First Look at Michael Schwartz’s Park Grove Restaurant, Catered by Michael Schwartz Events

Our first look at the Meyer Davis Studio interiors of Michael’s 2018 restaurant at Related and Terra Group’s Park Grove, and we already feel right at home. Welcome to the ultimate neighborhood restaurant ensconced in a lush front yard park at the corner of Tigertail Avenue and Mary Street in the heart of residential Coconut Grove, Miami.  Brought to life in a garden enclave with indoor and outdoor seating on the grounds of the park, our signature restaurant, like every element on property, draws in the outdoors, reflecting the area’s historical significance and emphasizing the refined Bohemian village lifestyle that informs every aspect of Park Grove.  The rustic dining room features an open-air concept allowing guests a clear view into the kitchen with freshly-made food front and center. This familiar design element is iconic to Michael’s projects and cultivates energy in the dining room, fostering a feeling of warm hospitality and sense of place for residents and visitors alike to feel welcome.

Miami’s original neighborhood of Coconut Grove was founded in 1873 by an eclectic mix of pioneers, artists, intellectuals and adventurers.  Its tropical oasis thrives to this day as Miami’s escape from the stress of city life. Located in the middle of Miami, yet completely separate and quaint, it offers a warm, laid-back atmosphere of charming boutiques, sidewalk cafes and sailboats anchored at the bay. The neighborhood’s distinct bohemian flair allows one to unwind and relax every day of the week and any time of the year, and the restaurant’s location at the corner of Tigertail and Mary Street in the heart of the marina-side village will make it a vibrant addition to Coconut Grove’s dining scene. Daily care and attention to the quality of local sources will be expressed in a menu true to sense of place, the seasons, and proximity to Biscayne Bay, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a take away counter.

Last week, in another property milestone, Park Grove’s development team celebrated the top-off of Two Park Grove and the Club Residences with Will Meyer, co-founder of New York-based Meyer Davis Studio and Chef, who together unveiled the design concept for the development’s restaurant over bites catered by Michael Schwartz Events.  We look forward to following its continued progress!

 

Kale Pizza’s Teachable Moment with Wellness in the Schools

It was a wake up call.   Wellness in the Schools chef Leonor Azpurua asked her 20 seventh and eighth graders which pizza they liked best on the bus home from a field trip to Harry’s Pizzeria where they had sampled among other varieties, kale.   This hearty vegetable was not chopped raw on the pizza and left alone to bomb.  It was thoughtfully combined by a chef who knew the deeply dark and sweet caramelized onions and melty fontina cheese set against the perfect dough cooked just so would set off an explosion of flavor and texture contrasts that would sell even the pickiest of eaters. This is the vegetable that they dislike the most, that they might have had a bad encounter with or just wrote off all together because of its “healthy” reputation. The results of Leonor’s survey were eye opening —  the pizza that they liked the best, with slow roasted pork and even classic cheese on the table, was kale!

From 10-12 a.m. yesterday in the Miami Design District, our McNicol Middle kids soaked in restaurant life the genuine way, as part of Michael’s role of Miami ambassador for Wellness in the Schools.  Wide-eyed and interactive, they asked questions and even listened without any food to taste to speak of until the last half hour.  There was no complaining, despite decadent smells coming from the oven.   As Harry’s became a satellite classroom for the morning, the inner workings of front and back of house were revealed.

Esther’s tiny dough mixing room with its large mixer used to be the restaurant’s office.

We began where everything begins at Michael’s neighborhood American pizzeria — the dough. Pantry cook Esther was already getting set up.  We talked about how ingredients matter especially when it’s so few of them, and how consistency does too and that’s where recipes and communication between staff in front and back of house come in.  What was so apparent to me, underpinning the experience of Esther’s world, was the respect and trust so important to highly functional teams.  Students were able to observe a dialogue at play as we all got a lesson in how to make dough. First, we made sure to get her permission to enter her (small) work space, and we closed the loop by thanking her with “high flour fives” for being so generous with her time and flexible to a change to her morning routine.  When you’re running a restaurant, it’s not a show or demonstration.  It’s the real deal of getting online with deadlines.  Doors are going to open and service commence at 11:30 a.m.  You will receive guests, so you have to be ready!

