn’t miss a note. The chef deftly presented a culinary symphony with his menu and avoided monotonous offerings. The flight of wines paired with the offerings allowed us to relax and enjoy a spectacular evening.

I have been to the Stillwater location, now closed, and find Minneapolis location more refined. The Stillwater location had the benefit of being smaller and intimate. In Stillwater, while seated at their most romantic table by the fire, my husband and I could clearly overhear the neighboring table’s discussion of how their children would sometimes wipe their noses on their parents’ shirts. As new parents on our first evening out since the baby, we would have paid to make them be quiet. As our child grows, we know they spoke the truth but, were not ready for the information.

In the new location there is more general noise yet I didn’t find myself overhearing others’ conversations. The ceilings are high and the atmosphere more classic. The menu and wine list are well rounded. The staff is well trained and familiar with the wines and the menus. The only thing we had to complain about was that on a cold Minneapolis evening our seat by the window was a bit chill. But, we warmed up once the food arrived.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
750 reviews 750 reviews
587 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 184 cities Reviews in 184 cities
871 helpful votes 871 helpful votes
“Most Expensive Restaurant I Have Ever Dined At”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2006

Let me say that I dine out frequently and travel extensively. This was the single most expensive restaurant that I have been to. We dined with a table of eight. 7 of us wanted the tasting menu and wine flight and 1 of us did not. Everyone at the table must agree to order the tasting menu or no one can order it. As a compromise on our 1 hold out the restaurant prepared a seafood tasting menu which we all could agree on. The food was small, but interesting portions. It was fun trying all the creative foods. The wine was also very nice. For dessert they had some lemon thing on the menu. I was friendly with the waiter who was great and as a wonderful gesture brought us a tray of chocolate petit feors that were delicous and "on the house". Our total bill for 8 people came to $1200. Not cheap, but a fun experience for a special occasion.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“No reviews in a year???”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2006

I find it interesting that no one has reviewed this restaurant on TripAdvisor during the past year. The couple we dine with chose this restaurant for our monthly get-together. We were skeptical, having dined at their previous location and not been impressed. I think the problem with La Belle Vie is that they suffer from what I call "Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome." Everyone says how fabulous it is because that's what everyone else is saying...go see "Cats" if you don't believe me.

The food on whole was very good. Some of the items honestly did not work for me. The lobster consomme was bland and some ingredients in other dishes were just not a good blend. My dining companions enjoyed the beef and halibut tremendously. The beet salad is outstanding. I believe the pricing to be fair for the quality and amount of ingredients per dish.

Having said this I will attempt to pinpoint the problem with the restaurant for us.
It boils down to service and competing egos. Other reviewers have noted that when service is not on par, the whole dining experience suffers, and I believe this to be true in our case. In fact, it was true when we visited in Stillwater, and the reason we haven't been back until now. Initially, some of our party wanted to try the tasting menu, while others were interested in a la carte items. Apparently this offends "Chef" (insert ego here). I realize that this is a common occurrence, but should it be? After some cajoling, which shouldn't happen when we are chosing where to spend our dining dollars, "Chef" acquiesced and allowed us to order what we wanted. Because of this we were treated as dining pariah. The waiter NEVER checked in to see if we were enjoying a course or wine at all during our 2 1/2 hour dinner. Apparently he felt "Chef" is just that good.

The tasting menu wine selections were hit and miss for us. One wine selection was so mismatched I felt obligated to comment to the waiter...which gained essentially no response...only attitude. The white wines were served ice cold which I would expect at an Olive Garden, but not at a serious restaurant.

Overall, it boils down to where you choose to spend your dining dollar. With so many great restaurants in the Twin Cities to choose from, I choose not to be spend my money to be treated as a lowly diner. For me, La Belle Vie is simply naked.

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“Great food for groups with cash to burn”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2005

We dined here the last weekend of February 2005. The food and service was excellent (with the possible minor exception of the host who seemed a bit uneasy).

However, if you are looking for a nice quite, cozy, soft atmosphere this is not the place to go. The dining room was extremely noisy. Part of this is due to the sheer number of tables jammed into the room. Also, there is very little fabric to absorb the sound from the tile floors and wood and glass walls. In addition, there is a round table that seats six. Because of the size of the table the patrons were nearly shouting to simply talk to one another.

The place is way too bright. There are four ceiling fans with four lights on each. There are a host of other ceiling lights in addition to a wonderful stained glass wall (old door and sidelights) with unfortunate bright florescent lighting behind. This place could use some dimmers.

The food was excellent. A bit pricey for the portion size (a very very small demitasse cup-3 or 4 small spoons at best--of Lobster Bisque was $ 10.00) but the presentation and taste---excellent. The wine list is extensive and varied. A bit on the expensive side, but many excellent choices.

The bottom line is that if you are not that hungry and have some extra dollars to spend with a group of friends, this is the place. Definitely not a quite romantic type place to spend with your mate or date.

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

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