Cypress Tavern will Close Sunday, April 30

After four years of making dining a little more special on the other side of the mainland tracks, Michael and The Genuine Hospitality Group have decided to close Cypress Tavern.  The American Grill & Cocktail Bar will serve its final dinner service on Sunday, April 30. The restaurant will remain open as a venue for private events. Book special lunches, dinners and more with that Cypress touch through Michael Schwartz Events at its new website michaelschwartzevents.com.

Opened in March 2013 as The Cypress Room to immediate national and local acclaim, the restaurant was committed to celebrating an expression of fine dining the way it was meant to be, through the lens of Old Florida. With Frog’s Legs and Wood Roasted Bone Marrow whisked off the pass and smiles in the intimate, chandelier-studded dining room, warm hospitality reigned and mindfulness of the guest experience expressed itself in attention to detail and special touches at the mahogany bar.  Enjoying recognition on Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants List and 3 1/2 stars from the Miami Herald, The Cypress Room was a beloved favorite and “hidden gem” for those in the know who appreciated its vivid expression of spirit and sense of place, a nod to the past that sparked innovation and creativity in the kitchen — always balanced and stemming from respect of the classics — during its tenure on the outskirts of the Design District.

Eater National’s Bill Addison referred to The Cypress Room’s “odd, wonderful formality” as not taking itself too seriously in 2014, something the restaurant further embraced when it was reborn as Cypress Tavern in the fall of 2015.

“It’s never easy to close the book on a project you feel genuinely proud of, but our lease term is ending, and it’s time to move on,” Michael explains. “I owe so much to the teams over the years that have nurtured this place and contributed to it becoming so much more than we ever could have imagined. I’m humbled by the support we have received over the years from our guests. No decision like this is ever easy, but for us, it’s the right one.

Now Scheduling Interviews The Genuine Hospitality Group Job Fair | Spring 2017 Edition

It’s that time again!  We are excited to announce our spring job fair, which will take place this coming Thursday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our corporate headquarters, 3936 North Miami Avenue on the second floor (above Harry’s Pizzeria in the Miami Design District!)  We are now booking interviews in advance – send your resume to careers@thegenuinehospitalitygroup.com to schedule prior to Thursday.

We are laser focused on growing the company with great people, and regular job fairs are a perfect way for representatives from each restaurant to meet with potential candidates.  It’s all about finding the right fit.

We are looking for dependable, reliable, passionate and professional staff members with great attitudes and personalities to join the team! If you are committed to delivering an exceptional dining experience and enjoy working in a dynamic environment, apply in person with your resume.

The fair will recruit for all front and back of house positions including restaurant manager, bartender, host/hostess, barista, pizza cook, line cook, sous chef, server, and busser. The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants include Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink (fresh, simple, pure), Cypress Tavern (American Grill & Cocktail Bar), ella (light and airy café), and Harry’s Pizzeria® (neighborhood American pizzeria) which is expanding to Downtown Dadeland (Kendall/Pinecrest) in early summer, in addition to its current two locations (Miami Design District and Coconut Grove).  Join team Michael Schwartz!

The Peak of Seasoned: Commissary Goals

There’re a lot to be said for writing things down. Releasing your desired reality out into the universe, having them in type — or in my case script — there to remind you.  To look at every so often, sometimes more than others.  And to be astonished one day that it’s time to make new ones because what you’ve set out to accomplish is now, seemingly suddenly, real.  Growth is a thing you commit to and when you do, something magical happens where what was so unknown becomes the most familiar thing in the world.

img_8973We set goals here at The Genuine Hospitality Group.  Our people do and so does our company.  It’s hard to imagine that the idea seemed foreign just a year and a half ago.  Now at the start of the year, it’s not just goals for our business, I set personal ones, too.  Even hashtag them.

“It’s unfolding like an onion,” says Michael.  He’s speaking about our new commissary kitchen, but I know it’s a metaphor for what’s happening now writ large.  What unfurls when something is set into motion.  “So many exciting opportunities will come from this project.”

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Strawberries in the fields at Knaus Berry Farms. We want them all.

