Miami is more of a collection of neighborhoods than a true city. I’m not saying the city is disjointed; we residents know how to navigate our way from area to area and tourists generally stick to one zone at a time. My point is that there’s no real city center, and while Downtown Miami may be considered by some to be the cultural, financial, and commercial center of South Florida, there’s really not an established urban life there. That, however, all seems to be changing as Downtown is currently the fastest-growing area in Miami in terms of both construction and population, but the real litmus test – for me anyway – is when good restaurants and bars start popping up. If people are expected to live Downtown, they need to have nice places to eat and drink Downtown. Mel and I were recently invited to try such a spot, Downtown Bistro, which seems to have realized the same thing, evolving from being a strict “lunch rush” establishment to a full-blown decadent dining experience.
Feast your eyes on this visual recap of our decadent and delicious 11 (yes 11!) course tasting menu:
Carpaccio de Poulpe: octopus with lemon passionfruit vinaigrette and sautéed tomatoes
Crudo de Thon “AAA”: red dragon tuna topped with garden radish, cucumber, and Asian pesto
Caprèse de Pastèque Tiède, Mozzarella de Buffalo, Huile de Truffe, and Miette de Proscuitto Craquant: warm watermelon and buffalo mozzarella Caprese with mixed greens, crispy Proscuitto and truffle oil
Le Steak Tartare au Couteau: raw 6oz filet mignon cut by hand with with capers, anchovies, and dijon mustard, served with a quail egg
Petit Velouté de Potiron: small and sweet butternut squash shooter
Escargots à la Crème: snails in heavenly cream sauce
Médaillon de Chèvre Frit sur Potiron, Roquette avec Senteurs de Truffes: fried goat cheese medallion on pumpkin purée, arugula, and truffle oil
Ravioli de Short Rib, Sauce Quatre Fromage, Gambas Pochées et Asparges: short rib ravioli with four cheese sauce, poached shrimp, and asparagus
Carré d’Agneau avec Polenta et Ratatouille: lamb rack with polenta and vegetable ragout
Dessert Sampler: Deep Fried Oreo, Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Raspberry Tartlet, and Chocolate Mousse
Mitch’s recommendation: Downtown Bistro is great. It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s classy, and cozy, and has that kind of “this doesn’t feel like Miami” vibe. P.S. I mean that in the nicest way possible. Our city is growing, and changing, and evolving, and it’s places like this that are leading the charge.
Seriously, everything was out of control delicious; decadence at its best. It’s nice to have a new, ingredient-driven restaurant in Miami’s burgeoning Downtown scene. It’s classic French cuisine with innovative twists. And did I mention Deep Fried Oreos?