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Jan 17, 2008 08:54 AM

MSP-La Belle Vie or Chambers Kitchen?

Is La Belle Vie the better one?

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  1. On the food side, I would say yes. It is more innovative, interesting, and heartfelt.

    On the atmosphere side, it depends on what you are looking for. I think that the food at La Belle Vie is a disconnect from the surroundings. The food is modern and inspired, the space is old school and quite formal. At Chambers, the modern food well matches the more modern "cool" atmosphere.

    Thus, it depends on what you are looking for and who you are taking. A true foodie, La Belle Vie. Someone who wants to be impressed by the fellow diners and big name chef, Chambers.

      1. re: Foureyes137

        Perfect response. La Belle Vie offers polished service, warm and elegant surroundings, inventive cocktails, both imagination and consistency in the kitchen, and a meal that you will never forget.

        Chambers is beautifully trendy and well-heeled, but my experiences there have involved either erratic service, bland drinks, disappointingly overpriced food, or all three. They make a mean iceberg wedge salad, though.

        1. re: girl_friday

          Hmmm. I don't know that I'd totally agree with you about unforgettable meals at La Belle Vie. I've been fortunate to go to La Belle Vie twice in the past month - once in the lounge and once in the dining room. While I enjoyed both meals greatly -- I'd agree about service, surroundings and consistency -- the meals that I had were great but definitely not unforgettable. (In fact I'd forgotten what I'd had at my first meal when I had the second 3 weeks later.)

          However, I can still tell you about the duck and the walleye that I had at Chambers over a year ago. I've had service issues there of one sort or another every time I've eaten there -- most minor or just personality issues. And I find the room to be a little loud. But I find the food at Chambers to be very inventive.

          1. re: bob s

            La Belle Vie was disappointing. Out of four courses, only one was a home run(pasta) one was good but not 'wow' (dourade) duck was so tough I couldn't cut it with the provided knife and had to get a steak knife from the server, and the dessert was terrible...a trio, white chocolate ganache which was good, a little flourless chocolate cake which was bland and a little molten chocolate cake which was horrible, tasted like something out of an Easy Bake oven. A piece of flavorless fluff. After all the reviews here, I expected something that would blow me away, something worthy of a Michelin star, something on par with Spring in Chicago, Bradley Ogden or Michael Mina in Vegas, and NOT EVEN CLOSE. Nowhere in the league of those places. A place like that shouldn't have such poor execution on two seperate dishes.

            Chambers Kitchen at lunch was much better than La Belle Vie, will have to try Chambers for dinner.

            1. re: elrushbo

              I'm sorry you had a disappointing experience at La Belle Vie. I've eaten there 3-4 times (in the dining room, never in the lounge), and I've been to both Bradley Ogden and Michael Mina, so I understand your frame of reference.

              In my experience, I would rate La Belle Vie about equal to Michael Mina (though I do love the Mina trios) and superior to Bradley Ogden.

              1. re: Jordan

                Ugh! I gotta disagree, they aren't in the same league as either Mina or Ogden. Even the courses that were good weren't 'wow' good. I've had serious 'wow' moments at Ogden and Mina. Anyway, I'm going to be in Michigan next week, will go to either Saltwater or Bourbon Steak, Mina's two new restaurants at the MGM in Detroit.

                1. re: elrushbo

                  I guess we will have to disagree, then. My experience at Bradley Ogden was only so-so (for that price level and expectations of the cuisine). My entree of scallops on braised iceberg lettuce was a real misfire.

                  1. re: Jordan

                    I have to agree with Jordan on this one. I have been to La Belle Vie 3 times (all in the dining room) and the experience and the food and the service was 10 times better then anything I had at Michael Mina which was one of the most disappointing tasting menus we have ever had. At La Belle Via not every course was WOW but some where and all were very good. I had a tuna course at Michael Mina that was inedible. The tuna seemed to be a low quality and i could barely cut through the fatty tissue in it!

                    But the question - choosing between Chambers and La Belle Vie. I like Chambers a lot but for the whole experience I gotta go with La Belle Vie!

      2. If you are looking for a genuine foodie experience, than you don't want to go to either. Chambers was decent, but I def felt like it was more a place to be seen than a place to get incredible food. The service was also not superb. La Belle Vie is good, but it is also a little cliche.

        My recommendation is that you check out Heartland in St. Paul. Check out the website and their daily menu changes. I've had some of the best meals of my life there, and there amuse bouche is always mindblowing. Wine list is excellent too. Uptown has excellent dining choices, including Barbette (one of my favs), Lucias and Chino latino. I took my aunt, she's a food writer, to Chino and she was raving about the food all evening. If you can only do downtown Mpls, I would recommend Murray's (a steak and martini place to die for) and Hell's Kitchen. Hells Kitchen is great, don't miss it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: middyboo

          The Lemon Ricotta hotcakes at Hell's Kitchen are heavenly! I think they put addictive chemicals in them.

        2. I'd have to agree with RedPepper.....I personally would give the slight edge to La Belle Vie. Chambers is a really great looking spot with really good food. But I was never blown away by any dishes at Chambers -- but they're very well executed. If you're looking for a more relaxed, visually stunning experience to hang out with friends....go to Chambers. If you're looking for a more formal restaurant for a date or anniversary....hit La Belle Vie.