Serious Case of the Roman Munchies | Katie Parla’s Viceland Street Food Tour & What You’re Eating at Her Harry’s Pizzeria Pop Up Dinner

Watch and learn people.

Watch and learn people.


Chef Chris showed us how to make a Capricciosa inspired pie for us yesterday on Facebook Live.

Heat wave, anyone?  F*ck yes, said any Miamian never!  But record breaking temps never stopped Katie Parla from an adventure, especially when it’s showing a little culinary hospitality to Mario Batali and Action Bronson plus ones and twos.  That’s just how one denouements the Italian episode of our favorite new guilty pleasure on Viceland — an epic Roman street food tour of the Eternal City in 110°F weather.

Lucky for Katie and you, it’s cold front season in Miami when she visits Michael’s neighborhood American pizzeria on Wednesday, November 16 to share her delicious new book with us.  You can read all about the infamous Trapizzino and other amazing Roman specialities in your very own signed copy of Tasting Rome, while enjoying bite after transportive bite under one cool roof — Harry’s Pizzeria in the Miami Design District.  Katie’s releasing the menu today.  Check it out below, click to buy some tickets, and watch her show us all how to Roman Holiday and toast with pizza.  Cin cin!

Carbonara Sour or Cynar Spritz (we can’t decide)

Butter & Anchovy Crostini
Bruschetta with artichoke, lemon & Pecorino Romano
Squash Blossom Pizza
Supplì Cacio e Pepe

Baked Vegetables with bread crumbs
Fennel, Radicchio and Pear Salad

Rigatoni Amatriciana
Braised Oxtail Gnocchi

Porchetta di Vito Bernabei
Romaneso Sformato

Ricotta “Cheesecake” with sour cherries

Your Spectacular 2016 Holiday Party, The Genuine Way


Discover how Michael Schwartz Events can make your 2016 holiday gathering spectacular!


Hard to believe but we know you are starting to plan for the 2016 Holiday Season, from Art Week to the New Year.  Let our James Beard Award winning-led team help you handle all your event needs with fully staffed catering off site including customizable menusmobile wood oven, decór and satellite bar.

Or, host your private party at one of Chef’s distinctive restaurant concepts that form The Genuine Hospitality Group.  Email Special Events Director Lindsay Guidos at MICHAEL SCHWARTZ EVENTS or reach her at 786.708.6826 to get started!

Michael’s Genuine | fresh, simple, pure
130 Northeast 40th Street
Miami, FL 33137

As the chef’s flagship restaurant, Michael’s Genuine offers a laid-back atmosphere and seriously good food, a neighborhood bistro that is the ultimate showcase for the type of cuisine that Michael does best – homemade, unpretentious, delectable, with an emphasis on great local ingredients. The restaurant can accommodate festivities for up to 150 guests as a buyout or separately in its bar room (18 seated or 35 standing cocktail party), main dining room (60), or outside patio (80) for lunch, brunch and dinner.

Harry's mobile wood burning oven, the perfect holiday -- or Art Week -- party on wheels.

Harry’s mobile wood burning oven

Harry’s Pizzeria | Neighborhood American
Pizzeria 3918 North Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33127 2996 McFarlane Road

Coconut Grove, FL 33133 Harry’s Pizzeria is all about fun, and parties are no exception. Whether in the Design District (seats 40 inside, 20 outside) or in Coconut Grove (seats 54 inside, 16 outside), it’s a perfect fit for happy hour gatherings, pizza parties, bachelor parties and more! Menu options include snacks, salads, pizza and entrées from the wood-burning oven. Harry’s can also hit the streets with a mobile wood burning oven for offsite events, the the perfect holiday — or Art Week — party on wheels.

Cypress Tavern | American Grill & Cocktail Bar
3620 Northeast 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33137

Our intimate dining room is rooted in top notch food and service with an old world sensibility from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz. Evoking the simplicity of classic brasserie fare and open for dinner and weekend brunch, the restaurant’s size is perfect for lunch or dinner buyouts with customizable menus that play to a classy, lively experience. Cypress can accommodate seated parties up to 50 guests, or reception-style gatherings up to 75 guests.

ella pop café | light and airy café
140 Northeast 39th Street
Miami, FL 33137
ella is nestled in Palm Court, a beautiful sun-drenched plaza in Miami’s Design District. Michael’s eldest daughter Ella is its inspiration! The café is open Monday to Saturday from 9am – 7pm and Sunday noon – 5pm serving breakfast, lunch and early evening bites (as well as large to-go orders and catering), with beverages including Panther Coffee, JoJo Tea, beer and wine. After hours ella is available for private seated dinners and chef tables for up to 28 inside or standing receptions for up to 500 in Palm Court. A sleek and airy spot for effortless events!

