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?
Pascal's On Ponce
2611 Ponce De Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Le Bouchon Du Grove
3430 Main Hwy
Miami, FL 33133
12409 Biscayne Blvd
North Miami, FL 33181
9999 NE 2nd Ave.
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?
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?
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).
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!"
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?