MGFD Brunch at 5 Years | Homage to Hedy’s Sweets

Five years ago, a typical Sunday morning at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink (“MGFD”) was a time for our chefs to prepare for the evening service and plan for the upcoming week, quietly without distraction. But then October 25, 2009 rolled around and Sundays were never the same again. Today, once 11:00am hits the clock, MGFD is a vibrant and colorful scene of savory and sweet. Tables are adorned with a variety of small plates mingling with cocktails, wines, and beers at once. It is a playful and nostalgic affair, a frenzy of energy and creativity, and Hedy and Michael would not have it any other way.

Hedy explains that when Michael developed Brunch at MGFD, he wanted a different concept, where guests could enjoy a number of different plates, without any set rules. “It is whatever you feel like…”  It was a hit out of the gate, attracting the attention of then New York Times food critic Frank Bruni and has evolved into more than we ever could have imagined — a fun and interactive meal stretching the imagination of both our customers and our team in the restaurant that puts it together each week. We’ll cover the savory side of the menu next, but today we begin in keeping with Hedy’s mantra: “Eat dessert first!”

At the top of the Sweets section appear Hedy’s Childhood Treats. These items are meant to bring back childhood memories and can often be found in Hedy’s cookbook, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors. Items like overstuffed o’s, s’mores and chocolate caramel peanut bars show the playfulness and accessibility of the menu. As much as they attract children, they are meant for big kids, us. Because Hedy’s goal was to bring out the “oohs and aahs” out of us, and boy does she!

The remainder of the menu will leave you equally flabbergasted. The classics such as the pop t’s — which are Hedy’s take on the still relevant as ever original, on-the-go handheld breakfast pie — and the sticky bun, have new flavors weekly. They are in short, a grow-up version of your old time favorites. By grown- up, we mean improved of course. Exponential improvement. Some dishes are too bold to fathom, like the tequila watermelon-popsicle, or the macaron ice cream sandwich, or the peanut butter pie in a jar overflowing with caramel. Literally overflowing. Ugh! Hedy dares to play with both savory and sweet in general, particularly in her sticky buns, such as the bacon, cream cheese and peanut butter sticky bun. It leaves you to lick you fingers shamelessly at the table and turn an average Sunday morning meal, into your most anticipated moment of the week. Seriously. Some guests join us religiously for brunch and Hedy’s sweets are one of the reasons why they are committed to our brunchbell. Yes that’s what we call it!

Why the obsession? Our pastry team bakes with heart. Hedy and her associates change the Sweets menu in its entirety, weekly, with updates reflected on the website by crack of dawn Sunday. Although some preparation may be made in advance, or mise en place, all sweets are baked on Sunday morning. Hedy shares, “ I like to keep challenging myself, have fun and inspire my team. I don’t take myself too seriously and want to keep it playful”. That passion is evident from the choice of items on the menu, but most importantly the flavors. Hedy values multi dimensional dishes, especially with the desserts. She would hate for a guest to merely have two bites, which is why she plays with savory for balance. In her iconic and ever evolving cookie, junk in-da-trunk ®, for example, Hedy mixes cookie dough with pretzels, potato chips, peanut butter, and candy bars, but tops it with sea salt, “… to give your taste buds a break”, she reveals. This is a sweet marathon, not a race!

Hedy likes to inspire, but is also inspired by her energetic team, including Devin Braddock, who takes great pride in spearheading putting out the #brunchbell under the direction of pastry Sous-Chef, Patty Lopez. Devin also enjoys playing with the line between sweet and savory, such as hot pepper jam, and she loves our brunch’s core idea, nostalgia. Preparation for brunch sweets begins as early as Monday, when the team assembles a rough draft of the menu, which evolves during the week. It is the perfect opportunity for originality to emerge. And as the week develops, each dish “…molds into something more beautiful and more creative”, making brunch equally exciting for Devin and for you. The A team also includes Dallas Wynne, a Harry’s Pizzeria alum.

Brunch at MGFD comes together due to the participation of the entire team. Pastry helps the savory side by making a crumpet batter, while the servers, managers and support staff review the logistics for an effective brunch. It is a tough service to tackle, but quite a fun one. It can also be a friendly competition between sweet and savory, as Sous-Chef, Jason Arroyo, crosses the boundaries with a savory French toast for example; whereas Head Line Cook, Manuel Arredondo, brings out his own creativity to mirror Devin’s bold dishes, with maple bacon pancakes. If you haven’t experienced this underrated game yet, hustle because the bell rings at 11:00am every Sunday, and as of October 12, lasts until 3:00pm.

