First Bite: Villa Azur Brings the South of France to SoBe
|All photos by Laine Doss|
|The lounge area at Villa Azur has built-in fireplaces.|
Azur, which opened last Saturday to much fanfare, celebrity sightings, and an engagement announcement (actor and Azur co-owner Olivier Martinez announced his engagement to Halle Berry at the opening party), is the 6,000-square-foot attempt by Martinez and partners Jean-Philippe Bernard and Michael Martin to bring the French Riviera to America's Riviera.
The restaurant will also feature a French deli/wine bar, accessible from a next-door street entrance. The little 12-seat room will offer French meats, cheese, and sandwiches by day, tuning into a wine bar and tasting room when the sun goes down, and is scheduled to open today.
We're not sure why DJ booths are built into restaurants, but Villa Azur has one -- complete with French DJ imported, we're sure, from the best clubs in the South of France.
Hearing English as a second language is old hat in Miami, but this time around, the language is French. Both staff and patrons are French, laughing and being generally fabulous..and beautiful. Seated in the courtyard, the atmosphere was romantic and date-worthy except for one thing. A large European contingent means large population of smokers. Almost everyone was lit up in the outdoor area, which reflected on our clothes and hair by the end of the night.
The food, like the decor, patrons, and staff, was beautiful. The menu features an extended fruits de mer section, meat, pasta, and seafood sections. Chateaubriand for two ($85), and Bouillabaisse for two ($70) are available, as well as a whole fish of the day for sharing. The kitchen was out of many key items like caviar, crepes Suzette, and the above mentioned Bouillabaisse.
Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.