September 16th, 2016
Miami Spice Update
9700 Collins Avenue
Bal Harbour, FL 33154
HIT: The Bistro Chicken: pan roasted breast in sherry vinegar and a black pepper jus…simply delightful.
MISS: Not a single one.
Despite its ritzy location, dining there is surprisingly low key. Le Zoo continues to deliver quality food: uncomplicated, simple French goodness.
April 22nd, 2016
Despite my initial interest in dining at Le Zoo, it took me a while to visit; the restaurant only takes reservations for parties of six or more. Thankfully, when I happened to be nearby on a Friday night, I took a chance and was seated right away.
Along with Buddakan, Morimoto, Makoto, Steak 954, and Continental –to name a few- Le Zoo joins the Starr Restaurant group. This French brassiere is located inside the Bal Harbour Shops. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, I was lucky to dine during one of Miami’s five “winter” days. Needless to say, sitting outside on the large terrace was extremely pleasant. Did I mention there’s also people-watching for days?
The salty, delicate, and decadent Foie Gras Terrine accompanied with confit kumquats and a dreamy brioche kicked off dinner. How’s that for a delightful starter? I also enjoyed the classic and flavorful Steak Tartare du Parc (hand-chopped steak, capers, quail egg). Anytime I can end dinner on a high sweet note, I am one happy diner. The Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée, Milk Chocolate Pot de Creme, and a scoop of Sunkist Sorbet? Hit, hit, hit. Simple. Nothing crazy, but done just right. All of that was for a party of two. No judging. Since apparently I still needed more sweets, I ventured out to try the Vietnamese Coffee. It’s not something I expected to find on the menu, but so glad I did. Even with the added condensed milk, it wasn’t overly sweet.
1. The Bouillabaisse, as served, could have been hotter. I wish the dish incorporated meatier fish. Maybe it’s just me, but it seemed a little skimpy.
2. The outside tables were very close to one another. I could have easily reached out and touched someone, had I wanted to. The Steak Frites ordered by the diners next to me tempted me, but I kept my hands to myself.
3. The Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée brings a warm madeleine on the side. Asking for an additional one meant I was charged $2 more. As a reference, I can tell you I’ve never once been charged a single dollar for any additional ones at DB Bistro Moderne (aka home of my favorite madeleines). Is $2 a big deal? Not really. It just bothers me more on principle. It’s not like I didn’t already spend a pretty penny with all we ordered (and a corkage fee). Is it really necessary to charge more for one side cookie? In case you are wondering, yes, at least it was a good one!
On the list of things to try next time: the Seafood Tower, King Crab Angel Hair, Trout Amandine, and the Duck Confit. The beer menu also has some gems on it I don’t often see elsewhere (including a favorite: Saison Dupont-Farmhouse Ale).
Overall, Le Zoo was a hit and a welcomed addition to the area. I’m a fan!