Villa Azur Restaurant and Lounge
309 23rd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Parking: Street, Lot, Valet, Private
Bike Parking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Host was wonderful and provided a tour of the beautiful restaurant before we were seated. First impressions were great.
The menu was uninspired but with solid choices to choose from. Couldn't help noticing the "tried and true technique" to pad the bill by adding truffles wherever possible. Fortunately I like truffles.
The wait staff was weak and barely attentive... Seemed pressured to turn the table ASAP. We felt like nothing more than a wallet after we sat. Intent on enjoying my date with my wife, I tried to ignore and move on. The sommelier lectured me on why the 2007 Tuscan wine didn't need to be decanted. I felt it was only because they didn't wish to consume more time.
The raw bar samples were very good, my wife's scallops were good, but the Ribeye steak was pathetic for the quality of restaurant it was attempting to be. Served lukewarm, fatty but not flavorful. Fortunately the wine was excellent.
The best part came at the end when I asked the waiter to add $25 to tab to satisfy the valet charge since I wasn't carrying cash and he said he needed to check with someone. He came back and brought me the check but told me he could not accommodate the request. I was puzzled and in disbelief so asked him what he was proposing because I didn't see an ATM in the restaurant nor any bank next door. He told me there was one at a Walgreens not too far away. I told him my wife was in high heels and that sounded ridiculous. He said sorry and left.
I asked my wife to wait for me while I went to score some cash. While she waited she asked the man standing outside at the door entrance if she could give him our valet ticket and they could get the car while she waited. He rebuffed her, didn't take the ticket but declared he was simply not the valet. My wife said never mind and just waited until I returned. She shared with me the attitude she had just encountered and we couldn't wait to be out of there.
So sad that a place so beautifully put together just misses the basics of what makes a restaurant great. Chalk this one up to achieving the "Miami" standard - superficially beautiful but no substance, no heart and no caring.