The Kale Pizza at Harry’s, with caramelized onion, chili flake, fontina, parmigiano

Many thanks to Miami Design District kitchen manager Chris Cantu and restaurant manager Katariina Cerdan for hosting us and sharing a little bit about what makes Harry’s special. And to Michael for his support of Wellness in the Schools as it enters Miami, giving of his time and expertise to such worthy, eager pupils.  Watch him tomorrow on NBC 6 at 11:50 a.m. as he demonstrates grilled octopus with chipotle glaze & crema, the dish Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink will present at CITI Taste of Tennis,  Monday, March 20th from 7-10pm at W Miami.  The charitable partner this year?  Wellness in The Schools. Purchase tickets here.  Maybe octopus needs to be next on the McNicol ingredient list!  We are also excited to visit Charles R. Drew for our first Café Day where we’ll be serving healthy salads with chef Bill Telepan and the rest of the chef troops he’s rounded up in South Florida on Tuesday, March 21.

Genuine Grams | Share Your Favorite Memories & Dishes with #MGFD10

When we look back over the years, and all the menus, there are some things that just stand out as seminally Genuine.  Opening Michael’s Genuine® Pub in 2014 was a great exercise for us to define it. The rows of grilled chicken wings with creamy cucumbers cueing up with thick cut potato chips and pan fried onion dip during training were a clue.  Those dishes that had stuck with us over the years, they were what we wanted to share with a new audience. Then consider the sourcing, and the spontaneity that makes a kitchen an MGFD kitchen, all the important hands that touch the ingredients every step of the way until they land in yours.  And then there’s Chef.

Waxy and Michael at Harry's in 2012.

Waxy and Michael at the original Harry’s Pizzeria in the Miami Design District for his 2012 pop up.

Michael Schwartz is the consummate chef. He is calm, creative, funny and incredibly perceptive. He totally understands what his customers want to eat, and I imagine he probably really cooks the dishes he wants to eat. His style is eclectic, modern with a look back to wood oven cookery, wood grilling and exciting, rustic flavors. His eponymous Michael’s Genuine is exactly that, an homage to the great lexicon of recipes and culinary ideas that make Michael, well, Michael. 

Jonathan Waxman, James Beard Award-winning chef/owner Barbuto (NYC), Waxman’s (San Francisco), Adelle’s (Nashville), and Jam’s (NYC)

As we approach March 13, we’re asking friends and colleagues of Michael’s to share their feelings about what Genuine means to them, and we’re asking you to do the same by sharing your favorite genuine dishes of all time on Instagram and tagging #MGFD10. We will regram them on @michaelsgenuine. It’s all about sharing the love. As we archive dive here and pull some favorites from our opening menus to share at the restaurant in the coming weeks, do the same on your feed as we will on ours.

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Reminder we will be closed for dinner (open for lunch until 3pm!) at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink on Thursday, February 23 as we welcome Jonathan and Marc Vetri for a sold out dinner to celebrate 10 Genuine Years with Chef Michael. If you’re not attending this or another South Beach Wine & Food Festival festivity, our restaurants in the hood and outside it will be open including Harry’s Pizzeria (Miami Design District and Coconut Grove), Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz (Brickell), and Cypress Tavern (Miami Design District).  Ella Pop Café (Miami Design District) until 7pm.

Frank Goodness for Meatloaf

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And on every shelf.

“Let’s say you fall in love with a vegetarian,” it begins.  When it comes to Michael Schwartz, a no more fitting recipe introduction could be conceived for a meatloaf book if you ask Frank Bruni.  The request came in something like this, in spring of ’15.

I write with what I hope is a small and not-too-bothersome request and maybe even falls into the realm of fun invitation. I’m wondering if you have a meatloaf recipe of your own… that you’d be willing to add to the book. It could be red meat, poultry, a fish loaf, even a meatLESS loaf. If it’s from you, it’s a triumph.

