A native of La Mure, France, Chef Laurent Tasic's culinary passion began in his grandmother's farm kitchen, where the young Laurent helped her put together homemade country dishes. After honing his cooking and restaurateur skills in Europe, the French Antilles, and the Cayman Islands, Chef Laurent relocated to Fort Lauderdale, where he draws on his homeland's flavors at two Sage Oyster Bar & Restaurant locations. At his Fort Lauderdale eatery, he expands upon the traditional French countryside dishes of his youth by stuffing onions with veal and provolone, coating roasted duck with honey-raspberry sauce, and filling crepes with wilted spinach and goat cheese. Meals take place on a covered outdoor sidewalk or inside a dining area modeled after a romantic European bistro, where tastings of the restaurant's extensive wine collection and flavored floorboards occur every first and third Tuesday of the month. At his Hollywood location, meanwhile, Chef Laurent focuses on French-seafood preparation, serving oysters baked with roquefort cheese and pizza topped with Maine lobster from the kitchen's brick oven. The ambiance draws upon a similarly romantic aura, with soothing, dramatic lighting that illuminates the artfully arranged plates emerging from the kitchen.
Mussels spring open in the steam of Le Comptoir's kitchen, revealing their pearlescent inner shells and tender meat as chefs dapple them with white wine, curry, provençal, and other sophisticated sauces. Across the stove, cooks craft other quintessential Gallic dishes as they brush duck legs with orange-liqueur glaze, crown field greens with seared tuna, and fold crepes around ennui. Imported French wines, such as chardonnay and pinot noir, complement each dish.
After leaving France behind and settling down in Fort Lauderdale in 2007, owners Gerard and Christine became wistful with memories of their homeland. However, with the love for their new city quickly taking root, the duo decided that, instead of returning to France, they could simply add an authentic touch of the French Riviera to Florida’s culinary landscape. Opening in 2009, St. Tropez Bistro didn't take long to win over new friends and neighbors, winning a 2009 Best French Restaurant award from the readers of DiningGuide and a rating from the food critics at Zagat. To foster that authentic French feel, they added Chef Dominique to their team, letting him craft fresh tuna tartare and spicy lamb sausages with ratatouille to complement the restaurant’s wine list. A crew of experienced, knowledgeable wait staff—many from France, as well—bustles among the art-deco advertisements and accordion-playing Eiffel Towers that help complete the French Riviera vibe.
At a young age, Laurent Tasic helped his mother run the kitchen at a bed and breakfast, watched his grandmother bake fresh bread over a wood fire, and created white wine from fresh-picked grapes. Yet despite his early start in the culinary arts, Laurent didn’t foresee cooking in his future. In fact, it wasn’t until after earning a degree in industrial architecture and spending a few months on the job, that the future chef would realize his true calling.
Although he spent many years at the helm of swanky restaurants in Paris, Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Fort Lauderdale—preparing elegant and pricey meals for the likes of Prince Albert and film star Michael Caine—Laurent decided to trade in the glitz and glam for reasonable prices and low-key clientele. In 1998, he took over Sage Cafe, where today he continues to run the kitchen and churn out gourmet French feasts, such as coq au vin, steak maurice, and roast duck, all chased by his famously decadent crème brûlée and hand-selected wines. He oversees a brunch as well, during which the chef poaches eggs and folds savory ingredients into fresh-made crepes, also known as the envelopes of food.
Featured on WSVN's Style File, Crepeteria adds a touch of American flair to classic French cuisine with an eclectic menu of sweet and savory crêpes filled with fresh fruits, deli meats, or vegetables. Start mornings off right with the breakfast special, a crêpe-wrapped mélange of ham or bacon, egg, and melted swiss, or swap it for a sweet beginning by wrapping the wafer-thin pancake around vanilla ice cream or a bowl of cereal. The crêpe craftsmen also fold the delicate dough around an assortment of customer-chosen toppings, such as peanut butter and jelly, or sliced apples, raw honey, and melted brie, all of which may be washed down with fresh cups of hand-roasted, small batch Savannah's PERC coffee.
Situated inside the lauded Lords South Beach Hotel, Cha Cha Rooster serves internationally inspired meals in a variety of elegant settings. Gauzy white curtains and trimmed hedges surround the street-side terrace. Inside the aptly named Gold bar, thousands of sparkling scales cover the walls surrounding guests sitting at a long banquette or in studded leather chairs to share cocktails and secrets. Guests share hearty breakfasts and express lunches in the retro-chic dining room or while lounging beside one of the resort's three outdoor pools.