The Who: Baoli owners Mathieu Massa and Michael Ridard have opened this grand café/market/bakery as well as the neighboring Latin cabaret club El Tucan. Chef Jean Paul Lourdes and pastry chef Christina Kaelberer head up the massive kitchen, which also includes a raw bar, charcuterie station and pastry counter.
The Space: The former Hoxton space has been French-ified and designed to imitate a traditional brasserie atmosphere. It has leather banquettes, brass oversize mirrors, terrazzo tile floors, large windows and antique lighting.
The Dishes: Mediterranean-inspired. The menu features raw-bar platters, homemade pastas, salads and fresh fish flown in from Veta La Palma, a sustainable aquaculture farm based in Seville, Spain. (Given that pedigree, prices for the fish can sometimes seem Milos-high, with some daurade going for $130.) Prices for other dishes are average: starters $11-$17 and mains $19-$29.
Baskets of homemade sourdough start things off (other baked goods like olive tapenade rolls and baguettes can be ordered for an additional charge). Then it’s on to sea bream crudo bathed in Seville orange juice and cumin or tuna belly ribbons with tomatoes and red onions. Vegetarian options abound, including an organic vegetable tart, watermelon gazpacho, heirloom tomato salad and buccatini pasta done cacio e pepe style. The wild-caught local and Mediterranean fish can be grilled over a wood fire or baked in Normandy sea salt, while Amish-raised chicken gets doused in lemon and cooked in a rotisserie. Octopus comes with chorizo, and milk-fed lamb is accompanied by white-bean cassoulet.
The dessert list abounds: 28 choices, including strawberry shortcake tart, profiteroles and homemade ice creams and sorbets in flavors of banana, hazelnut and passion fruit.
The Bottom Line: A flirty and cavernous cafe should bring some of the Med coast to the Brickell dining scene.