601 N Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602
Cost range: 20.01-100.00
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Full bar
More in this neighborhood: Downtown Tampa
Bizou Brasserie, the upscale restaurant in the new Le Méridien hotel, which opened in 2014 in the 1905 Beaux Arts-style federal courthouse on Florida Avenue, is managed by SoHo Hospitality, the company behind Ciro's Speakeasy and Restaurant, Boca Kitchen Bar Market, and CopperFish. With Chas Brock as principal investor, Kevin Enderle and Michael Blesser overseeing things, and restaurant veterans like general manager Tami Powers (from the Palm), the stage is set for a professional operation. Despite a glamorous (but loud) setting and a lovely bakery and pastry bar at its front, the culinary message at Bizou is muddled. The menu design is pure Parisian brasserie but its contents are not. Flatbreads, focaccia sandwiches, Caesar salad and a French dip (French is in the title, but this sandwich "au jus" hails from Los Angeles) make the menu a more generic hodgepodge. It's a shame because the space really lends itself to classic brasserie fare, an underrepresented cuisine in the Tampa Bay area. There are a number of solid options at lunch and at dinner, namely a fan of rosy pan-seared duck breast slices served with a sumptuous scoop of celery root puree, a dribble of sweet demiglace and a duck confit tart, and a Frenchified burger on brioche. Hours 6 a.m.-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and 5-9 p.m. daily.
Read a review here.