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Steak au poivre flamed with Cognac


Win a three course gourmet French dinner at Semilla Miami, French Bistro & Wine Bar, for two worth $150. It’s quick and easy with a special drawing. Find out how, but note you need to reply by the end of the day Saturday, April 6 ! Also find out what you’re in store for with my restaurant review.


The dinner menu includes one of the chef’s top specialties and one of my favorite dishes, Steak au Poivre flamed with Cognac and frites (french fries) prepared tableside. You’ll start the meal with a delicacy, escargots (snails) from Burgundy sauteed in parsley and garlic butter, and end on a high note with Floating Island, a dreamy confection of meringue floating on Creme Anglaise.  Plus, you’ll also be getting a cocktail and glass of wine for two, and tax included!

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Escargots (snails) with parsley and garlic butter served in a bone


All you have to do to enter the contest is send me an email suggesting an idea for a blogpost, what you think you and your fellow readers would like to know about. Then, everyone who writes me will be entered in the drawing. I’ll put the names in a hat and choose the winner. Voila! My email is

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Floating Island


Now, about the delicious meal. Not only have I, but also, French living in Miami have been missing the kind of satisfying classic French bistro food one finds at Semilla. The night we went several large tables were taken over by French locals. With good reason. Owner and Executive Chef (and charmer), Frederic Joulin, whose  extensive pedigree includes helming the kitchen for French President Jacques Chirac and the three-Michelin-star Guy Savoy has brought back the classics that we’ve always loved. Plus, whether it’s his personally cooking or chatting up his clientele, he puts his talent and passion into everything.


Michelin star chef Frederic Joulin


The very appealing menu for lunch and dinner features all the comfort food favorites, divided into soup and salads, appetizers, burger and sandwiches, entrees, plat du jour (dish of the day) and desserts. Some of the classics I’ve been missing (prepared the way they should be) include crowd favorite, onion soup topped with a liberal layer of melted gruyere cheese; steamed artichoke;  quiche lorraine; French crepes with ham and cheese and bechamel;  spicy lamb sausage sandwich; and croque madame (ham, bechamel, gruyere and eggs sunny side up).

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Onion soup


On the lighter side, there’s mussels and fries, steamed fish of the day with mixed vegetables and grilled octopus Grenobloise.


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Grilled octopus


Monday through Saturday there’s a plat du jour that has yet more favorites such as beef bourguignon, bouillabaisse, and creamy veal stew . Order an entire crusty French baguette that comes with butter from Normandy, served at room temperature, the way it should be.

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The dessert menu will have you drooling, with the likes of creme brulee, nutella crepe and chocolate mousse, of course.


Prices are very reasonable, with everything from the low teens to mid twenties. And wine is a very special deal: by the glass they start at $9 (6 ounce pour). All bottles are sold at retail price plus a corkage fee starting at $10 for a bottle below $40.  The lunch special, an appetizer, entree (including an option of the steak au poivre) and espresso is $23. A girlfriend and serious foodie likes the lunch so much she came back three times in two weeks. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday with wine at $6, beer $5, cocktails $7, oysters $1.50 and a selection of light bites.

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There’s seating at the wrap around bar where much of the cooking happens and at tables indoors and outdoors. The atmosphere is fun, friendly, and welcoming, the kind of place you’ll want to return and become a “regular”.

Semilla Miami, 1330 Alton Road,South Beach, (T.305-674-6522).






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