Espanola Way recently underwent a major renovation and even its slice of France, A La Folie, a fixture for 17 years, has updated its classic menu. Resembling a London or Paris bistro, it has small black-and-white checker floors, framed mirrors and an overhead stained glass lamp. If you are lucky, Barjo, the house cat, will hop up into your lap. There’s French accordion music on the sound track and a poster of the Folies Bergere, a Belle Epoque music hall famous for Josephine Baker’s nearly nude performance in nothing but a skirt made of bananas.
Start with This
As expected for a French bistro, there’s escargots in garlic butter, homemade foie gras served with toast, beef tartare, and oeufs durs mayonnaise with a hard-boiled egg and truffle mayo. Or start with a wedge of quiche Lorraine with bacon, served over a bed of endives, walnuts and tomatoes; or gnocchi with sage and truffle oil. Soups include cream of pea, French onion and gazpacho. Sandwiches come on a crusty baguette. Try one with Brie cheese, pan-fried mushrooms and green beans or the Merguez with spicy lamb sausage, sautéed onions, peppers and harissa hot chili paste.
Share These Dishes
Order the cheese or charcuterie platter with smoked salmon and potato salad (orange segments, toasted almonds and a touch of cream). The biggest attraction are the savory or sweet crepes made with buckwheat flour. The simplest is the Gallette Beurre with butter and sea salt from Brittany region of France. The signature crepe features duck confit and creamy truffle mushrooms. There’s also the Auvergnate with Cantal cheese, potatoes, bacon and garlic and the Doucereuse with caramelized pears, Brie and walnuts.
Save Room for Dessert
Sweet crepes include butter and sugar with ice cream or chocolate spread and bananas.
What Makes It Special
Owner Olivier Corre’s family is from Brittany with his mother born in the tiny village of Folie. He moved to Miami Beach 17 years ago with his Colombian boyfriend, Juan Rivadeneira, a Bogota native who is the chef. They were pioneers, opening on the west end of Espanola Way, far from the touristy east end. They have thrived on local customers, who return for a taste of France at affordable prices, all while people- and dog-watching from the sidewalk patio seats. Make yourself a regular. It is less expensive than a flight to Paris but you will be transported to France.