Miami Living Magazine

Willa Ford

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Page 77 of 115

FOOD Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne wows Miami Delicious db Words by Martin Haro Here's something true: When chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud does anything, you pay attention – and you hope for a reservation. Boulud, of course, is the French chef behind New York City's Daniel, a Michelin 3- star restaurant, which he opened after a celebrated stint at Le Cirque (which became Le Cirque because of him). Since then, the accolades have kept on comin' – as well as more Boulud joints. His portfolio includes three Café Bouluds (one in Manhattan, one in Palm Beach, and a recently opened one in Toronto's spankin' new Four Seasons), as well as three db Bistro Modernes, including one in Singapore. Not that long ago, the JW Marriott Marquis opened its swank doors downtown, with a party attended by Brooke Shields and Angie Harmon and Alex Rodriguez. Boulud was there as well, talking about db Bistro Moderne, his sits-60 on-site gem of a restaurant. A casual joint by definition – Boulud's take of the concept is so not my or your take on the concept (yet another reason why I think if you unlock the secrets of and master the art of food, you master the art of living well) – db Bistro's cuisine is traditional French with contemporary American flavors. And it is phenomenal. Before I get to the food, though, I gotta start with first things first: drinks. You sooo absolutely have to try the beyond B3, a $14 mix of Beluga Vodka, muddled blueberry (good for the memory!), basil, and lemon. Such a treat. As is the white cosmopolitan, prepared with Wodka Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower, white cranberry, and lime ($16). Da bomb! The restaurant's bar is just oh-so-stylish, you guys. It's got a New York vibe, but a thoroughly Miami flair. The combination makes for drama of the best kind. There are high ceilings. Lotsa glass. Street-level views of downtown. And the bar is breezy in its openness, which makes it all the more welcoming. There's a private cellar that is just gorge… and available for wine-themed dinners for six guests. Btw, more than 65 percent of db's 76 MIAMI LIVING another room, what I affectionately call the dynamic see-and-be-seen room, is all beige and light brown and white, with stunning long-stemmed flowers in regal tones. But enough about that. You wanna know about Boulud's menu. And I wanna tell. My meal at db Bistro Moderne was easily one of the best I've had all year (another shout-out is in order, for executive chef Matthieu Godard, and while I'm at it, here's another one for pastry chef Jerome Maure – what a talented pair!). There's a little bit of everything, from seafood to steak provençal (a glorious cut of peppered rib eye with picholine olives, capers, and sauce verte; $39), from a roasted chicken breast to a supa-fantastic $34 Berkshire pork chop served with hearts of romaine, Greek feta, tatziki, and chickpea hummus (which I didn't think I'd like, but I now crave). I hear the coq au vin is just exquisite, but it will have to hold for another visit. That's because I enjoyed the happy hour at the bar. A lot. Given the downtown location, I had to do like the downtowners do and come in right after work for an unwind-drink or two and a light bite – followed by dinner. So I tried the aforementioned cocktails and too-cute-and- yum $8 croque monsieur and the $7 garlic pommes frites with herbed parmesan. To finish, I'll say this about dessert: Maure had me eatin' Black Forest cake. I suppose I must have had a terrible experience in childhood, because I was not into getting a slice of it, but, OMGwyneth, was that enjoyable. Oof, and the madelines the guy makes. They're fluffy and rich and terrific – and they're good with breakfast the next day. They come in a big basket, and to send them back or ignore them woulda been ruder than to ask for a to-go box. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. wines are priced under $100. Shout-out to sommelier Christopher Lindemann for being such a host and a tremendous storyteller. Best of all, neither it or the main dining rooms is afraid of color. The walls in one of the rooms is this warm, warm orange; Daniel Boulud has a winner in his Miami outpost of db Bistro Moderne. Do keep it in mind, so visit, and visit often. Located in the new 5 star JW Marriott Marquis 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, FL 33131 305-421-8800 ML

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