Maurizio Farinelli, owner of Strada in the Grove and Farinelli 1937, has opened La Rue, a French bistro, in the former George's in the Grove location on Commodore Plaza.
This is the third Coconut Grove eatery for the restaurateur, who opened La Rue with partner Diego Uribe about two weeks ago. Farinelli also owned Trattoria Sole and Blu in South Miami for 15 years.
Unlike their other two locations, this one will be their first French concept. Though Farinelli is from Italy, he spent much time in France when his father owned a restaurant in the French Alps.
Offering 50 seats inside and 20 outside, the space has been transformed to look like a traditional brasserie, with a new façade displaying beautiful colors and stripes. Farinelli says La Rue is chic, classic, and casual and serves a more contemporary style of French cuisine while still featuring the classics.
Head chef Dominique Lavalley created a menu that specializes in classic French cuisine but with modern touches and some lighter fare. Farinelli traveled frequently to many regions of France, including Lyon, the concept's main inspiration.
The menu is filled with traditional dishes such as escargots ($17). Six snails are served piping-hot in garlic and tarragon butter, with a side of bread for dipping; steak tartare is prepared with hand-cut, free-range, grass-fed beef tenderloin and topped with a quail egg ($16 for an appetizer or $29 for an entrée); and duck leg confit ($30) is served with crisp potatoes and duck au jus.
There is also a selection of raw seafood, mussels, homemade charcuterie, and salads. During lunch, guests can order a range of sandwiches, including a croque-madame ($15), made with brioche toast, jambon de Paris, Comté cheese, béchamel, and a fried egg and served with fries.
A global wine selection of 120 labels includes bottles from Austria, Spain, France, South Africa, and Lebanon. Twenty-five to 30 of them are offered by the glass, priced at $9 to $18 for wine and $17 or $18 for champagne.
La Rue Bistronomie. 3145 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 305-774-5929; laruemiami.com. Monday through Friday noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday noon to 11:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 10:30 p.m.
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