The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 44 of 132

ON-PREMISE PATTER Belle Curve a Belle Vie, in Minneapolis, is proof that the cuisine in this country has hit new heights. Tim McKee, founder and chef, is a James Beard award winner and has built his reputation on a series of successful restaurants before opening the doors in his current venture. First, McKee opened Solera in Minneapolis, winning awards there and establishing his local reputation. After mov- ing on to LBV and drawing raves, McKee still couldn't resist the siren call of other dining experiences. "I'm responsible for the food at 18 establishments," he says, with a light chuckle in his voice. Matching wine to McKee's constantly evolving menu is someone else's chal- lenge. "Sometimes, the food Tim makes automatically matches with wine," says Kei Terauchi, the restaurant's General Manager, but Bill Summerville, Managing Director of the restaurant and the one who chooses the wines, is not ready to take his responsibilities so lightly. Summerville has developed a following among the wine-savvy folks in the industry. "Bill has L Pan-seared foie gras with rhubarb, pistachio cake and upland cress. Tim McKee is owner and chef of La Belle Vie in Minneapolis. an instinct, and a great palate memory," says Terauchi. "So it's surprising how quickly we arrive at menu pairings." McKee aims to make dishes that are pleasing to both the eye and palate, Summerville calls upon his vast gustatory experiences to pair the wines, and the waitstaff deliver the high level of service that McKee's food deserves. 44 / the tasting panel / july 2012 Terauchi is comfortably confident in their wines-by-the-glass program, a segment of the wine list too often ignored by aspiring restaurateurs. "The price range has to be considered, so we have to start with single- digit wines. We want to make sure that everyone is pleased." McKee's creations one night included sweet pea tortelli with blue crab, mint and truffle served with one of Summerville's favorites, a Domaine des Corbillières rosé from the Loire Valley. Next up is pan-seared foie gras with rhubarb, pistachio cake and upland cress. No problem for Summerville, who offers a Wieninger Beerenauslese Nussberg from Austria. "I don't think about awards and such," says McKee. "I just want people to like the food I serve." TIM MCKEE MAKES LIFE BEAUTIFUL IN MINNEAPOLIS by Dick Rosano Exquisite food and carefully crafted wine lists are not limited to America's coastal cities anymore. The now well-established national craving for "destination" restau- rants is being satisfied by a new generation of talented and innovative chefs, ably assisted by classically-trained and imaginative sommeliers. PHOTO: COURTESY OF LA BELLE VIE

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