Celebrating Food Day by Welcoming Wellness in the Schools to Miami

Some of the gang today at lunch (from left to right) Stephanie Cardelle (Four Seasons Miami), Chef Clark Bowen (Chef, db Bistro Miami) Jason Bryson (WITS School Chef and Miami Manager), Allyce Perret-Gentil (WITS School Chef and Miami Coordinator), Chef!, Nancy Easton (WITS Executive Director & Co-Founder), Laura Culbreth (WITS School Chef), and -Leonor Azpurua (WITS School Chef)

Some of the gang today at lunch (from left to right) Stephanie Cardelle (Four Seasons Miami), Chef Clark Bowen (Chef, db Bistro Miami) Jason Bryson (WITS School Chef and Miami Manager), Allyce Perret-Gentil (WITS School Chef and Miami Coordinator), Chef!, Nancy Easton (WITS Executive Director & Co-Founder), Laura Culbreth (WITS School Chef), and -Leonor Azpurua (WITS School Chef). Bill joined from NYC via Skype!

Today is Food Day, and we are excited to welcome Wellness in the Schools to Miami.  United around the conviction that healthier bodies make healthier minds and that, conversely, unhealthy school environments interfere with student health, school attendance and academic achievement, Executive Director and Co-Founder Nancy Easton is armed with a strong troop of supporters, many of them chefs.  For good reason!  Chef Bill Telepan, a champion of this nonprofit’s efforts in NYC to improve school lunch and educate kids about healthy eating, asked his friend Michael Schwartz for help in bringing this great work to South Florida.  Of course his reply was, I’m in!

Nancy in action!

Nancy in action!

About a year later, Nancy is in town giving a keynote at University of Miami this evening marking Food Day and a milestone for the organization’s arrival here.  Over lunch at Michael’s Genuine®, we met the four chefs who have been hired by WITS and trained to work on-site with cafeteria staff to prepare daily scratch-cooked meals and educate families about the importance of eating healthy food.  Across Miami-Dade and Broward County, chefs Michael, Bradley Kilgore (Alter), Aaron Brooks (Edge Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Miami) and Clark Bowen (DB Bistro) will each visit their respective schools for special “Café Days” throughout the school year, where they can make an impact first hand with their cheffy know-how.  Think special recipe demos and tastings, dishes for school lunch menus based around fresh ingredients, farmers market visits to see first hand where food comes from, and more…  As we well know through early work with Phyllis Wheatley Elementary and Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools, the smallest things can sometimes have the biggest impact.  Michael’s school chef partner Leonore Azpurua at McNicol Middle School in South Broward pointed to recently popping into classrooms to taste basil harvested from a nearby community garden with students.  And that’s not even in the cafeteria! “The principal is very supportive, but it’s the kids that really want this,” she shared.


Anything for the Kids: Chef Bill made sure to visit Phyllis Wheatley Elementary when he was in town for his Chef Pop Up Series dinner at Harry’s in March of 2013.  Freshly picked school garden tomatoes just taste better!

In the past eleven years, WITS has cooked over 11 million school meals and led more than 54,000 hours of play.  We had lots of questions for Nancy, as you might imagine, especially about what we can expect here in Miami.  Here’s a little taste of what’s to come!

The Genuine Kitchen:  What’s the most rewarding part of the job? Can you provide one anecdote that says it all?

Nancy Easton: I often say that I keep at this year after year because it is indeed, so rewarding. I see “victories” every day – from kids wanting seconds and thirds of kale salad to principals telling us how much our program is changing their school culture. It sounds silly, but when I walk into schools and see bags of chips and sleeves of cookies on the cafeteria floor, it just makes me so happy to see these same kids wanting more and more kale. They are hungry. They will eat what is in front of them.

A recent reward was actually from a principal. Our focus is not necessarily on the adults in our communities and we do not focus on weight or appearance, but we do hope that our work is making everyone think twice about their own health, starting with the kids. A principal recently told us that thanks to our program, she lost 30 pounds over the summer and that she has so much more energy and feels so healthy.

