Training Days! Ella is Ready to Pop & Here’s the Opening Menu.

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Bagel or Begel, Mr. Schwartz?

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True Loaf pastries greet customers with layers of buttery smiles.

Training is in full-force at our highly anticipated pop-up café, ella, opening in the Design District’s Palm Court hopefully by Thursday.

Here’s a deeper look into the menu and its 3 sections: “until 11am”, “all day”, and “after 11am”. Opening in the morning, ella’s “until 11am” section will consist of more breakfast-ey items that are perfect for people who work in the area picking up a quick bite or hungry shoppers on the go. The 9-grain pancake, a dish originally on the Michael’s Genuine brunch menu, features 9-grains in the batter, adding heartiness to this supple pancake. The breakfast sandwich is a classic take with the simple bacon, egg, and cheese line up on a fluffy english muffin. Last is the power breakfast, and it is just that!  This healthy “picker-upper” combines Greek yogurt with Michael’s balanced, delicious mix of chia jelly, banana, blueberries, granola, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and dried mulberries.

Featured on the “all day” section of the menu are a couple items that are made throughout the day and are some of the most exciting items! A classic avocado toast on True Loaf bread is the perfect bite for any time of the day. Another very special item our homemade everything bagel that comes with beet-cured wild salmon. Chef Roel Alcudia perfected the recipe for these amazing bagels, and is “very excited about them!”

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The everything bagel in all its glory… with everything.

He starts with the usual suspects- yeast, flour, water, salt- and lets the mixture rise (about 20-30 minutes). He then divides them into balls, flattens them, and cuts a hole in the middle, creating the classic bagel shape. After letting them rise again, they go into a boiling pot of water with barley syrup to add flavor and a crust on the outside of the bagel for one minute on each side. They are then given an egg wash, dipped into an everything topping, and baked in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. The end result is a perfectly chewy and light bagel. They are topped with a beautiful beet-cured salmon, which has a red color given by the beets. The salmon is cured overnight in a beet and gin purée, then rinsed and cured again in herbs. It adds a perfect saltiness to the bagel.

The “after 11am” section features classic lunch items such as a daily soup, a grilled cheese with caramelized onions, and an heirloom tomato salad with feta and pickled onions. There are also a couple more unique items, such as the vegetable tacos that come decked out with black beans, avocado, pickled onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese, all on a tequila blue masa tortilla. Also the rock shrimp summer roll, which is a light and refreshing roll filled with fresh herbs and veggies to create the perfect bite for a hot summer day.

ella3 (1)ella is located in the interior west end of Palm Court at 140 NE 39th Street, unit 136 to be exact. In addition to street parking, the Design District offers valet from $5 located at the entrance to Palm Court on 39th Street in between NE 1st and NE 2nd Ave and the Palm Court Parking Garage is open from 9 am to 9pm Monday-Saturday and 11am – 7pm on Sunday, $3 for the first 4 hours, $6 for 4-6 hours, and $25 for 6+ hours, with the entrance located on NE 38th St. Ascend through the Dome and look for the umbrellas.

The café will serve fresh-squeezed orange juice, Panther Coffee, Art of Tea, bottled cider and beer including Chef’s Michael’s Genuine® Home Brew, and a selection of wines by the glass and bottle including the house Lua Rossa blend. There is indoor counter seating for 8 and seating outdoors for up to 40 with umbrella-shaded tables and potted herbs and succulents. Take a seat and enjoy the day with whatever beverage suits your fancy, and choose from our daily charcuterie and cheese selection from the butcher’s board.

Hours of operation will be Monday to Saturday from 9am – 7pm and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm. ella offers takeout and will accept all major credit cards. For more information, visit ellapop.me or follow the café on Instagram and Twitter @ellapopmiami.  See you there soon!

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Please Judge: Somm Slam Dinner at Uvaggio Pits #LarkeeVsPorter

Wine is fun, especially when it’s like Wrestlemania!  Thursday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m., Uvaggio will be hosting its first Somm Slam, the ultimate competition to determine the superior sommelier.  Head Wine-O Heath Porter of Uvaggio, a cozy wine bar and restaurant in the heart of historic Coral Gables, will go head to head against The Genuine Hospitality Group’s own International Man of Mystery, Wine Director Eric Larkee.  Guests will be served a three course dinner, the first and third being prepared by Uvaggio’s chef, Bret Pelaggi, and the second being prepared by The Cypress Room’s chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia.  The last ingredients of each dish, however, will be two wines, one pairing per sommelier.  At the end it will be the diners not professionals that crown the champion. Bragging rights and a date for one with brown liquor will ensue.

