MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – It’s a journey through France at Semilla French Bistro and Wine Bar on Alton Road in Miami Beach.

This charming eatery, in business for 6 years, did a recent menu revamp and offers truly authentic French dishes mixed with Latin American influences.

At the helm Executive Chef and owner Frederic Joulin.

“So what made you open a French Bistro right here on Miami Beach?” asked CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.

“After 15 years on Miami Beach there was no real French bistro and I have real American people asking me for real French food like Fois Gras, other dishes and of course, French wine,” said Joulin.

And wine, affordable wines, are a big part of the experience.

“All of my customers can come directly in the wine cellar and choose any bottle of wine starting at $13.50 and just pay a corkage free. The corkage fee is $10 dollars,” Chef explained.

The atmosphere is warm and homey and authentically French, with bench seating and flowered topped tables.

Back in the kitchen, Frederic prepares our tasting dishes starting with the classic escargot, or French snails in a parsley butter sauce with herbs.

The escargot sit on a bone marrow base and literally melt in your mouth.

“That could be in any beautiful restaurant in France. It transforms you there. And with the cilantro and Italian parsley, it’s a thing of beauty,” said Petrillo after tasting.

Next Octopus Grenoble. It’s seared with capers, garlic and butter.

“It’s so tender, and you have a little kick with capers, it’s savory and delicious,” Petrillo said.

Then a table side treat: Steak au Poivre. New York strip with flaming cognac!

“There’s a great sear, and what is the sauce? “Petrillo asked.

“The difference is I use all of the parts of the meat to make a classic bouillon sauce,” Chef Said.

They end on a beautiful Floating Island dessert.

It’s meringue in crème de glaze and pink pralines topped with caramel sauce. “Magnifique!”

“That’s the most delicate dessert I’ve ever had! The merengue is softy and fluffy and the crème? You just want to drink it,” said Petrillo.

Semilla French Bistro and Wine Bar is open Monday through Saturday serving lunch and dinner.

For more info visit www.semillamiami.com.

Lisa Petrillo

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