Monday, August 10, 2009

Dinner at La Belle Vie

In any list of Twin Cities restaurants, La Belle Vie, is always near the top. Last night my husband and I enjoyed a leisurely meal focused on fresh flavors. We had the three course tasting menu (three course besides the 2 amuse bouche, and a plate of miniature cookies after dessert!).

After two delicate Gruyere Gougeres, a plate with a demitasse cup was placed in front of us. The cup contained a bottom layer of corn panna cotta, topped with shaved truffle and fois gras. It was very rich with delicate flavors and we almost licked the cup clean! We always have sweet corn this time of year, but never before as panna cotta.

A salad course came on a long rectangular plate decorated with basil puree. There were three bites of miniature tomatoes. A cherry tomato filled with burrata cheese, poached red and yellow grape tomatoes and perfect tiny squares of tomatoes served with compressed watermelon and a watermelon foam.

My main course was one diver scallop with a caramelized layer, topped with fried proscuitto and serve on a bed of sauteed spinach and pureed eggplant. The scallop was tender and moist and the salty proscuitto a delicious contrast.

Dessert was a White Chocolate Tart (white chocolate ganache on a tough pastry) and garnished with tiny poached balls of fresh peach. An almond tuile provided a sweet contrast and icy peach sorbet the final refreshing touch.

There wasn't even the tiniest bite of food left on every plate that was cleared from our table. Although the portions looked small, the total meal was just the right amount. We knew we had dined on extraordinary fare.

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