A charming, cozy, and delightful restaurant opened this past September in a quiet, unassuming spot at 1211 71st, in Normandy Isles. I was joyfully humbled by the small neighbourhood gem.

From the moment you walk in the door at Silverlake Bistro, you are graciously greeted into the warm, inviting, casual and intimate place that seats around 30. A patio is in the planning stage, as is a brunch service.

The owners are husband and wife team, Sandy Sanchez, who runs the front of the house and her husband, Chef Benoit Rablat. They met in Silverlake California and both worked at the two-star Michelin Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, before moving to Miami.

The restaurant is understated and intimate, decorated with personal knick-knacks, framed photos, books, and vinyl record covers.

Their menu is inspired by their time together on the west coast. It is small and concise, everything we tried was delectable and moderately priced. There are about 1/2 dozen appetizers and 1/2 mains. The Napa grilled cheese with taleggio cheese served with a fried egg on top, is out of this world. On my second visit to the restaurant, they took this dish to another level by shaving black truffles on top. Another outstanding dish is the gnocchi mac and cheese, made with duck fat, pork belly and smoked Gouda cheese. I was truly impressed with their burger, one of the best I’ve ever eaten. Two patties, dressed with cheddar, bacon, porcini mayo, and steak sauce, served with a side of skinny fries. Could it possibly get any better? They also do a fine roast chicken and a delicious scallops dish with black rice. Other options are American classics like steak and frites. We also did a side of heirloom carrots with honey, pistachio, fennel pollen and basil whipped ricotta. They use quality ingredients and flavours that had our taste buds dancing.

Dessert had three offerings. We had a choice of butterscotch pot de créme, a hot fudge sundae and a peach parfait.

This will be our new go-to place for an insanely good meal that is moderately priced and served with a genuine smile. A rarity in this city.

Recommend!

Happy dining,
Shanea

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