, the French bistro by the Pubbelly team, has announced it will open summer 2014, to correlate with the completed renovation of the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach hotel.
The 2,500 square-foot space will seat 130 guests, and will offer a large oceanfront patio, perfect for catching a sea breeze with your dinner. Continuing the Pubbelly concept of having a hand in all aspects of the restaurant, Sergio Navarro assisted the hotel's design firm, RTKL, with the decor, which incorporates a retro 1950s beach theme with rustic elements that are now a Pubbelly signature. Navarro tells Short Order, "We designed L'echon to have a casual, neighborhood French bistro feel, with a little classic Miami pizzazz. The spacious room allowed us to incorporate a gorgeous French-style open kitchen, and in laying that out, we looked at both traditional French restaurants, as well as our favorite American kitchens, pulling from each what we felt worked best."
Andres Schreiner explains that, "the three of us have always talked of owning a little French place where we could munch on things like duck confit, escargot bourguignon, and anything a la meunière. Now, with Chef Jose's interpretation of modern and classic French dishes, we have it -- and it's truly a treat."
According to Jose Mendin, "L'echon is a true French brasserie with our own twist. Dishes are classically French and Mediterranean, but will show obvious signs of coming from a Pubbelly Boys kitchen. We want to create what a brasserie should be in Miami -- relaxed setting, professional service, and great French dishes, but plenty of fresh local ingredients and, of course, that Magic City feel."
Menu items, created by Mendin and executive chef Josh Elliott, include frisée aux lardon salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, croutons, poached egg, and tarragon dressing; confit de canard with charred carrots, carrot puree and ginger; raviolis de lapin with mustard crème, sauce vierge, olives, Florida basil salad and pine nuts, and modules frites with celery, shallots, white wine, and sauce beurre blanc.
For dessert ($9 each), pastry chef Maria Orantes offers crème brulee with blueberry preserves, crème brulee foam and seasonal berries; brown butter tart tatin with Granny Smith apples, puff pastry, ricotta cream and house-made brown butter ice cream; tiramisu aux fraise with ladyfingers, fresh strawberries, strawberry cremeux, dulce de leche mousse, strawberry dust, and chocolate croquant, and a warm chocolate croissant bread pudding with flaky chocolate croissant, milk chocolate custard, salty caramel ice cream and peanut shortbread.
Pubbelly Group bar chef Ashley Danella has created a special cocktail program that's "simple and elegant." According to the mixologist, the French-inspired beverages are, "strong enough to carry a bar, but they also play quite nicely with what Jose and Josh put out of the kitchen."
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Cocktails include a Cognac Sazerac; French 75; Corpse Reviver #2, and a French Tickler, made with Vodka, Dolin Genepy, and bubbles over ice. Daniella also will oversee the hotel's pool bar and cocktails for beach service, which are for guests only, although a membership club for Miami residents is in the works.
L'echon Brasserie will serve breakfast daily from 7 to 11 a.m.; lunch Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m., and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight. The pool and beach will be open from sunrise to sunset, with food and beverage service from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pool bar will remain open until 10 p.m. on most evenings. A French-style weekend brunch will be served every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Valet parking is available at the hotel.