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Post | Fresh Tart by Stephanie Meyer |

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Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 13, 2006 at 5:22pm

Oh believe me, I am very aware of how lucky I am (in general) and to be dining (this evening) at La Belle Vie. I’ve been wanting to eat there ever since they made the hop from Stillwater to Minneapolis. But it’s reputedly a rather involved meal, which is not Johnny’s style, at all, so he’s not jumped at the opportunity. My style, all the way, ha. He’s more of a place your order, bring all the courses at the same time, inhale them, and get the hell out there kind of guy. He always says, as we are served our last course, “And we’ll take a check.” I’m not kidding. I don’t quite understand why you’d be willing to pay for the dinner, and ambiance, without taking a moment to enjoy it. But hey, just one of the differences between men and women. Perhaps I’ll have to come up with some sort of reward, per this hilarious article in the New York Times, to encourage him to linger a bit…

So, back to La Belle Vie. We’re going tonight with Aaron and Carol Mack. I. Can’t. Wait. In fact, I’m ready to go, early, which gave me time to post a little somethin’ before I take off. I’ll check back in with the specifics of the anticipated fabulousness. Stay tuned…

Home now, we had a beautiful dinner, beautiful and great fun and delicious. Extraordinary. Terrific to see Carol and Aaron, as always, they made 2.5 hours fly by, even for John and Aaron (who has the same desire to move things along as John does). We opened with unbelievable gougere, OMG, made with some incredible gruyere cheese, mmm hmmm, I’d like to get my hands on THAT baby, because gougere itself is quite simple to make. Mine’s just not transcendent like this was. Which is why one pays for such as La La Lovely Belle Vie, of course…to make the ordinary extraordinary… And that they do. As in the amuse of a one-bite, creamy Italian cheese croquette, crispy on the outside, melty on the inside, basically a high-end fried cheese curd, created with tongue elegantly planted in cheek, which brought a smile to my well-fed lips. Smack went said lips. Then (!) began our official five courses of the five-course tasting menu (if you go, most definitely choose one of the two tasting menus, five- or eight-courses, to truly sink your teeth into the incredible variety, beauty, and quality of dishes this kitchen can crank out). John and I went with the complimentary wine flight, which I also highly suggest, they did a perfect job of pairing interesting, lovely wines with the flavors and textures of our courses. As in, rose with trout wrapped in thin, crispy ham with romesco. Riesling with boar, apricots, and balsamic (sweet/sour). Light burgundy with rosy veal garnished with crispy sweetbreads and porcini mushrooms. There were other fabulous tasties, of course, but for me, those were the highlights, and I don’t want to go on and on (because as you know, I could…). Suffice it to say, the food was perfect, the service was spot-on – smooth, friendly, and knowledgeable – and I can’t wait to go back. Now that’s a nice way to head into the weekend, yes indeed. Wow.

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