Amara at Paraiso Launches Brunch A La Cart This Sunday

Amara at Paraiso, the latest addition to the genuine family and quintessential Miami waterfront restaurant is ready to up Miami’s brunch game. Known for reinventing our favorite weekend pastime, Michael launches Sunday Brunch on February 11 with an energized new format featuring sweet and savory food carts.  Guests can order as they like and pick and choose from weekly specials tableside as they roam the dining room and terrace throughout the meal.  Located directly on Biscayne Bay in the Paraiso District of East Edgewater, Amara at Paraiso will offer brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., cultivating a distinctly Miami vibe.

“Brunch is my favorite meal of the week and always an opportunity to go for it,” explains Schwartz. “At Amara, we were excited to have some fun with the new format. The flavors are big and the food we are doing plays very well in daytime. The amazing view is the last ingredient for the quintessential brunch experience.”

At the table, guests will be presented with printed a la carte menus from which to order drinks and food, and will then be visited by sweet and savory food carts with more from which to choose. Servers will mark orders from the cart on a card at the table to be tallied with the check at the end of the meal. Sweet items include delicate and decadent Arroz Con Leche ($6) with toasted coconut, macadamia nut, pineapple; Concha ($5) a streusel- topped brioche pastry with Mexican roots served with dulce de leche; Amara dessert favorite Dulce Flan ($10) with dulce de leche and crema; and Guava Toast ($7) Griddled brioche, crème fraiche. Savory carts will carry items like a Tilefish Taco ($5) chayote squash salad, lime, smoked paprika aioli; Grilled Pork Belly Feijoada ($6) braised red beans, egg, crunchy cassava; and Waygu Beef Tartare ($8) quail egg, green papaya, cashew, lime.

The a la carte menu offers Snacks, Raw Bar, Empanadas, Small Plates and Large Plates. Snacks include addictive Crispy Hominy ($7) with verde spice and lime; and Whipped Carrot ($7) with green garbanzo, crème fraiche, and seeded crisp. Small Plates include Overnight Oats ($10) with sweet plantain, apricot, cashew; and Turmeric & Beet- Cured Salmon ($14) crème fraîche, corn flour cracker, hard-boiled egg. Large Plates include the juicy Choripan sandwich off the outdoor wood grill with housemade chorizo farm egg, vinaigrette smoked paprika aioli; a hearty Amara Breakfast ($18) highlighting slow-cooked meaty Domingo Rojo beans, two fried eggs, short rib empanada, chorizo, avocado; Egg White Omelete ($16) with hominy, green garbanzo beans, calabaza squash, queso fresco, fermented chile hot sauce; and Short Rib Tamal ($15) with grilled spicy shrimp, fried egg, pickles, cascabel chile paste.

Brunch drinks from Assistant General Manager Maria Pottage offer a vibrant and refreshing celebration of Amara’s extensive agua fresca and freshly-squeezed juice program that invites the guest to craft their own journey. Bottomless Tropical Sparkling ($30 per person) includes sparkling wine plus the guest’s choice of mixer (guava, strawberry basil, grapefruit, passionfruit, chile-mango). Spiked Fresca (1L bottle equals 4 drinks for $44 or a glass for $12) pairs a choice of spirit with a carafe of Agua Fresca like Hibiscus, Purple Corn (Chicha Morada), Tamarind, and Horchata. In addition to Champagne and Rosé bottle specials, Brunch Cocktails include solid twists on standards like Bloody Mary-a ($12) Hangar One vodka or Milagro Blanco tequila, tomato, cucumber, celery, lemon, aji panca, aji amarillo salt; and the E.L. Michelada ($9) with local blonde ale Wynwood La Rubia, lime, Mexican spices, Amara hot sauce; as well as specialties of the house including Woke Up Like This ($12) St Germain, coconut water, lychee, lemon, bubbles; and Let’s Samba ($13) Yaguara cachaça, passion fruit, lime, demerara, mint, and more.

Brunch will be offered every Sunday starting February 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with live music from Grammy- nominated Miami band PALO!. Amara at Paraiso is located at 3101 NE 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33137. $5 valet is available. For reservations visit amaraatparaiso.com, email reservations@amaraatparaiso.com or call 305-702- 5528. Amara is a breathtaking venue for private parties and events; for groups larger than 12 guests email lindsay@michaelschwartzevents.com. More information and menus at amaraatparaiso.com and via @amaraatparaiso on social media.

