Sep 24 2011

Beaudevin- A Restaurant Report

HMSHost is a behemoth of a company with food and retail locations in 110 airports world-wide. Although they have cursed my soul by bringing Burger King and KFC to the airport dining process, they have done something to make me forgive them.

Beaudevin (French for fine wine) is indeed a beautiful sight in the hallways of the Miami airport. Schmidt Design Studio of Orlando laid out the cool, contemporary look of the wine bar and marked it with accents based on wine and lighting that glows gently through classic green wine bottles. The Miami location is the first in the US with the original based in the Brussels airport.

There will be no doubt what the focus is on at Beaudevin if you make your way in. In a word, wine. It is located post security across from gate D24, or just a few yards away from the station 2 exit if you are riding the SkyTrain.

Once you get inside you may not know you are in an airport! I was transported away and my blood pressure dropped as I sat down. I knew I would have to be careful if I was to make my flight.

The menu and approach immediately brought to mind Vino Volo, which I reviewed earlier this year. The wine menu leans toward reds with 18 offerings, but there is a single rose, 2 dessert wines, 3 champagnes and 7 whites so there is an option for almost anyone.

The list features no descriptions of the wines but there were lots of vintners I was familiar with (Coppola, Caymus, Estancia and even a Silver Oak!) but a couple of ones that I was not familiar with like Chateau D’Esclans and William Hill.

The menu does have a “Character” marker in the margin of the menu indicated by a colored leaf, with each wine getting a single indicator. Some of these are useful (ie Floral & Fruity) but most did not give much real input and some of the tags like “Wines With Character” and “Perfectly Aged” are not helpful at all. You will need to have some conversation with your server or previous knowledge of the wine to make choices on the menu that suit your taste.

Beaudevin's wine character notes

Even given that proviso, the list had some really nice selections and no stinkers that I could see, so even a rank guess on the wine list should serve you well.

There are five flights on the menu that feature a trio of three ounce pours each. Keep in mind a typical wine pour is six ounces, so a flight is a glass and a half if you are monitoring your intake. There are two white flights and three red flights, grouped around vague themes like Chardonnay or Italian wines. I do wish that I had noticed that they will pour 3 ounce pours of any of the wines. That way you could make your own flights if you chose.

I opted for the “Vibrant Reds” flight which featured a Hess Cabernet, a Sen Telmo Malbec and an Alamos Malbec.

My only criticism of the service, which was generally prompt and considerate, was that I like to have a quick statement on the best order to try the wine. I did not get that and the tasting notes on the coasters were pretty generic. To my palate, the wines were not in a complexity order and the middle wine (the San Telmo) was both the simplest and my least favorite of the three. The Hess was very good but the Alamos Seleccion was the best of the three and the most interesting.

There are actually 6 breakfast items on the menu that are served until 10 AM so you can even have a croissant or bagel to start your day here.

The lunch and dinner menu leans toward small plates (11 options) but does feature 3 sandwiches and some large plates, but even three of those are small plates with larger portions. They feature a mediterranean salad and a cheese, vegetable and charcuterie sampler.

I started with a Red Pepper Hummus while I was trying to decide what I wanted to eat.

It was smooth and creamy with a piece of roasted red pepper and just a drizzle of EVOO. Many restaurants will drown hummus in olive oil so it was nice to see a subtle hand on this. It was served with soft, fresh naan, some sliced red peppers and some cucumbers cut on the bias to add some visual interest. It was all excellent with very fresh vegetables and great flavor in the hummus.

I wasn’t ready for something heavy so I opted for another small plate, the Scottish Smoked Salmon for dinner.

The salmon was served in little rose shaped rolls on top of an artichoke lemon pesto and drizzled liberally with creme fraiche and enough capers to add salt to everyone’s dish in the restaurant. The salmon was soft and sweet with subtle smoke that mixed very well with the pesto. I also appreciated the fact that the kitchen made the pesto and added the artichokes late in the process so that there were identifiable pieces of them in the pesto. The creme fraiche added some acid and a nice contrast to the whole dish. Although the dish was listed as coming with artisan flat bread it was served with crostinis which were also very good so I have no real complaints.

My experience at Beaudevin was excellent. The food was fresh, tasty and well prepared and the environment made me relax and decompress. The wine list was good and had some nice options that were a step above anything else that would have been available at MIA. I would like to see a couple of more themed flight options on the menu.

How would I compare it to Vino Volo? Beaudevin’s food menu is a bit more extensive than Vino Volo’s with some more choice and a bigger range of options. Vino Volo had more on the wine list that was interesting and intriguing and the staff came across as being better trained on the wine front. I think Vino Volo’s wine tasting cards are more useful with their grid of tendencies of a wine.

Given that there is not an airport that has both as of yet, I will not have to make a choice in the near future. It is apparent to me that Vino Volo has some real competition.

I was unable to find a web site for Beaudevin to reference so I am taking the liberty of posting some pics of their menu should you want to look it over.

Beaudevin on Urbanspoon

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