The Who: The team behind Villa Azur in Miami Beach sets up shop in midtown Miami with this casual, neighborhood-friendly French brasserie. Executive chef Erwin Mallet helms the kitchen.
The Space: A cavernous hall that used to house Mercadito has been farmhoused-up by celeb designer Francois Frossard with brick walls, stone tables and a pergola overhead woven with LED-lit bougainvilleas that evoke a disco-happy French chalet. Other touches include incongruous but fun foosball tables, a seafood display and a glass-enclosed rotisserie oven.
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The Dishes: Classic French home cooking. The epic menu includes starters, raw bar, sandwiches, charcuterie, pizzas, salads and mains. Prices are approachable with starters $10-$14 and larger plates $16-$39.
Start things off with fois gras en terrine or escargot, then it’s on to thin-crust truffle pizza or ratatouille topped with a breaded poached egg. Lighter options can be had with shaved-artichoke salad with lemon dressing, and a tuna tartare. Main dishes are generously portioned and include chicken paillard, poached sea bass with aioli, thyme-marinated lamb chops and roast beef au jus.
A French dessert chariot (really, a trolley) offers an assortment of options, including a traditional cheesecake, chocolate mousse and apple tart.
The Bottom Line: This midtown outpost of the Azur group is more casual and affordable than its haute South Beach sibling.