New Belgian Restaurant to Offer Authentic, Sophisticated Fare and Stellar Beer Selection
A melting pot of diverse cultures and backgrounds, South Florida is home to people from all over the world, giving locals and visitors access to a variety of authentic global flavors. Considered a Mecca for Caribbean, and South and Central American cuisine, Miami’s culinary repertoire will soon expand to include the sophistication of European fare with the opening of Bistro BE. The exciting new Belgian restaurant is slated to open in downtown Miami mid-July 2014.
The visionary behind this fresh, new concept is owner Emmanuel Verschueren, a successful businessman hoping to bring something new to Miami’s dynamic dining scene. A well-traveled foodie with a well-honed palate and discerning tastes, Verschueren wanted to bring a piece of his native Belgium to Miami; thus, the idea for Bistro BE was born. “I want to expose South Florida to the flavors and dishes of my homeland,” Verschueren says. “Belgian cuisine is more than mussels, frites and waffles. It shares the sophistication and technique of classical French cuisine but some of the boldness you’d find in Germany. It’s very unique and will definitely be new to many customers but I think Miami diners are growing more sophisticated and adventurous and find much to like in what Bistro BE will offer.”
Putting together the perfect team to help turn his vision into reality, Verschueren imported talented Executive Chef Frederik Appelt, an acclaimed chef well-known in Belgium for his work at one of Grote Markt’s most historic restaurants, ‘tZwart Schaap. Working hand-in-hand with Verschueren, Appelt will execute a diverse menu of authentic Belgian dishes (mussels, frites and waffles both savory and sweet) as well as contemporary spins on the country’s classics. Together, the two promise to deliver a menu both grounded in tradition and forward-looking. Running the front of the house will be general manager Philippe Walschaerts, most recently the general manager of one of the most successful restaurant bars in the famous student city of Leuven, Belgium.
Native of a country renowned for its amazing beer culture, Verschueren will personally curate the beer selection at Bistro BE. The restaurant will feature more than 50 varieties available by the bottle, as well as eight options on tap. Beer aficionados will not only relish in the number of hard-to-find, authentic Belgian brews, but they will be delighted to know that all restaurant staff will be trained in proper beer etiquette. “In Belgium, the beer is just as important as the food,” says Verschueren. “Guests can rest assured knowing that their beer will be served properly, from how it’s poured to the correct glassware.” As for non-beer drinkers, Bistro BE will also offer a comprehensive list of well-priced wines by the glass or bottle.
From the very first time he stepped into the restaurant space at the Axis building, Verschueren knew he found the perfect location for his concept. Reminiscent of a modern Belgian bistro, Bistro BE will boast a contemporary design featuring blond wood, white furnishings, modernist lighting and a spacious open kitchen. The airy dining room radiates an aura of relaxed elegance both chic yet comfortable. The restaurant will seat approximately 110, including two communal chef’s tables positioned perpendicular to the open kitchen, a spacious bar and intimate al fresco patio.
With the passion of Verschueren paired with the culinary prowess of Appelt and the restaurant know-how from Walschaerts, Bistro BE is positioned to invigorate the downtown Miami dining scene and raise the bar on European dining in our region.
Bistro BE will open mid-July 2014 at 1111 SW 1st Avenue in downtown Miami. The restaurant will offer lunch and dinner daily; brunch to launch at a later date. Ample street and municipal parking will be available. Additional details forthcoming.