Villa Azur Miami Review– South of France Dining Experience
By Jordan Elbaum
Entering through the draped entrance of Villa Azur Miami is like walking into a cozy living room…a fancy cozy living room. The lounge area has a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, filled with books and accessories, surrounded by comfy leather couches and stylish wooden coffee tables under elegant chandeliers.
On our evening visit, we decided to sit in the covered outdoor dining garden, and pretend we were having dîner in the South of France. The purple lit courtyard was a romantic mix of exposed wooden tables and white linen tables each adorned with candles, with a French DJ playing sexy electronic ambient music softly in the background. Our server, Jessica, greeted us with her very fitting French accent and some helpful suggestions.
We started with the Spicy Casa Azur Margarita –Casamigos Tequila, Cointreau Noir, Habanero Syrup and fresh Lime Juice on the rocks. The spiciness of the cocktail was nicely tempered by the sweetness from the fresh Sugarcane swizzle stick placed inside of it. Like any great meal, our first course began with some crusty rolls and Villa Azur Miami’s very own house brand olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles.
For actual starters, first up, housemade Foie Gras Terrine with Fig Jam and Strawberry Coulis. I have to be honest, I was a little hesitant about this because sometimes foie gras can have a very strong liver flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised with the mild flavor and buttery texture. Paired with the toasted bread and fig jam – I could’ve eaten the whole thing myself.
In addition to the terrine, we ordered the chilled Lobster Salad. Layered with Citrus Segments and sliced Avocado layered on top of a Chopped Salad, dressed in, what seemed to be, a Balsamic Vinaigrette, it made for a very refreshing and delicious seafood starter. Naturally, I wish there was a little bit more of the sweet-tasting lobster.
As for the seafood entrée, the roasted Sea Bass crowned with crushed Tomatoes and Olives, and served with roasted Asparagus, was divine. The hefty piece of fish was really thick and meaty, and the balanced combination of tomatoes and olives made a nicely flavored crust on top.
For the meat course, we ordered the tender Colorado Rack of Lamb perfectly seasoned with Garlic and Thyme, cooked to a cool medium rare. Potato Gratin – thinly sliced Potatoes and Onion layered in a creamy Cheese Sauce, was served on the side, -and, was obviously delicious, because, how can you go wrong with potatoes?
On to my favorite part of any meal – dessert. The beautifully presented Chocolate Finger with Apricots and Hazelnuts was their take on a homemade candy bar. An airy cookie-like base topped with cake and hazelnut mousse and completely coated with chocolate, apricots and chocolate curls. Needless to say, it was decadent and almost tasted like a tootsie roll to me – amazing.
The last stop on our dinner in the South of France was to the Îles Flottantes Exotique, or Floating Island, -a Citrus-dusted Meringue floating atop Mango Passionfruit Puree and sprinkled with sparkling, edible Gold Leaves.
Villa Azur Miami is a French Mediterranean Restaurant and Lounge located at 309 23rd Street Miami Beach, FL 33139. For reservations or more information, call: 305-763-8688 or, visit: villaazurmiami.com