Local residents and restaurateurs Sandy Sanchez and chef/partner husband Ben Rablat, who are known to locals for their Silverlake Bistro, have announced that they will add to Normandy’s neighborhood with the summer opening of Normandy Gourmandy. Located at 932 71st Street, the new wine store and market will serve as a destination for local North Beach residents seeking fine wines, imported cheeses and other global delicacies from around the world.
“Friends in the neighborhood and our restaurant patrons have been telling us for a while now that they wished they had a place nearby to shop for ingredients for an impromptu supper or something to add some pizzazz to a dinner party,” offers Sanchez in a statement. “We heard about the space becoming available and decided to have a look. Once we saw the space we fell in love and began dreaming about the possibilities”
Located across from the small park that contains the Normandy Fountain, the location reminded Ben of the plazas and open spaces of his native Paris. Sandy immediately saw the potential for not only a wine shop but as she describes it “a culinary Anthropolgie,” after the American retailer known for its mix of interesting home goods and highly-curated apparel.
Equal parts Napa Valley tasting room, gourmet market and quirky gift shop, one thing the couple insists will define Normandy Gourmandy will be accessibility. Ben insists that “gourmet” need not translate to expensive. “Gourmet is more of a state of mind, a sense of quality that need not break the bank but can appeal to the senses. We will have upscale items like truffles and caviar but there will also be affordably-priced, high-quality oils, cheeses, frozen canapes, olives and more. There will also be a great selection of culinary products perfect for the kitchen or for gift baskets, charcuterie boards, serving plates and much more. We will even have special treats for pets. We really want this to be everyone’s neighborhood market.”
The couple, who met in California while working at Nancy Silverton’s Michelin-starred Osteria Mozza, moved to Miami in 2016 and opened their own bohemian French bistro, La Fresa Francesa in Hialeah, where Sandy grew up. In 2018, after moving to North Beach, they stumbled upon the space that would become Silverlake Bistro, an homage to California cuisine with a French accent (n’est-ce pas).
Locals can expect both scheduled and impromptu wine tastings and product sampling – of everything from truffle potato chips to imported French cookies.
Normandy Gourmandy is located at 932 71st Street, Miami Beach. Hours of operation are Thursday to Monday from 12PM to 9PM.