Join Amy and Harry’s for July’s OMG! Dinner & a Movie


O Cinema Wynwood and Harry’s Pizzeria reunite to celebrate AMY, the new documentary chronicling the career and life of Amy Winehouse, for our OMG! Dinner & A Movie series on July 9. A once-in-a-generation talent, Winehouse captivated us with her unforgettable voice. A jazz artist in the truest sense, she sang about her experience and struggles with raw honesty. The film, directed by Asif Kapadia, features previously unheard tracks and archival footage of Amy in her element. We’ve been humming the soundtrack for weeks, and absolutely cannot wait to see this film!

Doors open at 6pm and the movie starts at 7. General admission tickets are $40 and VIP tickets are $55 (the VIP tickets come with a signed copy of Chef’s cookbook Michael’s Genuine Food.)  Tickets are now LIVE and can purchased through O Cinema, here!  Chef de Cuisine Daniel Ramirez wrote a menu fit for a Queen, see below!

Fennel and radish salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette
Sunday roast with braised beef
Roasted summer vegetables with parmesan
Mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding
Banoffee pie (a traditional English pie made with banana, cream and toffee)
And a special movie snack of home made spiced corn nuts!

Summer at The Cypress Room Shines in The Beverage Book

Cool off from Miami’s heat with something new and refreshing at our elegant American dining room and bar in the Design District!  Beginning today, The Beverage Book at The Cypress Room features six new cocktails from Aperitifs and Classics to Specialty Housemade. Also, for the first time the restaurant offers nightly-changing cocktail and spirits pairings for its 5-course Tasting Menu in a “Bartender’s Choice,” available for $40 additional, plus tax and gratuity.

Inspired by the classics and summer in the Magic City, TGHG Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed reimagines old school cocktails through a modern American lens.  Pouring into vintage bar books and cocktails lists from as early as 1895, Goodspeed can usually find a home for a new idea he’s had or a new ingredient he’d like to feature.

“The beverage program at The Cypress Room is unabashedly spirit driven and careful calculation goes into each drink,” says Mr. Goodspeed.  “Cypress cocktails have a depth and texture to them. They are well-mannered, but get straight to the point!”

Beginning with light and refreshing Aperitifs (11), Four Rosés blushes with Chef Schwartz’s favorite, featuring rosé wine, Lillet rosé, Dillon’s gin-based rosé liqueur, rosebud and hibiscus flower water and a lemon twist. Lonely Negroni combines Miller’s Westborne gin, Campari, Aperol, JuJube syrup, lemon and orange peel. Classics (12) add a Whiskey Sour with WhistlePig rye, Cardamaro, lemon, simple syrup, egg whites and orange bitters, and Singapore Sling shakes Fords gin, Cherry Herring, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple, lime, angostura and a maraschino cherry. Specialty Housemade (14) includes Brewster highlighting the final harvest of the lychee season with vodka or gin, simple syrup, lime and cilantro. And every summer needs an anthem, so for Cypress it comes in the form of Summer’s Soda, a clear-as-a-summer’s-day elixir packing a punch with Highwest Silver Rye, Dolin Blanc, lemon, and lemongrass-lavender-chamomile syrup.

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Christian and Ryan, a meeting of the beverage minds over the TCR bar.

Cocktail and spirits pairings at The Cypress Room change nightly based on the 5-course tasting menu of the evening. Each day before dinner service our chefs review the dishes with Bartender Christian Carnevale and General Manager Amanda Su who perform some improvisational magic exercising their smarts and a little creative license for good measure.

Christian says, “The guests at The Cypress Room are looking to see what we can do. They are genuinely interested in what they’re drinking – whether it’s from a wine glass or a highball. They want to test our knowledge. These pairings give us an opportunity to converse with the Tasting Menu, show off what we can do and get creative! Our focus is on guest experience, everything is thought of beforehand, needs are anticipated and tailored to you.”

And if you were to ask Ryan, what makes a good cocktail? He’d say, “if you keep going back for more!” And we sure will, see you at The Cypress Room!  What will be your summer cocktail go-to at The Cypress Room? Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @thecypressroom and tag us on your next visit. New summer hours offer dinner Monday through Thursday, 6-10pm and Friday and Saturday 6pm-12am. The restaurant is closed Sundays.

The Cypress Room is located at 3620 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami’s Design District. Reservations recommended by calling 305.520.5197 or emailing For more information, including current menus, please visit

A Curtain Call for Cayman


After 5 years bringing fresh, simple, pure to the Cayman Islands, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink’s Grand Cayman outpost will be closing later this summer, with its final service on Sunday, August 30.

