Best Service - 2009
La Belle Vie
While Minneapolis is slowly becoming known for its thriving culinary scene, we still have only a handful of lavish joints where the lack of a tie makes a dude feel, you know, uncomfortable. Why, then, with the need for neckware and all, would a guy want to fork over his last paycheck—or two—to eat at such a place? Other than life-altering food, of course, two words: impeccable service. The kind of old-school service that's so good it practically disappears. La Belle Vie is perhaps the finest of all fine-dining establishments in the Twin Cities, due in no small part to its staff outside the kitchen. The lounge features bartenders who live and breathe cocktails, delivering them with copious charm, while the servers have mastered the skills to make your meal a memorable one: pacing, banter, culinary knowledge, and generous wine pours, not to mention the all-important crumb scraper. Blink and you'll miss La Belle Vie's food runners and server's assistants floating in and out like phantoms, keeping your water glass full and your silverware perfectly parallel, all their cumulative effort leaving you with the impression of effortlessness.