We got into the large space a month ago, and executive chef Bradley Herron will tell you we’ve already grown out of it.  It’s not hard to imagine, I found visiting last Wednesday with MJ Garcia who is exploring “the savory side of life”, captaining the project at ground zero.  But for Bradley, our MGFD pastry chef was just the right person for the job.

“Brad stitched me for the part,” MJ explains.  “I’m learning how to administer and organize my time, figuring out how the proteins work, how to utilize the space properly.”

The journey began around summer’s end, and the understanding that there was opportunity to build out Michael Schwartz Events and our catering capability quickly became the realization that we could centralize production for our restaurants, capitalize on product at the peak of season and get as much of it and out of it as possible.  For Brad and Michael this has opened up the potential to rethink how we do things, the possibilities for ingredients and sourcing, the development of people at this facility and at the restaurants that comes with increased efficiency.  Imagine the doors this opens for creativity.

“Michael connected with Margie from Bee Heaven Farm and hashed a plan with the chefs,” MJ explains.  “We bring in whatever she has leftover from the weekend market and in abundance.  We take as much as we can and get to work preserving, dehydrating, processing things fresh, incorporating it into sauces, veal stock.”

After a space was identified and lease signed, Brad along with culinary assistant Megan Hess just started showing MJ the savory ropes. Recipes were dialed in, and once the space was delivered and equipment online thanks to heavy lifting from TGHG VP of Development Patrick Brown, programmed into a combioven which MJ swears could basically take care of her child.

“I put the eggs for the mayo in there, right in the crate. There is no movement, no breakage.  And the time it saves!  Brad built this operation for efficiency. Everything is big enough to climb into.”

Coffee is the first item on the check list in any kitchen Brad and Michael are running.

Good coffee is the first item on the check list in any kitchen Brad and Michael are running.

“You don’t have service so you have time to pay attention to details and make sure product comes out the same way every time,” MJ continues.  “We have a unique opportunity to basically work without the million variables at odds in a busy restaurant. The time pressure now is different. It’s scheduling and planning, forecasting the needs of the restaurants.”

She’ll say she’s slowly taking on more production, that she was terrified the first week getting into the space.  But as an outsider to this process observing it for the first time, the progress they’ve made since the fear of January 2 is nothing short of astounding.  In one month MJ has gone from fish out of water to conservatively comfortable, owning the first (and longest) cooking stages of the prep for proteins and so much more that she’s already hiring more staff to handle it all.

Combimagic: 3 cases of octopus -- a week's worth of octopus in one day that MGFD will then take an wood oven roast or add to its daily pasta set up. We control temperature, humidity and pressure -- basically every element of the cooking process.

Combioven magic, no joke.  This rig has been programmed to cook 3 cases of octopus in one day — that’s a week’s worth for MGFD which it will wood oven roast or add to the daily pasta set up. We can control temperature, humidity and pressure — basically every element of the cooking process.

“When they order I have to be ready,” MJ says of the constant communication with the restaurants as the process synchronizes. “Most of this is lead time stuff so by nature it requires forecasting. 8-10 hours of cooking overnight for most of the proteins like the pork belly, pastrami, short rib, pig ears… The bacon is just rubbed but I’m smoking it here so again, that’s a process that takes time.  I’m still building up a base pantry and learning our pars but then again they’re going to change as we continue to develop new catering offerings.  We are creating a pattern of what we need, don’t need, one thing at a time as I get my feet on the ground and understand the rhythm of things.  We want to train and do things in the right way.”

Brad is guiding MJ through planning based on restaurant sales and previous orders, as well as weekly forecasts of covers.  Then there’s the innovation that happens when the tail can wag the dog, maybe anticipate what the restaurants might not even know they need.  Sometimes she’ll work special projects for Cypress Tavern if Max requests, like duck confit. She’s caramelizing the onions and slicing the chips for MGFD’s dip, cutting and crisping potatoes for fries and cabbage for the pastrami, building ella’s grilled cheese sandwiches for the griddle.  The list goes on and will continue to grow when she takes on something familiar next month — pastry production with assistant Alex Sarria.

“I go every morning to check on the girls,” MJ says. “And then I surprise drop in and taste twice a week with the night crew.”

