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Taste Of The Town: Impeccable French Cuisine At Le Zoo In Bal Harbour

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BAL HARBOUR (CBSMiami) — Bal Harbour Shops is an iconic fashion mecca featuring some of the biggest names in luxury retail. Set in an open-air mall, this renowned, global shopping destination features a handful of restaurants that are always buzzing with shoppers, tourists, and locals alike.

Just like CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo, who visits often, including one of her favorite dining spots, Le Zoo.

It’s a French bistro serving up all sorts of delicious dishes from the Mediterranean.

“Every time I come here, whether I’m sitting outside or inside, it is very French,” said Petrillo.

“It’s the look of a Parisian-style bistro. The outside seating is very patio-esque like the French cafés,” said Executive Chef Julian Alexander Baker.

Baker says there’s really something for every palate and price range here at this family-friendly French-inspired Bistro.

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“We like to say that Le Zoo is approachable. We have our mussels, our burger, the dishes which you can come and have one dish and be very satisfied, or you can choose three or four courses and really experience what we do,” he explained.

During COVID shutdowns, Le Zoo was closed for 6 weeks. Upon reopening, business immediately boomed, and it hasn’t stopped.

Back in the kitchen, chef Baker works his magic preparing the tasting dishes.

Truffle Pizza (CBS4)

It begins with truffle pizza with black truffle, fontina cheese and egg.

“There’s a salt and a savory. The egg does give it a richness and I love the thin crust,” said Petrillo.

“It’s pretty impressive and the mixture of those cheeses is fantastic,” said chef Baker.

They taste an elegant cold, fresh salmon tartare with chives and shallots before diving into a posh pasta dish.

Tagliolini (CBS4)

It’s Tagliolini with summer truffles, butter sauce, and parmesan.

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“It’s melt in your mouth, decadent. The perfect amount of al dente-ness,” said Petrillo laughing.

“I always feel when you eat a pasta you shouldn’t go home feeling guilty or feeling heavy,” explained chef Baker.

Next up, Lisa’s favorite dish:

Mussells from Le Zoo (CBS4)

Moules Frites or mussels with white wine, herbs lemon, garlic, and butter.

“You can just keep eating and eating it and there’s a lemon flavor in the sauce. I can taste the butter, but it’s not buttery tasting. It’s light.  I don’t even need to know about the butter because I don’t want the guilt,” Petrillo said.

At the end of the meal, comes the delicious dessert.

Profiteroles (CBS4)

Profiteroles with praline, vanilla ice cream, and melted bittersweet chocolate, which is very shareable.

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Le Zoo is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner brunch on the weekends. For more info:


  • 120g fresh pasta tagliolini
  • 3 fl. oz chicken broth
  • 5 ml white truffle oil (half for finishing)
  • 5g truffle paste or puree
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 2 g salt
  • 15g grated parmesan


Cook the pasta in salted water.

In a separate pan, melt together the butter with the chicken stock, truffle oil, truffle paste and the cheese. Once the pasta is cooked add to the sauce, season with the salt. Work together the pasta in the sauce adding a little cooking water if needed.

Once plated add the shaved truffles and additional Parmigiano as desired.

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