“It’s going to be a killer gig, great eats, crisp juice and lots of giggles,” says Porter. “I guess the only thing we don’t know is how ‘skinny’ Larkee’s jeans will be and how many flavors of Boone’s Farm he’ll be pouring.”

Larkee’s competition has been in the business for 20+ years and has worked his way up from truck stop dishwasher to advanced level sommelier in 5 Star and 5 Diamond Resorts.  The more stars and diamonds the merrier, of course!  And what of home court advantage for Porter?

It's the #Larkmeme! Download this photo to your phone and the Memegenerator app to have fun with Larkee like never before. We are!

It’s the #Larkmeme! Download this photo to your phone and the Meme generator app to have fun with @EricLarkee on Instagram like never before. We are!

“If we travel well like my beloved Packers’ fans do, then I’m not worried about anything,” Larkee explains. “I’m going to try to wear him down by working the body, I feel like he’ll probably drop his hands a bit in the last round and I’ll be able to get an uppercut in there with a bottle of something Italian.”

Leave it to Larkee, former champion wrestler (no joke!) to find his adversary’s weakness, and in Porter’s case that’s roasted meats. In addition Alcudia’s dish, our ringleader plans to have the chef strategically stash tasty bits from The Cypress Room’s wood rotisserie around Uvaggio to distract him. Our contender is fan, more reason to accepted Porter’s challenge with relish.

“I’ve been a couple of times. Great small plates, pretty much have always gotten some charcuterie and cheese,” Larkee adds.  “I like to go with at least three other people so we can get a bunch of bottles — always something a little geeky but also real good solid classics too.”

If you’re curious to see who will drink victorious, come judge them for yourselves. Cost is $75 per person including the reception, three courses, six wines, dessert, and tax (not gratuity!)  For reservations click here, or call (305)-448-2400. Follow @heathporter @uvaggiowine and @ericlarkee @thecypressroom @roel_alcudia on Instagram and Twitter to watch the action unfold.  Menu will be announced as the event approaches, but grab your seats while they last.  There’s only 25!

Smokin’ Hot Local Brews: Harry’s BBQ Night Pops Again!

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It’s about time to roll out the ole smoker again, as Harry’s Pizzeria welcomes Wynwood Brewing Co. for a night of beer and BBQ in Miami’s Design District on Tuesday, May 19th beginning at 6:30pm! After popping up its first BBQ night back in August with Athens, GA’s Terrapin Beer Co., Michael Schwartz’s casual neighborhood joint is pairing up with Miami’s own Wynwood Brewing Co., as well as chef Leonardo Maurelli, an Alabama-based chef who has known Michael since the beginning of Michael’s Genuine Home Brew’s story.  Tickets are now live HERE for BBQ Night in Pizzaland!

“We don’t know what the menu is yet which is always part of the fun, but we will be playing off of the classic flavors of smoky, tangy BBQ,” explains Wynwood’s assistant brewer David Rodriquez, who you may recognize as the beard behind the jockey box from March’s Buck’s Beer Garden events. “Pop’s Porter is a dark, medium bodied beer with coffee and chocolate notes that pair well with the deep, rich smoke you get from a rub. Wynwood IPA and Magic City American Pale Ale both have a nice bitterness that also plays well off spice.”

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Bucking the Trend: Dave doing his bearded brewer thing at Buck’s Beer Garden’s inaugural event at The Raleigh South Beach on March 5. Our last April event is this Thursday with Funky Buddha Brewery.

When it opened its doors in 2011, Wynwood Brewing Co. was the first craft production facility in Miami, soon receiving recognition on the national stage.  In 2014, Pop’s Porter took home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, akin to the James Beard Foundation Awards for the craft beer industry — huge for Miami and its emerging craft brewing community which no doubt got a jolt from this coup.  Wynwood’s mission has a familiar ring to us at The Genuine Hospitality Group, to bring “fresh, delicious, and creative beers” to South Floridians.  May and June bring a big milestone, David shares.  Wynwood will take their beer beyond growlers at the Tap Room and begin bottling La Rubia and Pop’s Porter in a limited addition 22-ounce format. Harry’s always seems to have at least one Wynwood style on its 4-tap system, and its bottling gives us more flexibility in terms of what we can offer from its portfolio in the future.

