Sandy Sanchez and her husband, Ben Rablat, owners of Silverlake Bistro in Miami Beach, are expanding their culinary offerings in the area by launching a new wine store and market called Normandy Gourmandy. The new venue will open later this summer, located in the Normandy neighborhood at 932 71st St. in Miami Beach. It will provide more options for North Beach residents seeking fine wines, imported cheeses and other global delicacies.
“Friends in the neighborhood and our restaurant patrons have been telling us for a while now that they wished they had a place nearby to shop for ingredients for an impromptu supper or something to add some pizzazz to a dinner party,” Sanchez says. “We heard about the space becoming available and decided to have a look. Once we saw the space, we fell in love and began dreaming about the possibilities.”
When Ben saw the location across from the small park containing the Normandy Fountain, it reminded him of the plazas and open spaces in Paris where he grew up. Sandy saw great potential for the space, envisioning a wine shop and what she called a “culinary Anthropologie” – a unique mix of interesting home goods, highly-curated apparel and a Napa Valley tasting room. The couple is committed to making Normandy Gourmandy accessible to everyone, and Ben believes that gourmet food doesn’t have to be expensive. They want their space to be a mix of a gourmet market, a quirky gift shop and a welcoming tasting room.
“Gourmet is more of a state of mind, a sense of quality that need not break the bank but can appeal to the senses,” Rablat says. “We will have upscale items like truffles and caviar, but there will also be affordably-priced, high-quality oils, cheeses, frozen canapes, olives and more. There will also be a great selection of culinary products perfect for the kitchen or for gift baskets, charcuterie boards, serving plates and much more. We will even have special treats for pets. We really want this to be everyone’s neighborhood market.”
The couple initially crossed paths while working at Nancy Silverton’s Michelin-starred Osteria Mozza in California. After relocating to Miami in 2016, they established La Fresa Francesa, a bohemian French bistro in Hialeah – Sandy’s hometown. Upon moving to North Beach in 2018, they chanced upon the ideal location for their latest venture, Silverlake Bistro, which features a fusion of California cuisine with a French flair (n’est-ce pas).
Locals can expect scheduled and impromptu wine tastings and product sampling of everything from truffle potato chips to imported French cookies. Once open, hours of operation are from noon to 9 p.m., Thursday to Monday.