The name is new, but the address is a familiar corner of Paris by way of Clayton.
Bistro La Floraison opens Wednesday (July 13) at 7637 Wydown Boulevard. The new venture from the group behind Vicia and Winslow’s Table succeeds Bar Les Frères, one of the trio of celebrated restaurants Zoë Robinson closed during the pandemic.
Take Root Hospitality — married duo Tara and Michael Gallina and their business partner and director of culinary operations, Aaron Martinez — said in March it would reopen the restaurant as Bar Les Frères. Last month, however, the group announced the space would instead become Bistro La Floraison.
Tara Gallina said there has been a “really delicate balance” between preserving what was at Bar Les Frères and letting Bistro La Floraison become its own place.
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“I wanted people to walk in and know, like, ‘Yeah, I’m in a different place,’” she said. “But I love Zoë’s style, and I think there (were) elements of the restaurant that just made sense to hold on to, and then things that made sense to be different.”
Bar Les Frères regulars will recognize some of that restaurant’s signature pieces of furniture, but Bistro La Floraison has installed a new banquette in one of its two dining rooms and introduced new color schemes and new artwork by local artist Andrew Millner in both spaces. The restaurant seats 40 between those two rooms, with another 24 seats out front.
The menu features snacks (gougeres, citrus-marinated olives), chilled seafood and caviar service and such small plates as steak tartare, smoked trout rillette and duck pate en croûte. The compact selection of main courses includes short rib au poivre and chicken cordon bleu with smoked bacon and Gruyère.
Patrick Fallwell leads the kitchen under the guidance of Michael Gallina and Martinez. The turn to classical French cooking might be surprising for the team behind the forward-thinking Vicia, but Fallwell is excited for the shift.
“At the end of the day…instead of so much focus on trying to come up with something really crazy that no one’s ever done before, it’s like, how can I make this chicken the best chicken I can make,” he said.
Bistro La Floraison also draws on Take Root Hospitality’s beverage team, which earlier this year earned James Beard Award semifinalist nods for “Best Bar Program” and “Best Wine Program” nationwide at Vicia. Beverage director Kara Flaherty leads the wine program, with certified advanced sommelier Patricia Wamhoff on site, while bar manager Phil Ingram has developed the cocktail list.
Bistro La Floraison is open 4-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 4-10 p.m. Sunday.