Bistro Cassis, which quietly opened in March at 118 Buena Vista Blvd., is the first South Florida restaurant for successful New York restaurateurs Reststar Hospitality Group, who have partnered with Miami hospitality veteran Horacio Oliveira (La Loggia) to bring classic French bistro cuisine to Midtown Miami.
The 2,000-square-foot café seats a combined 74 guests indoors and out, with a welcoming bar as well as patio seating shaded by market umbrellas. The handcrafted menu offers timeless French favorites transporting guests from South Florida to the South of France in a casual and comfortable setting.
Reststar Group founder Fabio Machado and his sons, Eric and Jason, own 10 popular eateries in New York City and Long Island, NY. Bistro Cassis (with four New York locations) is his favorite concept and one that he is excited to bring to Miami.
“We are thrilled to open Bistro Cassis on what we consider Miami’s new Restaurant Row,” Machado said. “Midtown Miami is a wonderful pedestrian neighborhood, with a great mix of restaurants and retail, and we felt that Bistro Cassis would be the perfect addition to the community. It’s wonderful to be part of this dynamic and growing area of the city. We want to be everyone’s favorite corner café — a restaurant that’s perfect for any occasion, any time of the week.”
Bistro Cassis is open daily for lunch and dinner with prices designed to attract repeat customers. The menu, created in New York and beloved by loyal patrons there, is interpreted in Miami by chef de cuisine Oscar Garcia. Full of classic dishes such as escargot and frog legs as well as more modern interpretations, the comprehensive bill of fare makes it easy to understand why French cuisine is revered worldwide.
Dinner starts with complimentary Chicken Liver Pate accompanied by bread freshly baked in-house. Diners can begin their culinary journey with a selection of oysters, clams or shrimp from the raw bar or indulge in starters ($9-$17) such as steak or tuna tartare, grilled octopus and an assortment of salads. The menu features daily plats du jour with rotating classic French dishes including Canard a L’Orange — crispy duck, wild rice and orange sauce ($29) and Coq Au Vin ($23). Other traditional entrees on offer every day include Steak Au Poivre ($36); Rack of Lamb ($29) — pistachio crusted and served with a wild mushroom risotto and asparagus ($29) and Sole Meuniere, panseared filet of sole served with noisette potatoes ($26).
For the rare nights that temperature dips below 70, diners can warm up with the specialte de la maison — a rich and filling Boeuf Borguignon ($24) served with root vegetables, tagliatelle pasta and a red wine sauce. For those who wish to dine a bit more lightly, there are five different styles of mussels including the classic marniere with white wine and fresh herbs, as well as pastas and sandwiches.
French desserts ($8-$10) always are worth saving room for and at Bistro Cassis guests can end their repast with Crepes Suzette — French pancakes, Grand Marnier sauce and vanilla bean ice cream; Creme Brulée — traditional vanilla custard and toasted sugar or Ile Flottante — Crème Anglaise, vanilla meringue, caramel sauce and toasted almonds, among others.
Much of the dinner menu is available for lunch, with an expanded selection of entrée salads, sandwiches, crepes and quiches. A Sunday tradition-in-the-making, Bistro Cassis’ brunch is off to a great start. The enticing menu features poached eggs over a croissant with country potatoes served four ways, including the Royal Benedict — smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise ($15) and Chesapeake — poached eggs, crab cake, caviar and Hollandaise ($17). Other brunch highlights not to be missed are the Croque Monsieur — Emmenthal cheese and ham sandwich served on country bread ($11); Le Blanc — egg white omelet with spinach, onion and tomato ($12), and Espagnole — chorizo, red pepper and onion omelet ($12).
The beautiful old-fashioned wooden bar, salvaged from a 1920s era hotel, serves as the perfect platform for Bistro Cassis’ signature cocktails (ranging from $11 to $13) which highlight French spirits in avantgarde concoctions. Craft cocktail favorites include the Sanguine — French style sangria with Pavan and fresh fruit; Just Ryte — High West Double Rye Whiskey, fresh sage, lemon, bitters and ginger beer; Chatelaine — French Sauvignon Blanc, G’Vine Floraison Gin, pomegranate juice and St.Germain and The Cassis — Raynal V.S.O.P., Gabriel Boudier Creme de Cassis, fresh ginger and brut rose.
Bistro Cassis’ authentic cuisine is matched by an ambiance that takes its inspiration from classic French cafes with bistro chairs and tables, white subway tile walls, tile floors and decorative French posters and framed photographs of the City of Lights.
Lunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 11a.m. To 4 p.m. on Saturday. Brunch is offered Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Dinner is served nightly from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday- Thursday; until midnight on Friday and Saturday, and from 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Happy Hour is every Monday-Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Reservations and walk-ins welcome, and takeout also is available. Nearby garage parking is available in addition to ample street parking. Telephone 786-577- 4410 or visit www.cassismiami.com.