Name: Robert Polk
Occupation: Human Resources Consultant
Lives in: Miami
Restaurant Pick: La Brochette Bistro
Reviewed La Brochette Bistro:
La Brochette Bistro (“The Skewer”, translated in French) is probably one of the best-kept secrets in Broward County. It’s nestled in a small shopping mall, next to a Winn Dixie grocery store and Mobil Mart gas station; along with a host of small Mom-n-Pop stores, boutiques and nail spa. You can imagine my surprise to find such a fine eating establishment located in very humble surroundings. It’s the kind of place you would expect to frequent on Las Olas, Brickell Avenue or in Coral Gables or South Beach. It’s the kind of place you try out on a whim and come away pleasantly surprised and looking forward to the return visit. The shopping mall is typical of South FL…i.e. white wash walls with Spanish archways and a barrel tile roof. The restaurant’s front door is decorated with “Zagat Rated” stickers earned over the past several years, social media restaurant reservation site ad (TripAdvisor.com), the weekly wine special and a glowing review from the local Sun Sentinel restaurant critic. It is totally unassuming from the outside. I would not be surprised if the patronage is mostly local residents. “A place where everybody knows your name…”
My first impression upon entering was that it was small and quaint. The décor was what I would describe as Modern Mediterranean…dark wood, earth tone colors on the walls, lattices with ivy, glass and chrome and an ample number of black and white photographs of Paris and various parts of France. When I arrived that evening, the place was packed. Seating is limited because of the overall size. I guessed the seating capacity between 70-90 patrons. Every table was full, save for two tables of eight, one table of four and a table for two at which I was seated. My table was right by the front door; a little awkward because you see everyone that comes in and they see you while they queue up at the reception podium…but it was obvious they are trying to use all of the available space, and the fact that it was a full house proved it.
I was seated immediately having arrived 10 minutes late. Once seated, bread, butter w/honey and a choice of “filtered water” or bottled water were provided. I ordered the filtered water. My first impression looking at the menu was that the fare was clearly Mediterranean-influenced as opposed to Nouvelle Cuisine or typical French cuisine. The restaurant name is obviously French, but the menu is influenced from all over the world; North Africa, Middle East, Western Europe and the USA (Hawaiian Islands); places where cooking or grilling skewers is common place. In fact, the name, to me, was the most French thing about the evening.
My waiter arrived about five minutes later, introduced himself as Christian and asked if I would like a cocktail or if I was ready to order. I asked to hear the daily specials so that I could pair up my choice of wine accordingly. BTW, the daily specials are not printed on the menu; only the house specials. There is a blurb in the menu that the daily specials are recited; therefore the wait staff must memorize them in detail. Christian recited list of appetizers off the top of his head. My choices included, cream of spinach soup, pan-seared scallops, acorn stuffed squash and a langoustine salad. He continued on to the main course with included, grilled beef and veal dishes, a pork loin paillard, and a selection seafood dishes (grilled fish, lobster). I ordered the Fresh Cream of Spinach soup to start and the Veal Spinella as my entrée. The soup was served garnished with two strips of bacon resting on ½ of a hardboiled egg. The egg sat on a small bed/dollop of mash potato, but was hidden by the soup. The egg looked as if it was floating on top of the soup. A thin long green plantain chip “Mariquita” was included as additional garnish. The soup was velvety smooth with little bits of spinach. The bacon and egg added a layer of texture and flavor making the dish quite unique. If I were eating this at a friend’s house or at home, I would be having seconds. I paired the soup with a glass “Gwerz”, a California white wine from the Mendocino Valley. I would compare it to a fruiter Sauvignon Blanc. It was light on the palate and a nice compliment to the trio of flavors spinach, bacon & egg in the soup.
The Veal Spinella was pan seared (flambé) and finished with a Cabernet wine reduction. It was presented on a bed of mash potatoes and grilled vegetables (peppers, onions, and zucchini) and a roasted sprig of rosemary. The wine reduction sauce was drizzled over the meat and potatoes. The Spinella cut is the top cap of the rib eye cut of beef. It looks like a flat-iron steak, but the taste is amazing. Incredibly tender, the meat melts in your mouth. The peppercorns give it the right amount of zing and the Cabernet reduction leaves a lasting impression….that wonderful red wine flavor on seared meat. I paired my entrée with a glass of “Apothic Red”; another California wine which is a blend of three grapes: Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot. This wine was a wonderful compliment to the veal. Not as heavy as a Zinfandel, but more flavor “punch” than a Syrah or Merlot alone, Apothic Red is a “must try” red wine. I detected notes of cherry and chocolate with a smoky richness. The flavors linger in your mouth like a rain puddle on a hot sidewalk. It invites you to jump in for another sip!
For dessert, I ordered a Bread Pudding a la Mode with Chocolate Sauce. Needless to say, it was not what the doctor ordered. It consisted of flaky croissants baked in an egg custard flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. The vanilla ice cream on top was enough to include in each bite. Like I said, not what the doctor ordered.
The overall portion sizes were healthy and not overindulgent. The appetizer took the edge off my hunger, but did not quench my appetite. The entrée was a palm-sized cut of meat (6-8oz) and the sides were plentiful but not in excess. I had room at the end of my meal for dessert….which I just did not need…but so enjoyed!
Pricewise, it’s moderate to high; but you won’t break the bank either. If you order without alcoholic beverages, it’s very reasonably priced. With wine, my dinner was about $60 including tip. I tipped Christian 20% out of sheer satisfaction. However, for the quality and service, the price was what I expected and I was thus not disappointed at all. I will gladly spend money at this establishment and have already recommended it to my circle of friends without prejudice. If you like gourmet food, warm ambiance, excellent service and memorable dining experiences, you must try La Brochette. Bonne Appétit!
