To get the reservation we had last night at Bellecour, I booked on Open Table in the early hours of March 27th. That’s right – 2 months prior to the actual reservation! This restaurant opened earlier this spring and immediately became THE reservation to get. Good for the Minnesota born Gavin Kaysen! This is his 2nd restaurant in the cities since he returned from his various forays in California, New York and Europe. The first restaurant of his is Spoon & Stable. I have been to that restaurant 4 times I believe. It’s good, but not a place that I would tell people they have to go to. Bellecour on the other hand…is in the lead for restaurant of the year and thus New Year’s Eve dinner.
Reservations for One, the hubby and I had reservations at 5:00 pm. Yes, we are earlier diners and it still took 2 months to get the reservation! The hubby and I arrived on the early side and was amazed at how busy the area around the restaurant already was. It was a gorgeous day and of course we were right by the lake. Anyway, we decided to head to the bar at Bellecour and start with a drink. The bar area was very nicely appointed and the bar chairs were substantial – ones in which you could sit for some time and not find your backside going numb. We sat at the end of the bar and the bartender was friendly and ready to guide us through the cocktail list. I ended up going with The Daily which is a daily special. Unfortunately the ingredients aren’t listed anywhere and my memory is not great. I know there was lemon juice, watermelon juice, tequila (I think) and another kind of alcohol. It was a very nice, refreshing drink for an early summer afternoon. The hubby went with The Metropolitan which was also very good. We “scored” with an order of frites that were made but had no home. Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time. The gratis frites were amazing! Thin shoestring like fries with rosemary served with a garlic aioli that was “drinkable” according to the hubby.
After finishing our drinks, we were led to the dining room and to our table. We were seated in a rounded booth/chair table. Very similar to the seating at Spoon & Stable. While the dining room at first blush looks a bit on the small side, we soon realized there is another room and a sizable patio area. The room is much more spacious than I originally thought. They also have the bar and a small bakery outlet at the front of the restaurant.
We were thrilled to discover our server was none other than Ricardo whom we have a long history with. We first met him at Pane Vino Dolce, then Al Vento, and most recently at 4 Bells. So thrilled to see him again! He is the ultimate server. Makes you feel that you’re the only table that matters and he truly gets how to make the evening that much more special. And of course he appeared to recognize us and that always is good for the ego.
He took our drink order and brought two great tasting reds for RFO and myself. I would list them here, but their online presence doesn’t have their wine menu online unfortunately. I had a Cotes du Rhone and RFO had a Cabernet I believe. Ricardo didn’t steer us wrong with our selections. He also brought over a fresh baguette that literally was too hot to break apart at first.
RFO and I split the French Onion soup after he said it was the best soup he’s had – even better than when he was in France. What I truly appreciated was that he suggested we split the soup as it was a generous portion and they’d bring it in two separate dishes. This was the way to go. The soup was delicious and plenty to split. The cheese had just the right amount of browning on top, the croutons held up to the soup and the onions were cut in a manageable way so as not to have onions hanging off the spoon. Very well done! The hubby started with the SALADE FRISÉE with sourdough crouton, crispy bacon, poached egg, and sherry vinaigrette. He said it was fabulous.
Under the recommendation of Ricardo, RFO and I both ended up with the KING SALMON served over hummus, black olive, panisse, and preserved lemon. I’m not an olive fan but it was so limited in appearance on the dish that I didn’t even notice it. The salmon from Washington State was seared to perfection and had a crispy skin that added a nice texture to the dish. The chickpeas, hummus and panisse provided a wonderful backdrop of the fish. None of the dish made it home with me. The hubby went with CÔTE DE PORC which was a roasted pork chop, red cabbage, green apple, and cider glaze. It looked and smelled amazing! I managed to talk the hubby out of a bite it and it was melt in your mouth good. As a side for the table we ordered the CAULIFLOWER RÔTI with capers, brown butter, raisins, madras curry, and lemon. There was definitely a flavor of curry, but I also noticed the smell of a morning walk in nature and that earthy smell of morning dew on trees in the forest. The cauliflower was a hit by all three of us.
We then ordered dessert. Who can go to a French restaurant and not get dessert? The hubby went with the PARIS-BREST which had hazelnut mousse, vanilla ice cream and a chocolate sauce drizzled over the top. RFO went with the Chocolate Opera Cake with espresso butter cream and candied almonds. And of course a decaf coffee – black. I had HONEY VACHERIN with morello cherry sorbet. It was pretty good. It was meringue like which was good, but I was a little envious of the other 2 desserts on the table. I would say that the hubby won on the dessert round of the evening.
One thing to note about this place is they do not lack for servers. Our water-glass never sat empty, plates were cleared appropriately, and there were always people around to ensure guests were enjoying their meals. We also did not feel rushed. While it is a difficult place to get reservations for, they don’t rush you through your meal. We didn’t leave until almost 8:00. A 3 hour delightful evening with friends!
Still determining if this is going to be our ROTY. It’s definitely in the running!
If you are in Wayzata, definitely give this place a try. If you can’t get a reservation, go early and grab a seat at the bar or stop in during the day and get something from the bakery. Definitely worth a drive to Wayzata as well!