Eat Venezuelan Arepas on Thursday, June 20 at Amara at Paraiso for #WorldRefugeeDay

A big part of what it means to live in Miami is that home and homeland aren’t one and the same.  We are a city of transplants acutely aware of the power of food culture to create a sense of belonging and serve as a conduit for understanding each other’s differences — a source of hope and connection.  It is in this spirit at Amara at Paraiso where we celebrate the many flavors of Latin America that we enthusiastically join Andrew Zimmern’s Coalition of Culinary Thought Leaders and inaugural World Refugee Day restaurant fundraiser on Thursday, June 20… with Venezuela Arepas!

Andrew visited Amara last summer for an episode of the Zimmern List and enjoyed Chef’s fresh approach to many of the iconic Latin American dishes that have found their way to Miami thanks to refugees and immigrants alike.  As the crisis in Venezuela hits particularly close to home, we felt it was high time to celebrate one of its delicious specialties on the menu.  100% of the proceeds of Amara’s arepa specials on June 20th during lunch AND dinner will go to International Rescue Committee’s efforts to respond to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

Unlike its neighbor Colombia, which incorporates mozzarella-style cheese directly into the masa or white cornmeal-based dough, Venezuela is known for splitting and stuffing its arepas with anything from simple ‘queso de mano’ or cheese of the hand, a fresh creamy-tasting mozzarella-like cheese, to the decadent avocado-chicken mixture called Reina Pepiada.  Chef Paley will offer three varieties each for $10 and available as a sampler for $28 including, Guayanés Cheese with fried plantain and avocado, Grilled Queso Blanco with chorizo, jalapeño and salsa criolla, and Pulled Chicken with grilled scallion and avocado dressing.

Managers Jason and Mirna can’t get enough arepa time!

On World Refugee Day, we will learn the official count of displaced people around the world from the United Nations. Says Andrew, “Sharing food is an incredibly unifying and intimate experience– it brings people together, inspires conversation and celebrates the diversity of all cultures– that makes the spaces we break bread in perfect for drawing attention to issues that often go unacknowledged.  Refugees and immigrants have made the biggest impact on America through food.  This day is about more than one heartbreaking statistic. It’s about the human stories and potential behind those numbers and spotlighting the contributions refugees can make when we embrace and welcome them into our communities.”

For more information visit rescue.org and follow Amara at Paraiso on IG where we will post a video of Chef Paley’s arepa-making adventures later this week!  What’s your favorite arepa filling?

 

A Habitat to Inhabit: Tigertail + Mary’s Bohemian Oasis with in the Oasis of Coconut Grove

Good design has to function and be effective especially in hospitality and a busy restaurant. What Meyer Davis Studio does so well is make that feel effortless, so the guest experience is about the special details and sense of place they conjure. At Tigertail + Mary the feeling is texture, modern geometric forms and how some natural touches in art and materials can create an easy, confident style that embraces the neighborhood’s jungle-like surroundings. Come inside and take a look around through the lens of Gather + Grow, and hear from our lead designer about the collaboration with Chef Schwartz to make this feeling come alive from our main dining room and bar, to our patio looking out to the neighborhood. Opening soon!

Michael’s Genuine® Cleveland Launches Sunday Brunch on Mother’s Day, May 12

We take brunch seriously.  Seriously fun!  It’s hard to imagine that in October we will celebrate 10 years of brunch service at our flagship restaurant in Miami.  Our favorite weekend pastime at Michael’s Genuine launched a year and a half after opening.  Chef took his time figuring it out, but he knew what he didn’t want — Sunday wasn’t going to be a line of glowing red lamps.  After a whirlwind of planning, our busiest service yet shifted into gear on October 25, 2009 and hasn’t let up since.  Now it’s time for Cleveland to join the party, with chef de cuisine Vinnie Cimino in the driver’s seat, and we aren’t wasting any time greasing the wheels.  Expect the unexpected, beginning Mother’s Day Sunday, May 12!  Click the menu below for a preview.

“Brunch is my favorite meal of the week and always an opportunity to go for it, so why not make food to order and bring the buffet to guests at the table,” says Michael. “It’s a marathon service for the kitchen, but we are better for it and can have some fun making a new menu each week.  The challenge keeps things dialed in — thinking of new ways to approach things and to utilize ingredients.  It’s interesting for Cleveland, because we kind of know what we are doing now with this format. We are really excited to share something we have grown to love with Cleveland and see how they respond!”

Beginning this Sunday, 10:30am – 2:30pm, enjoy our weekly Brunch service including savory and sweet small plates, and special Brunch cocktails like our signature Kimchi Bloody Mary with vodka, kimchi and skewered rock shrimp — the best!  For a look back at our OG Brunch, five years in, click here.  To make a reservation, visit our website.

 

GENUINE PIZZA: Better Pizza at Home Cookbook Tour Announcement!