“For me, pale ales are the way to go when it comes to BBQ,” David continues.  “They have the perfect balance of caramel maltiness and bitterness.”

So what of the BBQ… We are excited to welcome chef Leonardo Maurelli of Central in Montgomery, Alabama who was there when Michael was introduced to Back Forty Beer Company at a 2011 Auburn University event for tornado relief.  A native of the Republic of Panama, Leonardo shares his unique multicultural take on traditional southern dishes and cuisine. We know he will bring the BBQ mojo on a collaborative menu with Harry’s own chef de cuisine Daniel Ramirez!
Tickets are $68 and include it all — an indoor and outdoor stationed menu of BBQ, sides and dessert, all you care to drink Wynwood beer (special treatments, too!) from our counter, tax and gratuity. We love mixing it up at Harry’s Pizzeria and can’t wait to start the summer off with some BBQ!

 

 

Designing Restaurant Paradise With Meyer Davis Studio

The opening of Paraiso Bay’s Beach Club and waterfront restaurant is not quite on the horizon yet, but the collaboration between Michael and Meyer Davis Studio is in full swing.  At their New York-based design firm, Principals and Partners Will Meyer and Gray Davis specialize in residential, hospitality, retail and workplace environments. While still working drawings on paper at this stage, the space and kitchen is laid out with a distinct direction thanks to a solid working relationship.

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Carlos Rosso, President of the Related Group’s condominium development division meets with Michael and Will Meyer of Meyer Davis Studio last month at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District.

“I love their work and am super excited about our partnership” Michael explains. “Mostly because they are extremely talented designers but also because they understand restaurants and how they work.  They design with functionality and flow in mind.  One of the most important elements to me is how it all works together as a whole.”

The team has been meeting regularly to review plans in stages and communication is key.

“Michael is great to work with. He’s responded positively to our approach and has been very hands on with kitchen design and functionality.” says Will Meyer.  “We work with celebrity chefs on a regular basis, and it’s always fantastic to work with people who know what they’re doing and are passionate.”

If the two agree on anything, it’s that functionality always comes first, especially in restaurant design. The space needs to flow for guests and employees.  “We really stem our aesthetic choices from functionality,” explains Will.  “These need to function well to also be impressive design decisions. We also always want guests to feel comfortable and for design to be luxurious at the same time. That balance is the key to a great design.”

When starting this project, Michael came in with a clear vision of what he wanted.  The restaurant’s open kitchen and wood grill — something that’s been a centerpiece of private events at the property’s sales center off Biscayne Bay — will be a focal point, as is the importance of bringing the amazing location on the waterfront into the restaurant.

“We’ve conceptualized a space that is seamless in its transition from the outside in,” Will continues. “There will be trees and plantings within the restaurant, as well as a nanowall system on the first and second floor that can be opened to allow the interior to pour outside. We like to keep our interior and exterior materials similar as well, so that the dining overflows outdoors and people feel the same environment throughout the space.”

MG_Paraiso_HH_Final_logoThis restaurant is meant to be a space that residents should feel comfortable making their regular spot.  The Studio thinks a lot about how guests will engage with its projects, from families enjoying a meal out together, to more romantic evenings, and even special events.

Will notes, “Hopefully the restaurant can be an inviting home away from home, while also serving as a destination for those who are not residents.”

Related is currently preparing to launch the final 55-story residential tower within the Paraiso enclave. The GranParaiso Tower by Piero Lissoni will begin sales early May.

“Working with the extraordinary talents of Michael Schwartz and the design stars of Meyer Davis Studio is an unprecedented blend of vision and style,” said Carlos Rosso, President of The Related Group Condominium Division. “Together, we’re creating Paraiso Beach Club to transform the lifestyle on Biscayne Bay.”

He continued, “This is the destination Miami has been waiting for, especially in downtown, where the best dining and culture are taking shape before our eyes. Paraiso’s Beach Club will become the spot for contemporary and relaxed gatherings on the waterfront, for drinks and amazing meals with friends and family. I can already imagine our dock lined with boats and water taxis.”