TGK: What gets kids to eat healthy? Describe a kid’s palate!

NE: As an educator, I always insist on pairing a very good education program with the changes we want to make. It is tough to put organic tofu in front of a kid (or anyone) without educating on the “why”. While our focus is in the kitchen and on the recess yard, we support this centerpiece with a robust educational program – from WITS Labs to WITS BITS to FIT BITS to Family Fitness Fun Nights.  I also want to make it loud and clear that most kids are very open to new discoveries (and they are hungry!).  If you continue to provide kids with delicious healthy choices, they will devour them. Do not give up. It can take persistence.

TGK:  What’s a favorite dish or ingredient that has won them over from your experience in NYC?

NE: I think at this point our vegetarian chili is our signature dish! Everyone loves it. It is served in the cafeteria regularly and we make it on our winter WITS Lab (seasonal cooking class). It is so well spiced and seasoned that the kids don;t even miss the meat. We use three different beans as our protein source. Kids also love hummus, another dish made with a bean (chickpea).

TGK:  Why Miami?

NE: The story of coming to South Florida is actually a sweet one. We obviously look for like-minded markets that are ready of change. And, in the case of South Florida, the head of a local community foundation (Melissa White) was asked by a community member help to create a healthier local school. Melissa googled and found Wellness in the Schools, an organization founded by her camp counselor (yours truly)! I guess she thought that if I could teach her how to swim and play tennis that I could possibly run a wellness organization. Melissa helped us to find 3 others schools in South Florida so that it was worth our efforts and resources to come down.

TGK:  What’s the biggest challenge entering a new market, and describe your approach

NE: We look to new markets as the building new networks – we spend a good deal of time getting to know people and learning about their needs and assets. For the work we do, and to bring about change in general, we rely heavily on the building of relationships and in the case of a new market, on the needs of that community. We are not here to say: “Here is the only way that works. Do it now.” We are here to listen to the specific needs of a community, to tap into the resources of that community (both human and otherwise) and to build relationships and trust in that community so that we can share/implement our models together. We have been incredibly fortunate to hire a staff in South Florida who are dedicated and talented and fabulous. They have learned from our team in NYC and have executed with precision and frankly, with patience. Change is happening at a pace slower than they want, but we have high standards and they are driven to meet those standards, working with local resources and local change agents.

TGK:  What is food day all about, and where does it fit in in the overall big picture of your objectives at WITS!

NE: Honestly, Food Day to me is like Women’s History Month or Black History Month. One day? One month? Food Day is very day for me but I am of course happy that we give more focus to food on this one day. The topic of “food” touches on so many charged and difficult issues – from children’s health to food insecurity to climate change. WITS comes to food day from the perspective of children’s health and specifically childhood obesity. We bring awareness about the issue through our programming and our activism/advocacy.

Fi’lia-ing the Love | Michael’s First Italian Concept Opens Wednesday at SLS Brickell


Puttanesca! My personal favorite pizza, with Pistachio Pesto not far behind.

Meet the newest member of The Genuine Hospitality Group family.  Our beloved James Beard Award-winning Chef and Restaurateur now brings his straightforward approach to ingredient-driven Italian cuisine from the hearth with Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz!  Click here to make a reservation.

The restaurant opens for dinner Wednesday, October 26 at the corner of South Miami Avenue and 13th Street at the brand new SLS Brickell Hotel (1300 South Miami Avenue) in the heart of the neighborhood.  Breakfast and lunch begin the following day.  Valet is available at the hotel entrance off 14th Street connected to the restaurant through its lobby, supplemented with metered parking and street entrance on South Miami Avenue.  Fi’lia is managed and operated under the Disruptive Restaurant Group umbrella of sbe.


“Fi’lia is ‘honest Italian,’ an expression of the simplicity that I love about this style of food,” Chef explains. “It’s not specific to a particular region. This is the way I like to cook and eat Italian — straightforward and with handmade touches.”

In keeping with Schwartz’s ethos that good food should speak for itself, the premium at Fi’lia is unpretentious food and the experience to match, highlighting the freshest ingredients from the hearth and the attention to warm hospitality for which he’s known.  

Chef and Tim getting their pasta on!

Chef and Tim getting their pasta on!

