MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Nestled in a quiet spot off 71st in Miami Beach, Silverlake Bistro is the second concept for couple Sandy Sanchez and chef Benoit “Ben” Rablat.

CBS4 featured the duo a few years ago at their first highly popular French eatery in Hialeah known as La Fresa Francesa. Now, they have opened Silverlake Bistro, a charming retro-style mom and pop restaurant that pays homage to the California town in which they met.

“We met in California in a little neighborhood called Silverlake and that’s where we learned about food and wine and that’s where we fell in love and hosted dinner parties for our friends and talked about one day opening a restaurant together. So here we are,” recalls Sandy.

With custom-made wallpaper and fun trinkets everywhere, Silverlake has a homey vibe and the customers who have discovered it are now regulars.

“We like people to discover us like we did in Hialeah and like they are doing here. We are people’s personal treasure,” she says.

Silverlake Bistro’s mac and cheese. (CBS4)

Back in the kitchen, Chef Ben prepares the food, which he defines as mostly California style with a little dash of his home country, France, tossed in. Ben prepares Silverlake’s amazing mac and cheese that is pan seared with duck fat topped with bacon and breadcrumbs.

“It is really a rich delicacy and feels like it is fancy, but it’s not,” says CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo after tasting.

“The goal of this dish is to sear the gnocchi so it’s not doughy. They have a little bit of a bite with a nice hard sear from the duck fat,” Sandy explains.

They have a plethora of plates including juicy and tender meatballs, the delicious roasted cauliflower plated with lentils and labneh topped with a fried egg and Lisa’s new favorite, crispy okra.

“These are just pop in your mouth like French fries but they feel healthy, says Petrillo.

“It’s one of those dishes that takes a little to get people to try. It’s a bit of an arm twist, but once they do they are like ahhh okra!” says Sandy laughing.

Silverlake Burger (CBS4)

The Silverlake Burger is a double patty topped with cheddar cheese bacon, steak sauce and aioli.

“It’s really fun to be hungry here,” jokes Lisa after a delicious bite.

Ben is quite the fashion statement in the kitchen with his camouflage shorts and black shirt as he makes his melt in your mouth mussels his own way.

Mussels (CBS4)

“It’s my mom’s recipe. It’s an unusual dish, kind of thing people try and come back for it all of the time,” he says.

Petrillo says it is all about the sauce.

The meal ends on a brunch item that is out of this world, French toast.

Silverlake Bistro French Toast (CBS4)

It is pan-seared brioche with butter sugar and maple syrup and a secret ingredient, “It’s the love,” they say.

Yes, love is the air and on the plate here at Silverlake Bistro.

It is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday and brunch on Sunday as well.

For more information, you can find them on Facebook at Silverlake Bistro.

Lisa Petrillo

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