Months in the making, Brasserie Azur is set to open on Saturday, adding French Mediterrean cuisine to the international dining options in Midtown Miami.
The new restaurant is in the former spot of Mercadito at 3252 Northeast First Avenue, leased from Midtown Equities.
Co-owner Michael Martin said the owners kept Mercadito’s former kitchen but changed everything else about the space, which totals 5,000 square feet inside and 1,000 square feet outside.
“Construction began in March, but we had been through the permit process for six or seven months before that. It was very complicated,” Martin told The Real Deal. “Sometimes when you start a restaurant from scratch it’s easier than to take over a restaurant, where you have a surprise every time you break a wall.”
Brasserie Azur is the second South Florida dining spot from the Azur Hospitality Group, which opened Villa Azur Restaurant & Lounge in Miami Beach in 2012 and owns four eateries in the South of France. The company, owned by a partnership of Martin, Jean Philippe Bernard and Bhanu Choudhrie, is also currently working on opening a Brasserie Azur in New York City, Martin said told TRD.
With 96 seats inside and 60 outside, Brasserie Azur will offer lunch and dinner daily, as well as brunch on weekends, Martin said. The restaurant will also have happy hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
Billed as an authentic brasserie, the restaurant will feature individual culinary stations, ranging from a chicken rotisserie oven and a seafood bar, to a wine bar with a communal table.
The rustic modern interiors, designed by Francois Frossard, include stone tabletops with rural benches and chairs. Walls and columns of exposed brick offset Tuscan pergola ceilings laced with bougainvillea flowers.
Brasserie Azur’s lunch and dinner menu will feature such dishes as butterflied whole grilled branzino with fennel and lemon; roast beef slices au jus served with homemade mashed potatoes; and chicken paillard marinated with lemon herbs, served with arugula and cherry tomato salad. Desserts include pistachio macaron, tiramisu tart and caramelized meringue lemon tart.
The new brasserie adds to Midtown’s growing dining scene, which also includes three Graspa Group brands, Salumeria 104, Spris and Midtown Oyster Bar.
Apeiro Kitchen & Bar, a 6,129-square-foot Mediterranean restaurant with a 3,500-square-foot outdoor space, is under construction down the street from Brasserie Azur. It plans to open Oct. 15, TRD previously reported.
“The biggest thing about Midtown is the pedestrian experience,” Deborah Samuel, director of operations for landlord Midtown Equities, told TRD. “It’s really rare — the walkability.”