Finding the Best Spots for Solo Dining �� Miami and Fort Lauderdale

2018 Dinner for One; Drinks for Two. Powered by Blogger.

Palme d'Or - Contemporary French - Coral Gables

My solo dining experience took me to the beautiful historic Biltmore Hotel's French restaurant, Palme d'Or. With so much history, this hometown treasure lived up to all of my expectations.  


Amuse Bouche

Describe the restaurant in three words: 

Old World Charm


Solo dining rating:
🍸🍸🍸

Parking: 

Valet parking fee of $18 
Tip: Ample free parking is available in The Biltmore Hotel parking lot; its a short walk to the restaurant.
Uber is easily accessible.


Can you eat at the bar?

No; there is no bar at which to dine in this restaurant. 

What to wear:

Many of the men wore jackets, and women were dressed nicely in warm sweaters and boots; it was a cold night and we know Floridians like to take out the 'winter wear' when the temperature drops to 65 degrees 😄

People watching/entertainment rating:

🍸🍸
The restaurant was not crowded at the time of my visit. The entertainment was minimal and consisted of very soft, almost inaudible background music. Many of the patrons were on the 'mature' side; younger diners were there in what appeared to be family gatherings. Lots of old-world charm, with old-school, suite and tie service. Give the staff bonus points for referring to me as Miss and not M'am!

Organic/Vegan Friendly
Yes; however, keep in mind that Palme d'Or only serves a pre-fix dining menu (no a la carte options). There may be items on the tasting menu that you are not be able to eat. I made my food allergy known at the time of the reservation booking, and was pleased when when my server acknowledged this and assured me that the chef was aware. Palme d'Or will prepare a Kosher meal with 48 hours notice. There are also gluten free options. Very nice!



What is good about it for the solo diner?
I'll be honest, I was a little nervous about dining alone at Palme d'Or. I let my imagination run wild; a dining area filled with aristocratic, judgmental, snobby, diners and equally stuffy staff. I could not have been more wrong. I was greated at the door with a warm welcome and after only a few minutes wait, was escorted to my table for one. I was not placed in the back of the restaurant or near the restrooms; I was seated in the main dining area where I could see and be seen by other diners.

Old-world charm and sophistication abounds with warm wood columns, mirrors, chandeliers, and softly painted ceilings throughout the dining area. My server, Abdel, was extraordinarily polished and professional. He was the pilot during my solo culinary journey and with each of my four courses, raised my food IQ to higher heights. My adventure started with  amuse-bouche - octopus, Kalamatra Olives, and citrus. I've never been a fan of octopus, but Chef Gregory Pugin has made me a believer!



Each of my four courses were brought to my table and revealed with enthusiasm and flair. King crab with fennel puree; Roasted Quail with just the right amount of truffles; Branzino; Cheese Plate with accompaniments such as honeycomb and fig; and a dessert tray to die for. The French are lovers of bread and as such, all four course were complimented with a different type of artisanal bread.

Le Crab Royal D'Alaska
La Caille 


Bronzino with Vinaigrette 

What may not be so good about it for the solo diner?
As a mentioned earlier, there is no bar, no loud engaging music, and no trendy crowd to watch or engage in small talk. During my dining experience, I purposefully decided not to spend my time on my phone scrolling through various news feeds. Instead, I decided to live in the moment and all of the nuances and intricacies that has made Palme d'Or the acclaimed Coral Gables landmark that it is today. I was able to watch the servers and waitstaff seamlessly move through the dining area clearing tables, refilling wine and water glasses, folding the napkins for diners who stepped away from their tables for a moment, and chat in a personable yet professional manner. In short, I did not notice that I was alone at my table; and quite frankly, nobody else did either. The other diners were so engrossed in dinner and quiet conversations that I blended into the silhouette of the dining area. I did not feel alone or lonely; I felt a part of the experience. That being said, I think Palme d'Or would be suitable for an  upscale, older clientele seeking and elegant, intimate dining experience. 


Le Chariot de Fomage Affines

Would I return?
I would return to Palme d'Or. However, I would make it a top contender for a special occasion like an anniversary of birthday celebration. 



Desert Tray: Petit Fours, Sorbet Cones, Macaroons etc.

Palme d'Or
1200 Anastasia Ave, 
Coral Gables, Fl 33134
(305) 913-3200







4 comments

  1. Looks delicious!! Definitely a spot I need to try next time I'm in the area, love finding new places to dine at!

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    1. It really is a beautiful restaurant and amazing culinary experience! I highly recommend it!

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  2. WOW! What a beautiful spread! You certainly captured it well in the photos and even more so in the articulate details you offered. Thank you! I'll definitely check it out on my next trip to town but I have a question for you since you've got me thinking. I'm hosting a sales kickoff meeting soon and looking for a restaurant to host a group dinner for the executives and this seems like the right kind of place. Would you recommend it for a professional dinner or do you think it's better for a solo diner, couple, or family? Thanks again! Looking forward to your next review!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment Colleen. I would definitely recommend Palme d'or for an executive group dinner. Keep in mind that there is no a-la-cart menu; you have an option of 11, 6 or 4 course meals from which to choose. Figure in a bottle or two of wine and the entire experience can take anywhere from 2 - 3 hours, with ample time in between strings to "talk shop". It is geared toward an upscale clientele; the kind of place that if you left the table they would fold your napkin and place it back on the table, and adjust your chair so it was easy for you to sit back down on your arrival. Your executives will thank you!

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