Tradition mixes with modern at this Miami-area French bistro

The charcuterie board at Barok French BistroLinda Bladholm

Two-year-old Barok Modern French Bistro will bring back memories of your first trip to Paris.

There’s the scent of garlic and butter with a whiff of pastis anise liqueur. The decor is simple with mirrors in baroque-style frames, an ornate central chandelier and small counter where you might rub elbows with a wine importer. Owners are Michelle Ghouzi and her son-in-law, Rudy Cohen. She was an attorney in Paris where her family ran supermarkets. Cohen is a seasoned restaurateur and charming host. Chef Magali Joseph is French-Caribbean from Martinique who worked her way around the South of France for years and cooks secret dinners.

Start With These Dishes

It doesn’t get any more French than a small crock of onion soup in a rich stock, capped with melted Gruyere. Or try the escargot in garlic butter. There’s also the terrine of foie gras served with crusty, warm baguette slices. The sauteed shrimp in a creamy pastis sauce with parsley, garlic, olives and cherry tomatoes.

The grilled vegetable salad on arugula has fior di latte mozzarella and Kalamata olives in balsamic vinaigrette. The charcuterie plate brings prosciutto, salami and ham with olives and French gherkin pickles.

Share These Dishes

Shrimp with ratatouille at Barok French BistroLinda Bladholm

Try a creamy wheel of baked Camembert, topped with shaved black truffles and served with raisin bread and honey. Or graze on triangles of goat cheese wrapped in filo and fried.

At lunch there are sandwiches, flatbreads and quiche. At dinner go for steak frites with blue cheese fries or a rib-eye steak. For surf and turf, try filet mignon plated with sauteed shrimp and roasted potatoes. There’s also pan-seared scallops in saffron sauce with couscous and kale.

For wine lovers, try the pairing of the risotto with portobello, parmesan, cream and truffle oil with a glass of Cote de Provence rosé by Secret Vines. The winery specializes in small regions, old varietals and forgotten blends. The rosé is floral, aromatic and fresh. Or sip a sauvignon blanc from Burgundy with floral, herbal and fruity notes and a long juicy finish. There’s also the original French malbec from the wine’s birthplace in Cahors in southwest France, a well-structured deep ruby red with hints of currants and black cherries.

Save Room For Dessert

Warm apple tarte tatin at Barok French BistroLinda Bladholm

Get the warm apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream. It’s an upside down tart with apples caramelized in butter and sugar.

Contact Linda Bladholm at Hidden Gems highlights out-of-the-way restaurants in Miami-Dade County. It is not intended to be an anonymous, critical review.

If You Go:

Place: Barok Modern French Bistro Cafe

Address: 12953 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami

Contact: 305-456-0002,

Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m. with brunch from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Prices: Appetizers $7-$28, entrees $28-$46, pasta/risotto $15-$32, desserts $8-$12

F.Y.I. Happy hour 5-7 p.m. weekdays, Algerian-style couscous tagine dinners every Tuesday night. Check the website for upcoming secret dinners with Secret Vines wine pairings or call 786-303-2307. Secret Vines wine is also available at Milam’s supermarket at $20-$60 a bottle