I overheard this sformato (like a savory Italian custard on the delicate cakey side) with pecorino crema "a memory"... a standout from the Small section.

“A memory” for sure:  sformato (like a savory Italian custard with a delicate cakey texture) with pecorino crema.

Chef de Cuisine Tim Piazza comes to Fi’lia from his post as Sous Chef at Michael’s Genuine, bringing to life Schwartz’s food and approach in this new kitchen. Dinner draws guests in with irresistible Snacks including Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with stracciatella and basil and Charred Eggplant Spread on freshly grilled bread with grated bottarga. Working down the menu, dishes are conveniently listed by size, ranging from light but satisfying Small dishes like the bright Citrus Salad with pistachio and aged piave vecchio, to a bold and flavorful traditional cut in the Extra Large 42oz Bisteca Fiorentina executed simply on the wood grill with Meyer lemon and rosemary.

A special, not-to-miss part of the Fi’lia experience is its Tableside Caesar, a classic salad presented the old school way – made right in front of the table, dressing and all, which is the point – and tuned to perfection with garlic croutons toasted on the cart.


Pillows of perfect agnolotti.

Fresh, daily-made Pastas are an important part of the menu and guests can enjoy this handmade touch in a few ways. Delicate, filled bundles of mouth-watering Corn Agnolotti are brought up with a zesty roasted lobster sauce and decadent Braised Short Rib Crespelle are Italian crepes baked to crisp, bubbly decadence with béchamel, taleggio and fontina. There is a nod to the classics in Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with black pepper and pecorino coating the noodles with just the right amount of sauce, and a more modern approach in Bucatini with the salty, briny punch of bottarga to balance the comforting heat of chile flakes, garlic and breadcrumbs.


Chicken in the window.

Pizza has pride of place on the menu with perennial favorites like Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil in perfect proportion and finished with the restaurant’s own first press, cold press Italian extra-virgin olive oil blend. A taste of something new comes in combinations like Leek & Potato with pancetta, rosemary and trugole, as well as Pistachio Pesto with house made ricotta, charred onion, pecorino – all of them created using the freshest ingredients and Schwartz’s signature restraint.  LargeExtra Large and Sides highlight proteins and vegetables that ground the meal, like Wood Grilled Chicken with savory bread pudding, mustard greens, pine nuts, currants.

Sangreal grey goose, punzone blood orange liqueur, lemon 14 cocktail glass

Samgreal, a nod to sbe Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian, featuring Grey Goose, Punzone blood orange liqueur, lemon

Nothing at Fi’lia is extraneous, especially in the beverage program.  Drinks are a personal favorite part for me, featuring Cocktails (including chilled lovely bottles of them popped at the table) and Spritz.  At the open kitchen’s bar, cocktails offered are refreshingly uncomplicated—less about complex recipes, and more about how perfect a Spritz is on a July or December afternoon.  There is a section devoted to this Italian afternoon pastime with six including Bicicletta with Campari, white wine and soda water – one of the lowest in alcohol, normally drank before getting on the bicycle and riding home for the evening.   Lacuna with Knob Creek Rye, Carpano Antica and Angostura bitters is one of the bottled delights to love.  Lupa 35 is presented in a flute with Hennessy VS, Averna, Luxardo apricot, prosecco. A beer list of craft and seasonal styles complement a focused wine list of Italian regional varietals and American wines with an old world sensibility.


The airy décor designed by Philippe Starck also skews towards unadorned simplicity, with a focus on clean lines and unobtrusive, sleek teak furniture and vertically stacked citrus planters that frame the room. It’s a modern take on restrained elegance that allows the food to take center stage.

Fi'lia's Italian olive oil blend

Fi’lia’s Italian olive oil blend, available for sale at $23/500 ml bottle at the restaurant, along with 8oz bags of housemade semolina pasta in four shapes for $8 each.  Find out more here.

Fi’lia includes combined indoor and outdoor seating for up to 116 people and is open every day for breakfast Monday – Sunday 7-11am, lunch Monday – Sunday 11:30am – 2:30pm, and dinner Sunday – Thursday 5:30-10:30pm and Friday & Saturday 5:30pm – 12am, with bar menu of snacks and small dishes served daily from 3-5:30pm. To make a reservation, call 305.912.1729 or email

Wine Wednesday | Amanda Fraga on Her Slow Fires Dinner Pairing & StarChefs Somm Slam

ct_slow-fires-cookbook-dinnerFraga got right to the point. “To be honest, this has been one of the most difficult pairings I’ve had to do here.  Sometimes you look at a menu and it’s more obvious the direction I want to go, like the dishes ask for certain wines. I’ll just say that’s not how this went down!”

