In what was once considered a desolate dining area in Miami sits a new French-inspired concept called Downtown Bistro. Located in Downtown Miami, this small brasserie hopes to enlighten the area’s dining scene and liven the palates of locals and tourists alike. There is not much going on in the neighborhood in a culinary sense, with the only considerable dining destinations being The Filling Station and Fratelli Milano. Well now, you can add Downtown Bistro to that list, because the food coming out of this inspiring kitchen is elevated in a way that few restaurants in the city offer.
By sticking to traditional preparations of French food, the owners have been able to transport costumers to their homeland. Although classic French techniques and flavors are evident throughout all dishes, this petite restaurant is not afraid to stray from the norm to excite diners. Such is the case with dishes like Escargots a la Crème. This dish, normally made in garlic and parsley butter, is accentuated with a crème sauce that is rich and velvety. After trying both versions, I walked away more impressed with the variation.
Other highlights include Le Steak Tartare au Couteau avec Frites. This dish is made using raw 6 oz filet mignon cut by hand, capers, onions anchovies, and Dijon served with a quail egg and fries. The mustard is ever-present and highlights the quality of the extremely fresh beef, making for a refreshing bite of food that is full of flavor due to the umami profile of all the ingredients used. If you get any dish at Downtown Bistro, make it this one.
There is something on the menu for everyone, including various takes on the classic Moule Frites, Risotto, and Le Poulet au Four. Everything is superb, and the one thing that might be better than the food is the attention the owners place on their dining room. The owners are quite interactive and will lead you through the meal if you give them freedom. My advice is to do so, as your experience in this Bistro will be similar to that of dining in France. Magnificent wine, delectable food, a comforting atmosphere, and stellar service make for one of the best new additions to the neighborhood and Miami as a whole, so make your way downtown to indulge in one of the more authentic culinary experiences Miami has gotten the pleasure of offering us.
114 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131
By Santiago Cardona