“It’s never easy to close the book on a project you feel genuinely proud of, but it’s time to move on,” says Schwartz. “I’m honored by the support we have received over the years in Cayman and from our partners at Camana Bay. It feels good knowing that the legacy of slow food will continue long past the departure of Michael’s Genuine. As for The Genuine Hospitality Group, we will focus our attention on growing the core business from Miami.”

It’s been an amazing ride, and we have learned so much from the island and made so many memories in the process, sharing the best of Cayman with our friends from the States!  Just click the Cayman Correspondence category and countless examples flood back.  Not soon after opening the restaurant in June of 2010, Michael received recognition in the New York Times as one of four world-renowned chefs bringing their outposts to the Caribbean, casting the Cayman Islands into the spotlight as a growing culinary destination in its own right. Through the restaurant’s renewed commitment to sourcing from local farmers, serving seasonal ingredients, and putting the invasive lionfish on the menu – chef Thomas Tennant’s passion project that made waves across the island and beyond, locals were drawn into the town center of Camana Bay for a new, genuine taste of the island.

The neighborhood bistro became a favorite in the community, winning the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Cayman’s Favourite Restaurant award 4 out of 5 years, most recently this February. Its Happy Hour exposed Grand Cayman to new craft spirits and cocktails, beer, and wine and celebrated its own distillery and brewery. Michael’s Genuine co-founded Slow Food Day with Slow Food South Sound, an annual event in its fourth year forging relationships with farmers and chefs across the island that catalyzed the addition of a weekly Farmer’s Market to Camana Bay providing further stimulus to the island’s agricultural economy.

“Michael’s Genuine has been an important part of establishing Camana Bay as the place to be for food enthusiasts in the Cayman Islands, and we appreciate all that Michael and the team have done to strengthen Grand Cayman’s culinary community,” said Jackie Doak, Chief Operating Officer of Dart Realty, the developer of Camana Bay. “This fall we look forward to introducing a new family-friendly pizza and pasta restaurant which will be operated by a group of local restauranteurs, bringing a new experience to Camana Bay’s already diverse offerings from a dozen restaurants, cafés and eateries.”

The restaurant will remain active in its last summer and offers fans myriad opportunities to savor a last taste – or several! On July 4 at 7:00 p.m., the Rum & Q brings rum tasting stations, rum cocktails, desserts, BBQ and more to the Crescent Lawn at Camana Bay for $68 CI all inclusive. The restaurant’s annual Genuine Summer promotion will run the length of August offering three-course prix fixe menus with choices for lunch and dinner at CI$23 and CI$39, respectively. Through August 30, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Grand Cayman will operate regular business hours, open Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., serving its All-Day and Dessert menus, as well as its celebrated brunch on Sundays from 11:00am to 3:00 p.m. Happy Hour features drink specials Monday to Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For reservations please call 345.640.6433. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is located at Suite 4103, 47 Forum Lane Canella Court, Camana Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

For more Cayman memories, please visit our Flickr album.


All The Genuine’s a Stage with TGHG Events

It’s summer, and we’re ready to help you party. Enjoy Michael Schwartz’s restaurants for your next event. The Genuine Hospitality Group Director of Special Events Lindsay Guidos will plan it — on or off site.  She’ll even make you pretty menus (^^) and send you samples to view as you’re figuring things out!  Email her at or call 203.313.4503. James Beard Award-winning food & hospitality, customizable prix-fixe menus for all occasions, and fully-staffed experiences with decor… amazing!  You can flood your smartphone right now with beautiful captures from past events by using the hashtag #TGHGevents on Instagram.

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Book an event with The Cypress Room by July 31 and receive a champagne toast for your party!  Our intimate dining room shines from the first glass of wine and amuse bouche to dessert, petit fours, and everything in-between. We can help craft your Cypress experience from a simple, elegant evening to a magical affair to remember.  The restaurant can accommodate seated dinner parties up to 45 guests, or reception-style up to 75 guests. The Beverage Book’s 124 wines and classic cocktails and spirits selection are at your disposal.

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MG_HP_e blast tile_escabeche3Michael’s Genuine offers fresh, simple, pure food and drink at home or on the road.  The restaurant can offer 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 (68.)  We event have a Brunch prix fixe party menu available with the special treats we do on Sundays made for your guests!

HP_HP_e blast tileHarry’s Pizzeria is all about fun and parties are no exception.  Michael’s casual neighborhood joint seats lunch or dinner parties for 40 inside, or 20 additional outdoors.  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.


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Chile Chile Bang Bang: Genuine Sommantics


It’s all fun and games until some somms wage a Wine Bar War.

