"If you don't bring your lady to Georges, someone else will" is the motto of Georges, a French inspired restaurant in South Miami. It's probably true, although fellow diners are just as likely to see birthday parties, single ladies out on the town, or even the charming George himself, on any given day.
Greeted with a cold glass of champagne, who cannot enjoy themselves in this Parisian fete-meets-Zen vibe restaurant, where a huge disco ball hangs overhead? The mirrored ball lights up and spins, accompanied by decibel-blaring music, singing waiters and a whipped cream, sparkler covered dessert for birthday parties. This explains George's popularity with diners celebrating special occasions.
On a recent lunch, the Miami Dining Examiner and her companions were offered a glass of champagne. It might have been a weekday before noon, but why not? While sipping the cold glass of rose champagne, George himself was spotted at the bar, going through the daily run-through with his servers.
Our female server was attentive and described the specials of the day, which were also listed on a chalkboard. The Miami Dining Examiner opted one of the specials- the steak salad ($14) and munched on a slice of soft French bread with softened butter.
French onion soup, a classic French dish, came out hot and crusted with melted Gruyere cheese in a crock. It was enjoyed, although seemed to missing the traditional toasted bread.
Other appetizers on the menu are the escargot ($11) and the renowned truffle fries ($7), which are quite delicious. The only meal the Miami Dining Examiner ate at Georges that was below par was the avocado tartare with shrimp and mango salsa ($19). This was due to the fact that the avocado, the basis for the dish, wasn't ripe.
Salads, such as shaved fennel with roasted shrimp ($18) and beet salad with gorgonzola, apples and pecans ($14) sound worth trying. One of her fellow diners opted for the warm crostini goat cheese salad ($15) and loved it.
The lightly dressed mixed salad greens were accentuated with cigar-shaped pastry encasing soft goat cheese, which had been heated to gooey deliciousness. The crunchy, creamy goat cheese batons were a perfect counterpoint to the tart, soft greens.
The steak salad ordered was also a winner, with a generous portion of perfectly cooked steak, sliced and served over greens with sliced tomatoes, roasted red peppers and gorgonzola cheese. The vinaigrette dressing came on the side, as requested.
The croquet monsieur ($13), an indulgent batter-dipped and fried ham and swiss cheese sandwich, not encountered much in these carb-conscious days, came with a small salad. It was tasty and filling.
There's also a lunch option to get a cup of soup, with half a prosciutto sandwich or half a salad for $12. This is a good deal for a menu where it's hard to find much for under ten bucks.
Other sandwiches available at Georges include burgers- from turkey ($10) for the health conscience to the Frenchie ($14) burger with brie and prosciutto, for those who want to go all out. There's also a Mahi burger ($11) for a seafood option.
The Miami Dining Examiner has eaten the grilled brazino fish ($23) with fresh ratatouille, which was delicate and delicious, with perfectly cooked vegetables and a lovely sauce. There are also pizzas, pastas and a variety of mussels (classic, curry and blue cheese) on the menu.
Brunch is served on Sundays with egg dishes, pancakes and hangover helper cocktails.
Georges is a place that serves reliably good food in a fun atmosphere. It's also a place to see and be seen, day or night, making it perfect for people watching, especially while seated outside.
It's been a welcome and popular addition to the South Miami restaurant scene. It ain't cheap, but not outrageously expensive either, and if you don't bring your lady to Georges...
1549 Sunset Drive
Miami, FL 33146