For those seeking an unpretentious spot
for a Friday night date, check out Le Cafe Bistro. Nestled in the
corner space of a modest strip mall on Biscayne Boulevard, it is a neighborhood gem offering a reasonably priced menu and live music in a
charming and intimate atmosphere.
I visited October 8 and caught Empress Addi's sultry vocals coupled with light jazz. Only about a dozen guests sat relaxed and immersed
in the comfort of lively music and good food.
Appetizers go for $7 to $10. The French onion soup was savory with sautéed onion and
wine base and a melty-cheese/bread top ($6). It boasted a particular sweetness and flavor that make it
among the best in Miami. Escargot, a staple of French cuisine, can be had for $8.
The Chevere salad was also good. A fresh organic
mix of greens with crumbles of goat cheese, sprinkled with walnuts and
strawberries, and tossed in a tangy Raspberry Dijon ($10) was a meal in itself. Other simple salads go for $7 to $12. There are also a host of
sandwiches all under $10.
The chicken Florentine ($15.00) was neither a disappointment nor the the best entree on the menu. It is a light variation, using grilled chicken smothered with spinach, onions, and mushrooms; sautéed in a light tomato sauce, topped with melted Swiss cheese. The whole thing is accompanied by roasted potatoes and a pan-tossed vegetable sauté (ratatouille).
The dinner menu features, among other notable items, veal francaise ($15), chicken marsala ($14), Asian stir-fry ($10.00), and salmon with mango salsa ($16). The fresh Red Snapper ($16) is sautéed in a zesty lemon-caper sauce, sprinkled with plump capers, and served with roasted potatoes. It is a light, yet filling dish that leaves room for dessert.
While there was more hope for the chocolate souffle ($8), it was merely an imitation that came out of a mold fancied-up with powdered sugar and strawberries.There are other offerings, such as creme brulee ($5) and tiramisu ($5), but nothing out of the ordinary.
It is interesting to note that there were only two wines to choose from. We chose the Argentinian pinot noir over the malbec. Nor is service impressive. It's about on par with a coffee shop. But the relaxed vibe, live music, and quaint decoration make Le Cafe Bistro a fun spot to hang out at on a Friday night. Check out the website for more information regarding events.
Le Cafe Bistro
7295 Biscayne Blvd., Miami