Brasserie Azur, the casual sister of South Beach's Villa Azur, is set to open in Midtown sometime this month.
The brasserie-and-rotisserie concept opens in the former Mercadito space at 3252 NE First Ave. (adjacent to the Shops at Midtown), with a modern French bistro concept. Designed by Francois Frossard, who was also behind the lush Villa Azur, the restaurant features brickwork, rustic farmhouse tables, and bright accents. In contrast to its uber-chic SoBe sibling, Brasserie Azur strives to be cooler and more casual — with a foosball table and hookahs.
The restaurant will feature French cuisine with Mediterranean influences. A rotisserie will turn out moist chickens, and a wine bar will have its own communal seating area. Rounding out the fare is a well-stocked seafood bar and an assortment of fresh charcuterie.
Lunch and dinner menu items include classic French favorites like escargots de Bourgogne ($12); foie gras en terrine ($13); ratatouille with a poached egg ($10); and a pan-seared octopus with warm potatoes ($21) for starters. Main courses include bouillabaisse with Florida white fish, clams, mussels, and shrimp ($26); moules and frites ($16); and a whole grilled branzino ($39).
Rotisserie chickens get their own menu section. A whole bird to share starts at $33 for a plain farm-raised chicken to $43 for a truffle-marinated clucker. Each chicken is served with fingerling potatoes, and sides like sauteed Brussels sprouts ($5); saffron rice ($6); and organic quinoa ($6).
A weekend brunch features waffles with chantilly cream or organic hazelnut spread ($8); croissant au jambon with bechamel sauce and Swiss cheese ($10); eggs Benedict served with bacon or smoked salmon ($12)
Cocktails replicate an evening on the French Riviera with offerings like a rose martini, made with Absolut Citron, rose Champagne, lime, fresh mint, and fresh raspberries ($11) and a cucumber lavender sour, made with Hendricks gin, fresh cucumber, lavender syrup, and ginger liquor ($10). Brasserie Azur also wants to bring back the art of having an aperitif before dinner. These light drinks, designed to spark up an appetite, are all under $6 and feature cocktails with low-alcohol content like the Tomate, made with Ricard pastis and grenadine ($6); the Perroquet, made with Ricard pastis and mint ($6); the Demi Peche, French draft beer and peach syrup ($5); and the Monaco, French draft beer with lemon soda and grenadine ($5).
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Michael Martin of parent company Azur Hospitality Group, says, “We are ecstatic to be offering an approachable menu in an elegant-yet-relaxed atmosphere,"
Brasserie Azur will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.