Junior Gourmet Club takes on the Dakota


La Belle Vie Co-owner and Managing Director Bill Summerville launched the Junior Gourmet Club two summers ago as a way to get families together and introduce new foods, flavors, and textures to kids ages 5-12.

After a hiatus in 2008, the club is back in action this summer, having kicked off with a dinner event in March at Azia. This Thursday, the club heads to the Dakota Jazz Club for another installment. "It's about making kids think a little bit, at least subconsciously," he says.

Summerville says Dakota Chef Jack Riebel will be serving walleye corndogs, french fries with bearnaise, a watermelon and arugula salad, Asian noodles with chicken meatballs and malt ice cream sandwiches. "It will perplex them," Summerville says.

Tickets to the event, which will include music (all Junior Gourmet Club dinners feature some side events) are $35, which includes appetizers and a complimentary before-dinner drink for adults and kids alike. Drinks with dinner (including the kiddos') are extra, as are tax and tip.

Junior Gourmet Club will meet 2-3 more times this summer, on as-yet-unscheduled dates, at Solera and at the 112 Eatery or Heartland. It will close with a barbecue late summer or early fall at La Belle Vie.

For tickets to this week's event, contact the Dakota and to keep track of upcoming events, Summerville says to sign up for La Belle Vie's newsletter (online or by calling).