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Georges Kitchen and Loft: A First Bite (Photos)

Georges Kitchen and Loft is a departure into opulence for restaurateur Georges-Eric Farge.

Farge, who is known for his casual French/American Miami bistros, recently opened Georges, hiring a Michelin Star chef and gutting an old antique shop in Midtown to create his own vision of what happens when New York meets Paris meets Miami.

As he greets me with a glass of champagne, the restaurateur chats about his new, swankier venture in Midtown Miami. "At first, I didn't get this neighborhood. Then I walked around a bit. I noticed that there's an electricity in the air. People walk here. People live here. And I knew I wanted to be a part of this community and to bring good food and a place to enjoy cocktails here."

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Indeed, this is a one-stop destination for a sophisticated set. The restaurant, on the first floor, is decorated in warm browns and coppers. A large communal table runs the length of the long dining room, leading to an open kitchen bustling with chefs preparing dishes, led by both executive chef Steven Rojas and Farge himself. The upstairs loft, which can be accessed both through the dining room and via a private entrance, is a cozy lounge filled with multiple seating options and a large bar. The two spaces are brought together by a golden display of light fixtures, which lends a tawny glow to the entire operation. The idea is to have dinner downstairs, then retreat upstairs for cocktails and music.

The dinner takes rustic French cuisine for a spin, adding modern and whimsical touches. For instance foie gras, served in a mason jar goes casual, while churros are made upscale with Idiazabal cheese.

Cocktails are an important part of a meal at Georges Kitchen. Chef Steven Rojas is as passionate about them as he is about the food. The Bitter Pirate builds Aperol, rum zaffra, carbonated cucumber, and dill syrup (all specialty cocktails $14).

Idiazabal cheese churros with romesco ($7).

English pea pot de creme with bacon marmalade is served in a jar ($8). Other "jars" offered are a pork rillete with peppered pineapple chutney and Hudson Valley Farm foie gras creme caramel with red grape verjus marmalade ($13).

Roasted cod with butter poached beans, garlic sausage, cockle vinagrette and parsley emulsion ($29).

Short rib bourguignon with pureed and crisp parsnip and bacon lardon ($32).

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Though the French pastries by Franck Monnier (founder of L'Atelier Gourmet) are wonderful, don't overlook the cheese plate ($18).

You'll still wind up ordering a souffle. We choose chocolate, though Grand Marnier is also available ($8).

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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