Consider it part of our Beverage Manager’s preparation for this weekend’s Star Chefs 7th Annual Somm Slam in NYC, where she’ll be representing Miami as one of 12 sommeliers from across the country going for the title (“somms are just competitive by nature!”) and tested on categories including Tasting, Pairing and Wine Theory.  We’re speaking of the current test at hand, the menu for this coming Tuesday’s Slow Fires cookbook dinner with Chef Justin Smillie.  Tasting the pairings will be that much more delicious with a little back story, as I like to think is true of the experience of wine in general.

“When I’m faced with a really eclectic menu with lots going on, my first instinct is to focus, even oversimplify, each course into one key flavor attribute — usually the strongest one — and pair to that,” Amanda explains of the process.  “Then I can extrapolate from there, to make sure each dish is taken into account to offer a balanced pairing.”

Salads, I learn, are actually one of the most challenging of a meal.

“You want something bright, and a little acid to open up the palate at the beginning of the meal.   But dressing can be highly acidic, so you really need to be careful on the level there,” Amanda continues. “You also have an oil cure on the tuna in Justin’s Riviera Salad, which can be quite rich.  So it’s really all over the place.”

Amanda decided that citrus balanced with pronounced fruit would be a good way to go, so she chose the Sauvignon Blanc, La Garde, Pessac-Leognan, France 2011.  She tells me this wine also brings enough richness and round mouthfeel to match the tuna.

Amanda's current gem

Amanda’s current gem

For Slow Fires’ second course, Fraga’s laser beam fixed on Grilled Quail with broccoli rabe and coal-roasted garlic first, and set Clams with avocado and chile butter off to the side, to be contemplated after.  In Amanda’s estimation, something with fuller flavor, fruit and backbone would work well and Bourgogne came calling.

“Leroy (pronounced Le-wah) is my favorite wine right now at Michael’s Genuine,” Amanda says. “I named one of my fish after the winemaker, Lalou.”

Lalou Bize-Leroy was running the operation at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, making some of the most expensive wines in the world.  Known for vineyard holdings dating back thousands of years to its abbey days, DRC is steeped in tradition and aggressively harvests, which means they are highly selective when it comes to what fruit is picked.  One shouldn’t be surprised to see many grapes still on the vine when all is said and done.  Amanda knows, she was in Burgundy for the harvest back in 2014.  Ms. Bize-Leroy, who went off and started her own project, continues similar practices — aggressive harvesting and organic viticulture — but in a much more accessible form [read: we can actually afford to drink it!]

“People look at the label and think it’s basic. But the game changes when Bourgogne is coming from a producer who is so good they can compete with the AOCs out there,” Amanda says.  “Ms. Bize-Leroy’s wines very terroir driven, this one in particular. The 2009 vintage is ripe and fleshy which is why I thought it would go great with the quail. It has body to it, but not enough to overpower the clams. This is when the second dish comes into play to ultimate decide on the pairing. It has to all work together.

Short rib cover shot and our main dish at Cypress Tavern's Slow Fires cookbook dinner.

Short rib cover shot and our main dish at Cypress Tavern’s Slow Fires cookbook dinner.

Amanda accessed her short rib know-how (yes, she has plenty from working Genuine’s menu over the years!) for the entrée course and went with a Grenache blend, Barroche “Signature” Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, 2013.

“CDP, and this one in particular, has really great acid so it’s light on its feet,” Amanda adds.  “That lemon we serve on the side with the classic preparation of Michael’s short rib is so important to use it. It cuts the fat, and that’s the role the wine plays here.  CDP has 13 varietals and people usually work with 3 of them, Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre.  Here the Syrah plays with the spice of the peppercorn.  There’s a smokiness in tar and tabacco, too, which will always work well with Cypress Tavern’s wood grill fire.”

For tickets, visit, and follow Amanda’s Wine Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday posts this week as more tasting and pairing notes unfold for next Tuesday’s special dinner, including its Bill Pay Buck cocktail featuring Absout Elyx.