I noticed the Villa Mayfair was shuttered last night, so I gave the restaurant a call. No answer. The website did provide an answer: "Villa Mayfair is currently closed for the summer. We are looking forward to seeing you again in October."
I'm not suggesting that Mayfair won't re-open, but a restaurant that's been in business for just six months usually doesn't shut down for an entire season. Not only does this temporary closure put a stop to any momentum that may have been gained via word of mouth, advertising, and media dinners, but it also means a rehiring and retraining of staff come October.
Maybe the Mayfair folks will take the time off to retool their concept. The current menu offers a bowl of truffle artichoke soup for $17. A burrata and heirloom tomato salad is $15. Raw bar items start at $22, appetizers begin at $12, red meats run $32 to $38, and seafood dishes, excepting a $61 Dover Sole, are $26 to $34.
I haven't dined on chef Frederic Joulin's Mediterranean fare, so I can't comment on whether high prices are warranted. But Coconut Grove's dining scene hasn't exactly been able to support upscale cuisine of late. And by "upscale," I mean anything more sophisticated than Chili's.
So chef Joulin: Just replace those truffle slivers in the artichoke soup with tortilla strips and you'll be heading in the right direction.
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