Sultry Salsa and Bold Flavors at Bagatelle Miami Beach
Welcome to new MIAbites Guest Contributor, Katie Fitzpatrick. Katie hails originally from the North of England, and spent over 10 years in the luxury yachting industry working closely with chefs and their upscale kitchens.
I had heard rumors about this place… That all is not what it seems, and a Sunday brunch here can easily turn into an unexpected club night. So, when I was invited to Bagatelle’s Wednesday “Havana Night”, I said sure, I’ll check it out.
Situated on the corner of Collins and 21st St, Bagatelle enjoys a lively, prime location. First impressions of the venue were impressive; elegant and sumptuous French bistro-style decor, with modern pop art thrown in the mix, brought together by provocative mood lighting and an upbeat Latin vibe supplied by the DJ. A large space in the middle of the restaurant was, as yet, unoccupied.
Some of chef David Allan Russell Jr’s best-selling menu items were on offer and we started with their tuna tartare and elbow pasta appetizers. The tartare was fresh and light, it arrived topped with guacamole and was accompanied by a tasty lime soy vinaigrette.
The Coquillettes au Jus were rich and flavorful from the veal jus and truffle. Our French waiter told us it was the kind of thing your mother makes for you after a hard day at school! Without the truffle, perhaps? Definitely, not your typical Mac & Cheese. Gotta love the French.
Around 9.30pm, the restaurant was filling up and a costumed couple swayed onto the center of the dance floor as the lights dimmed and the music picked up. The duo showed off their stunning moves and acrobatics, before weaving through the guests and encouraging people to join them. Fortunately, our entree had arrived minutes before so I was able to hide my amateurish moves for a while longer.
Next was their whole truffled chicken,Poulet Roti Entier a la Truffle. I had heard about this chicken dish so had high expectations. It was incredibly moist and juicy, and the flavors divine. Intense and hearty, yet not overwhelmingly so. The bird had been brined before roasting and then truffle butter layered between the meat and the skin for a bold taste. This is Bagatelle's signature dish and should not be missed.
Desserts were a blueberry cheesecake and the pavlova.
I felt the pav needed something a little sharper to balance the meringue, although the mandarin and rosemary sorbet was wonderful. The cheesecake was a little too on the sweet side, for my personal liking.
I joined in with the second round of salsa group lessons and enjoyed myself immensely. Bar staff shot dry ice from a pump in time with the music for dramatic effect and a welcome cool down!
If you like your menus truffle-heavy (which I certainly do!) and your meals with a little extra rhythm, you’d do well to check out the spectacle at Bagatelle. And on Thursday's, Bagatelle hosts Bagatelle LIVE with live musical performances, dinner and drinks.
220 21st St,
Miami Beach, FL 33139