Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
In an unassuming setting, diners at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Miami Design District enjoy congenial service, a relaxed yet sophisticated setting and the straightforward, ingredient-driven cuisine of chef/owner Michael Schwartz. Recently honored with the prestigious 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef South, Schwartz is recognized by his peers and the diners that flock to his restaurant for his culinary chops, as well as his support of local farmers and commitment to sustainability. Schwartz has made his mark on the South Florida dining landscape as a culinary innovator, notable for his predilection for using exceptionally fresh products. After many years honing his craft, Schwartz and his wife Tamara, who sparked the chef’s interest in organics and sustainable products, opened Michael’s Genuine, singled out in Gourmet magazine’s annual restaurant guide as one of the nation’s best Farm to Table restaurants. Schwartz has achieved national renown by creating the taste that diners crave – simply sublime cuisine created with the highest quality ingredients. Our faves: the local cobia ceviche, the homemade linguine carbonara and the beet and local heirloom tomato salad. Absolutely fresh and totally delish.
All hail Chef Michelle Bernstein and her knack for simple, yet deceptively complex flavors all emphasizing the freshest ingredients and sustainability at SRA. Martinez!mLocated in Miami’s Design District, SRA. Martinez is a chic, down-to-earth, creative tapas restaurant with an emphasis on local ingredients. Opened November 2008, SRA. offers up an eclectic menu of Old World favorites – roasted bone marrow, pan con tomate, charcuterie – as well as innovative, contemporary dishes, including foie gras with brown butter apples and pulled pork to beer battered sweetbreads with red wine vinegar and caraway caramel. Yum!
4000 NE Second Avenue in the Miami Design District; (305) 573-5474
It’s hard to miss Mia, the bold, beautiful new restaurant and lounge that has staked its claim on downtown dining at the corner of Flagler Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Its fresh menu spans the globe with a focus on Spanish, Japanese, and Latin American cuisine emphasizing high quality ingredients, including sustainable seafood, and organic and local ingredients. From tasty snacks including croquetas oozing with manchego and Serrano ham, and tasty goat cheese crostinis flavored with roasted garlic, thyme and organic honey; to small plates such as perfectly cooked diver scallops, delicately flavored with vanilla oil and served with crispy fennel atop a potato puree; tender braised short rib served with tomato compote and horseradish crème fraiche or the whimsical “breakfast” – confit pork belly, served with crispy egg yolk, bacon bits and potato puree – the menu presents one delicious option after another. Ceviches, tiraditos and sushi rolls all start with the freshest available seafood. Florida grouper tiradito, served with a lemony Kalamata olive tapenade; a delightful salmon tiradito simply served with jalapeno, citrus and white corn, and a classic ahi tuna ceviche marinated with citrus-soy, spicy siracha, nori and chunks of avocado are a wake up call to slumbering taste buds.
20 Biscayne Boulevard, at the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street; entrance on Flagler Street; (305) 642-0032; www.miabiscayne.com
Area 31 at the EPIC
Area 31, the breathtaking restaurant on the 16th floor of the EPIC Hotel, delivers guests a dramatic menu of fresh, premium seafood prepared with a Mediterranean influence. The restaurant, which debuted December 15, 2008, features seafood from its namesake region Fishing Area 31, the ecologically sound marine waters of the Western Central Atlantic including the entire Florida coast, Central America and northern South America, with its menu created by rising star John Critchley. Critchley hails from Boston where he worked extensively with world-renowned Chef Ken Oringer. The menu is complemented with a wine list expertly assembled by Master Sommelier Emily Wines along with an innovative cocktail list from Master Mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout.
16th floor of Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; www.area31restaurant.com.
Famous for assembling a culinary program sourced from local farmers and providers, Chef Sean O’Connell’s menu boasts fresh seafood, specialty cuts of meat and 500+ wines from around the world. Gotham Steak’s accessible cuisine appeals to both youthful diners looking for adventurous food and distinguished guests who appreciate time-honored cooking. Every dish has its own architectural design, bringing attention to the colors and textures of the carefully crafted recipe and adding to the dining experience. And available Sunday through Thursday exclusively at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. seatings, the restaurant features a three-course prix-fixe menu at sunset including a selection of signature dishes – unique twists on classic steakhouse staples. The first course options include Lobster Bisque, Caesar Salad or the Gotham Chopped Salad; followed by mains to please any palate – Filet Mignon, Organic Pan Roasted Chicken or Scottish Salmon and a choice of Homemade Doughnuts or Warm Chocolate Cake to finish the meal.
4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; (305) 674-4780