Best French Restaurant Miami 2009 - Pascal's on Ponce
It was nearly a decade ago when Pascal Oudin opened his eponymous 55-seat restaurant. This is noteworthy because it began the trend of Miami's top chefs leaving big-money establishments to start modest places of their own. The restaurant is also noteworthy because Oudin, from Bourbon Lancy, France, is an unquestionably gifted chef. Using classic French technique gleaned from years of working under masters such as Alain Ducasse, Roger Verge, and Jean-Louis Palladin, he artfully creates light, fresh fare such as creamy lobster bisque with corn flan and tarragon, twice-baked Gruyère cheese soufflé, and duck dolce forte with pears, fingerling potatoes, and Savoy cabbage (entrées are in the $30 range). Well-priced bottles are on the wine list, white linens and delicate flowers are on the tables, the waitstaff is on the ball, and if you've never eaten at Pascal's on Ponce, you should get right on over there for lunch or dinner (open until 10 p.m. weeknights and an hour later on weekends).