Monday, March 19, 2007

Review: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

New to Miami's Design District is Michael Schwartz's newest creation - Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. (130 N.E. 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137, (305) 573-5550)

Michael has a past connection to the famous restaurants in South Beach including Nemos (former partner and chef) and AfterGlo (chef).

This time Michael has gone "local" by focusing his dishes on locally grown and raised ingredients for his dishes. Think
Organic, Regional, Seasonal and Sustainable.

And instead of a classic menu with appetizers, salads and main dishes - he mixes it up by categorizing the food by the size of the dish - Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Snack, Side.

Overall the decor and food were "almost perfect." Why almost? According to Elad, because nobody would believe the review if it was called perfect.

Due to the variety in types of dishes, the prices range from less than $10 to more than $30. It all depends on what you are looking for. Elad and I tried to pick one from each category (except extra large) and shared everything - and we walked away very full and with a bill of about $63 - not including drinks or tip. The prices are affordable to encourage frequent dining.

We picked a "snack" to start. Deviled Eggs. An odd choice indeed, but hey it was on the menu! Tasty, but not the best of the evening. Elad may beg to differ because he has an affinity for those creamy filled eggs.

We had a panzanella salad (small) next. They mix a variety of rustic tomatoes with hard croutons and balsamic dressing for a sweet yet tart salad. Simple but a lot of flavor shines through.

Next up, mussels in a tomato and garlic broth (medium). The mussels were cooked and flavored perfectly. And the dish was quite large.

For the main event, skirt steak over a vegetable mix (large) and the roasted vegetable of the day - asparagus (side dish). Cooked perfectly and had a drizzle of a mustard-y sauce on top. Oh, and I forgot to mention, they have a thing for beets. They like to sneak them in whenever possible. We found some cooked beets (which were very yummy) beneath the steak.

Dessert? Of course! S'mores chocolate cake. Not a traditional s'mores over the campfire. This neat dessert stacked a graham type-cookie beneath a chocolate cake, beneath a layer of peanut butter and topped off with marshmallows that are put under a flame and roasted. The flavors mixed well - but really, how can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter?

And all the while the ambiance is simple, with large bright red cubes hanging from an industrial looking ceiling. A large painting of what may be John Lennon (still not sure about that) hung on the wall. There is an open kitchen were you can see a wood burning oven and chefs run around. In the background, modern jazz. Compliments the decor and food perfectly.

There is also an outdoor section of tables which seemed very quiet and comfortable. Right now in the Design District there is very little night life, and Michael's and Sheba are cornering the market (and the traffic) for dinner in the neighborhood.

They also have a large wine menu, signature drinks and a variety of beers. If you have to wait for your table then take a seat at the bar and enjoy.

I would totally recommend that you check out Michael's and try out as many dishes as possible. If you are on a budget and there are two people eating, stick to 3 small or medium dishes and skip dessert and you should find yourself not spending more than $20 per person. You may even be able to sneak in some snacks (which are only $4 each) or side dishes and still not break the bank.

But if you want to go all out - drinks, multiple courses, and dessert - expect to spend around $80-$90 for the evening. And expect to walk away very full and satisfied.

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Blogger Elad said...

I can't think of anything to add to Shawn's great review, except to echo her recommendation. I was completely satisfied from first to last bite. And in terms of bringing life to the otherwise lifeless Design District, I applaud the owner for taking a chance. By the look of the packed crowd late Saturday night, I think this place is going to be a massive sucess.

March 19, 2007 5:15 PM  
Blogger SuperBee said...

THANK YOU! I'm going tonight. I'll have two reviews then. This, and Table 8 (sucked.)

March 20, 2007 2:59 PM  
Anonymous consumable Joy said...

We like Michael's so much, we've already been twice, and I think (overall) our 2nd experience was even better than the first. Let's hope the place has some staying power.

March 26, 2007 7:37 AM  

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