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Featured Restaurant

Charlotte Bistro
264 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Tel: 305.443.3003

What strikes most first-time visitors to Charlotte's Bistro is the contemporary decor in this cozy restaurant. Yes, it's homey, inviting, funky, and fun from the colorful plates to the knickknacks on the walls, but let's be serious. Fine dining is a luxury for most of us these days. Remarkably, in recent years, Miami's food has transcended the county's oft-undeserved reputation for superficiality. There are too many good places to eat in Miami to be swayed by mere presentation. Fortunately, Venezuelan chef/owner Elida Villaroel has the food part quite well covered here. Billing itself as a "French modern bistro," Charlotte's Bistro offers a pleasurable dining experience in every respect. On a recent visit, within minutes of sitting down she had sent to the table a thimble of homemade soup, a potato puff, and an outstanding stuffed mushroom. Her dedication to flavor and to good service continued throughout the meal. Everything tasted made-to-order, a gift created just for you. The appetizers came in just the right size. The sea scallops perfectly cooked nestled beside carrot and sweet potato puree. The crab risotto with truffle oil emulsion almost a meal in itself. Standouts among the entrees included a delicious rack of lamb marinated in thyme and nutmeg accompanied by delightful brown butter spring mushrooms, pork chops coated in cilantro seeds with a vermouth rosso sauce, and lobster ravioli in broth and butter that managed the magical formula of being both light and indecently rich. Villaroel offers a three-course dinner special, Monday through Friday, for $30 ithat s hard to beat. But a warning, the portions are ample and you must save room for dessert! All of the desserts are standouts but the star of the show is the chocolate soup. It's not sickeningly sweet but as decadent as dessert comes with molten chocolate and espresso ice cream on the side. The dessert, like Charlotte's Bistro, itself manages to be note-perfect and deeply satisfying.

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