South Beach’s newest hotspot didn’t really set out to be that at all. Instead, Chef / Owner Fredric Joulin set out to make a chic but casual restaurant locals could go to often without getting fleeced. He accomplished his mission with delicious, well priced American and European dishes with a cozy, beautiful decor that the owners surprisingly came up with all by themselves. The modern gastropub features walls lined with plants in terra cotta pots that reference the Semilla, or seed, tables sport burlab and banquettes are covered in fabric sourced from Paris’ best fabric market. High ceilings, wood, stainless steel and an open kitchen complete the look. There is a small patio for al fresco dining and a large bar to sit around for having a drink or dining solo.
The food, prepared by Joulin, who worked in many Michelin starred restaurants in France and for ex-president Jacques Chirac, is excellent. Grilled Mediterranean Branzino with quinoa is a standout for $34 as is a perfectly cooked skirt steak for $19. Sides like bok choy, mac & cheese and mixed greens with French Dijon vinaigrette are a la carte, but the damage is never deep. Fish and Chips cooked tempura style go for $11 and Wagyu Beef carpaccio goes for $12. Clearly this is a place people will come back to. And they already do. Despite only having been open less than a month, Semilla has a cadre of loyal customers who have already been no less than eight or ten times. It also has a loyal following of French customers who know a good thing when they see one.
1330 Alton Road, Miami Beach