[Recipe] Miami Winter’s Bone: Amara at Paraiso’s Guajillo Chile-Grilled Beef Short Rib with Cabbage Slaw

Grilled Beef Short Rib with shaved cabbage, marcona almonds grilled peppers and sour orange

The heaters have been cued from hibernation.  As we learn the ins and outs of our new home on the bay, Amara at Paraiso, blasting the breezes with a little firepower takes the edge off.  So does opening the terrace doors, feeling the warm current mix with the cool, and digging into something with a little more meat on the bone than usual on a Miami winter evening.

Chef Michael Paley’s Grilled Beef Short Rib is just the thing to bewitch us warm bloods into a cozy state of contentment, brightened with shaved cabbage, fresno pepper, marcona almonds and sour orange. It’s all about balance for this chef, and this restaurant in the approach to every dish. Here, the crisp, citrusy slaw cuts the richness and spiciness of the meat.

Paley, a moment away-ish from expo.

“The tendency is to want to fuss with a steak on the grill,”  says Paley.  “The beauty of bone-in is out of sight out of mind in the oven.  And when it’s finished on the grill after the long cook, it’s actually ok to work it on the grates a little over the high heat so it gets nice and crispy on all sides.”  Paley also notes that while the yield may be less with the bone, it’s a more intact cut, with less people touching it along it way.  Not to mention it’s great looking at the table too.  Now that’s something we can really sink our teeth into!

Grilled Beef Short Rib with shaved cabbage, fresno pepper, marcona almonds and sour orange

Serves 4

4, 4-inch cut bone in beef short ribs 1 cup
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
1 pint Guajillo Chile Wet Rub (recipe below)
4 cups shaved green cabbage
1 cup thinly shaved Fresno peppers
1 cup roughly chopped Marcona almonds
½ cup picked Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup thinly shaved red onion
¼ cup thinly shaved red radish
¼ cup fresh squeezed sour orange juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 each whole sour oranges cut in half

Preheat oven to 300° F.

With a sharp knife, trim the short ribs of any extraneous fat or silverskin. Coat the ribs evenly with the Guajillo rub.  Place the ribs on a roasting rack set on a baking sheet and roast uncovered for 2 hours.  Remove the short ribs from the oven and place in a large earthenware or stainless steel baking dish, meat side up and add ½ an inch of water.  Increase the temperature of the oven to 325° F.  Cover the baking dish with tin foil and roast 2 more hours, until the meat is easily pierced with a paring knife.  Remove from the oven to rest and refrigerate overnight.

To finish the dish, heat a charcoal or wood fired grilled to 375-400° F.  Place the cooled short rib on the grill, turning and rotating often to develop an even char on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Place the halved sour oranges, flesh side down on the grill and cook until charred, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the cabbage, fresno pepper, almonds, parsley, onion and radish with the sour orange juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To plate, trim the hot short ribs off the bone and cut on the bias into 1-inch thick slices.  Arrange the bone on a platter or board, fanning the short rib against it. Spoon the the cabbage salad evenly on either side, and garnish with a grilled sour orange.

Guajillo Chile Wet Rub

This dried red chile commonly found in Mexico has the depth of flavor and heat necessary to penetrate a big cut and can handle, hold up and develop deep, rich flavor in the meat over a long cook time.  It is long and narrow in shape, and very tough in texture. The dried fruits are seeded, soaked, and pulverized to a thin paste, then cooked with salt and several other ingredients to produce a thick, red, flavorful marinade.

Yields 1 pint

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup Guajillo pepper powder
1 tablespoon toasted coriander, ground
Juice and zest of 4 oranges
1/4 cup smoked paprika
2/3 cup minced garlic

Mix to combine.

Amara at Paraiso, Miami’s Quintessential Waterfront Restaurant, Opens Thursday, January 11

The time has come to welcome our newest restaurant into the world. Amara at Paraiso opens Thursday, January 11 in Miami’s East Edgewater neighborhood. Located directly on Biscayne Bay in the Paraiso District—the latest master plan development by The Related Group—Amara at Paraiso brings together all the elements of the quintessential Miami waterfront dining experience from environment to cuisine to vibe. The bayside enclave has inspired Schwartz and the team led by Executive Chef Michael Paley to cultivate a menu influenced by the bold flavors of Latin America, coastal ingredients, and the diversity that underpins the city’s cultural identity. The restaurant opens with dinner service, with Sunday Brunch following shortly after. Make a reservation here.

