Channel the south of France at South Beach’s WD 555

 

Channel the south of France at South Beach’s WD 555

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Linda Bladholm

WD 555 might sound like the name of a Star Wars robot, but it’s actually a welcoming wine shop and bistro off the beaten track on South Beach.

Sit at a wine-barrel table in the industrial-chic warehouse space or on the shaded patio, where a garden is planted with grape vines, basil and tomatoes. The menu offers tapas, charcuterie platters and grilled meats and seafood, and wood racks hold wines from Europe, the United States, Chile, Argentina and Australia.

Chef-owner Emmanuel Pelletier grew up in Paris. His parents were from Normandy, where his grandfather made Calvados, and at 17 he went to Saint-Emilion in Bordeaux to learn how to make wine. He worked for Club Med as a food and beverage director and chef in more than 30 countries. At WD 555, he specializes in rosé wines from Provence. Like South Florida, the south of France has a warm climate where a chilled glass of bone-dry rosé is always welcome.

Rosé is made from red grapes, but freshly pressed grape juice has contact with the grape skins for only a day or two, preserving its pink color. These young, peachy-pink wines go well with WD 555 menu items such as seared scallops on celery root rémoulade with pistachios.

Crisp Chateau Maime rosé from the heart of Provence is especially good with spicy merguez sausage, tiger shrimp in saffron citrus butter and grilled Portuguese octopus. It also stands up to duck rillettes, fried halloumi cheese and Puy lentil salad with feta, artichoke, radish and orange. Thin apple tart with vanilla ice cream ends an interlude in paradise.

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