150 Central Park’s Winter Tasting Menus Launch with a Royal Pairing

TOASTED HAZELNUT FINANCIER truffle cream, brown butter streusel, roasted strawberries. Larkee has paired this with PORT, FONSECA Late Bottle Vintage, Portugal. (photo by Jessica Gross)

TOASTED HAZELNUT FINANCIER, the dessert course in the Farmhouse Menu combines
truffle cream, brown butter streusel, roasted strawberries. Larkee has paired this with PORT, FONSECA
Late Bottle Vintage, Portugal (photo by Jessica Gross.)

Special Ops chef Thomas Tennant is on the road again, this time with the sea beneath and Wine Director Eric Larkee as first mate to introduce Michael’s winter menus to Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class beginning with Allure of the Seas this Sunday.  The two are already onboard to prepare the team for the change of seasons inside 150 Central Park.  Outside, it’s all Caribbean sunshine on Deck 8, as the ship sails back to its home of Port Everglades.

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“I love Central Park,” says Larkee, reflecting on what it’s like to be back on Oasis Class after working on Quantum of the Seas to launch Michael’s Genuine Pub. “It’s the greatest amenity on any cruise ship.”

Please enjoy the new winter menus below, Farmhouse and Homestead, featuring lots of Florida produce from some of our favorite farms including Swank and Teena’s Pride.  It is that time of year! We hear WIFI is working like a charm, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for an Instagram or two, gentlemen! Chef and Bradley will also take part in the transition over the next few weeks. Oasis implements on Saturday, February 7.

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[Recipe] Cayman’s Bounty in a Roasted Breadfruit Salad

Our creative in the current issue of Ritz-Carlton's magazine features the market and one of our favorite local delicacies... Ackee!

Our creative in the current issue of Ritz-Carlton’s magazine features the market and one of our favorite local delicacies… Ackee!

Down in the sunny Cayman Islands there is an abundance of exotic and unusual fruits and vegetables growing. From cassava to winged beans, the produce on the island is used in many different ways unique to the island and its culture. The Camana Bay Farmers Market is held every Wednesday just steps from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Grand Cayman.  It is a great place for locals, tourists and our chefs to find all of the island’s local produce and is a snapshot of what’s in-season and what you can expect to be on your plate at the restaurant at any given moment.  Chefs Michael and Thomas have taken turns visiting the island over the past couple of weeks to find the farmers market and its growers as vibrant as they’ve ever been, with fresh ingredients in abundance such as boniato (sweet potato), bitter melon, plantains, heirloom tomatoes, jujube apples, coconut, pumpkin, okra, passionfruit, and ackee to name a few.  It’s always a huge source of inspiration… Case and point, you’ll now find this ackee toast on the menu!

The breadfruit is a perfect example of this local bounty. A species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, breadfruit originated in the South Pacific and was introduced to Caribbean islands during the late 18th century by British and French navigators. Today it is grown in some 90 countries throughout Southeast and South Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, Central America and Africa.  The breadfruit is so common you can typically find the tree it grows on in every Caymanian backyard and is a staple in every local’s household. With the texture of a potato and the flavor of freshly baked bread (hence the name breadfruit), breadfruit can be great for baking, roasting, grilling, frying, or boiling. In traditional Cayman cuisine, the breadfruit is usually boiled or fried and seasoned with spicy pickled vegetables.

Chef Thomas Tennant is a master at handling this curious-looking ingredient, and created the perfect expression of its best qualities in the breadfruit salad.  The breadfruit is roasted whole in the wood oven, peeled and cut into large chunks, then re-roasted to nice and crispy outside and creamy middle.  While you may not have a breadfruit tree in your backyard, we have seen them from time to time pop onto the ingredient wall at our Miami restaurant food bar, or sitting pretty above the pastry station.  We challenge to to your own breadfruit treasure hunt…  This could be your reward!

