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Not So Many French Restaurants in Miami

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There aren't very many French restaurants in Miami. Not as many as there were fifteen plus years ago. An Internet search introduced about 25 of them to me. Sadly I haven't had the pleasure of enjoying nearly half of them...but there's always tomorrow.

Here's one in the Upper East Side that I found charming and affordable: La Tour Eiffel on Biscayne Blvd. and NE 73 St. It's quaint, cute and has some delicious possibilities. Thursday's are Couscous nights. Not so French but still a tasty dish. The rest of the menu is French inspired and worth the drive there but...get there early. On the day we stopped in to have dinner, the wait staff was down to one 'garcon' and unfortunately clients were turned away. Free parking.

A few more French eateries are sprinkled around here and there such as La Gloutonnerie, Le Provencal, Angelique Euro Café, Villa Azur, Baoli Miami, db Bistro Moderne, Nothing But The Best (closed during the summer) and George's in the Grove. Parisian-style George's is presently launching World Cup Specials where soccer fans will be treated to a complimentary draft beer (one per game) during the games. Beginning July 9th, George's is re-introducing $5 Wednesdays. All premium cocktails are just $5 from 7 p.m. until close and trust me, in the Grove...that's a bargain. Come to think of it, it's a bargain anywhere.

One of the grand-daddy's of excellent French cuisine in Dade County is multi-award winning Pascal's on Ponce. a little pricey, but oh so worth it. Chef Pascal Oudin always serves creative, well prepared meals in his romantic and elegant Coral Gables restaurant. The chef is constantly changing his menu depending on the season and local produce. Decadent items often include the Lobster Bisque, Gruyere Cheese souffle, Heirloom Tomato Tatin, Diver Sea Scallops with braise Short ribs, Wild Salmon and Pappardelle Pasta, Truffle vinaigrette and milk-fed Veal Tenderloin to mention just a few. Desserts include bittersweet Chocolate Tart, Grand Marnier souffle and much more. Expect the best wait staff around. At a recent rendez-vous early dinner chez Pascal's, our waiter was so competent and prepared to please, that I thought he might just sit on my lap and spoon feed me.

Get on their e-mail list for monthly specials. (Pascalmiami.com). Open for lunch and dinner. The seating is limited so it's best to have reservations. Call 305.444.2024. Location: 2611 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, Fla. 33134. Bon appetite.

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