Earlier this summer, we gave you a shortlist of suggestions for dining on the boardwalk. Temperatures have now soared into the high 90s, and all we want is to check out the beach scene with a light breeze and some shelter from the sun. As it turns out, this is hard to come by at the many hotel hot spots along the boardwalk between 21st and 46th streets in Miami Beach. The watering holes are set back and sheltered from the boardwalk by either a fence or some greenery, blocking anything that resembles a breeze off the ocean. So that cool and breezy lunch feels more like a trip to the sauna with a hangover.
In comes La Côte to the rescue. Located at the Fontainebleau Resort on Collins Avenue, this outdoor pool restaurant reopened its second-floor deck this weekend. And yes, you can access it from the boardwalk. Unobstructed beach views, breeze, and shade, here we come!
Short Order was invited to check out this "little piece of the South of France right here in our back yard." The weekend party scene -- with live DJs, free-flowing cocktails, and bikini-clad party revelers -- might evoke some Côte d'Azur-like qualities, but on this steamy afternoon, the only thing French is the fresh Niçoise salad ($20). Chef Christina Coupet's menu does not disappoint, offering salads, sandwiches, and sharing plates that encourage leisurely lunches and lounging Saint-Tropez style.
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Yes, the weather is still hot, but the welcome breeze and ocean views are a nice watering hole for those looking to hydrate with a white sangria ($13) and refuel with some prosciutto pissaladiere flatbread ($19) or a huge meze platter ($32) with enough food for four, while you look down at the fools still running by on the boardwalk with their sports bottles.
Hey, we can't be expected to work out in this heat without a serious reward at the end! Besides, if you're going to do the staycation thing, you might as well make the most of it.
La Côte is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.