By Tali Jaffe-Minor

Bal Harbour Shops has a brand-new dining experience: Avenue 31 Café. Named in homage to the original Monte Carlo restaurant situated at 31 Avenue Princesse Grace in Monaco, Avenue 31 Café is an all-day café combined with a full-service restaurant founded by Stefano Frittella and Alexa Carcelli, residents of both Miami and Monte Carlo. Here, we catch up with Carcelli to talk about her latest venture.

How did you reimagine Avenue 31 Café to blend seamlessly with Bal Harbour Shops while holding tight to its essential Monte Carlo elegance?
We reimagined Avenue 31 Café to seamlessly integrate with Bal Harbour Shops while maintaining its essential Monte Carlo elegance by meticulously curating our ambiance, menu, and service to resonate with the sophisticated atmosphere of the shopping destination. This involved a thoughtful fusion of timeless European charm with contemporary luxury, ensuring a harmonious dining experience that reflects the refined allure of both Monte Carlo and Bal Harbour.

View of the dining area at Avenue 31 Cafe, Bal Harbour Shops

Al Fresco Dining at Avenue 31 Café, Bal Harbour Shops.

From your perspective as a restaurateur and dual resident, what are some of the most meaningful differences between Miami and Monte Carlo?
From the perspective of a restaurateur and dual resident, the most meaningful differences between Miami and Monte Carlo lie in their culinary scenes and overall ambiance. Miami’s dining scene is vibrant and diverse, reflecting multicultural influences and featuring bold, innovative cuisine. The city exudes energy with its bustling streets and dynamic nightlife.

On the other hand, Monte Carlo offers a more refined and luxurious dining experience, characterized by Mediterranean flavors and elegant presentations. The city is synonymous with sophistication and exclusivity, boasting stunning coastal views and glamorous establishments. Miami thrives on diversity and creativity, while Monte Carlo epitomizes luxury and refinement. As a restaurant with establishments in both places, I have the chance to appreciate and celebrate each destination’s unique culinary identities.

Avenue 31 Cafe Signage with a flight of cappuccinos and matches

Menu offerings include a flight of innovative coffee and matcha drinks including Cappuccino Nutella and Cappuccino Pistachio.

Why was Bal Harbour Shops your choice of venue for the first Avenue 31 Café outpost outside of Monte Carlo?
Bal Harbour Shops was a natural fit for our first Avenue 31 Café outpost outside of Monte Carlo for several reasons. Firstly, the luxurious ambiance of Bal Harbour Shops aligns perfectly with our brand and the upscale experience we offer at Avenue 31 Café. Additionally, the esteemed reputation and high-end clientele of Bal Harbour Shops complement our restaurant’s ethos, making it an ideal location to introduce our unique culinary concept to a sophisticated clientele.

What should patrons be most compelled to try at Avenue 31 Café?
Guests visiting Avenue 31 Café are encouraged to savor our freshly made croissants and bombolones, baked in-house daily. Additionally, our savory Italian offerings such as the Tagliatelle Bolognese, Cacio e Pepe, Pinsa, and Burrata with Prosciutto are must-tries. Each dish offers a delightful fusion of Italian flavors, embodying our all-day upscale culinary experience.

Multiple mini dolce desserts from Avenue 31 Cafe

Guests will delight in the array of decadent pastries, made in-house daily at the Café.

Behind the Scenes

Chef Julian Baker shares a few menu highlights, which seamlessly blend some of Avenue 31’s original dishes with a distinctive South Florida flair.

Bowls of Tagliatelle Verde Bolognese and Cacio e Pepe Dishes from Avenue 31 Cafe

Avenue 31 Café’s Tagliatelle Verde Bolognese and Cacio e Pepe Dishes.

When designing the menu, were there certain considerations you made to tailor it to South Florida?
In crafting our menu, we prioritized sourcing sustainable seafood and achieving a balance between light, fresh options such as salads and appetizers, and hearty, authentic dishes like pastas and pizzas. Key to our approach were simple cooking techniques and the use of fresh, authentic ingredients, ensuring each dish reflects a taste of Europe with the essence and flavors of South Florida.

Describe some of the unique “flair and charm” of Monte Carlo and the Côte d’Azur, and tell us how you’ve integrated that into the menu.
Avenue 31 Café’s menu captures the essence of Monte Carlo and the Côte d’Azur by infusing every dish with quality olive oil. From cooking to dressing and finishing the plates, this technique not only keeps the dishes fresh but also enhances them with the delightful grassy, fruity notes characteristic of the region.

A spread of dishes including Escarole Salad, Linguine Alle Vongole con Clams and Mozzarella with Prosciutto

Their menu focuses on items that are designed to be enjoyed all day from lunch to dinner.

Variety of sandwiches and croissants in glass display case

Guests can also grab a variety of sandwiches and croissants if they are on the go.


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