THESE AMERICAN NEWCOMMERS - TWO HIGH-END, ONE CASUAL — SALUTE THE CONTINENT

LOS ANGELES: BASTIDE, (323) 651-5950
Native French chef Alain Giraud has worked in noted L.A. kitchens Citrus and Lavande. But with the new Bastide, he plays on his Provençal roots, featuring food from the South of France in an intimate bungalow and on an olive-tree-planted patio, both designed by the famed Andree Putnam of Paris. Choose from three $60 to $90 seasonal tasting menus, complemented by an all-French wine list. Navigate it with assist-ance from, bien sur, the French sommelier.

MIAMI: LA BROCHE, (305) 415-0070
Madrid’s Michelin 2-star La Broche recently sprouted a transatlantic offshoot in downtown Miami. Chef Angel Palacios heads the operation, turning out inventive Mediterranean dishes in the manner of boss and chef mentor Sergi Arola. So inventive that tapas, for example, may mean sugar-coated pumpkin seeds with smoked salt or beet lollipops.
Nothing in the minimalist white dining room distracts from dishes like seared garlic risotto topped with calamari.

NEW YORK: PRET A MANGER, (646) 728-0505, www.pret.com
With new shops in Rockefeller Center and at 50th and 7th, the rapidly expanding Pret tallies 13 Manhattan outlets. The Britain-based upscale sandwich chain, which operates about 120 U.K. kitchens, just hired cel-ebrated U.S. pastry chef Claudia Fleming to oversee its menu. Much ado about a BLT? Think roast pork and seasonal chutney or duck pâté and fig compote on real baguettes imported (partially baked) from France.