Nestled in the mod streets of the Miami Design District is a restaurant prided on authenticity, locality, and delectably inviting cuisine, embracing a “Come on in!” atmosphere. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is marked by just that. “It’s about serving really fresh ingredients in really simple ways and keeping things super seasonal,” said owner Michael Schwartz. “When I opened the restaurant it was about a place where my friends and family would want to go. Something unpretentious and laid back.” Michael’s possesses the posh deco ambience heavily laden in Design District bistros, with blitheness as rule of thumb.
Boasting a plethora of menu items that always evolve with the season, Michael’s “is a place where you can get homemade onion dip and fresh-cut potato chips and shrimp and grits, or go all the way with oysters and a caramelized onion, fig, and slow roasted berkshire pork pizza,” said Schwartz.
With Michael’s sister restaurant in Grand Cayman, Schwartz considers the island spot that shares Miami’s name its “fraternal twin.” “You’ll find the same dishes we’ve grown to love here at the original restaurant, and just like the culture here in South Florida, the island influences our Grand Cayman menu,” he said. The Grand Cayman location just celebrated it’s first birthday.
In both of his eateries, what Schwartz is most proud of is their emphasis on locavorism. Using local food in essentially a farm-to-table system, Schwartz believes that a person’s proximity to the food they eat will determine its taste. “Farm-to-table isn’t a gimmick, or a sales-point for me, it’s about eating food the way it was intended to taste, fresh and straightforward,” said Schwartz. “It’s a cycle that supports the little guy, and I’m all for that.”
At Michael’s, what you see is what you get. Stated on the back of their T-shirts is, “quality, authentic, real, free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere,” as the dictionary defines genuine. Fresh and local, that’s as genuine as it gets.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is located at 130 Northeast 40th Street Miami, FL 33137;