We have been enjoying La Belle Vie since it moved to 510 Groveland in 2006. It is expensive, but what you get for your money is careful service, gorgeous architecture, and food that pleases all the senses. LBV is set apart from its competitors by the pace and the setting. The tables are far apart, the music is subdued, and nothing is rushed. We spent a full three hours at the table as we sampled the chef's creations and passed the evening in conversation.
The restaurant is in a 6-story former hotel built in 1927, and the building itself is worth a visit for its stunning detail. It was long ago converted to condominiums that are some of the best in the city.
Our group of 4 had the five-course tasting menu, augmented by a with a delicate goat cheese salad that grabbed our attention on the a la carte menu. After that came yellow jack crudo with bits of choriso, sea bream with asparagus, poussin (young chicken) with greens, lamb ribeye, and right-sized chocolate dessert. All the portions are small, so that the end of the meal the feeling is one of satisfaction, not discomfort.
The wine list is expensive but we found two excellent bargains at $28, Dupond L'Agnostique, a pinot syrah Beaujolais blend and Iuvene, a Rioja.
Service is impeccable, with a staff that has been in place for a number of years. They know when to talk and when to be unobtrusive.
For all these reasons, LBV is the best restaurant in the Twin Cities.
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