The 20 health code violations recently found at Olivier Martinez’s glitzy French restaurant Villa Azur on Miami Beach were immediately corrected, the restaurant group’s attorney says.
"They were cleared up before the end of the day,” Kent Robbins said. “It was very minor, they haven't even come back, we asked them to come back to do another inspection.”
Martinez, a French actor, is engaged to Halle Berry. He is not involved with the day-to-day management of the restaurant, Robbins said.
A routine Nov. 16 inspection found ready-to-eat macaroons “being handled without gloves,” cutting boards placed on the floor after dishwashing, a worker not using a hair net, and slime found on soda dispensing nozzles, according to a Florida Department of Business Professional Regulation report.
Thirteen of the violations were deemed critical, and seven non-critical.
Robbins says the restaurant never closed because the problems didn't pose serious threats to customers.
"In a normal course of business and over a shift period those issues would have been resolved,” he said.
Nearby residents said they were shocked by the violations found at the eatery, which opened eight months ago.
"It always looks quite exclusive and glamorous, and you don't think of somewhere like that having a grimy kitchen,” Kitty McLaughlin said.
Robbins addressed the problem with the soda dispenser.
"It was left in the sink, and was not operable at that time, obviously it would be clean when the new shift opened up,” said Robbins, who is a defamation attorney.
He said Martinez comes to Villa Azur frequently to enjoy the food, and is aware that the restaurant group has retained him to fight what it calls unfair press.
Still, customers like Jim Stedman aren't turned off by the news of the violations.
"I think it's a beautiful restaurant and as long as the food is cooked properly, a lot of that doesn't affect you,” he said.