One of the “hottest” new restaurants in town is undeniably La Petite Maison Miami.  I’ve gone there twice for dinner on a Monday night and each time it was not only full, but they were turning over the tables twice in many cases.  It was a monied crowd  ((“older” money by Miami standards, as opposed to new money). I saw executives in financial services, lawyers, board members of art museums – you get the picture. And the first time when I was seated in a corner round table with a well starched, immaculate tablecloth illuminated by candlelight and surrounded by works of art, I had a flashback to the glamour days of New York in the 80’s, albeit  with patrons dressed more casually as we do here circa 2017.

la petite maison miami

La Petite Maison dining room by Michael Pisarri

Once again it’s the Midas touch of Arjun Waney of celebrated Zuma and Coya concepts along with new partners.  The original La Petite Maison was founded in Nice, France in 1988 and has attracted a “who’s who” ever since. It was a favorite of Waney when visiting his summer home, so he bought the rights to the brand and decided to expand it outside of France. Thus begat La Petite Maison in London, then Dubai and now Miami.

la petite maison

The kitchen is headed up by Chef Duntoye who has a three Michelin star pedigree. The large menu features a combination of original menu items from Nice, others he has reinterpreted,and several new and lighter dishes following the principles of what he calls Nicoise micro cuisine. Not surprisingly, the dishes that shine are seafood. My favorites were the large, tender, warm prawns in a divine Sicilian olive oil garnished with slivers of basil ($22.50) — had this dish both times. Also getting high marks was the scallop carpaccio,  a work of culinary art with capers, almonds, currants and cranberries ( $25) —one of my highest viewed images on Instagram.  Another special dish was the endive salad – wedges of endive, with apple slices and caramelized walnuts. Delicious and different.

la petite maison

Warm shrimp in Sicilian olive oil with slivers of basil

Again in the fish department, a Spanish friend who knows her fish gave high marks to the whole sea bream baked en papillote with lemon, herbs and olive oil. Pastas are another strong point here – my house made gnocchi with cherry tomato garlic and parmesan transported me to Italy ($19.50). Mr. W weighed in with a big thumbs up for the homemade pappardelle with a rich tomato based veal ragu. ($22.50)

la petite maison miami

Scallop carpaccio

You’ll also find traditional  dishes including a rack of lamb given a twist with spiced couscous ($130), duck a l’orange ($30), and a whole roast heritage green circle chicken with foie gras . About four years ago I was in Bresse, the land of France’s famed chicken and we had what we referred to many times later, as the $100 chicken. Well now, the $100 or more chicken has arrived on leading restaurant menus in the USA (here it’s $140 and only subject to availability).

la petite maison miami

Endives with blue cheese, apple slices and caramelized walnuts

There’s a selection of classic French desserts and also very fine dessert wines.

The décor is handsome —  sophisticated and casually elegant. You enter and find a bar that could have been plucked from France, and see the open kitchen with its oh so shiny copper pots and glass jars brimming with whole fruits. The soaring 25 foot high ceilings add a welcome drama, and the wooden louvered windows add intimacy. There’s also outdoor seating.

Service is mixed based on my experience and that of some friends. Given Waney’s  track record of very professional service with his other restaurants, it’s probably a question of growing pains here.

What they call hors’doeuvre are actually more starters, and average in the high teens, with seafood more.Portions are for one person.  Entrees range from $19.50 to over $100 for rack of lamb and the chicken specialty.  Desserts are $13.50.

A  glass of wine (5 Ounce pour) starts at $9.00 and bottles at $40.00. Classic cocktails are priced at $12 ( for a Wine/Prosecco based cocktail) and $13 for others.

La Petite Maison Miami, 1300 Brickell Bay Drive (Brickell House), T.305-403-9133. It’s open for lunch and dinner Monday  through Saturday. There’s valet parking.

La Petite Maison Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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