Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tyge's Birthday Dinner Date - La Belle Vie

Tyge's birthday is next week, so I took him on a surprise dinner date last night to celebrate! I've been trying to top his first birthday date I ever took him on and think I just might have with this one. I set the bar really high for his first birthday we were together in 2007 - I was in Boston for a work trip and he came out to meet me so I treated him to a 6 course tasting meal plus wine flights at Top of the Hub. It was the best meal I'd ever had and I have been trying to come up with something to beat that meal ever since - I think last night's did just that! 

We went to La Belle Vie in Minneapolis for their 8 course tasting menu and wine flight pairing (to be honest, I had hopes that I wouldn't be able to partake in the wine flight portion but was bittersweetly glad that I could). We got there a bit early and had a cocktail in their lounge - their drink menu is so creative! The ambiance there is very romantic and intimate and they were all decorated for Christmas. At 7:00 we went into the dining room and they greeted us with a prime table (they seat couples side by side - I love that!) and a menu that read "Happy Birthday Tyge" - how special!

The food was phenomenal - I didn't want it to end! The wine complemented the dishes and we found a few new favs. Our server was very engaging and knowledgeable which made the dinner that much more enjoyable. Overall, the three hour meal was just a treat from start to finish and I highly recommend it for a special date night! (Please excuse the crappy cell phone pics - they seriously do not do justice to the food! I wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible and didn't want a flash going off.)

An aperitif from the chef to start the meal

Course 1 - paired with a Spanish Cava
Nantucket Bay Scallops with
Pickled Persimmon and Radish

Course 2 - paired with a California Chardonnay (surprisingly my fav wine)
Sautéed Trout with
Glazed Butternut Squash,
Brown Butter and Sage Pesto

(The fav dish for us both!)

Course 3 - paired with a German Riesling
Pan Roasted Poussin with
Broccoli Rabe, Apple
and Braised Pork Belly

Course 4 - paired with a subtle Italian red
Duck Tortelli with Celery Root
Fondant, Foie Gras
and Black Truffle

Course 5 - paired with a heavy Spanish red (Tyge's fav wine)
Grilled Lamb Ribeye with
Morcilla, Yellow Turnip
and Brussels Sprouts

Course 6 - paired with a '97 French white dessert wine for me, red for Tyge
Chimay á la Bière with
Black Mission Fig Bread and
Candied Sunflower Seeds

Course 7
Haralson Apple Sorbet with
Brown Sugar Panna Cotta
and Apple Cider Gelée

Course 8 - paired with another French white dessert wine
Carrot Gingerbread with
Carrot Chiffon Mousse and
Cherry-Whiskey Gelée

We ended the meal with a latte for me/espresso for Tyge, and they brought us out a plate of assorted petit fours as a thank you for dining with them!

It was seriously one of the best date nights we've ever had and I am so thankful to have an adventurous husband who enjoys trying new foods and wine with me. The long meal afforded us some much enjoyed conversation and it was so fun to get dressed up for a nice date. Isn't he handsome?

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