[VIDEO] Shaking and Stirring Things Up at the Raleigh Martini Bar

I always say one should not be a baker if you don’t like cake.  I love the culture of Martini’s the way the glass feels in your hand..  That bar demands proper cocktails, it’s about the room the music the conversation between the guests and  general merriment.

RMS Menu-4.25x11-Martini Culture + Snacks_073013That’s straight from the mouth of greatness, tonight’s Martini Culture guest mixologist Crispy Soloperto.  Crispy knows a thing or two about culture, and curating it, as she does behind another kind of bar day in and day out where she presides as concierge at The Standard Hotel.  It’s a statement that rings true even for a martini amateur like me.  Incredible what a little culturing can do.  As someone who wasn’t versed in the ways of this drink that is the ultimate expression of the golden age of cocktails, doing the weekly Martini Culture event has been eye opening.  A delicious learning experience in fact, and one that has stuck.  And most importantly, thanks to all the talented bar people we’ve met and who have put themselves in the hands of The Genuine Hospitality Group beverage director and Martini Culture chairman Ryan Goodspeed and Raleigh Hotel head bartender Trevor Alberts for the evening.  Here’s to Tuesdays, and to homecomings.  See you there tonight from 7-9:00 p.m. at the Raleigh Martini Bar, when Crispy will present her martinis and through them, a peek into a past re-imagined.

The Cypress Room Tasting Menu Part II: Menu Design with Roel Alcudia


The Cypress Room came together with such a singular vision, that every person, at every point of its inception, has had to live up to it. Chef de Cuisine Roel Alcudia came to us from New York City to stand at the helm of the kitchen. The golden boy of The Genuine Hospitality Group, Roel gets first choice of the ingredients that come in fresh from Homestead, the Atlantic, the Gulf, and wherever else we find the beautiful product that graces The Cypress Room’s a la carte menus.  From there, and not a moment before, the daily Lunch Prix Fixe and nightly Tasting Menu are conceived.

Having been trained by our self-proclaimed Godfather, Roel didn’t have much catching up to do in the Genuine kitchens.  He has a keen eye for freshness, a taste for quality that we love so much. So it’s only natural that when I sat down to ask him about how the Tasting Menu dishes come to be, he had three words to say: I wing it.

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The Cypress Room Tasting Menu Part I: Pairings with TGHG Wine Director Eric Larkee

photo(5)The Genuine Hospitality Group’s intrepid wine director Eric Larkee’s Uncorked column comes often (but never enough!) to TGK. Here we take the reins to discuss something special and top of mind these days, whether sailing on the high seas with Royal Caribbean or sidling up to white table cloths and fine china at The Cypress Room on the mainland: the Tasting Menu. They come in all shapes and sizes, yes, depending on the city you are in and the chef behind the line, so how does our newest restaurant approach this complex dance between food and beverage, and the people behind them — and in front i.e. the customer? To explore all the angles, I first sat down with Larkee to talk pairings for Part I. Ellie spoke with chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia for Part II, coming tomorrow.

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Brunch on the Beach Gets Genuine at Restaurant Michael Schwartz, Sunday, August 4

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Are you ready for a hotel brunch done the genuine way?  We certainly are!  Michael, Hedy, Bradley and chef Danny at The Raleigh have been working hard to pull together a kick butt collection of dishes and are proud to introduce Sunday Brunch at Restaurant Michael Schwartz, beginning August 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Updated each week highlighting Chef’s fresh, simple, and pure approach to food and drink, the brunch menu features 20 items all day under the Savory and Sweet main sections, Sides and iconic Snacks, as well as fresh squeezed juices, an extensive coffee and tea program, fresh cocktails and a curated list of champagne, wine and beer. With a setting as breathtaking at The Raleigh, the team had all the inspiration needed to craft a menu that is classic in spirit, but unconventional in terms of your typical hotel brunch!  We’re serving the best aspects of what a brunch experience should be — lots of variety and everything is fresh and cooked to order from the kitchen — now beachside!

