Lagniappe is a Big Easy-style beer-and-wine bar/restaurant/live music venue. Although it may sound like a lot of things, Lagniappe is also resoundingly uncomplicated.
At the Midtown bar, which opened late last year, there are no waiters. There are no menus, no silverware, no china, and no cloth napkins. Lagniappe, rather, has refrigerators stocked with craft beers. By the bar's entrance, there are racks holding wine -- with over a hundred vintages for sale. There's no corkage fee. Lagniappe has six or seven choices by the glass. Menu items (all four of 'em) are scribbled across a chalkboard wall.
But the lack of pretense can't hide one inescapable fact: Lagniappe is Miami's best beer-and-wine spot. It boasts cheese plates, composed of sliced crusty bread, marinated olives, and fig jam. The best part? It's only $5.
The exact price depends on the size of the cheese wedge. By the beer, there's a fridge stocked with choices such as pecorino Toscano, Manchego, Blue Stilton, Morbier, and Sainte-André. Most are in the $4 to $6 range. There's also Italian salami and chorizo.
At Lagniappe, you grab a wedge and perhaps a $5 IPA, proceed to the counter, pay the reasonable bill, and walk the cheese to the outdoor grill. There, Lagniappe's chef will serve the platter -- all while you sit on mismatched lawn chairs beneath a sky of tea lights and foliage. When the plate is ready, you pick it up yourself.
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On the concise bill of fare, there are vegetable skewers, grilled mahi mahi, steak, and chicken. All are $13, proffered alongside sides such as salad. The mahi mahi is seasoned with a bit of salt and black pepper. The baby greens salad is studded with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, dressed in an understated vinaigrette. The cuisine at Lagniappe is tasty yet simple.
Lagniappe has live music every night. On a recent evening, tunes were performed by The French Horn. The crowd was unostentatious. The vibe was cool. Folks aged around fifty were having just a great a time as those in their twenties. The setting was breezy. The unassuming, non-presumptuous aesthetic -- and good prices -- makes it the best beer-and-wine spot in town.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.