Mirabelle Offers a Menu of Affordable French Specialties in Downtown Miami

Fried duck foie grass with mango poached in white port wine.EXPAND
Fried duck foie grass with mango poached in white port wine.
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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.

Mirabelle's frogs' legs fricassee and frogs' legs lollipops.EXPAND
Mirabelle's frogs' legs fricassee and frogs' legs lollipops.

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).

During lunch and dinner, begin with sharable appetizers such as mushroom and frogs' legs fricassee and frogs' legs lollipops ($21), garlic-butter-fried escargots in puff pastry ($12.50), and fried duck foie gras with mango poached in white port wine ($32).

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 frites with salad ($18.95), and roasted Colorado crusted lamb rack with baker's apple ($45). For lunch, there are also hearty sandwiches such as a chicken club with bacon and melted Swiss cheese ($10.95) and Scottish smoked salmon with cream cheese, capers, red onion, and tomato on baguette ($12.95)

The many homey desserts include chocolate mousse with vanilla bourbon sauce and berry ($7.50), baba au rum in a jar with aged rum and vanilla chantilly ($9.95), Mirabelle mousse with strawberry ($6.50), and berries pavlova ($8.50). The list of French, Italian, and California wines complement everything that comes out of the kitchen.

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.

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