OMG! HQ is Back at O Cinema, so Let’s Toast Dinner & a Movie with Summer of Riesling

It’s summertime, which means Riesling time! Our OMG! Dinner & a Movie series is back on Monday, July 15 and so is a menu from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, this time to complement the documentary Somm, all about wine and its most important advocate, the sommelier.

Chef de cuisine Niven Patel brings an Indian menu of snacks and dinner matched with Rieslings of all shapes and sizes, including those pictured above, paired by the creative mind of The Genuine Hospitality Group Wine Director Eric Larkee with support from Vinecraft.

Expect a feast highlighting Summer of Riesling, and an exploration of how varied and delicious the world’s most misunderstood grape can be! In Somm, cameras – for the first time – track the progress of four sommeliers attempting to pass the Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world. How much do you know about wine? See for yourself! A little acid, a little sweet. Click here for the menu and tickets!

Testing, Testing, 1-5-0: Summer Menus Shaping Up Shoreside

Have no fear, summer menus are here at 150 Central Park.  They are set to be implemented this upcoming August on both Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.  Dishes are currently being tested by the hands of Chef Dominic Bradshaw, Chef de Cuisine of 150 Central Park and Chef Thomas Tennant in town from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Grand Cayman. Dominic was kind enough to take a break  from working his cavateli magic in The Cypress Room kitchen to have a chat about the upcoming menus and what factors have played a role in its conception.

As all of you Genuine readers know, freshness, seasonality, and quality are three of the cornerstones that each of our restaurants foundations are built upon, so naturally these three keys were paramount in developing the summer menus for 150 Central Park. How unique it was to have a truly farm-to-table restaurant on a cruise ship.  One of the more difficult tasks they encountered when conceptualizing this menu was the fact that Florida’s summer climate makes sourcing produce a trying task.  Because of this a major focus was placed on sourcing the best possible proteins as well as highlighting one of Florida’s more abundant summer time fruits, the lychee.

As amazing as this might sound to us Floridians, a lot of people have never even heard of a lychee according to Dominic! He went on to explain that, “We freeze the lychees which preserve incredibly well and thaw out almost instantly when needed.  It is such an exotic item to many of our diners, we often will even offer a whole lychee for them to try.”  This item will be a feature on the menu and can be seen in the Florida Lobster and Lychee salad as well as Lychee Cuatro Leches.  No need to fret though readers, we are putting the same amount of love into each and every other delectably delicious item on the menu!

Here are a few teasers to add to your already watering mouth after the lychee talk: Grilled Harris Ranch New York Strip with thrice cooked fries and a porcini Worcestershire sauce and a Mixed Grill of Venison loin with braised fennel and fennel pollen and Palmetto Creek Sausage with soft polenta and roasted tomato.  As on prior 150 Central Park menus we will also be sourcing from Borek, Swank, and Palmetto Creek Farms among others and the restaurant will feature two menus each week.  Monday-Thursday will be the Meadow menu and Friday-Sunday will be the Artisan menu.

Now unfortunately this is about all the information I can give for now without risking upsetting any chefs in the kitchen.  Know that there is some serious kitchen experimenting going on right now, and be sure to stay tuned on the blog for more updates!

Your Summer Favorites, Tumbled on Sundays at harryspizzeria.com

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It’s officially summer now, and we’re celebrating by celebrating you! Every Sunday at harryspizzeria.com we will post our five favorite Instagram or Twitter pics that we see posted throughout the week.  Check the Harry’s Instagram and Twitter for the theme of the week. This week we’re taking any and all of your Harry’s favorites!  Life is just more fun with a Tumblr website.

In other fun news, the winners of Hedy’s #sweetsnaps cookbooks giveaway are Kyle Kennedy (Grand Cayman) and Eric Saltzman (Miami.)

Happy Sunday, happy summer, and continue to snap happily!

Announcing Harry’s Pop No. 17: SPQR Pizzeria with Michelin-Starred Chef Matthew Accarrino

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Last night’s June pop-up was bomb! Jeff Michaud is a true class act. And he can cook too! Stay tuned to Harry’s Pizzeria’s Tumblr for the full photo set!

Dear The Genuine Kitchen Readers,

We are thrilled to welcome the first Michelin-starred chef to Harry’s pop-up series! You are now able to purchase tickets here for SPQR Pizzeria with chef Matthew Accarrino, bringing San Francisco’s finest to Miami’s Design District on Tuesday, July 16!  Yes, it is time to take a trip back to the West Coast – hard to believe that the last time we hit up Cali was Animal Pizzeria in May 2012! – and now for the first time, welcome a chef from one of the world’s best cities for food lovers.

