La Tour Eiffel bistro offers breakfast and lunch in a casual setting, then transforms into a candle-lit white tablecloth restaurant for dinner. The dishes served in a Biscayne Boulevard strip mall transport you to Paris, if not the iconic iron lattice tower on the Champs de Mars for which it’s named.
Chef-owners Olivier Rose and Jerome Leyrat opened three months ago. Olivier learned to cook from his grandmother and had a similar concept in Paris. Jerome is from St. Tropez and went to culinary school in the south of France. Both came to South Florida for the warm weather and sun, met through the expat French community and joined forces. Since both cook, when one can’t make it in (they also have bistros in Sarasota and Bradenton), the other takes over.
Start the day with croissants or French toast. At lunch and dinner there’s onion soup, quiche, country pate, buttery escargots, salads and mussels in white wine with fries. Lunch also has sandwiches and crepes while dinner adds boullabaisse, cassoulet and duck confit. Just about everything is made in-house including the salad dressing of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil good with melted Brie on toast and greens.
Buckwheat crepes, also known as gallettes, are native to Brittany, an area of western France of Celtic origin. Buckwheat is not a grass, but a fruit related to rhubarb introduced from the Far East in the 15th century. Try the Provence “buck” folded up with ratatouille and chicken or the Canadian with smoked salmon, artichokes and sour cream.
Sweet white-flour crepes range from pears flamed with cognac to the profiterole stuffed with vanilla ice cream served with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.