Written by: Katrina Vargas Vila
When I found out that Café Bastille was undergoing renovations to reveal a brand new look, I was so excited! It was a place that held lots of memories for me. It was a spot I frequented so many times on my lunch break with my mom when we used to work together in Downtown Miami. We’d get a couple of crepes and always completed our lunches with our favorite Crepe Suzette (Grand Marnier and orange butter sauce) along with a few “I don’t want to go back to work” sighs.
Back then, it was a small space with a long counter equipped with the restaurant’s kitchen and crepe station right behind it. The food was always delicious and the ambiance always cozy – a sweet escape from the workday. Café Bastille is all that and more now. It has been beautifully renovated and upon entering I realized that the transformation still reminded me of the coziness that it had in its earlier days with an added sophistication, new menu, and an extensive wine list.
I noticed my favorite crepes were still on the menu but there were so many delicious specials I decided to try instead. Adorned with chic bistro lights and chairs, tufted benches, and fresh rosemary this small café is a nice slip away from busy streets and Cuban coffee.
A unique touch to your typical bread basket. All guests are brought complimentary French bread with housemade tapenade. The tapenade included roasted red pepper and goat cheese (my favorite) and the bread was crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. Fresh and authentic, as a genuine French bread should be!
The buttery brioche was toasted and pressed flat. When piled on, the flavors of the sweet onion jam and rich foie gras reminded of me of how much I missed this French delicacy.
This soup was so creamy and smooth. Carrots on their own can taste very earthy and sweet but the bright flavor of fresh ginger added a nice kick that balanced it all out. I finished this soup to the last sip!
What drew me to order this as my entrée was not only the fact that it was the Chef’s special that night but the mix of ingredients that were brought together. Mint and kiwi are two things I enjoy very much, but combining them alongside fish and risotto? I just had to see for myself. The Mahi was fresh, the risotto was tender, and the mint was refreshing. I was afraid that the fish risotto would be overpowering, but it was surprisingly very subtle with the help of a secret ingredient. I wasn’t convinced that my taste buds were steering me in the right direction, but they did! Buried within the risotto were bites of fresh ginger. Bringing all the kiwi, fish, and mint chutney in one bite was pure goodness. The plate was garnished with a buttery sauce that I incorporated into each bite for an extra savory treat.
A French version of the hamburger topped with an egg. The beef was lean and seasoned nicely. I could really tell that this was grass fed beef.
I love white chocolate and I love bread pudding. Drizzled with white chocolate sauce and garnished with blueberries, you can’t go wrong when ordering this dessert!
Café Bastille is a beautiful little café that took me back not only to some very special memories, but to a feeling I had when visiting a café in Paris. Sit outside and people watch or sit inside and say a few nice words to the party sitting next to you – that is the French way, n’est-ce pas? The food is fresh, delicious, and I can’t wait to go back very soon. When I do, I’ll make sure to bring my mom along so we can make some new memories. Bon Appétit!