Name: Cielle Bragin
Occupation: Specialty Coffee Manager
Lives in: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Macita’s Colombian Restaurant
Reviewed La Brochette Bistro: 09/03/11 at 7:30 p.m.
My husband and I went sans kids to this restaurant through torrential rain, but found the location easily. Most of the parking lot was flooded with at least 2 inches of water, so it was difficult to get from the car to the restaurant with dry feet. We made reservations, since it is a good hour drive to get there, and we didn’t want to be waiting when we arrived. I’m glad we did, because it was a busy Saturday night and most tables were full. The restaurant had dark mood lighting and romantic touches like roses and candles on the tables, but a bright neon OPEN sign in the window, which threw off the ambiance. We were seated right away and given menus, and our server appeared right away to describe the specials. It seemed to me that the specials list was as long as the menu! It was difficult for me to remember all of them, so I asked questions about some of the ones I was interested in. We decided to go with a special appetizer, the mussels, and a special entrée, the Ahi Tuna. My husband ordered the Chicken Schnitzel. Everything was delicious and the portions came larger than I expected them to be. The large inedible sprig of rosemary in the middle of each dish confused me; perhaps it was to add an extra layer of aroma? But I couldn’t help feeling that it was a waste.
We ordered espresso and the bread pudding for dessert, and my husband asked for the check with the dessert because we were anxious to get back to the kids. The server nodded in understanding. We got our espresso first, and then later the dessert, by which time the espresso wasn’t hot anymore. And since I work in the coffee business, I was particularly disappointed in the espresso; it had no body or crema, and tasted like slightly stronger drip coffee. The bread pudding was very good, but it had grapes as garnish, which I didn’t understand, since they would not have tasted good together. We had to wait even longer to get the check, so we stayed longer than we wanted to. Overall, it was a nice romantic getaway dinner from the kids, and if we lived closer we would probably go again for a special occasion.
Name: Claudia Romani
Occupation: Model/ Actress
Lives in: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Lifefood Gourmet
Reviewed La Brochette Bistro:
I wouldn’t recommend this place cause it’s pretentious, overpriced and the food is more for the eyes than the taste buds.
We arrived at the parking lot, and it had been raining, so it was kind of flooded. The sign on the door was a bit old, but the place itself looked ok, even though very busy.
It was a little hard to get a hold of somebody in order to be attended to, but everyone was polite and trying to help.
We got seated on a bench for about 10 minutes before being led to the table. The silverware on the table didn’t look too polished. The menu didn’t have many vegetarian options, and they all involved cheese.
I visited the restaurant with 2 other people, so we decided to get a few different plates to share; the waitress didn’t seem too impressed by our choice to do so.
We got Brie as a starter, Goat Cheese Salad, Filet Mignon (for the meat eaters) with vegetables on the side. We also got Chocolate bread pudding and Cappuccino. The drinks consisted of water and a special German beer for one of my friends, who really appreciated it.
It took a while to get the food, which looked super well-presented and nice. The Brie was accompanied by a side of fruits and pineapple chutney which looked great and colorful, but the taste was a bit awkward as everything was bittersweet.
The Goat Cheese Salad included cucumbers, olives, cherry tomatoes and French spices, but the cheese taste was so intense and overwhelming that nobody enjoyed it.
The Filet Mignon scored some points among the meat eaters, who were not happy about the size though, and the side vegetables were underdone and the taste was a bit weird as it mixed with the melon juice (being to the side as well).
The dessert was disappointing as well, it contained almost no chocolate and had a weird taste of raisins and cinnamon; not what was expected when ordering a Chocolate bread pudding. The cappuccino presented well, but didn’t taste great.
We also got some bread and butter in very small quantity, but it was good and tasty.
We got the bill pretty fast and we found it slightly overpriced; for the same price, you can eat at very nice locations on South Beach, so we wouldn’t get in our car to get to La Brochette. When eating out often, it is always nice to have some healthy options, and all the fatty cheese and crumbles are not the best option!
Location: 2635 North Hiatus Road, Cooper City, FL 33026-1372
Phone: (954) 435-9090
Restaurant Owners: Aboud & Lori Kobaitri
Executive Chef: Aboud Kobaitri
Pastry Chef: N/A
Type of Cuisine: Mediterranean/Eclectic
Signature Dishes: Macadamia nut crusted sea bass w/ vanilla bean buerre blanc sauce.
Vegetarian Options: Array of grilled vegetables-seasonal w/ starches
Alcohol Served: wine & beer
Corkage Fee: $20 (every Tues. no corkage fee)
Bottle Limit: none
Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday – 5:30pm-10pm
Wednesday – 5:30pm-10pm
Thursday – 5:30pm-10pm
Friday – 5:30pm-10pm
Saturday – 5pm-10pm
Sunday – 5pm-9pm
Meals Served: Dinner only
Prix Fix Menu: Sunday only- “Sunday Supper” selected app, entrée, dessert: $29.95 person
Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 15% gratuity, w/o alcohol): $55.00
Average Lunch Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 15% gratuity, w/o alcohol): 0
Payment Options: All major credit cards
Accept Reservations: Yes
Need Reservations: Weekends- walk-ins welcome if available.
Accommodations for Children: Yes, we offer pasta or chicken fingers.
Dining Style: Casual-fine dining
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: 80 seats
Accommodate Groups: Yes, separate room seats up to 20 guests.
Private Dining Room: Yes
Tables with Scenic Views: No
Outdoor Dining: No