We were fortunate to be invited to a media dinner for the new La Ferme restaurant in Yamato Village Center. It’s a reopening of the former Bistro Gastronomie in the same plaza as Doris Market. Bistro Gastronomie struggled but the new owners (pictured above) are optimistic they can make the concept work. The Shapiros have extensive experience running restaurants. They’ve learned from their successes and more from the few that didn’t go well.
The new chef, John Belleme (pronounced like Bellamy), put together an excellent meal for all of us. He came out and explained the finer points of the meal in far more depth than this author is capable of understanding, to the delight of the more experienced food writers. Their press release described the cuisine as Meditteranean but we’d call it French.
We started with a series of appetizers. First up was the “gougeres”, bread puffs filled with gruyere cheese. The bread was light and airy and the cheese was soft inside – nearly liquid – even after they had cooled off a bit.
Served at the same time was steak tartare, which was my favorite item of the night. The meat blended with dijon, capers and other ingredients for a hint of spice and smooth feel in the mouth.
Oysters are not something I would typically order, but I did like these.
They came out along with “Clams 2 Ways.” One of the ways included bacon, which was excellent.
During the meal Mr. Shapiro introduced Kahl Wilfert, who coordinated the artwork inside the restaurant.
There is a variety of art, though Kahl mentioned something being a precursor to the pop art movement.
Next came two different salads. One was a beet salad. That’s something I usually like and this was no exception:
There was also a “farm salad.” This was the one item that really didn’t click for me. There was something bitter in it that overpowered the rest of the ingredients, though others at the table did like it.
We were then served two kinds of mussels. The Thai version was my favorite of the two.
I had the chance to try three of the four entrees that were served. A guest of mine showed up late and had the salmon. We both thought it was very good.
I had the scallops with risotto. Of the entrees this was my favorite. My guest particularly liked the risotto.
I also had a chance to try the porchetta, made from pork belly.
The meal closed with two desserts, an apple turnover that was spectacular, and a chocolate torte that would definitely appeal to chocoholics.
We have not seen a menu yet but expect La Ferme to be pricey. The Shapiros tell us it will not be as expensive as Bistro Gastronomie was. We hope to get there again in the next month or so for a regular meal.
Yamato Village Center is on the north side of Yamato halfway between 441 and Lyons at Lakeridge.
The website, LaFerme.kitchen, is still under construction.
Bistro Gastronomie will reopen under a new name and new ownership.
Now La Ferme, it “will open mid-September and will feature Modern French Bistro Cuisine served in a fun, upbeat and exciting setting. The menu will have a strong emphasis on fresh ingredients and the restaurant will source its own oysters and mussels. The restaurant will be approachable and reasonably priced.”
The new ownership team includes “Well-known Manhattan restaurateurs Bobby, Laura and Alexandra Shapiro.” We checked them out before and the Shapiros do have a strong record in the restaurant business. Chef William Walden will continue with them. We were impressed with Chef Walden’s dishes when it was Bistro Gastronomie, and we look forward to what he will do in the new setup.
“Chef Walden is one of the nation’s leading chefs and we are thrilled that he will lead our culinary team at La Ferme,” said Bobby Shapiro. “La Ferme will feature his delicious French dishes and our menu will also have small plates and bar bites to make this an everyday restaurant. It will be more creative, fun and interactive, with a particular focus on health conscious execution.”
There will be substantial menu changes:
The menu will adjust with seasons but items will include: Burgundy Escargots sizzling in their shells a la Persillade; Classic French Onion Soup with King Cut Gruyere; Grilled Octopus, Salad Nicoise with seared tuna; Seafood Plateaus featuring Maine Lobster, East Coast Oysters, Gulf Shrimp, Crab Louis, and Florida Stone Crab Claws (in season); King Crab Legs; Prince Edward Island Mussels done three ways: Dijonaise, Billi Bi, or Thai Curry; Natural Foie Gras Torchon; authentic Moroccan Tagines (Chicken, Lamb, and Vegetable); all natural beef; Hanger Steak Frites; Chateaubriand Bouquetier; Slow Braised Short Ribs; Beef Bourgignon a la Julia Child; Steak Tartare; Roast Chicken for two with Potato Pie and Accoutrements; and Fresh Skatefish Au Beurre Noir.
Perhaps most notable is the commitment to reasonable pricing. As Bistro Gastronomie it was very expensive. We thought it was worth it, but the pricing limited how often we could go. If the prices are lower, we’ll definitely go more often.
La Ferme is open daily for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and will feature happy hour specials, Monday – Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. (bar only). The restaurant accepts all major credit cards and reservations by phone or through OpenTable. For more info call 561.430.3731, visit the website laferme.kitchen or email email@example.com.
La Ferme is located in Yamato Village Center, on the north side of Yamato halfway between 441 and Lyons. It’s the same plaza as Doris Market.
Yamato Village Center was reportedly sold for $6.5 million dollars recently. The plaza is located on the north side of Yamato at Lakeridge, and is best known for Doris Market. The buyer is Boca YVC LLC, a newly formed corporation based in Tamarac and headed up by Michael Janoura of Janoura Realty and Management. We think this is him:
His group purchased it from Dratax, a Pennsylvania corporation.
The property is on the north side of Yamato halfway between 441 and Lyons Road.
This is also a classic example of how some property owners get massive tax breaks. The property appraiser has the 2013 total market value at roughly $3.7M, just over half the sale price. The new 2014 numbers came in since we started writing this article and it’s now up to $3.9M, still far below its actual value. Dratax saved a lot of money at the expense of other taxpayers. We’ll see if the appraiser adjusts the amount for the new owners based on the transaction that just took place.
The transaction was reported by the Sun-Sentinel a few weeks ago. The property appraiser website now confirms the transaction and the deed, prepared by Michael Shapiro of West Boca law firm Shapiro Blasi Wasserman & Gora, P.A., is below: