By Stephanie March
By Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
By Jason DeRusha
Harvest Beer Festival
By Parties Editors
The Morning After
By Tad Simons
Arts Off The Cuff
by Arts & Nightlife Editors
By Allison Kaplan
By Mpls.St.Paul Magazine
ASID MN Showcase Home
By Edina Realty
Super Real Estate Agents
Super Mortgage Professionals
Stephanie Wilbur Ash
By Emily Howald Sefton
By Real Brides-to-Be
Now Open: 4Bells
First Bite: Giordano’s
By: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl | Posted: 04/25/2014
Sit down and pour yourself a stiff glass of something French: Bill Summerville, longtime sommelier, partner, maitre d', and wine guy at La Belle Vie has left La Belle Vie.
What?! Minneapolis’ one real bona fide sommelier, the bigwig spotter at the front door, the eternal, eternal not at La Belle Vie? Yes. I spoke to both La Belle Vie owner and top chef around town Tim McKee and former La Belle Vie partner Summerville just now and—Yes, yes, it’s all true.
But why? And where’s he going? “Nothing I can announce right now,” Summerville told me. “But there are some things I want to do which I can’t do and give La Belle Vie the attention it needs. I’m not good at multitasking.” Summerville has been multitasking for several years, I pointed out, running the wine program at Sea Change. And he’s not leaving the Tim McKee-run Sea Change!
But what, what, what is Summerville doing? Consulting? “A little consulting,” he told me. “And something more permanent down the road. A couple of long term things I’m looking at which will unfold. You don’t give it up right now because if they don’t happen you look like a fool.”
McKee added, “And if you give it up right now you only get one article out of it.”
“But even if I go and consult with restaurants which are direct competition with La Belle Vie it expands everyone's horizons, it’s good for the community,” Summerville said.
“What is the direct competition to La Belle Vie?” asked McKee, rhetorically. “No one’s crazy enough to be in fine dining but us.”
Except, we have all of these fancy national chefs swarming around town all of a sudden—Erik Andersen, who worked with Sommerville at Sea Change, and Gavin Kaysen. Is that what’s going on?
No one will say. Except then one of the people on this conference call said: “It’s the great circle of life.” And the other said: “Hakuna matata.”
Sommerville will be replaced, such as he can be, by longtime La Belle Vie alum Jay Hanahan who will source the wine list and design the wine program direction, and Craig Coulter who will be the sommelier on the floor.
Are you feeling all woozy, Minneapolis? I’ll let Tim McKee put a big bow on it for you: “It’s a bummer, but people come, people go. When they go it’s a way of building community, they improve the restaurant scene, it’s good for everyone.”
Hakuna matata indeed.
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.See bio
Food & dining buzz, twice a month.
Our editor's guide to 1000+
restaurant across the
Search the Guide
Like Dara on Facebook
Follow MSPMag on Pinterest
Mpls.St.Paul Magazine | mspmag.com
© 2014 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved
About Us | Contact Us | Media Kit | Pressroom | Subscriber Services
RSS Feeds | Site Map |