A Fork on the Road

Channel the south of France at South Beach’s WD 555


If you go

Place: WD 555 Wine Store-Bar-Bistro

Address: 555 Jefferson Ave., Miami Beach

Contact: 305-672-6161, wd555usa.com

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6-11 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday

Prices: Tapas $9-$14, platters $22-$25, pasta $18, grills $24-$28, dessert $7, wine by the glass $7-$12

F.Y.I. Tapa, dessert and glass of wine $15 at lunch; tapa and glass of rosé $6 on Pink Fridays


French Lentil Salad (Lentilles Salade du Puy)

This salad, adapted from “Saveur Cooks Authentic French” (Chronicle, 1999), calls for the tiny gray-green legumes from Le Puy in the Haute-Loire region, but any small lentil can be used. Serve warm with crusty bread.

2 large carrots, scraped and diced

4 shallots, peeled and halved

1/2 cup olive oil, divided use

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3/4 pound lentils (preferably du Puy)

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put carrots, shallots and 1/4 cup oil in a roasting pan. Add thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper, and roast, stirring once, until beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.

Add lentils with 3 cups water, stir, and cover tightly with foil. Bake until lentils are tender, about 1 hour. Whisk vinegar with remaining 1/4 cup oil and pour over lentils. Stir in parsley. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 335 calories, 38 percent calories from fat, 14 g fat ( 1.9 g sat fat, 10 g mono fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 15 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 18 g fiber, 20 mg sodium


WD 555 might sound like the name of a Star Wars robot, but it’s actually a welcoming wine shop and bistro off the beaten track on South Beach.

Sit at a wine-barrel table in the industrial-chic warehouse space or on the shaded patio, where a garden is planted with grape vines, basil and tomatoes. The menu offers tapas, charcuterie platters and grilled meats and seafood, and wood racks hold wines from Europe, the United States, Chile, Argentina and Australia.

Wine buyer Emmanuel Pelletier grew up in Paris. His parents were from Normandy, where his grandfather made Calvados, and at 17 he went to Saint-Emilion in Bordeaux to learn how to make wine. He worked for Club Med as a food and beverage director and chef in more than 30 countries. At WD 555, he specializes in rosé wines from Provence. Like South Florida, the south of France has a warm climate where a chilled glass of bone-dry rosé is always welcome.

Rosé is made from red grapes, but freshly pressed grape juice has contact with the grape skins for only a day or two, preserving its pink color. These young, peachy-pink wines go well with WD 555 menu items such as seared scallops on celery root remoulade with pistachios.

Crisp Chateau Maime rosé from the heart of Provence is especially good with spicy merguez sausage, tiger shrimp in saffron citrus butter and grilled Portuguese octopus. It also stands up to duck rillettes, fried halloumi cheese and Puy lentil salad with feta, artichoke, radish and orange. Thin apple tart with vanilla ice cream ends an interlude in paradise.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.

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