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THIS RESTAURANT HAS CHANGED LOCATIONS La Belle Vie

312 S. Main St. Send to Phone
651-430-3545
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

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Dinner nightly
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THIS RESTAURANT HAS CHANGED LOCATIONS La Belle Vie Restaurant Review

: People used to drive to Stillwater to go antiquing, now they make the trip just to take part in nationally recognized chef Tim McKee's love affair with Mediterranean cuisine. McKee, who was formerly head chef of D'Amico Cucina, has the hands of a virtuoso, and dishes such the oven-steamed salmon with tarragon-garlic polenta and crayfish sauce betray his delicate touch. The airy mix of flavors feels light and effortless, but the beauty of the dish hits you like a sunset. The king crab and avocado salad with curry vinaigrette sounds simple but is a dense and complex play of creamy seafood and aromatic spice, while the ravioli with roasted yellow turnips and smoked bacon seems almost elemental, as if McKee had discovered it in nature. The décor of La Belle Vie is unspectacular, but we appreciate the way such fine cuisine is allowed to exist in such an unimposing environment. We like the smaller, more contemporary back room over the Victorian front room because the back offers a view of La Belle Vie's soul---a wood-fired grill where most of the entrées are forged. The grilled chicken marinated in honey and cumin sounds like a throwaway dish to please the conservative diner, until you take a bite and are transported to an outdoor café in Morocco. We can think of no better bellwether of genius than a chicken dish that lingers in the mind like a great adventure.

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