“The dynamic energy, local ingredients, and natural beauty that define why we live and visit here are what Amara at Paraiso is all about.  It couldn’t exist anywhere else,” says Schwartz. “This restaurant is in the unique position to bring it all together.  It’s our love letter to Miami and why we are proud to call it home.”

 

Highlighting the open kitchen’s wood grill and Josper charcoal oven, the vibrant menu celebrates clean-eating food and cooking techniques centered around the flame.  Dinner is divided into Snacks, Small, Medium, and Large plates, Vegetables/Sides, and “From the Wood Grill” dishes that are paired appropriately from amongst six complementary and signature Amara Mother Sauces.

Snacks include Grilled Flatbread with chimichurri, fried oregano and lemon; hand-formed Empanadas with Short Rib with olive, raisin and chimichurri, baked in a flakey lard crust; and Corn and Leek with roasted poblano, mozzarella and smoked paprika aioli, fried in a yuca crust. Dish highlights include Banana Leaf Wrapped Cobia with mashed yuca, pickled vegetables, coconut chutney, and grilled lime; Grilled Beef Short Rib with shaved cabbage, Marcona almonds, grilled peppers, and sour orange; and the Amara Feijoada, a beautifully composed spread built around a cazuela filled with layers of specially cooked-ingredients tied together on a bed of deep red, savory Domingo Rojo beans from heirloom purveyor Rancho Grande. Sides include Long Cooked Broad Beans with breadcrumbs and basil.

The beverage program by Assistant General Manager Maria Pottage mirrors Amara at Paraiso’s menu, inspired by Latin American ingredients, artisanal producers of spirits and winemakers, and Miami’s lively melting pot. Cocktails are served on-tap, as single servings or punch bowls, bottled, and shaken or stirred. Calm Before The Coconut recalls a sense of tropical place with Diplomatico Planas rum, Velvet Falernum coconut crème, coconut water, pineapple, lime, salt, and nutmeg, served in a chilled coconut.  Pisco Cafecito is bottled and combines Barsol Quebranta pisco, Don Ciccio Nocino, Luxardo Angioletto, cold brew and chocolate bitters.  La Fresa is served in a coupe, with fresh, local strawberries infused in Plantation 3 Stars rum, ginger, lime and a strawberry garnish. Sommelier Amanda Fraga’s wine program highlights selections from North and South America, with iconic favorites from Europe to round out the list.

Designed as a key part of the Related’s Paraiso District to complement the resort-style living for the soon-to-be residents of the Paraiso development, the restaurant occupies the ground floor of the free-standing Paraiso Beach Club and will soon be flanked by Paraiso Park and boat slips.  Amara at Paraiso is ideally located  just two blocks east of Biscayne Boulevard, offering the public unimpeded access to its entrance with street and valet parking.

The 4,500-square-foot, indoor-outdoor space designed by Meyer Davis Studio, with direct input from the Related and Schwartz teams, celebrates the tropical, bayside environment as an effortless design element to unify the natural beauty of the restaurant’s surroundings. The restaurant includes main dining room and bar seating for 150, with floor to ceiling windows offering dramatic Biscayne Bay views, as well as deck seating for 70 on the water.  Its stunning location and versatile menu make Amara at Paraiso an ideal venue for private dining and events. The approach is warm and inviting, drawing the outside in with white washed paneling, natural woods, and graphic concrete tiles. Detailing is open, honest and relaxed with exposed trusses, and an open double-height steel stair.

Amara at Paraiso is located at 3101 NE 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33137.  The restaurant will be open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 6:00 to 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday 6:00pm to 12:00am, and Sunday 6:00pm to 10:00pm.  For reservations visit amaraatparaiso.com, email reservations@amaraatparaiso.com or call 305-702-5528.  Amara is available for private parties and events; for groups larger than 12 guests email lindsay@michaelschwartzevents.com. For more information including menus, please visit amaraatparaiso.com and follow @amaraatparaiso on social media (where there are lots of Instagram Stories to catch up on!)

Amara is Fired Up for a Proper Argentine Feast at South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Food in Argentina is not just a piece of meat.  And TGHG executive chef Bradley Herron along with Michael, Tamara, Director of Ops Eric Larkee and Amara at Paraiso executive chef Michael Paley had to wait until the last stop of their menu R&D trip to Buenos Aires this summer to find out at Proper Restaurant.

“They were the ones doing the fresh approach,” Brad explains of the Argentine capital’s brightest chefs. “No one else was doing it at the couple of newer places we visited.  We missed the vegetables, and it was one the the last meals we had. The one that almost got away.”

