Pascal’s on Ponce opened in Coral Gables back in 2000, and is still going strong. Given the general fickleness of the restaurant industry, especially in South Florida, this says a lot. Since it opened, it has been recognized by food-writers and critics nationwide for its made-to-order contemporary French cuisine.
Pascal’s on Ponce, like many other restaurants in South Florida, is typically above my price range. But, sometimes life throws you a bone. In this case, that “bone” was a discounted 3-course meal promotion and someone else footing the bill. That’s all the excuse that I needed to show up one night after work.
This being a French restaurant, we started off with a piece of warm, crusty bread with soft butter. I don’t think that the bread is made in-house, but it still tasted good.
We were surprised at our table with an amuse-bouche of salmon cake. I typically only like salmon in sushi form, as it tends to taste too “fishy” for me once it’s cooked. However, I enjoyed this salmon cake, and the “fishyness” was quite muted.
I’m a sucker for a good lobster bisque, so I already knew that it was what I wanted to order when it was listed as one of our fixed menu selections. It was a very good lobster bisque, but my favorite lobster bisque still belongs to Devon Seafood. The bisque was less creamy than other bisques that I have tried, and was pretty heavy on whatever alcohol was used when cooking the bisque. Sherry, perhaps?
For my entree, I ordered a braised beef dish with vegetables and a side of mashed potatoes. I recall giving my vegetables to the person sitting next to me and keeping the mashed potatoes. The swirled design of the plated mashed potatoes was a nice touch, and they were incredibly thick and dense potatoes. I expected the beef to be more tender. Despite not having that melt-in-your-mouth texture, though, it had great flavor. The sauce went very well with the potatoes, which were a little bland on their own.
For dessert, I opted for the Opera Cake. For me, the cake was a little too heavy on the coffee. My dinner companions felt otherwise. I guess I need to be a caffeine junkie to truly understand, because they loved it.
Service at Pascal’s on Ponce was interesting. Different workers took our orders or heard our requests. It wasn’t clear to us exactly who our server was (if we even had one). The plus side is that, aside from the time it took the kitchen to prepare our food, we never really had to wait for anything.
For more information on Pascal’s on Ponce, visit their web site at http://www.pascalmiami.com/