I reviewed this hot spot last year (that review here), and decided to review this restaurant again, as so much time had passed since last dining here.
Bagatelle is located at 220 21st St in South Beach. The restaurant hails from France and is now what I would call a chain restaurant as they have locations in New York, LA, St Tropez, San Paulo, St. Bart’s, Miami and more on the way.
If you are over 50 years of age I suggest you dine early around 7 or 7:30 because it is quiet and romantic and you can talk and enjoy the food which happens to be quite good. Come 9:30 and later the DJ comes on and it is a party, a place to have fun, drink, dance etc. The place becomes a scene for the Euro chic. It’s a little too “Euro Chic” for me …
Bagatelle’s dining room is attractive, with a white and beige interior and rotating pop art. The menu is modern French.
The meal started with toasted French bread and a divine creamy truffled cheese. I had the jumbo lump crab salad with avocado, mango jalapeno, and cashew, in a curry dressing with cilantro and toasted coconut. It was a glorious dish. The Maine lobster salad was equally good and it was set on a bed of organic quinoa tabbouleh, with preserved lemon, citrus segments and fresh mint. The seafood ceviche was good but on the spicy side.
For our main courses, the Salmon Roti was the standout dish. The roasted salmon came with fresh figs, parsnip, caramelized chestnuts, and brussel sprouts in a beurre rouge. The half farmed raised truffle chicken with country style potatoes and button mushrooms in a thyme chicken jus was full of flavour but the white meat was a little dry. The branzino filet was good in a bouillabaisse sauce with braised fennel, tomato confit and pesto sauce.
The frites were some of the best I have ever had. They were hot, crispy in a Parmesan and truffle oil. They tasted like all fries should.
The chef worked for Daniel and seems to know what he is doing.
The bubbly was flowing on many tables. The beautiful people were out in force.
Now for some negatives. The valet charge is $30. Just park your car yourself. The hostesses first words out of their mouth was, “we need the table back in 2 hours”. Even though an 18% surcharge is added to your bill, on the receipt they have the nerve to have a blank space that says tip. Some people don’t bother looking and add another tip. Sorry but that is misleading and ambiguous. Oh and the prices are on the high side.
For a place with such a scene, it has high standards. The food is good, the ambience is lovely and the staff was nice to locals and jetsetters alike.