Wine Bar War is in all caps because it’s an event sanctioned by Wines of Chile, and it has sparked some serious competitive spirit amongst Miami’s top sommeliers.  They’re going at it tomorrow night split into four mixed teams – teamwork across restaurants is essential – to bring Chile to Miami through wine, food and design.  At stake, a premium business class trip to Chile for the winning team to experience the best Chile has to offer courtesy of Turismo Chile and LAN Chile.  So what’s the task?  Physically erect a wine bar in one day and build a solid list to win over judges and guests, choosing from among the best producers this Andes-hedged, 2672 mile coastal strip of South American real estate has to offer.  As Team Ungrafted Wine Bar approaches Thursday’s Chilean rumble, Captain Amanda Fraga‘s strategizing has been long underway as she juggles her day/night job as sommelier of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.  For Amanda, “Wine Bar Wars is about bringing sommeliers, consumers, trade to an event so they can learn what Chilean wines are all about.”  Quite a way to make an impression!

We’ve got two dogs in this fight – Amanda and her boss, TGHG Wine Director, Eric Larkee. Needless to say, there has been some intra-company trash talk. Amanda’s team is Ungrafted, and Larkee’s is Natural Roots. Amanda is joined by Chris Zarcadoolas of Scarpetta, Cindy Woodman from Café Boulud and Josh Mesnik of Market 17. Natural Roots is headed up by Brian Grandison from Hakkasan, and teaming up with Larkee are Danny Toral from 50 Eggs and Kirsta Grauberger of Market 17 and Day Market Kitchen. So aside from a trip to Chile, there are bragging rights on the line!

Amanda and her team chose the name “Ungrafted” to highlight something uniquely Chilean, the original root stalks. She explains, “in Chile they do not graft the vine into a specific root stalk. Chile, being boarded by The Andes and the ocean, is in prime ungrafting real estate. Which is different from the other main wine growing countries around the world, like France and Spain.” Larkee had a similar idea, and his team, Natural Roots, refers to the same concept. Larkee says, “Chilean wines are grown on their own root stalks, their natural root stalks. This can get kind of wine wonky, talking about this, but basically this is all due to a bug called phyllorxia. They are a menace and in most of the world, grape vines have to be grafted onto phyllorxia-resistant root stalks in order to thrive. But Chile is an agricultural island, it is isolated from the rest of the world and hasn’t suffered this infection.” Therefore, Chilean vines are grown on their original root stalks and grapes are produced with no varietal cross over.

Around the time Amanda started at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Eric had remastered the wine list. He did not change the guiding principals, but he did make it more user-friendly.  For TGHG, there are two primary objectives to a wine list: 1. Provide an enjoyable experience for guests and 2. Be profitable for the business as a whole. Larkee says, “most of the other important things, like showcasing a variety of regions, or small producers all loop back in with the primary goals.”  Presentation is key. There are slightly fewer options, giving more room for explanations; the font is bigger, larger spaces between words, all aesthetically contributing to the guest experience. Larkee and Amanda agree that where they can really shine is through the By The Glass list. Amanda says, “guests are more comfortable buying one glass of something they’ve never tried rather than an entire bottle. It’s less of a commitment and, most importantly, well priced so people are more inclined to try something new.” Larkee calls the BTG list his tool belt, “this is the only way we can contribute to the dishes. Our wines by the glass allow you to find something that pairs well with the octopus and something for the braised beef tongue special without stiffing half the table.”

Amanda’s service experience at MGFD is what may give her team an edge at tomorrow’s competition.  Cozy neighborhood atmosphere as a backdrop, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is a destination for culinary risk takers and curious palettes.  She says, “People are interested in trying new wine, and they actually want to talk to me! They are going to ask questions, and I am going to teach them something new. This makes great practice for wine bar wars, talking to guests about grape varietals, regions, etc. on the floor each night is sure to help me win over the attendees.”


Hondarrabi Zuriaidura, Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2013. Summer’s wine!

So after the wine bar war dust has settled on Friday, what can we expect from MGFD’s wine list this summer? Larkee and Amanda immediately answered “Txakolina!” Pronounced like chocolate, this Spanish “backyard pounder” as Larkee refers to it, is sour, a little spritzy and has the bite of a green apple. But as Larkee also points out, “we go from hot to freaking hot. Maybe some people put down the Malbec for the summer and drink some rose. But our sales of fresh, crisp white, are great all year.”

What can we say about our dueling sommeliers? First, good luck! Second, it’s a very good thing you’re on separate teams because who would work the floor if you BOTH go to Chile! Get your tickets before tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. through Gilt City and you and a companion may be riding shotgun with the winners.