Staff at MGFD in 2009, tasting and learning about Michael's new brunch for the first time.

Staff at MGFD in 2009, tasting and learning about its brunch for the first time.

No stranger to bucking the buffet line, Michael began a small plate-style brunch service at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District aka #HQ on October 24, 2009, 2 1/2 years after opening and to immediate national acclaim by the New York Times’ Frank Bruni.  For Restaurant Michael Schwartz, Chef collaborated closely with longtime The Genuine Hospitality Group executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, The Genuine Hospitality Group executive chef Bradley Herron, and the Raleigh Hotel executive chef Danny Ganem to give the property the brunch it deserves, in a style of service uniquely its own.

RMS Brunch 080413(1) Highlights from the Savory side include the Short Rib Benedict with roasted shallot, béarnaise and arugula, the Jumbo Lump Crab Hash with shishito peppers, ramps, mustard greens and two poached eggs, and the Tuscan Kale and Cave Aged Gruyere Frittata with arugula, tomato and grilled country bread. The Sweet portion of the menu boasts highlights including Bacon Sticky Buns with bourbon caramel and pecans, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with blueberry Thai basil compote, and the Tangerine Custard French Toast with cardamom butter and espresso praline.

Sides like the Palmetto Creek Sausage and the Potatoes Waxman round out the menu with additional delectable Snacks including Shrimp Toast and Crispy Hominy with Chili & Lime. Homemade sodas and fresh squeezed juices like Strawberry-Basil, Pomegranate, and traditional favorites like Apple and Grapefruit are also offered.  The Cabarete, with St. Germain, Aperol, Champagne, Watermelon, and a dash of Orange Bitters, is a cocktail that seems like it was made for poolside enjoyment, tall and refreshingly presented in a white wine glass.  A Bakery Board completes the brunch offerings, with selections including a Coffee Cake, Pain Au Chocolat and Brioche.

Occupying the Raleigh Hotel’s iconic baroque pool deck, Restaurant Michael Schwartz is the perfect spot to enjoy brunch with both an elegant atmosphere and brilliant menu. The restaurant will continue to serve breakfast, lunch including a market fresh raw bar, and dinner daily, as well as poolside and bar service, boxed beach lunches, and a selection of in-room dining items. Both the existing dinner menu and the new brunch menu are inspired by the rich history and singular charm of Miami Beach’s most iconic hotel property.

The announcement of brunch at Restaurant Michael Schwartz follows the successful launch of Martini Culture, which takes place every Tuesday in The Raleigh’s legendary Martini Bar, as well as the recent news of July 19 becoming the City of Miami’s official “Raleigh Hotel Day.”

For more information on The Raleigh Hotel and Restaurant Michael Schwartz, click here.  To learn more about our partners at sbe, click here, and for more information on The Genuine Hospitality Group, click here. Follow @RMSatRaleigh on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for news and updates from Restaurant Michael Schwartz. Cheers!



sbe is a creative hospitality company that develops, manages and operates award-winning hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Through exclusive partnerships with cultural visionaries, sbe is dedicated to delivering the best in design, culinary and entertainment. Already a proven leader in the hospitality and real estate industries, sbe has over 80 properties currently operating or in development, and has expanded several of its flagship brands including SLS Hotels, Katsuya by Starck, The Bazaar by José Andrés and Hyde Lounge nationally and internationally. Founded in 2002 by Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian, sbe is a privately held company.  More information about sbe can be obtained at www.sbe.com, or by downloading the sbe App here.