Breadfruit SaladWood Roasted Breadfruit Salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, arugula, basil and citrus vinaigrette

Serves 6

1 whole ripe breadfruit, about 3 pounds weight
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
1 pound baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 pound of avocado, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 cup scallions, sliced thinly on the bias
1 cup torn basil leaves
1 cup baby arugula
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup Citrus vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Using a chef’s knife, remove the stem of the breadfruit by coring out the stem. Then insert the knife straight through the breadfruit, at least half way into the fruit via the stem side going through the breadfruit center, then do it again but turning the knife to create and ‘X’. You will have pierced through the breadfruit but not cutting all the way through it. Score the other side with an ‘X’. Place the breadfruit on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. After 40 minutes, check for doneness by piercing with a knife, it will be done if you can pierce the breadfruit every easily, similar to a baked potato. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, cut away the outer skin, then cut into one inch cubes.

Place the breadfruit cubes on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the breadfruit begins to brown and become crisp. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, avocados, scallions, basil and arugula, in a mixing bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper. Once the breadfruit has become crisp, combine into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and dress with the citrus vinaigrette. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately while the salad is still warm.

Citrus Vinaigrette

Yields 1 quart

1 grapefruit
1 naval orange
1 lemon
1 lime
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup canola oil
1 ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest the citrus with a microplane zester into a container, then juice the citrus. Combine the citrus zest, juices, egg yolk, vinegar, honey and salt in a blender. Blend on medium-low speed for about 20 seconds. While the blender is running, slowly incorporate the oils by adding them in a thin but steady stream into the blender until all the oil has been emulsified. Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate.

 

 

Shop, Then Drop In for a Champagne Toast

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Cheers to luxury and one more reason to treat yourself.

The Cypress Room is welcoming more luxury to Miami’s Design District, South Florida’s growing neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, architecture and dining experiences. Guests shopping from 38 to 40th Street in between North Miami Avenue and Northeast 2nd Avenue may drop into The Cypress Room, present their retail receipt, and enjoy two complimentary glasses of Champagne at lunch or dinner from now until the end of February or while supplies last. Giorgio Armani, Hublot, Burberry, Bvlgari, Lanvin Boutique, and Valentino are just some of the stores to recently open.  Listings are updated regularly here on designdistrict.net.

In the background, DOME, 1979/80-2014, Buckminster Fuller. In the fore, Xavier Veilhan’s Le Corbusier, 2013.

We are so proud of our visionary neighborhood in Miami, pushing the envelope to innovate and drive the cultural evolution of The Magic City. Works of art for public enjoyment is just one of the ways this is happening.  In Palm Court, the ball drops in the magic triangle of our three restaurants with Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink across the street to the north, Harry’s Pizzeria two blocks to the west and The Cypress Room two blocks south southeast. Park in the new underground Palm Court garage and rise through DOME (1979/80-2014, Buckminster Fuller) to begin your shopping adventure as a figurine in your own personal sun globe.  In 1965 the artist designed and patented the Fly’s Eye Dome, which he called an “autonomous dwelling machine.” Prototypes began to be built by hand in 1977 and by 1983; three of the fiberglass spheres in various sizes (12-foot, 24-foot, 50-foot) had been produced. Fuller died before he was able to realize his vision for the structure. However, almost 50 years later, the design, a Monohex variation of the geodesic dome, can clearly be seen as a forerunner of today’s green building movement. In 2011, collector and DACRA visionary Craig Robins acquired the 24-foot prototype with the intention of exhibiting it and using it as inspiration for a key element of the Miami Design District. The following year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute, in partnership with Goetz Composites, ConformLab and DRDesign, began the development of a program to complete Fuller’s vision, using advanced technologies and materials not available to Fuller in the 1970’s. BFI was then commissioned to produce a Fly’s Eye Dome utilizing state-of-the-art materials, intelligence and techniques, to be prominently incorporated in the Miami Design District 2.0 here.

A throwback to the sophistication of 1920s fine dining, the restaurant offers an a la carte menu, as well as an accessible Lunch Prix Fixe of 3 courses for $33. Some guests may prefer to relax and stay a while, enjoying wine pairings to complete the experience at $51. For others, it’s comfortably out in under an hour and back to business or shopping. Dinner’s Tasting Menu includes 5 courses for $95, or with wine pairings for $195. Menus change regularly and are updated in realtime on thecypressroom.com.

