Semilla brings a romantic gastropub to Miami Beach's Alton Road

The who: Chef and restaurateur Frederic Joulin (Villa Mayfair) returns to the dining scene with this romantic gastropub on Alton Road.

The scene: French expats and West Avenue condo dwellers munching on small plates of braised short rib potstickers, goat cheese and bacon croquetas and barbecued octopus. Larger plates include a 40-ounce porterhouse for two and a charcuterie board loaded with ham, sopressata and pata negra. Beers on tap are all local and include Cigar City Jai Alai, Funky Buddha Brewery Floridian and Due South Brewing Saison. The interior is polished and comfortable — perfect for date night or impressing out-of-town friends. The focus of the room is on the stainless-steel bar that forms a square in the middle of the restaurant. One wall is covered with hanging potted plants of herbs like rosemary, basil and mint. Outdoors, high-top tables make the most of Alton Road’s sidewalk views.

Don’t miss: The house dessert is a “slider” made of chocolate macaroons, peach gelee and a vanilla ice cream patty.

Happy hour: Seven days a week from 6 to 8 p.m. with $6 wines, beers and cocktails. Small plates for $6 include fish and chips, organic chicken anticuchos and pork shoulder rillettes.

The bottom line: High-end comfort food and craft beers from a French chef help this gastropub stand out in the South Beach fray.