Café Bastille is the perfect little retreat in the heart of bustling downtown Miami. I immediately felt a sense of calm and relaxation entering the French bistro from the noisy and busy city streets. I loved the feel of the space and the decor! I could definitely see it as a great place for a variety of parties; whether it be for a business meal with colleagues, a group of friends or even a date.
The restaurant is headed by a Spanish wife and French husband duo who are both chefs. The waitress explained to me that Café Bastille was open for 8 years and then closed for about 5 months for renovations and re-opened in March 2016. She also let me know that all of their desserts are homemade even mentioning that they employ a lady solely to make their crepes of which they turn out hundreds of on the weekends!
Pictured above is their outdoor seating area and front of the restaurant.
Each table is offered a nice bread basket with slices of baguette and an olive, feta cheese tapenade. The tapenade had a creamy whipped texture and a nice tang from the olives and feta. Looking over their dinner menu I noticed plenty of options including octopus carpaccio, vegetable dishes, French classics like escargot and tartare, a couple of pasta entrees and even a burger. The waitress, Valerie, was so kind and gave me plenty of suggestions. After narrowing down a couple of options she recommended the soupe a l’oignon (French onion soup) and the saumon aux lentilles (salmon with lentils). The restaurant also offers daily specials that sounded amazing as well. On this particular day their specials included a fennel carrot soup and a grilled sea bass with quinoa salad among other dishes.
The French onion soup was decadent and smooth. Under the bubbly melted cheese were plenty of delicious caramelized onions and a few small pieces of sliced baguette suspended in a beef broth.
The saumon aux lentilles entree had a hearty serving of salmon fillet baked in phyllo dough, atop lentils du Puy and basil oil. I was really intrigued to see how the salmon would come out baked in phyllo dough. I first thought the phyllo dough might make the dish heavy but actually the dough was thin and crisp and added a light pastry covering to the salmon.
I ordered the salmon medium rare and as you can see above it was perfectly cooked. Sometimes, ordering salmon can be tricky but this was spot on. Lentilles du Puy are French green lentils that have a nutty, mineral-rich flavor and are slightly harder in texture than other types of lentils. You definitely need to get a bite that combines the salmon, lentils, and basil oil all in one to enjoy the elements of the dish.
To finish the meal, I opted for a macchiato with Lavazza espresso and milk. It was definitely a nice treat!
I couldn’t help but notice their nice wall display of wine bottles!
Café Bastille: 248 SE 1st St., Miami, FL. 33131 (786) 425-3575
*Disclaimer: You Had Me At Food was invited to dine at Café Bastille.