MGFD 2.0 | The Return of the Genuine Bar

After almost 8 years in the neighborhood, this homecoming is sweeter than ever. Join Michael and The Genuine Hospitality Group team in welcoming a new afternoon service that hits the spot, whether for a late lunch to satisfy more than a snack can, a quick shopping pit stop or a long, leisurely dive into our new raw bar and always classic cocktail list. It’s time to reach a new plateau during that in-between period.

On the eve of its eighth anniversary in March of 2015, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink reopens after a 2 week pause with an expanded Bar Room adding Afternoon service from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. highlighting a new Raw Bar. As Miami’s Design District prepares for a busy season of luxury retail launches in the neighborhood, the restaurant will now be able to receive guests for 1.5 more hours during the previously closed window following Lunch and prefacing Dinner, as well as offer an Afternoon menu to satisfy beyond simply Snacks as previously offered during the 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Happy Hour. The Raw Bar will be available for all service periods including Lunch, Dinner, and the restaurant’s celebrated Sunday Brunch, now in its fifth year as of the 25th of this month.15453610625_0e6f07139b_k

 “We’ve always tried to stay one step ahead to keep things fresh at Genuine. It’s something we think about all the time as a company and challenge each other everyday to make the right decisions and be smart about our future. That applies to the growth of The Genuine Hospitality Group, but no where is it more important than where it all begaMIA_New Afternoon Menun,” Michael explains. “I’ve seen this neighborhood evolve plenty since we opened in 2007, but this season will really be a game changer. I don’t think any of us can truly appreciate the magnitude of what’s about to go down here, but that’s not going to stop us from being as ready as we can be!”

The focal point of Afternoon’s a la carte menu is the new Raw Bar featuring a rotating selection of two east coast and two west coast oysters (3 each); middleneck clams currently from Florida’s Cedar Key on the ½ shell (2 each,) traditional shellfish platters (plateau 65, royale 130); classic shrimp cocktail with house cocktail sauce (12); chilled ½ Maine lobster (PA); stone crabs with mustard sauce (PA/seasonal); and one crudo, tartare and ceviche with setups that will change daily highlighting the freshest local fish and produce (13-14).

Tartare (tuna here) provencal vinaigrette, meyer lemon aioli, housemade saltines 14

Tartare (tuna here) provencal vinaigrette, meyer lemon aioli, housemade saltines 14

Then there are six classic Schwartz dishes in stracciatella highlighting the fall season’s first Florida heirloom tomatoes with local basil, extra-virgin olive oil, fleur de sel (13); butter lettuce with orange, hazelnuts, avocado, shallot-hazelnut vinaigrette (13); honeycrisp apples with greens, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, Dijon vinaigrette (15); crispy sweet & spicy pork belly with kimchi, crushed peanuts (15); and two wood oven pizzas – a daily special such as cured salami with pesto, red onion, arugula, fontina, as well as heirloom tomato with pesto, roasted peppers, mozzarella, pine nuts (18). Genuine Snacks round out the savory selection, and milk chocolate cremoso with extra-virgin olive oil, sourdough crostini (10) and TGHG Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith’s daily-changing homemade ice creams & sorbets served with a shortbread cookie (10) make for an even sweeter afternoon.  The back of menu will highlight the restaurant’s cocktail list and offer the same solid rotating selection of craft and other longtime favorite beers, as well as wines by the glass and bottle.


Plateau 65 – 3 east (Wellfleet here) 3 west (Kumamoto here) 6 Cedar Key clams – 4 shrimp – crudites & dill aioli – classic mignonette – cocktail sauce – chilled 1/2 Maine lobster – tuna tartare & housemade saltines

“We always like to give the program a good hard look heading into season, but clearly there was a great opportunity here to really take stock in a new light. But I think we all agreed we didn’t want to mess with it too much,” explains TGHG Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed. “We’ll continue to offer the curated selection of craft spirits that people have come to expect from Genuine and of course introduce new cocktails on a regular basis like usual, probably some more lighter alcohol offerings especially during the afternoon. We’re really looking forward to seeing how this goes and taking it from there. It’s a great looking bar, but more importantly it’s going to function a lot better, which will give the team flexibility to do more. We’re going to focus on what we do best and do it even better.”

