First Bites

Former Top Chef Contestant Opens L’Edito, a Petite French Bistro, in Miami Beach Condo

A week after Top Chef France contestant Christophe Bribard and his wife Hanane were married, they packed their bags and moved to the United States.

For two years, they toiled in kitchens and dining rooms in Miami, often on different schedules, so they went days without seeing each other. Now the two work side-by-side at L’Edito, a French restaurant they opened together three months ago.

And it’s just the two of them, catering to residents of the building and diners that hear of the hidden restaurant by word of mouth.

To find L’Edito, voyage up Collins Avenues, past South Beach, past the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc, to the northern edge of mid-Beach. Located on the ground floor of a condo building at 5700 Collins Ave., L’Edito is a restaurant on a strip of hidden restaurants, tucked inside high-rises lining the beach.

The dishes Christophe turns out are familiar but highly stylized. For specials, he’ll make a limited number of portions — between five and six depending upon the number of ingredients he can procure — and invariably the specials sell out.

“There is a lot of attention to the presentation and detail. Presentation is something different here,” Christophe says.

The most popular dish is his take on beef bourguignon ($13.99), which is presented with cubes of the familiar beef alongside cannoli stuffed with sautéed mushrooms.

Another popular item is the smoked burrata, served with tomatoes and pesto bread. The burrata arrives tableside, covered, to be revealed in a cloud of smoke.

“We eat first with the eyes,” Hanane says. “Whenever we see someone taking a picture of the plate, we are proud.”

Their intention with L’Edito is to update familiar dishes and fold in unexpected twists. A salmon confit, cooked slowly in olive oil and presented blush-pink and tender, is something unexpected but a welcome change from the typical fish dish.

The day to go to L’Edito, however, is Sunday, when they turn out a couscous special. The couscous is made with homemade chicken stock, flavored with merguez sausage and spices, and topped with crisped chicken pieces. Christophe makes ten to 15 portions of the piquant plate, and it is typically the first to go.

The couscous was inspired by a party L’Edito catered when the patron requested something comforting but flavorful that could be served family-style. After watching the dish disappear, Christophe and Hanane knew that couscous, something typical in France, was a dish they had to offer at their Miami Beach bistro.

“In America, you cannot offer only French food. You have to touch a couple of international things, but we kept the French touch. Whatever dish you get, you know it’s a French dish,” Hanane says.

L’Edito is open daily from 5 to 11 p.m. except Tuesdays.
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