According to Michael Schwartz, the secret to good food is… Good food. The James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of The Genuine Hospitality Group shares his passion for where food comes from at his four restaurants including flagship Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (est. 2007 in Miami’s Design District,) Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Grand Cayman (est. 2010 in the Cayman Islands,) Harry’s Pizzeria (est. 2011 in Miami’s Design District,) and The Cypress Room (est. 2013 in Miami’s Design District.) Diners have come to embrace and crave the type of cuisine that Schwartz does best – fresh, simple and straightforward – from house-cured heritage meats and homemade seasonal fruit jams to wood-fired whole local fish and colorful salads. Menus change daily because they emphasize high quality ingredients in season and local when possible from area farmers, fishermen, ranchers, and artisans. The chef shares recipes inspired by this philosophy in his first cookbook, Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to- Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, released February 2011. Recent projects include seasonal tasting menus sourced from small South Florida farms at 150 Central Park on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships, food and beverage operations at South Beach’s iconic Raleigh Hotel including restaurant Michael Schwartz, and Michael’s Genuine Home Brew, an American Ale brewed in Gadsden, Alabama with Florida sem-chi rice and sugarcane. www.Michaelsgenuine.com/TGHG.

A Postcard from NOLA: Goodspeed’s Tales of the Cocktail & Some Things to Look Forward to at Home

The Genuine Hospitality Group Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed is now heading home after an amazing weekend at Tales of the Cocktail, sweetly suffering the ultimate in genuine hospitality: the southern kind. We happily followed along on Instagram as he ate and drank his way through this annual fulcrum of the beverage industry with friends and neighbors old and new to guide him, and absorbing way more than mere spirits in the journey. Here is his dispatch, fresh from the fray, and from which clarity can be extracted for his own work here at home. We can’t wait to taste it. Catch that flight Ryan, and Godspeed!

NEW ORLEANS – July 20, 2013: Tales of a Great Time. City of Zero Pressure and ultimate hospitality in a human manifestation? Second double espresso… Cobwebs!! One step further… everybody here wants to share something and get you involved.

Thanks going out today to:

Gabe Urrutia – Bacardi, and this Tuesday’s Martini Culture guest bringing The 1940 Martini (A tribute to The Raleigh) with D’usse VSOP Cognac, Martini Gran Lusso (LIMITED EDITION) and Dash Orange Curacao, stirred and served with Filthy Amarena Cherry and orange peel, as well as The Aqua Cabana Club Martini with D’usse VSOP Cognac, Disaronno, guava puree, lemon juice and vanilla syrup, shaken and strained with a Flower garnish.
Kris Roth – 86 Co.
Juan Ernesto – Domaine Select
Benjamin Jones – Rhum JM
Romina Puente Armano – Capurro Pisco
Loni Paige – Happy Birthday!
Jacob and Jamie
Jen Massolo – Spirited Sirens and Craft, on the receiving end of a rare gesture in this world, good samaritans rescuing her phone from a runaway cab, but that’s New Orleans. People want to help you. Love it.
Lady Lillet – She is sweet.

I’m at the Hotel Modern, that houses the Top 10 bar Bellocq. Every morning I try to find a corner of the patio or restaurant Tivoli & Lee where the kind fellow behind the bar does not offer me a Cereal Killer Punch “taste”. There are two American History Museums next door, The Butcher and Cochon mere blocks away, and The Quarter is a short ride or hot 20 minute walk.

Last night I saw Best Bartender, in which Cricket Nelson, responsible for The Cypress Room’s tea service cocktail, won with her “Love Game” at House of Blues. Broken Shaker did not win at the Bartenders Brawl, but they represented well opposite The Citizen, The Daily, and a handful of other amazing programs around the country in a ruckus and poorly organized entrance to an otherwise gigantic event. A who’s who of people milling around while the likes of Jim Meehan, Jacques and others judged the competition.

Today I’m in search of the best Po’ Boy not from Domilicies… uptown. Heading to Verti Marte in the quarter then a lecture on bottling cocktails. Hoping to spy Ivy Mix, and see where the day heads — hopefully towards Cricket who I’ve barely seen at all. Tales is tough because there’s so much going on at once. You have to temper your expectations and what is actually reasonable to achieve. That said… I will try again to walk briskly to an event and not be sidelined by a friend, fellow or intriguing conversation form somebody far more interesting than I.

Loving this trip.