Obviously, no one does romance quite like the French. And lucky for you, Miami has a French restaurant for every style, with delectable cuisine and candle-lit ambiance that brings a piece of Paris to South Florida. If you can appreciate the art of romance, these three French restaurants should be on your short list for Valentine’s Day — or even just a very special date night.
Located within the glamorous and historic Biltmore Hotel, the award-winning Palme d’Or has the kind of rich decor that recalls a time of unparalleled elegance. When you and your co-star walk in, dressed in gold and warm white, everything in the place – the picture frames, the candle sconces – glitters as though it had just magically changed to match you. Tradition reigns within the longest-running French restaurant in Miami, with crystal chandeliers hanging above, casting a glow over the black-and-white photos of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars. Begin with the rich foie gras retour des vandanges (foie gras poached in red wine) and accompany it with a glass of a fruity, medium-bodied red. Le filet de buffle (buffalo tenderloin) with porcini mushrooms in a black olive sauce stops your energetic chatter as soon as you take the first bite, with its rich, buttery flavors and juicy bits of meat. After your decadent dinner, stop by the Biltmore Bar for a nightcap and sweet tete-a-tete.
Downtown Bistro Miami
The décor at Downtown Bistro Miami is clean but quaint, with its fresh white walls, exposed brick details, and natural wooden tables – a setting perfectly engineered for cozy, intimate chitchat between the two of you. A potage aux asparagus (asparagus cream soup) is the perfect starter to lead the way for mussels served in a red wine, spinach, and blue cheese sauce.
Dining in this warmly lit bistro will make you feel as if you’re sharing an evening at a sidewalk café in Paris. For a twist on the classic with a bit of Miami flair, toast your darling with a glass of Champagne mojito, a concoction of sake, mint, blueberry, pomegranate, and sparkling white – it’s sweet, bubbly, and refreshing, just like your date. For a truly international evening, take a short drive to the nearby Tower Theater and catch a foreign film, where you can lean in close as you try to translate the language of love.
db Bistro Moderne
Aptly named for its creative chef, Daniel Boulud, db Bistro Moderne is located in the heart of downtown Miami. The modern French-American bistro’s sleek interior decor, with plush white couches and metallic dividers, reflects the mood of the establishment – fresh and exciting. A lit-up, mirrored bar with floor-to-ceiling windows is the perfect spot for pre-dinner cocktails. Try the fuego tropical, with passion fruit, habanero shrub, and mezcal to add some heat to the evening.
Then head out to the airy outdoor terrace that makes the sparkling city lights and Miami River view its focus – although, it’s hard to concentrate on the sights when you’re digging into the tender meat and perfectly salty sauce that is their coq au vin. Be sure to share the bonbons & macarons over a bottle of Champagne before ending the night with a stroll by the Seine Miami River with your sweetheart.