Come toast the vision for Edgewater, the new neighborhood in our future on Biscayne Bay.  Join Michael for complimentary snacks & drinks inspired by his future Paraiso Beach Club restaurant tonight Wednesday, April 8 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (130 NE 40th Street.) For more information about Paraiso Bayviews  please contact info@paraisobayviews.com.

 

 

 

 

[Recipe] Cayman’s Bounty in a Roasted Breadfruit Salad

Our creative in the current issue of Ritz-Carlton's magazine features the market and one of our favorite local delicacies... Ackee!

Our creative in the current issue of Ritz-Carlton’s magazine features the market and one of our favorite local delicacies… Ackee!

Down in the sunny Cayman Islands there is an abundance of exotic and unusual fruits and vegetables growing. From cassava to winged beans, the produce on the island is used in many different ways unique to the island and its culture. The Camana Bay Farmers Market is held every Wednesday just steps from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Grand Cayman.  It is a great place for locals, tourists and our chefs to find all of the island’s local produce and is a snapshot of what’s in-season and what you can expect to be on your plate at the restaurant at any given moment.  Chefs Michael and Thomas have taken turns visiting the island over the past couple of weeks to find the farmers market and its growers as vibrant as they’ve ever been, with fresh ingredients in abundance such as boniato (sweet potato), bitter melon, plantains, heirloom tomatoes, jujube apples, coconut, pumpkin, okra, passionfruit, and ackee to name a few.  It’s always a huge source of inspiration… Case and point, you’ll now find this ackee toast on the menu!

The breadfruit is a perfect example of this local bounty. A species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, breadfruit originated in the South Pacific and was introduced to Caribbean islands during the late 18th century by British and French navigators. Today it is grown in some 90 countries throughout Southeast and South Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, Central America and Africa.  The breadfruit is so common you can typically find the tree it grows on in every Caymanian backyard and is a staple in every local’s household. With the texture of a potato and the flavor of freshly baked bread (hence the name breadfruit), breadfruit can be great for baking, roasting, grilling, frying, or boiling. In traditional Cayman cuisine, the breadfruit is usually boiled or fried and seasoned with spicy pickled vegetables.

Chef Thomas Tennant is a master at handling this curious-looking ingredient, and created the perfect expression of its best qualities in the breadfruit salad.  The breadfruit is roasted whole in the wood oven, peeled and cut into large chunks, then re-roasted to nice and crispy outside and creamy middle.  While you may not have a breadfruit tree in your backyard, we have seen them from time to time pop onto the ingredient wall at our Miami restaurant food bar, or sitting pretty above the pastry station.  We challenge to to your own breadfruit treasure hunt…  This could be your reward!

Breadfruit SaladWood Roasted Breadfruit Salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, arugula, basil and citrus vinaigrette

Serves 6

1 whole ripe breadfruit, about 3 pounds weight
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
1 pound baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 pound of avocado, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 cup scallions, sliced thinly on the bias
1 cup torn basil leaves
1 cup baby arugula
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup Citrus vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Using a chef’s knife, remove the stem of the breadfruit by coring out the stem. Then insert the knife straight through the breadfruit, at least half way into the fruit via the stem side going through the breadfruit center, then do it again but turning the knife to create and ‘X’. You will have pierced through the breadfruit but not cutting all the way through it. Score the other side with an ‘X’. Place the breadfruit on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. After 40 minutes, check for doneness by piercing with a knife, it will be done if you can pierce the breadfruit every easily, similar to a baked potato. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, cut away the outer skin, then cut into one inch cubes.

Place the breadfruit cubes on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the breadfruit begins to brown and become crisp. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, avocados, scallions, basil and arugula, in a mixing bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper. Once the breadfruit has become crisp, combine into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and dress with the citrus vinaigrette. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately while the salad is still warm.

Citrus Vinaigrette

Yields 1 quart

1 grapefruit
1 naval orange
1 lemon
1 lime
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup canola oil
1 ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest the citrus with a microplane zester into a container, then juice the citrus. Combine the citrus zest, juices, egg yolk, vinegar, honey and salt in a blender. Blend on medium-low speed for about 20 seconds. While the blender is running, slowly incorporate the oils by adding them in a thin but steady stream into the blender until all the oil has been emulsified. Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate.