Are you ready to dine in in a restaurant? Heaven knows I am. Even with delivery, there’s still work to do in the kitchen, and then you miss the pampering. After a day of beauty (mani/pedi, blow dry), I set off for the first time since early March to a restaurant. My friend and I were giddy with excitement, though we had special important criteria. It had to be a place with an outdoor patio or terrace, a restaurant operator I could trust to follow the safety protocols, and of course, since it was a risk/reward proposition, the reward (the food) had to be great. I chose a restaurant favorite. Here’s my experience, and what you need to keep in mind for eating safely at restaurants.
My pick was LPM Restaurant & Bar, formerly known as La Petite Maison (see the link below to an earlier review for more on the restaurant). A friend and I reserved a table in their outdoor terrace which has been rearranged to accommodate fewer than 30 diners rather than the 60 normally. We walked in with our masks on, walked by the chair less bar, through the main dining room which was at about 20% of capacity and diners without masks , and into the terrace. The area has a roof and screened walls to protect it from the rain and wind, and cooled with overhead fans.
Chocolate mousseWe chose a table of four for the two of us to allow for more spacing, and took off our masks. The table had no plates, glasses, or cutlery. They were all brought to us by the bus boy. He,as well as all wait staff, wore gloves and a mask. Instead of a print menu, there was a plastic card for each of us. Very cool, you focus your smartphone on either of two bar codes – food or drink, up comes a link. You click and voila, the menus. There’s also a menu on an i-pad if desired.
They’re offering their entire menu with a few small exceptions. We started with plump warm prawns in olive oil with, of course, the requisite crusty French baguette. Next up was the duck a l’orange with charred escarole and French wine.The skin was crisp, the meat moist, and perfectly seasoned. For dessert we had what they called the chocolate mousse, more of a cross between a mousse and a chocolate lava cake, topped with vanilla ice cream. Formidable.
The service was attentive and gracious. (Note: This was a terrace area so there are starched white tablecloths and bistro chairs, but without the table settings or flowers gracing the tables, it’s rather plain, unlike the main dining room with its open kitchen and art works. The main dining room is also open if you don’t care about an outdoor area, and there’s also takeout and delivery).
At the end of the meal my friend and I were floating, and ready for more!!!!
Speaking about ready for more, next week look for my picks for more restaurants offering outdoor dining.
LPM Restaurant & Bar, 1300 Brickell Bay Drive T. 305-403-9133. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
An earlier review, The Hot Restaurant in Town