Foodies in downtown Miami now have a new French restaurant worth checking out.
Since opening in January, chef George Berger's Mirabelle has been drawing a loyal crowd of regulars lured by the dishes listed on the restaurant's chalkboard menu.
An award-winning pastry chef from Lyon, France, Berger owned the bakery Chocolate Fashion in Coral Gables for 18 years. By opening Mirabelle, he said he wanted to take longer strides by cooking what he likes to eat and offering guests memorable meals that wouldn't cost a fortune.
The result is a constantly changing menu that blends the distinctiveness of traditional Gallic comfort food with a dash of experimentation in a French-bistro atmosphere that displays patisseries in the center of the dining room. There, you will find a colorful selection of éclairs ($4.75), fruit and cream tarts ($4.75), truffles ($2), macarons ($1.75 each), and chocolate mousse ($6.50).
The 56-person eatery, housed in a building across from the Langford Hotel, offers a spacious dining room decorated with flowers, blown-glass chandeliers, and paintings created by Berger in his spare time. A staircase in the corner leads to the upstairs bakery, where he churns out bread, pastries, and desserts fresh every morning.
For breakfast at Mirabelle, dishes might include brioche pancakes with blueberries, Nutella, or banana chocolate ($8.50); French toast ($9); a Spanish omelet with truffle and prosciutto ($12.50); and a smoked salmon platter ($13.50).
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During lunch and dinner, begin with sharable appetizers such as mushroom and frogs' legs fricassee and frogs' legs lollipops ($21), garlic-butter-fried
Highlights from the entrées are sautéed trout Nantua with salmon quenelle and crayfish sauce ($18.95), a juicy grilled duck breast with caramelized apple and cassis sauce ($27.50), steak
The many homey desserts include chocolate mousse with vanilla bourbon sauce and berry ($7.50), baba
Mirabelle by Georges B. 114 SE First St., Miami; 786-440-6561; mirabellemiami.com. Monday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.