Being part of an intimate group can make you feel extra-special: schoolchildren thrive in small classrooms, and if your girlfriend has 100 ex-boyfriends, you're just a number, whereas if she's got only four, she's lying to you. Proving it holds true for restos, Neighborhood Bistro.
A lone man working a single stove, NB's Cordon Bleu-trained, Cuban-born chef (who worked seven years in Paris) turns out French-leaning international cuisine in a modest, vaguely French nook with a marble bar overlooking a very open kitchen, and so few tables (six inside, six on the wooden porch outside) you're bound to feel as if someone like likes you. The menu keeps things simple and blessedly cheap (nothing over $11), beginning with apps like Terrine Campagne (a French meatloaf of sorts, made w/ herbes de Provence, heavy cream, eggs, and bay leaves), a charcuterie platter with Serrano ham and a variety of salumis, and house-made pork rillette: shredded pork cooked in fat until it forms a spreadable pate-like paste you'll wolf down like the kids in the larger classrooms do with Elmer's. Entrees include daily specials like pork tenderloin rolled w/ bacon, then baked and served w/ a 'shroom sauce, and grouper fillet w/ a meuniere preparation that's finished in the oven, while everyday go-tos include a grilled salmon filet w/ leek cream, and Beef Bourguignon, which is marinated for 24 hours in red wine, so you'll have that in common.
You can also nab a $5.99, two-side-included lunch, with your choice of a grilled chicken sandwich on a "Puerto Rican baguette", a tuna nicoise salad, and a croque-monsieur (ham & Gruyére). They'll also be serving wine, beer, and house-made sangria once they get their license, but for now, they're giving every diner a gratis glass of vino -- which will make you feel extra-special, even though you don't usually get that way until number four.
Published: June 16, 2009 at 4:00am EDT
2779 Bird Ave
Coconut Grove, FL 33134
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