An acronym for Senatus Populesque Romanus, SPQR translates to “The People and Senate of Rome” and was the emblem of the Roman Empire. This San Francisco recipient of a Michelin star for 2013 strives for balance in offering the highest quality of food, wine and service for each guest’s experience in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. When Accarrino recalls what attracted him to the hospitality industry, he says, “It gave me the chance to tell my story with food.” Accarrino’s family heritage leads back to the wind swept hills and coast of Puglia, Italy! Visits with his extended family and stints spent cooking there at an early time in his career instilled a deep appreciation for quality, seasonal, handmade products and ingredients. Learning to make pasta, polenta, and risotto in Italy also influenced his distinctive approach in the kitchen. “It impressed on me the importance of starch as its own course in that cuisine, which is in a sense, where much of my inspiration comes from.” He has trained abroad in Italy and worked for some of Americas best chefs including Todd English, Rick Moonen, Tom Colicchio and Thomas Keller, and among his many recognitions was named Food & Wine’s 2013 People’s Best New Chef: California. He is also co-author of the book SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine, which was released in fall 2012 and will be this event’s take home gift!!!

Matthew_21So after esteemed visiting guests Gabrielle Hamilton, Jonathan Waxman, Marc Vetri, Jonathon Sawyer, Kevin Sbraga, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Paul Grieco, Chris Hastings, Hugh Acheson, Andrew Carmellini, Mindy Segal, Paul Kahan, April Bloomfield, Bill Telepan, Joey Campanaro, and Jeff Michaud, Michael is thrilled to invite chef Matthew Accarrino to take over Harry’s Pizzeria on Tuesday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m.

You know the drill… Seating is first come, first served for this sweet and savory family-style meal! Making new friends is encouraged and easy when you’ve got a welcome cocktail in hand with hors d’oeuvre, four courses, free-flowing wines by The Genuine Hospitality Group sommelier and Wine Director Eric Larkee and our tap beers including Michael’s Genuine Home Brew at your disposal. Go home with a special gift from Matt, too. All that and tax and gratuity are included in the ticket price of $150.

For tickets and more on Matt, click here!  Menu will be announced in a week, and before we know it, SPQR will arrive in Miami. We can’t wait.

Uncorked: Summer of Riesling 2013 in #Genuineland

The Genuine Hospitality Group’s intrepid wine director Eric Larkee’s Uncorked column comes often (but never enough!) to TGK.  Stay on ahead of the grape game curve. Listen to Larkee. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ericlarkee. In a bind figuring out what to buy at the store? Tag #dialasomm, and he’ll try to assist… store-dependent!

June 21 is almost here and that means one thing to your friendly neighborhood Sommelier.  Summer of Riesling!

This is an interesting time for the James Goatee Award winning Paul Grieco-led program. Last summer was Year 2 here in Florida, and we represented — well — we held a state-wide industry focused tasting with four stops including Orlando, Tampa, Palm Beach, and of course, Miami. Results from the tasting were great; we placed third in the nation (after New York and California) in the number of participating locations and the nationally the program reached a high water mark. Here in Florida the question has been, “Did we drink more Riesling?” Hard to tell, but I will say we drank better Riesling, which is far more important.

SoR2013_ LOGOThe past two years also saw Mr. Riesling himself, Paul, traverse down here for dinners where we expended much of our Summer of Riesling energy into one night. These dinners were great and we got to see the difference in Riesling priority Paul and I have. While he gets stoked to show the ying-yang balance of the sugar and acid and how awesome it works with food, I simply like to show people how delicious straight up dry Rieslings are.  See here for all the hoopla from 2011 and 2012.

This year our approach is a bit different. Home Base (Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink) is the only fully sanctioned 4 Riesling By-the-Glass pouring restaurant but you will find Riesling-centric programming at our other Design District locations. Here is a run-down of what you will find:

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
– Pouring a number of Rieslings BTB including sparkling, still and dessert styles.
– An available flight of the still Rieslings, sure, try them all!
– An expanded & rotating Riesling section, again, focused on some of my favorite dry-style single vineyard selections.

Harry’s Pizzeria
– Slipping a Riesling onto the wine list.
– Check out the chalk board, we’ll be opening something appropriate with the nightly dinner special. If you are lucky there might be a glass left the next day at lunch, little known fact (since it usually all gets drunk) but most Riesling is better the next day!

The Cypress Room
– Riesling Focus on the Tasting Menu.
– We’ll have a delicious Riesling open to pair with the Cheese Plate.