The Cypress Room is open for lunch Monday through Friday from noon until 2:30 p.m. and dinner Monday through Thursday from 6 until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until midnight. Design District Valet is conveniently located in the Miami-Dade Parking Authority Lot just north of the restaurant. The restaurant welcomes walk-ins, reservations, and events at 305.520.5197 or reservations@thcypressroom.com.

[Recipe] Pan-Roasted 1/2 Poulet Rouge Chicken with Giardiniera

Pan-Roasted 1/2 Poulet Rouge Chicken at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink -- a classic on both lunch and dinner menus.

Pan-Roasted 1/2 Poulet Rouge Chicken at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink — a classic on both lunch and dinner menus (Photo by Ella Schwartz)

Ever since Michael flew to North Carolina in 2010 to meet Ron Joyce, it’s been a chicken love fest.  Joyce Farms is our supplier of Poulet Rouge Fermier chicken at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and The Cypress Room, a heritage French farm breed that Joyce brought to the U.S. as the exclusive North American producer.  The Redbro Cou Nu, or red feathered naked neck, is known for its superior taste, better meat texture and a thinner skin that finishes very crispy compared to most chickens.  And, as Michael saw firsthand, Joyce complements nature with nurture, raising the flock on small Carolina farms and allowing them to grow slowly and mature naturally than conventional factory farmed chicken. They roam free or take comfort out of the weather in cooled or heated areas.

Saveur Joyce Farms Poulet Rouge Feature

Michael showed the love in a recent issue of Saveur for Joyce Farms and this beautiful bird!

Says sous chef Michael Beltran of The Cypress Room, “Joyce’s poultry is by far some of the most consistent, high quality product I have ever had, which is so important to us in the kitchen.”  Beltran and chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia now also source beef tenderloin from Joyce Farms for the restaurant.  Beltran continues, “It’s got to be the best flavor I’ve ever gotten out of a grass fed beef.  Cooked medium rare, it’s buttery and you get a touch of game but it’s not overwhelming. I’ve never had anything quite like it.  It’s the most perfect filet. Right now we’re serving it at dinner with long beans, creamed kale, marble potato and radish.”  Looks like we have our next recipe, chef!

Today we offer Michael’s Pan-Roasted technique with Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink chef de cuisine Niven Patel’s current set up for the menu – giardiniera. Giardiniera is an Italian or Italian-American relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. Italian giardiniera is also called sottaceti (“under vinegar”), a common term for pickled foods. Typically eaten as an antipasto or with salads, the Italian version includes peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower and gherkins marinated in oil, red- or white-wine vinegar, herbs and spices. In Chicago, they like it hot or mild, sometimes with crushed red pepper flakes. Giardiniera is a very versatile condiment – even for chicken!

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The Cypress Room features Poulet Rouge in its Daily Rotisserie with Market Vegetables for both lunch and dinner.

If you can’t splurge for the Poulet Rouge, available from Joyce’s website, a great naturally-raised bird will do just fine.  This is one of those dishes where patronizing a local butcher, instead of a chain grocery store, will mean success. To halve and bone a couple of chickens is not an easy task, so leave it to the experts. Be specific with your butcher: request boneless chicken halves, meaning the first joint of the wing is clipped off and the only bone in the bird is the one that attaches the lower part of the wing to the breast, also known as an “airline”. As an alternative, buy boneless chicken parts. There aren’t a lot of ingredients to this dish; it really is all about the quality of chicken and couple of well-seasoned cast iron skillets. To get the super crispy skin, it is imperative that the chicken lies flat in the pan.

