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Philippe Ruiz' Chinese New Year At Villa Azur

Philippe Ruiz of Villa Azur, photo by lee kleinVilla Azur, photo courtesy Villa AzurChinese New Year At Villa Azul, photo courtesy Villa Azul

     The best news to hit the Miami dining scene while lee2go was on hiatus is that Philippe Ruiz has taken over the helm as Executive chef of Villa Azur (309 23 Street, Miami Beach). When Ruiz held the same position at Biltmore Hotel’s Palme d’Or, his brilliant blending of classic and modern French/Mediterranean cooking made it arguably the finest restaurant in South Florida.

     Ruiz’ resume also includes work at Two-Michelin-Star Château de Divonne in Divonne-les-Bains, France; at Two-Michelin-Star Le Chat Botté at the Hôtel Beau Rivage and at Two-Michelin-Star Le Vieux Moulin, both restaurants in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2006, the French Government bestowed upon Ruiz the title of “Chevalier de l'Ordre Du Mérite Agricole.”

Chef Philippe Ruiz of Villa Azur, photo by lee klein

     Some of Ruiz’ French compositions on the menu at Villa Azur (celebrating its 6th anniversary this year) include Baby Artichoke Carpaccio with parmigiano, baby arugula and lemon dressing; Colorado Lamb Chop with apricot sauce, caramelized carrots, mashed French peas with almond and mint; and French Raviole de Romans, with truffle sauce and truffle carpaccio – all ably paired with wine by an in-house sommelier.

     Come this Friday, February 16, you can sample Ruiz’ take on Asian cuisine during the restaurants celebration of the Chinese New Year. The menu includes specialties such as Maine Lobster Dumplings with langoustine broth, enoki mushroom and fresh coriander; Whole Steamed Rock Cod with fresh ginger, soy sauce and scallions; Crispy Duck Breast with baby bok choy and sweet-and-sour sauce, and Mango Pudding with lime sorbet and fresh mint for dessert.

Chinese New Year At Villa Azul, photo courtesy Villa Azul

     The brasserie hotspot will also be advancing the Asian theme by way of live dancers, artists, dragons and DJs. But the takeaway here is that Villa Azur has Philippe Ruiz in the kitchen, and that’s a special thing.

Philippe Ruiz of Villa Azur, photo by lee klein