The GENUINE PIZZA: BETTER PIZZA AT HOME book tour is on!  In anticipation of Michael’s new cookbook release on Tuesday, May 14 we’re unveiling fresh new content including event dates, recipe demo videos, special giveaways from our partners like Lynx Grills and more at cookbook hub michaelsgenuine.com/cookbook.  Event tickets will go up on a rolling basis — the first of which is now live for our biggest blowout yet at HQ!  

Tuesday, May 14, Michael’s Genuine Miami and chef de cuisine Dillion Wolff host Michael for a Genuine Pizza Garden Party release day celebration where it all began! Click here for tickets and join us as the new cookbook takes over the restaurant inside and out on our patio for a stationed event with plenty of pizza and awesome things to go with it.  With a menu taken from the pages of his new book, each $100 ticket includes assorted passed snacks, 6 pizzas, a selection of composed salads, cocktails, wine and beer all night long, a signed copy to take home, tax and gratuity!

The wood oven has always been a focal point of the open kitchen at Michael’s Genuine, and it’s no surprise pizza has found a special place in our hearth getting cozy with whole fish and fresh vegetables. Michael’s love for a genuine pie spawned a bunch of warm and welcoming joints where it’s the star, too — Harry’s Pizzeria. Now, the home cook can make and eat better pizza at home, getting comfortable creating balanced, delicious meals centered around everyone’s favorite food.  Let’s celebrate!

Michael’s Genuine® Cleveland Opens Friday, April 12 in the Van Aken District

 

Here we go Cleveland! On Friday April 12, we open Schwartz’s new Ohio outpost of Michael’s Genuine at The Van Aken District in Shaker Heights! We are in the throws of practice services and getting everything tuned up from lighting and ambience, to decor and signage — understanding what the restaurant becomes when the lights go down and service begins.  It’s a feeling out process and the fine tuning is super important to bring the experience to life in the best way.

“Cleveland feels really good, and we’re so excited to finally open and get to know our new community,” says Schwartz, “For us, genuine is a thoughtful approach to hospitality – I’m a chef, but it’s as much about making fresh, simple, pure food that tastes great from quality sources as it is about a tireless attention to detail of every aspect of the dining experience for guests. As we build a new team in a new location, making sure our culture thrives is really important to us. We’ve worked hard to get here and are looking forward to continuing to grow in our new home.”

It’s good to be home away from home with staples like Slow Roasted Short Rib with romesco sauce and cipollini onion.

For the menu, Michael and Ohio-born Chef de Cuisine Vinnie Cimino wanted to incorporate some favorites from home and also celebrate some local things too.  Organized simply with sections of dishes ranging from small to extra-large like Miami, there are many ways to enjoy a meal.  An abundant raw bar with Oysters with classic mignonette, King Crab with green sambal, Snapper Ceviche, and Seafood Tower available in tiered sizes comes off the food bar and oven station — a first!  Greatest hits include Butter Lettuce with orange, duchilly hazelnuts, avocado, and shallot-hazelnut vinaigrette; Crispy Pork Belly with kimchi, crushed peanuts, and cilantro; and Wood Oven Roasted Whole Chicken with plumped currants, toasted pine nuts, and arugula. Schwartz’s upbringing in Philadelphia drew him to old world Cleveland comforts inspiring the Liverwurst Toast snack made with red onion, iceberg lettuce, and yellow mustard. A food sensitivity key makes it easy for guests to know what they’re eating, labeling dishes that are vegan (VE), vegetarian (VG), and gluten free (GF).

Embracing an open floorplan, the restaurant is designed to feel comfortable and welcoming. Guests are first greeted by the butcher block-topped bar and the main dining room behind, through a wood beam slatted partition. Warm woods, polished concrete, marble counters and vibrant red accents channel an easy energy throughout the space, anchored in the far corner by the Marra Forni wood burning hearth and raw bar display. The glass-enclosed dough room is an active workhorse for the menu, where pizza dough is proofed and fresh pastas are handmade daily. In the warmer months, the restaurant expands outdoors to an expansive 50-seat patio with umbrellas.

The beverage program, led by Michael’s Genuine veteran and The Genuine Hospitality Group’s Head Sommelier Amanda Fraga, takes a page from Miami’s approach, where cocktails, beer and wine are interesting, yet familiar, complementing what’s on the table.

“We naturally lean toward food-friendly wines, especially old world styles and classic interpretations,” Fraga explains. “When I first went to Cleveland, I was excited to see such an eclectic style of wine programs at the restaurants I visited. I’m really excited by Cleveland’s adventurous taste and desire to try something new. ”

Cocktails include beloved classic recipes as well as original house twists. Beer selections include diverse styles from local breweries, rotating on tap, as well as an extensive by the bottle list.

Situated in the heart of The Van Aken District in the historic Shaker Heights community just 9 miles east of the Cleveland city center, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Cleveland is located at 3427 Tuttle Road, Shaker Heights, OH. The restaurant opens with dinner service Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., with lunch and brunch hours to follow with the arrival of summer. Reservations are available via OpenTable or by calling the restaurant at 216.230.8022.  For updates on Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Cleveland visit the website and follow @michaelsgenuineCLE on Instagram.