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The Dish: Bagatelle

Discover five things to know about the gastronomic brand.

QUITE A PEDIGREE: Chef Jimmy de Almeida scores big with Miami Beach’s version of Bagatelle, a gastronomic brand beloved from St. Tropez and London to Tulum and Mykonos. de Almeida joined Bagatelle Miami in 2021 to open the restaurant, after working in such vaunted venues as La Voile St. Tropez, Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monaco, Le Jardin Restaurant in Geneva, Bord Eau in Abu Dhabi, Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris and Hôtel de Berri in Paris. He attributes much of his inspiration for Bagatelle’s dishes to his childhood in France, where he learned to cook with his grandparents, making inventive use of fresh ingredients from their garden. His garden-to-kitchen style is evidenced in many of Bagatelle’s dishes and seasonal pairing

LIVIN’ IT UP: Bagatelle in South Beach feels like a scene—at one point, the waiters will get up on tables, spinning white handkerchiefs, enlisting patrons game enough to dance with them to the percussive strains of the Gipsy Kings. But when you’re tucked away in a round velvet banquette, sharing de Almeida’s delectable Mediterranean cuisine, you’re in your own romantic world.

BON APPÉTIT: The dinner opens with a bang as a deft server shaves thin slices of black truffles over a dinner plate-sized circle of Piccia puffed bread. Presentation-wise, that mozzarella-topped starter is a show-stopper. What followed was a bounty of Bagatelle’s crowd-pleasers. Toothsome starters included tiny rolls of eggplant parmigiana, bathed in Parmigiano Reggiano cream. Somehow the size of the rolls intensified the flavor of this familiar dish. And there was tuna tartare with liberal dollops of avocado cream, and delicate slices of Mediterranean sea bass carpaccio, with tonnato sauce and Pantelleria capers. With seafood of this quality, it was a Provencal rosé type of meal—Château d’Esclans’ Whispering Angel, to be exact.

Castelmagno seasonal truffle

MORE TRUFFLES, PLEASE: My dinner companion was worried about portion control, and blanched when I served us both the remaining slices of Piccia puffed bread, but I was not about to let those lovingly shaved Melanosporum truffles go to waste—this type of truffle is one of the world’s most expensive. So, we were both surprised and delighted when our server soon appeared with a bowl of tiny raviolis “Del Plin,” dressed in Castelmagno, a cheese that was conjured nearly 1,000 years ago in Italy’s Piedmont region—and then proceeded to shave the rare black truffles over this dish as well.

RAVIOLI L’AMOUR: Among the offerings were grilled duck and wood-fired octopus, the latter served with grilled red peppers in a bright vierge sauce (olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato and chopped basil). I tried a little of each, and both were satisfyingly crispy. But mainly, I got romantic with secret spoonfuls of the addictive ravioli, bathed in a cheese I’d never experienced before and hoped to meet again.

Desserts

SHORT TAKES:

  • Enjoying dinner at Bagatelle is like being invited in the home and to the table of an epicurean bon vivant from the French Riviera. The food generous and authentic with dishes meant to be shared in a festive and convivial atmosphere.
  • Guests are encouraged to adopt a smart-elegant dress style at Bagatelle Miami. For men, a collared shirt, dress trousers/dark denim and dress shoes is the preferred attire. For women, a cocktail-style dress is suggested. Athletic wear is prohibited.
  • Bagatelle Miami is open evenings from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

WHERE: 1669 Collins Ave. Miami Beach

PHONE: 305.704.3900

WEBSITE: bagatelle.com/venues/miami

Story by Drew Limsky

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