Lyon Freres food market is reborn in Miami Beach

Lyon Freres photo by Linda Bladholm for the Miami Herald.
Lyon Freres photo by Linda Bladholm for the Miami Herald.

Fans of Lyon Freres that opened in the early ’90s will be happy to know it has returned in the form of a petit marche, or small market, on Alton Road in Miami Beach. 

Serving as a neighborhood grocery, the market offers coffee and raisin-oatmeal cookies, or customers can grab a baguette sandwich or pick up dinner, from rotisserie chicken to roasted lamb. There is a section with provisions including produce, charcuterie, soups, sauces, pasta, olive oil, cheeses and eggs. The main draw is the prepared-foods counter with cooked meats, fish and vegetables, plus salads.

Chef-owner Ken Lyon is from Worcester, Massachusetts, and intended to become a photographer. But when he went through a rough economic patch, he started working for a restaurant group in New York and never looked back. He visited his brother in Miami Beach in 1991 and got a chef job at the Colony Hotel; a year later he opened Lyon Freres. Renovations on Lincoln Road forced him out, and he went on to co-own Fratelli Lyon in the Design District and started the catering company Lyon + Lyon that he still operates. 

The small, neatly organized shop carries items not found elsewhere, such as Sandy Creek goat cheese. From Goat Lady Farm in North Carolina, the soft-ripened, bloomy cheese with a layer of vegetable ash is aged five weeks, developing its smooth texture and grassy flavor with a lemony tang and earthy notes of mushroom. Pair it with a crisp La Liebre y La Tortuga Albariño white wine from Galicia, Spain, and some biscotti. 

The same wine would go well with the jumbo lump crab and orange salad with a touch of cilantro or poached gravlax salmon fillet. Other prepared foods include curry chicken salad with walnuts and raisins, French lentil salad, golden beet cubes with goat cheese, kale Caesar with shaved parmesan and Moroccan grated carrot salad. 

Homemade ice cream ranges from espresso caramel swirl to cinnamon cardamom, and there’s charred pineapple sorbet. A welcome old-time newcomer.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.