When traditional French brasserie Pastis opened in New York City’s Meatpacking District in 1999, it helped usher in a new era for the once-gritty neighborhood, now known as a popular nightlife haven for bars and restaurants.
In 2014, Pastis became a victim of its own success and was pushed out by its landlord. But the Pastis story didn’t stop there: Owner Keith McNally, who also runs NYC institutions Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, teamed up with restauranteur Stephen Starr to reopen Pastis in a new location in 2019, just down the street from the original. Now, the beloved brasserie has opened a Miami outpost on April 30 in Wynwood, and a third location has been announced for Washington, D.C.
“Since first watching ‘Miami Vice’ in the 1980s, I’ve been desperate to have a vice in Miami,” said McNally. “Finally, opening Pastis in Miami, I have one.”
Pastis Miami is a spacious 8,000 square feet, with seating for 179 guests inside and another 114 in the outdoor garden and courtyard. It’s open every day for lunch and dinner, and brunch is served on weekends.
McNally is the chief designer of the space, while Starr focuses on culinary and operations.
McNally and Ian McPheely of Paisley Design wanted to transport guests to a classic Parisian brasserie reminiscent of the original New York location. Design elements include a curved zinc bar, white subway tiles, and signature red banquettes. The dining room features gold-framed, hand-painted mirrors by designer Robert Padilla, who built similar mirrors for the New York space.
Pastis Miami serves a similar menu to the original and features fan-favorites like onion soup, escargots, moules frites, steak frites, a cheeseburger, and duck à l'orange. Raw bar offerings include oysters, shrimp, and seafood platters. Hors d’oeuvres run from $11 to $28, while entrees start at $29 and run up to $72 for the lobster frites.
The menu also features a handful of Miami-exclusive dishes, including French regional specialties like sea bream Provencal poached in a tomato and fennel sauce and served with zucchini, olives, basil, and lemon. Other new menu items include fried ravioli stuffed with ricotta, swiss chard and artichoke; baked cannelloni filled with ricotta, spinach, ham, and parmesan; and Bigeye tuna carpaccio dressed in a tomato and chili vinaigrette. There’s also a plat du jour section, with options like soft shell crab on Monday and beef bourguignon on Wednesday.
The bar boasts an extensive French wine list with more than 300 labels representing all the major French wine regions. Cocktails skew classic and feature Mediterranean coastal influences. There’s a mojito with a touch of pastis and mint cordial, a margarita with orange marmalade, and a selection of spritzes.
Starr Restaurants has a large presence in Philadelphia and New York, and already runs a few concepts in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach. Pastis is the group’s first restaurant in Wynwood.
“For the last few years, I’ve had my eye on Wynwood,” Stephen Starr said. “I’ve witnessed the vibrant and artistic neighborhood transform into a booming cultural hub with an incredible dining scene. Since opening my first South Florida restaurant in 2009, I’ve watched the culinary scene explode in this electric city and I’m thrilled to be a part of its growth. Pastis Miami will be a perfect addition to the community.”