Bistro BE Coming to Miami: Belgian Waffles, Chocolate, and Beer Galore
Miami's international cuisine scene is getting a European flair with Bistro BE, scheduled to open at 1111 SW First Ave. in downtown Miami this summer.
Courtesy of Bistro BE Chef Frederik Appelt and owner Emmanuel Verschueren prepare to open Bistro BE.
The restaurant, by Emmanuel Verschueren, a businessman who made his career in plastics (cue The Graduate jokes), as well as restaurants in Europe, features cuisine executed by chef Frederik Appelt, an acclaimed chef in Belgium. Together, they hope to bring authentic Belgian cuisine to Miami.
The 110-seat restaurant will take a sophisticated, yet casual approach to dining, and will feature an open kitchen, patio, and two chefs tables. Also notable -- the extensive beer selection. Over 50 selections will be available in bottles, with eight offerings on tap. Beer also will be served in the correct glasses and poured correctly. This attention to detail is so important that staff will be trained in proper beer etiquette.
We spoke with Verschueren about what Belgian cuisine really is, why we're drinking our beer wrong, and the sweet parting gift everyone gets at the end of the meal.
New Times: A lot of people oversimplify the idea of Belgian cuisine, when in fact there's a great similarity between it and French cuisine. Can you explain?
Emmanuel Verschueren: Belgian cuisine is very much the same as French cuisine. People think it's more similar to German, but it's based on French techniques. Our cuisine is generous but elegant. It's not "tweezer food."
More than waffles and mussels?
Waffles and lobster.
Of course, we're going to bring waffles here. But what surprises many people is the amount of vegetables in Belgian cuisine. Our country has a lot of rural areas that grow produce. The food is rich, but we also have many salads. You would be amazed at how healthful and balanced the cuisine is. Our meals will consist of your meat or fish and vegetables.
How much of your food will be locally sourced and how much will you import? And how will that challenge your chef?
In Belgium, we work with these tiny shrimps that taste completely different than the ones available here. They're so small -- the size of your pinky, but they're so flavorful. We'll fly those in two times a week. But as far as produce is concerned, we want to work with fresh vegetables. I'm very confident our chef will work them into our recipes and traditions.