Now while Amara’s food is not exactly Argentine, nor meant to represent fully the traditional cuisines of Latin America, it is informed by the flavors and the techniques that make them unique.  This decidedly Schwartzian approach to what is largely known as a meat-centric culture felt familiar and exactly the inspiration — or connection — they didn’t even know they were looking for.  It was the last thing the team would have expected to encounter in this journey — which is precisely what journeys are for.

Now, of course to miss the meat would also be to miss the point of traveling to Argentina in the first place.  And there was plenty to be enjoyed, and it too came with discoveries to be made, especially in how beef is processed and butchered, and how this can affect what’s on a menu.  “Beef is processed for efficiency in America, cut in half and hung. There they get the whole animal and so cut a little bit differently and can get better steaks,” Brad continues.  “They have access to certain things from certain places that you just don’t see in the US. Things in our kitchens would just go into the wood chipper for burgers, which is delicious, sure, but we don’t benefit from access to the full muscles, to pull them apart and find the special places that can be featured in a dish.”

If there was an iconic cut of the Argentine menu it would be ribeye, and so at Amara there will be one that eats like it’s not the grass-fed you may have tried and sent back.  Read about that in our post on Joyce Farms. “If they had a big steak on the menu, that’s what they had,” Brad remembers. “We like ribeye, too.  It’s our favorite steak with the right amount of fat to meat ratio.”

Joyce Farms ribeye on the wood grill at Amara.

Michael and the team were so fired up about the eye-opening experience and simpatico team they met at Proper Restaurant that they had to share it with Miami in person. Huge thanks to Lee Schrager for getting on board, as well as our sponsors Esprit Du Vin Fine Wine Merchants. Join us South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, February 24 at 7 p.m.  Inspired by experiences in their travels to develop Amara’s menu, Chef and Amara executive chef Michael Paley will collaborate on a menu celebrating a new bright and fresh approach to traditional South American flavors and ingredients with Augusto Mayer and Samuel Alex Fitzgerald of the much buzzed about Buenos Aires-based eatery Proper.  $250 (gratuity included, tax is not) includes a waterfront reception with the chefs putting out snacks off the wood grill at sunset, followed by a three course dinner including dessert and paired wines from the Esprit du Vin Fine Wine Merchants portfolio, in the heart of downtown Miami. Click here for tickets and check out the menu here first!

Reception on the Beach Terrace
Grill Items: 4  items
Proper 1 – Provleta cheese with pickled dates and roasted onion and peppers
Proper 2 – Lamb cutlets with roasted eggplant and chermoula
Amara 1 – Amara Chorizo: Red, Verde, Seafood with mother sauces
Amara 2 – Grilled Oysters, farofa, vinaigrette

Dinner
First Course: Amara
Local Flounder Tartare, blood orange aguachile, radish, toasted pumpkin seed

Second Course: Proper
Dish 1 – preserved olives with roasted haricot vert
Dish 2 – Grilled calamari with broccoli and fermented bean aioli
Dish 3 – leek with pea purée fried garlic and pecorino
Third Course: Amara
Grilled Joyce Farms Grass Fed Ribeye, bone marrow, domingo rojo beans, malibar spinach, preserved sour orange

Dessert: Proper & Amara (alternating)
Proper- Flan of dulce de leche with soft cream
Amara- Ginger Guava Mille Feuille

Joyce to the World of Grass-Fed Beef

From soil health to genetics, North Carolina-based Joyce Farms does grass-fed beef right, because that’s the only way Ron Joyce knows. Standing behind the tasty intersection of tradition, science and passion, Joyce’s energy is palpable through the phone as we recount how a jet-setting French chick became a worldwide calling to find lost heritage breeds and do the work to raise them the way they’re supposed to be raised.

“No day is ever the same,” he says. “We were in meetings on Friday, and then I saw your missed call.  It’s one foot in this year and one foot in the next.”

In November, Amara at Paraiso chef Michael Paley and senior sous Max Makowski paid Joyce Farms a visit to check in on his product mix and talk sourcing for our new restaurant’s menu including dry-aged grass-fed ribeye.  So for about a month now, I’ve been wanting to catch up with this man behind one of the most exciting ranching operations in the U.S.  It’s been much longer than that since we last connected — on Michael’s first visit in 2010 to get acquainted with the now so familiar bird on the Michael’s Genuine menu — Poulet Rouge.  Joyce left one of those impressions that sticks with you, though.  Something in his voice rang true.  Genuine…  The same voice greeted me on the phone last week, but with news to share about the his consortium of farms, the company’s focused growth and his current projects that have our ears perked.