Thus began the journey of the Kasha Loaf now on pages 167-171, nuzzled between Zucchini and Borlotti, with words of encouragement spun so convincingly success is inevitable, the silver tongue few others than Mr. Bruni can conjure.  And there is so much more prose to charm on these pages thanks to what mutual feelings on the subject inspired with collaborator, friend and New York Times colleague Jennifer Steinhauer.  Their love letter to an iconic dish close to their hearts, A Meatloaf in Every Oven, is now out as of February 7 in hard cover (Grand Central Life & Style/Hachette), a comfortable clutch-able ode to this familiar comfort food with illustrations by Marilyn Pollack Naron that say, “It’s ok, you can do this. It’s going to be fun, and you’ll learn something Mom would want you to know while you’re at it.”  We are salivating to fan the pages like a globe and point.  Enjoy where Michael landed below and snatch your copy ASAP from your neighborhood bookseller.  We called Books & Books in Coral Gables this morning, and they have a couple in stock. Perfect.

Kasha Loaf

Testing in Michael’s home kitchen a couple of years ago, now realized for your own.

Michael Schwartz’s Kasha Loaf with Caramelized Onion Gravy

Serves 8

1 ½ cup kasha (coarse granulation)
4 large eggs
3 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups minced white onions
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms, washed, stems removed and pulsed 10x in food processor
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound spinach, blanched, cooled, squeezed and finely chopped (you may substitute frozen, well squeezed)
3/4 cup ricotta
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Caramelized Onion Gravy (recipe below)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. To make the kasha, start by adding the vegetable stock, butter, salt and pepper to a pot and bring it to a boil. As the liquid is heating, lightly beat one of the eggs and add to the kasha in a medium sized bowl, stirring to coat the kernels. In a large skillet over high heat, toast the egg-coated kasha, stirring often for 2-3 minutes. Pour into the boiling stock and reduce flame to low. Stir kasha and cover. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the kasha is tender. Let sit for 10 minutes covered, then transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
3. To make the loaf, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown and caramelized, roughly 20 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the onions and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring regularly. Add tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire and soy sauce and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat. When the mixture has slightly cooled, add to the kasha along with spinach, ricotta and Parmesan. Lightly beat the three remaining eggs and add to the bowl. Mix thoroughly and adjust for seasoning.
5. Turn into a non stick loaf pan and pack down using a spatula and by lightly tapping the pan on the table. Bake for 1 hour, until the loaf is brown on top and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before turning out. Slice and serve with Caramelized Onion Gravy and a bitter greens salad

Caramelized Onion Gravy
makes 3 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups minced onion
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable stock

1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil and butter.
2. When the butter has melted, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown and caramelized, roughly 20 minutes. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
3. Purée the mixture and season to taste.

#SOBEWFF 10 Years of Genuine Menu & More #MGFD10 Fun to Come

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As we like to say… Menu subject to change :)

#thisismgfd. We began this hashtag in September, welcoming a new chef into the fold to steward Michael’s flagship into its 10th year of genuine hospitality.  Now we begin another as we approach March 13 when the Champagne will be flowing to give thanks for all that came before and forge ahead into a brave new future.  Today, we’re sharing for the first time the menu for our Thursday, February 23 South Beach Wine & Food Festival dinner.  We are so honored to have respected and dear friends chefs Marc Vetri and Jonathan Waxman join Michael to celebrate the meaning of Genuine.  I think it’s safe to say that it’s the genuine culture and community that has made this restaurant what it is, embracing and fostering Michael’s vision to make Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink bigger than itself.  It is this we toast and cherish, the people that make Genuine mean something.  Follow #MGFD10 as it unfolds, because there’s more to come, and click here for tickets before we run out. 

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Michael and Jim at Au Bon Climat, Santa Maria Valley, blending Lua Rossa no. 3 in 2015.

This year we also crafted an online auction package for the festival which we’re pretty excited about (the kind we’d want to buy ourselves, as it should be!)  Gather 4 friends and sidle up to the heirloom tomato wall as Michael and Brad cook for you at the Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink wood oven station. The beating heart and hearth of the MGFD kitchen since we opened in 2007 is your stage for a multi-course meal paired with iconic, library wines significant to Genuine from Michael’s friend and Lua Rossa collaborator Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat.  Get your bid in here now, or regret it later!