 

For Michael it’s not just about capitalizing on bumper crops for pricing and quality, it’s about investing in our people.  That’s the thing about goals.  By design they need to be measurable and achievable and to make them so, you time stamp and list who’s on the journey with you.  Because you can’t do it alone, ever.  We like to say we know more what we don’t want than what we do.  And that’s perfectly fine too.   Many thanks to TGHG Managing Partner and Harry’s Holdings CEO Sunil Bhatt for teaching us about goals.  Onward and upward.

Meat Us Wednesdays at Cypress Tavern for Porterhouse, Pots & Port

fullsizerender-68Especially in Miami, especially when it refuses to cool off (patience!), we crave the winter vibes.  We break out the brown liquors, reds with structure, and yes, the meat.  It just feels like the right thing to do and indulging is always more fun with friends.  So gather some and head to Cypress Tavern because Wednesdays are now about upping the steak dinner game in a big, sharable way.

Beginning next week until March 29, our guests can enjoy the restaurant’s signature large plate off the wood grill, a 32 oz. Dry-Aged Porterhouse, with a choice of two sides – Grilled Asparagus, Thrice Cooked Fries Whipped Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts or Leeks Gratin – with two glasses of Michael and Eric’s Nebbiolo blend with Jim Clendenen, Lua Rossa No. 4, for $89. $22 more will get a full bottle, a glass more each to go the distance.  Because that’s what we would do.

ct_meat-us-wednesday-menuChef Schwartz also recommends aficionados handle it like he would, with surf.  Add a Wood Grilled Giant Prawn (PA) for the table, basted with garlic butter, seared off to a tender char and served with a cheek lemon to squeeze, the essential bright cut.

Round out the experience with a healthy dram of Smith Woodhouse 10 yr Tawny Port to savor with Cypress’ decadent Chocolate Pot de Crème complete with soft whipped cream and sugar-toasted brioche for $18.  Says beverage manager Amanda Fraga, “Dessert wines are kind of magic.  When paired properly they can really enhance a dessert by adding a new layer of flavor. Here we add notes of caramel notes to the chocolate.”  Brainer, no brainer.

To reserve a table, email reservations@cypresstavern.com or call 305.520.5197. $5 Design District Valet is available, as well as street parking in the city lot in between 37th and 38th street. Full menus and more information are available at cypresstavern.com.

Lua Rossa likes meat, too.

Lua Rossa likes meat, too.

Valentine’s at Cypress: Love is in the Tavern for Dinner & Brunch

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Follow up Valentine’s Day dinner by toasting a special weekend brunch.

No need to coax the team at Cypress Tavern to show the love, especially on the most romantic night of the year. These intimacy professionals will set the mood for a flawless experience with a few more special somethings for your special someone for Valentine’s Day 2017.

Prix Fixe Dinner – Enjoy 3 courses including a choice of appetizers, entrées and desserts created especially for the romantic evening on Tuesday, February 14 by chef de cuisine Max Makowski.  $89 per person plus tax and gratuity includes a half bottle of Champagne for each couple, with available truffle supplement to any dish for $15. The complete a la carte dinner menu will also be available. The restaurant opens a little earlier to accommodate all kinds of love birds beginning at 5:30.

The color of love is Bloody Mary.

The color of love is Bloody Mary.

All the Brunch Feelings – Because there’s always more love to go around, each guest dining on Valentine’s Day will feel it with an invitation to return for Weekend Brunch and receive their first bloody or mimosa complimentary on Saturday, February 18 or Sunday, February 19.

To reserve a table, email reservations@cypresstavern.com or call 305.520.5197. Cypress Tavern is located at 3620 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33137.  $5 Design District Valet is available, as well as street parking in the city lot in between 37th and 38th street. Menus and more information are available at cypresstavern.com.

Cypress Tavern’s cozy American Grill and Cocktail Bar offers a warm, welcoming and festive experience in a room like no other, perfect for sharing an intimate meal over candle light on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day.  James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Schwartz and Chef de Cuisine Max Makowski of Cypress Tavern bring top notch service, as well as a menu built around seasonal ingredients and a wood grill and rotisserie.