“People eat our beef and they can’t believe the flavor. They also can’t believe it’s raised 100% on grass,” he says. “I cringe when my friends say it’s rough and you have to get used to the difference in taste. Most grass-fed beef isn’t appetizing, because it’s complicated to produce, and most are doing it wrong. This is unfortunate of course for everyone trying to do it right.”

Aberdeen Angus

Doing it right we learn is more scientific than we could have ever imagined, not to mention more expensive.  Ron explains that people tend to forget grain has been status quo since WWII. Corn is cheap, but it’s not natural and collateral damage included a shift in fat content from unsaturated to saturated, an increase in the presence of E. coli, and a change in the pH of the meat.

“When Michael Pollan published The Omnivore’s Dilemma, it was a game changer,” Joyce says. “Demand outpaced supply for grass-fed.  People were gravitating to it for the health benefits, like better Omega 6 to 3 ratio.”

The whole thing started with Poulet Rouge, and Joyce blames his father, who was with another livestock company in the ’50s and ’60s.  He would talk about how disappointed he was in how chicken had changed.

“As a younger person I put that off thinking this is about a guy getting older lamenting about the past and ‘the good old days’,” he explains.  “But then other people started saying the same thing. And then I went to France which changed everything. It made me realize that people don’t remember here in the States how it used to be.  Only the older folks do!”

Joyce explains that in Europe, they’re called industrial chickens, and most butcher shops, a fixture in every neighborhood, don’t sell industrial.  “You have a choice over there, and in many ways that’s the short term goal here.”

Chef Paley, chef Max and the team at Amara during one of four preview dinners this week. With the Art Basel pop-up wrapped, it’s time to shift gears for opening in January.

This chicken problem was the problem that got him started, and the French helped him chose the Label Rouge, a naked neck bird with thin skin at half the thickness of its industrial counterparts that renders crispy. It took Joyce a while to break even, but after they made these birds sustainable the question was naturally, what else?  In America it has been cheap and large for decades. The meat and poultry is market driven here.  It’s a give-the-people-what-they-want mentality that can be poison for a food system.  And labels aren’t helping.  They can be downright misleading. Free-range this, and pastured that.  Semantics, however, mean something.  They can mean everything. They can create a movement, even.

“Chefs were asking do you know anyone doing great grass-fed?,” he continues. “They would say how they’d get requests, and then dishes would be sent back! Feedback was that it tasted gamey and livery. Something wasn’t right and I knew it didn’t have to be that way. Then we found Allen.”

Disillusioned with what universities were researching and teaching on big Ag’s dime, this farmer, Dr. Allen Williams gathered a band of rebels and dropped out of the system to form a consultancy and started working on cattle.  They found that the genetics in the animal had changed to be efficient on corn.

Allen Williams, Joyce’s soil guy.

“The animals simply didn’t do well on grass anymore,” Joyce explains. “Everything in a pasture has a purpose. If you plant a monoculture, one kind of grass and the grass is too green you get minerals and that off-putting taste. Fertilizer kills all the natural organic matter, especially weeds which are a natural dewormer.”

With no choice but to go back to the trough, a farm can get sucked into a viscous cycle that eventually kills everything. Soil becomes compacted. It loses the ability to absorb water, so there’s runoff and loss of top soil. “Animals have a strong sense of what they need to eat it, but if it’s not there.”

No grain finishing here, just fire for the Aberdeen Angus ribeye.

Now the company’s genetics and foraging expert, Dr. Williams is a sixth generation farmer and holds a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from Clemson University and a
Ph.D. in Genetics & Reproductive Physiology from LSU.  He has focused on soil and regenerative farming techniques to develop a grazing cocktail for the cattle comprised of 18-24 different plants including legume. Happy cows indeed. In three years, they were able to lower impact costs and eliminate use of pesticides and insecticides. This is not what your extension agent is telling you to do. This is not only maintaining soil health through a natural process, but restoring pastures to the way it used to be.  Bison will be next, the ultimate expression of this principle, because of course, prairie animals don’t belong on feed lots and there are only a handful of suppliers even doing grass.  Joyce will be field harvesting, because bison don’t like to be handled and agitation manifests bad flavors in the final product.  It’s a full-on, holistic approach to the entire ecosystem around commercial livestock and a commitment to doing it right.

“This doesn’t work if you grab a jug every time you see a pest. You have to rethink what that bug is,” he reflects.  “It’s not actually a pest. It’s an insect, and the good ones out number the bad.”