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Dec 13, 2007 02:27 AM

French in Miami/M. Beach

On the heels of my last post...
...Who would you guys pick for the best French food in Miami and/or Miami Beach? Last time I was around Le Croisic in Biscayne was excellent, but it’s been a few years since then—any contenders for the crown?

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  1. Pascal's On Ponce
    2611 Ponce De Leon Blvd
    Coral Gables, FL 33134
    (305) 444-2024

    Le Bouchon Du Grove
    3430 Main Hwy
    Miami, FL 33133
    (305) 448-6060

    Plein Sud
    12409 Biscayne Blvd
    North Miami, FL 33181
    (305) 891-2355

    Cote' Gourmet
    9999 NE 2nd Ave.
    Miami Shores

    1. Maison d'Azur in sobe at the anglers hotel.

      1. Pascal's is probably cream of the crop.

        I enjoyed my one visit to Maison d'Azur, which has a strong seafood focus.

        I like Bouchon du Grove as well for basic bistro-style (be prepared to have your dining neighbor's elbow in your ear, though - very cramped quarters).

        I would also add:

        Gourmet Diner (North Miami) - great French food in an unlikely old-school diner location.

        Le Provencal (Coral Gables) - ancient place on the corner of Miracle Mile & LeJeuene. I've gone back several times recently for lunch and find it completely charming.

        Les Halles (Coral Gables) - good not great brasserie. I like their duck confit salad w/ truffled potatoes, good cassoulet, one of the few places in town you can get a choucroute.

        La Goulue (Bal Harbour) - brasserie style. My first visit was good, second and third not so much. Anyone been lately?

        6 Replies
        1. re: Frodnesor

          Unfortunately I've only had one real French experience in Miami and it wasn't as good as I had hoped - and that was at French Kiss. I loved the atmosphere though. But I'm not in a rush to go back.

          Frod, how's Cafe Pastis in South Miami compared to what you just listed?

            1. re: mialebven

              I really enjoy Cafe Pastis, but is not the best around. I also like Bouchon du Grove. Think Gourmet Dinner and Les Halles are only OK. For really good crepes and low key, friendly place head to A La Folie in SoBe. There is also a place across from Perricone's in Brickell that is OK. I have had good duck there.

              I really want to try the Bal Harbour place and Le Provencal. Any recommendations on what to order Frod?

              1. re: yomyb

                I put Gourmet Diner at much more than OK (the vegetable souffles alone are worth a visit, the roast duck excels, the steaks are quite nice, good chocolate souffle), but to each his/her own.

                La Goulue went downhill very quickly and I haven't returned in several months to see whether or not they recovered (comments I saw from others suggested not).

                I've had lunches at Le Provencal and not dinners so haven't really tried the whole menu. The lunch options vary from day to day, usually a choice of about 6 items with a soup or salad and a dessert for around $13-18. I had a lamb shank & merguez sausage over couscous that was very nice, and a decent but not exceptional cassoulet. I remember from visits years ago that their soupe de poisson and bouillabaisse (sorry, too lazy to check correct spellings) were quite good. I ordered from the regular menu at one lunch recently and had a very satisfying tripe stew (not everyone's bag, I know).

            2. re: Frodnesor

              Frod, have you been to Plein Sud? (North Miami) I always forget about it and wondering how it stacks up against Gourmet Diner which I always enjoy.

              1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                Never tried but meaning to. Saw a wine dinner they were doing recently and the menu was so uninspired I was amazed - I literally think it was: onion soup; coquille st. jacques; steak frites; chocolate souffle. Let me tell you, if that's what you come up with for a wine dinner to "show off your stuff," you better do those items exceptionally well. Maybe they do, I don't know. But it was like the scene in the movie "Better off Dead" when John Cusack's character's mother makes a dinner in honor of their French exchange student guest: ""In honor of our special guest, I've created dinner mon dieu — including Frahnch fries ... Frahnch dressing ... and Frahnch bread. And to drink ..." (holding up a bottle of Perrier) "Pay-roo!"

            3. I've never been but on the beach I've heard good things about is Cafe Maurice. Their website sure is fun.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 2top

                Menu is, um, interesting. More than half the entrees are pasta dishes ... and sheperd's pie? OK ... And the wine list - listing just a region without even identifying the producer (or, god forbid), the year can, I suppose be charming if you're selling it for $10 a bottle - but "Chateauneuf du Pape - $45; Margaux - $65"?

                Has anyone been?

              2. Is St Michel in the Gabeles any good still? I haven't been in years but used to be pretty good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: eatnbmerry

                  I believe it's changed chefs and was trying to style itself as something of a steakhouse. Haven't been since the shakeup. It was good a long time ago.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    Wow, just what the gables needed another steakhouse LOL. Ty for update Frod.