Marion Miami Review – Fruit Bread & Cheese Trolley Haven
Written & Photographed by Greyceli Marin
Walking into a restaurant whose chef is a Michelin-pedigreed biochemist with two first names is both mystifying and humbling. That’s exactly what Marion Miami is like. The new Mediterranean concept in Brickell is helmed by Chef Jean Paul Lourdes, a former employee of Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and Nihonryori RyuGin in Tokyo, each a possessor of three Michelin stars.
Marion Miami is part restaurant, oyster bar, market and bakery. Its menu draws inspiration from all over the Mediterranean, resulting in an eclectic tasting experience perhaps found only in Epcot. There are just enough options of cheeses, charcuterie, breads, raw seafoods and cocktails to keep you on the cusp of being overwhelmed.
The bread is handmade and baked in-house, using organic non-gmo flour (gluten-free is also available), fish is either local, wild caught or imported from the Mediterranean, and the meats are always free-ranging, grain-fed and organic.
At Marion Miami you feel like you need to be mindful of every bite you take, because every bite seems to have a story. “These two come from goats, these from sheep and the rest are cow,” the waiter explains as he guides through the multi syllable and tier cheese platter. “We know the farm and diet of each animal, too,” I ask if they know their names, “No. I think I’d feel really bad eating it.”
Nobody feels bad about eating the Catalan Burger, though; a free range patty topped with sofrito and machengo served on a bun (more bread but who’s keeping track?) and served with French fries, just to keep things varied. Slice it down the middle to witness its grandeur fully.
Although taste is usually subjective, texture and degree of succulence (two things that Marion is well versed in) are a bit more versatile in discussion. A raw fish hater who tries the salmon in the Marion Salad (which, by the way, donates $1 to No Kid Hungry for every purchase) will agree that it is both glistening and rich in taste. A cheese doubter who takes a bite of the fresh Burrata will describe the inexplicable juiciness they taste in this delicately prepared mozzarella blimp. And give a gluten free advocate a piece of the Lyonnaise Fruit Loaf and they’ll question why they ever decided to be healthy in the first place.
The Marion Miami experience is visually enchanting. Ideally, it ends with a treat assembled by pastry chef Christina Kaelberer, whose past includes stints at two Jean-George outposts. Ask for the pastry tray, it’s a silver platter of beautiful mini desserts you get to choose from. At this point, you think you can take on at least six. If that’s the case, you probably didn’t eat enough fruit bread.
Marion is open from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday through Saturday. Click here to see the lunch and dinner menus.