La Belle Vie is undergoing some changes

Among the new sights at La Belle Vie: tableside chefs
Among the new sights at La Belle Vie: tableside chefs
Vincent Marcinelli

La Belle Vie, the stalwart of fine dining, the creme de la creme of the local restaurant universe (Best Service, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Martini to name a few accolades), and the first local restaurant to be recognized with a James Beard Award, will be undergoing some surprising changes.

We spoke with chef de cuisine Mike DeCamp to find out what these changes will be.

La  Belle Vie's dining room specialty has always been its dazzling tasting menus. On a recent evening only one person in the mostly filled room chose a single entree. DeCamp has always excelled at creative, unexpected takes on fine dining -- this is the man who microwaved foie gras. The new direction of the dining room will be to focus more on the tasting menus. They are adding a 13-course tasting menu and doing away with the a la carte.

The dishes will also be overseen by the chefs tableside, executing bits of their dazzling cookery. We expect to see custom-made serving dishes that will showcase the food in ways we haven't seen before. This will also allow the crew to show off some of the cutting-edge techniques that until now were kept behind kitchen walls.

Those averse to the experience will still be able to order any item from the more selective eight-course tasting menu as a full-sized entree. Here's a bit more from DeCamp on the changes.

The Hot Dish: How do you expect the La Belle Vie dining experience will change?
Mike DeCamp: A little funner. Not much, though. We're for the most part going to keep doing what we're doing, just more of it.

HD: You've spoken about getting new serving dishes. Will dishes include some of those scent-memory tricks to enhance the dining experience?
DeCamp: For some dishes, yes, but don't worry. It's not going to be some stupid thing on the plate for every course.

HD; How will you maintain your reputation as the leader of fine dining in the Twin Cities?
DeCamp: By doing things like this. We will continue evolving. Everything has to change.

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La Belle Vie - Closed

510 Groveland Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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