Pan-Roasted 1/2 Poulet Rouge Chicken with Giardiniera

Serves 4

2, 3-pound Poulet Rouge chickens, halved and boned, skin on, or 3 pounds boneless chicken parts, skin on, preferably free-range
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
Long Bean Giardiniera (Recipe Below)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Place 2 cast-iron or heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillets over high heat; cast-iron will yield a crispier skin. Season the chickens generously with salt and pepper; you should see the seasoning on the meat. Coat each pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil gets hazy, lay the chicken halves in the pans, skin-side down. It’s super important to make sure the chicken lies flat and all of the skin is in contact with the pan. Cook until the skin starts to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not move the chicken or the skin will tear. Transfer the pans to the oven and roast until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a warm platter, skin-side up. To make a quick pan sauce, pour out the excess fat from the pan drippings. Place the pan over two burners set on medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of wine to each pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Add a tablespoon of butter to each, stirring to melt, and sprinkle with parsley.

To serve, lay a half roasted chicken on top of each plate, skin-side up. Drizzle with the pan sauce and top with a mound of giardiniera.

Long Bean Giardiniera

Yields 4 quarts

3 pints of long beans, cut into 4-inch spears
1 pint of diced carrots
2 cups diced celery diced
2 serrano peppers, shaved
1 medium yellow onion, shaved
1 cup of kosher salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

In a large bowl, add long beans, carrots, celery, peppers and onions. Dissolve salt in 3 pints of water, and pour over vegetables. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 8 hours. Thoroughly rinse, dry, and return to bowl adding cider and white vinegar, olive oil, canola oil, oregano, and garlic and marinate overnight. It’s ready to serve the next day!

A Lunch Hideaway

 

I had some friends in town from New York last Monday.  Having enjoyed a cruise, they were only here for the day and spent the afternoon with me before heading back home. They were seeking an elegant and intimate lunch, and cocktails were in order, of course, to sail them back to the Polar Vortex in good spirits. I suggested The Cypress Room.  My last dinner experience was nothing short of breathtaking. Let’s compare with lunch!

Our party of three arrived at 1 pm.  Jazz vocals recalling a distant past flowed through the room, an escape from the commotion of the city.  The atmosphere inside was quiet, yet warm. It was the perfect meeting place.  We all chose the Prix Fixe Menu. $33 for three courses and the option to add a midcourse. It was by far the best lunch I have had in a very long time. Allow me to tell you why.

hanging-with-harris-ryan-goodspeed-cocktails-cypress-room

Count Basie, courtesy of Hanging with Harris.

I started with a specialty cocktail, the Count Basie with: Redemption Rye, Cocchi Americano, R&W apricot, grapefruit, lemon, egg white and pistachio. I felt so regal just drinking it, in a tall glass, with the foam from the egg white brushing against my lips. A complex mixture of spirits, sure, but the Count Basie was a smooth operator, multi-dimensional and opened my palate for what was to come.

I chose the Triggerfish Crudo for my first course, with cherry peppers and blood orange. Or maybe the Crudo chose me? The tender fish was so fresh it practically leapt from the plate with just enough heat and a perfect balance of acidity.  It awoke every nerve within me.

MarrowI opted for a midcourse, the marrow bones with preserved lemon, celery, garlic toast and topped with parsley. This dish is a classic on the menu since opening and offered both at lunch and dinner.  The buttery marrow is best enjoyed spread on garlic toasts and kissed with a squeeze of lemon.  I’ll stop at that, but I will not refrain from tasting my friends’ food. I reached over for a bite of gnocchi, prepared with calabaza, wild mushroom and herbs. Bold, yet light enough for lunch thanks to a short ingredient list coming together in harmony on the place.

My second course was the most mesmerizing: the short rib with mushroom conserva and lila onions. I added the thrice cooked fries as a side. The contrast of the rich beef, bathing in flavorful broth, shined with just a touch of the potato. With a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir, I enjoyed the decadence of dinner time without feeling overwhelmed.  You’ll just have to trust me on that! Now onto dessert…

I chose another favorite, the brown butter semifreddo with compressed apple and medjool date leather. Its flavors morph as the dish melts from a tableside pour of spiced cider, each bite surpassing the last.  With French macarons begging not to be forgone, we bid The Cypress Room adieu, bellies full and hearts light.  It’s good to know there’s a reasonably priced lunch prix fixe menu ready to satisfy both the simple- or supplemental-minded at heart.