The new space increases bar seating to 25 with 11 new seats in the Bar Room, flanked by 4 tables each seating 4 on the north wall and an additional 4 window seats overlooking the restaurant’s courtyard. Taking over the original private Gallery Room by knocking through the back bar wall, the new bar’s mahogany counter was sourced and forged by Schwartz’s longtime collaborator Miles Black also responsible for millwork at The Cypress Room. Carl Myers’ latest coin mosaic series featuring fish uses the restaurant’s own local catch as its subject, including Queen Snapper and Yellowedge Grouper brought to the doorstep this summer by fishmonger George Figueroa of Trigger Seafood.  Thanks to a lot of long nights, Michael’s long time, so-much-more-than-handyman Renier Bautista and a whole lot of genuine teamwork got the flagship up and running on-schedule and looking like, well, new.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is open seven days a week, with Lunch Monday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Afternoon Monday through Saturday 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5:30 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Brunch Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fall/Winter Holiday Hours are as follows: Thanksgiving Thursday, November 27 – Closed; Christmas Day Thursday, December 25 – Closed; Christmas Eve Wednesday, December 24 – Regular lunch hours, dinner open until 10 p.m.; New Year’s Eve Wednesday, December 31 – Regular hours; New Year’s Day Thursday, Jan 1, 2015 – Closed for lunch, dinner open until 10 p.m. Menus are updated daily at, with links to the restaurant on social media on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Virtual Pub Crawl Part III | Sweets

Our long awaited first photo of MGP under construction on deck 4!

Our long awaited first photo arrived yesterday of MGP under construction on Deck 4!

MenuMGP_Menu_Front & Back_8.5 by 11_backIt’s almost time for Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas to set sail, so before The Genuine Hospitality Group team heads to Bremerhaven, Germany to train a new crew of genuine staff, we’re inviting you into the process here as we count down the days (16!) with a virtual tour of our menu. View Part I | Snacks here, Part II | Charcuterie & Cheese here, and all Michael’s Genuine Pub coverage here.  The first three ships of this class, Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Ovation of the Seas (her name announced September 18 with the first piece of steel cut,) are expected to be delivered in November 2014, April 2015, and Fall 2016, respectively. Quantum of the Seas will spend its inaugural 2014-2015 season sailing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, United States, before repositioning to China in May 2015. Beginning late June 2015, the ship will sail three- to eight-night itineraries year-round from Shanghai to Japan and Korea. Anthem of the Seas will spend its inaugural 2015 season sailing from Southampton, Hampshire, UK, before repositioning to Cape Liberty in November 2015. No ports or itineraries have been announced for Ovation of the Seas. Curious to see the first ship in action? Royal Caribbean has posted a few videos on its Instagram feed of Quantum of the Seas beginning its journey to the U.S. from builder Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. 

Before we embark on a tour of Michael’s Genuine Pub’s beverage line up, today we wrap up the food part of the equation on a sweet note, with Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith as our guide. All four of the gastropub’s desserts were selected to represent the spirit of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink while bringing out the kid in all of us. So join us in breaking down some of our age-old favorites book ending the front of our menu!

S’more Brownies: Inspired by everyones favorite campfire treat, this s’more brownie has beautiful roasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and dark dark chocolate baked into it. This fudgey combination of two classic American treats will be sure to bring you back to your childhood.

peanut butter pie in a jarPeanut Butter Pie-in-a-Jar: This classic mixture of peanut butter and chocolate is as American as it gets! The idea was stumbled upon when Hedy wanted to serve pie at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink but didn’t have enough storage to do so. She instead created this fun and delicious pie-in-a-jar concept that takes all of the components of a peanut butter pie (layered Oreo crumbs, peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache) and keeps it compact and easy to eat. Slip a spoon all the way to the bottom or eat one layer at a time. It’s up to you!

Banana Toffee PaniniBanana Toffee Panini: A Michael’s Genuine staple, this sweet panini is the perfect mixture of sweet and salty. Banana, condensed milk, toffee pieces, and a pinch of sea salt are all sandwiched between cinnamon and sugar covered brioche bread and pressed to a caramelized crisp on the outside, while the inside melts into gooey heaven. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a silky chocolate dipping sauce to the side.

Panna CottaPanna Cotta: This light, tangy, and sweet dessert is the perfect way to end a rich meal. The italian eggless custard is flavored with greek yogurt, vanilla, and lemon, and is served with marinated berries.