Have Your Pizza and Make It with Chef, too, at Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz

 

We just can’t get enough and apparently neither can you! Michael is making the rounds – the pizza rounds – to host cooking classes with dinner included at The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants. Snag your spot before he runs out of gas!

Next up is our honest Italian spot for feel-good food — Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz at SLS Brickell in the heart of Downtown Miami. Whether after work with friends or for date night, this three course interactive meal experience including pizza-making session with Chef hits the spot. Tickets are now live here for his dinner and class on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30PM. Enjoy the following menu and be a part of the show with a spread of toppings to choose from for $105 all inclusive.  Learn to form and shape your own pizza — and only share if you feel like it!  No matter how you slice it, a night in good company and fun is ahead.

Pizza Making Activity Menu | served family-style

PASSED SNACKS bruschetta – eggplant spread – chickpea fritters
SALAD signature tableside caesar served with garlic croutons, anchovy and parmigiano
PIZZA make your own with assorted toppings
DESSERT chef’s choice, served individually
LIBATIONS welcome cocktail, sangria and beer

 

 

Kneading Lessons & a Learning Legacy on the Road with the Vetri Family

Growth happens when we are exposed to new things — or sometimes, the same things but new ways of doing them.  When we have those with the experience, passion and patience to teach us, something beautiful happens in the exchange.  An invitation to cook at the annual Great Chefs Event for Alex’s Lemonade Stand in Philadelphia last week presented such an opportunity for The Genuine Hospitality Group culinary assistant Dillion Wolff — to stage at Vetri Cucina, thanks to Michael and friend Marc Vetri.  A chef respected by his peers for his talent and heart, Marc has cultivated a stable of acclaimed chefs and restaurants since his flagship Vetri Cucina opened in Philly in 1998. It’s hard enough to be a for-profit business in this business, so 20 years is many lifetimes in the restaurant world, especially when you are also running a foundation in tandem.  Vetri Cucina set the tone and proved a solid foundation from which to build, recognized for the level of care taken in honoring and elevating the traditional Italian kitchen.  Its special tasting menu has minted this gem in the canon of American dining and won multiple James Beard Awards for its offspring, Jeff Michaud and Mike Solomonov to name a few.  If Marc is the OG progenitor, Vetri Cucina is the primordial Italian wedding soup.

The dining experience at Vetri is an ode to the mother country and its love of food unlike any other. In addition to the dining room, guests can arrange for private dinners, as well as partake in cooking classes on site.  As Dillion found out, perhaps the education most important happens daily among its cooks in service — a recipe of teamwork and technique.  It’s a place where bread, pasta and even polenta made from scratch means milling the flour in house.

“Going into it there were a few things I was curious about, like making fresh pasta, for example,” Dillion reflected on the phone Monday.  “How they run service is so different than Harry’s or Genuine Pizza — even Michael’s Genuine or Amara.  We are talking a 30 seat restaurant where 40 covers is a crazy busy night.”

TGHG Culinary Director Bradley Herron snagged Dillion for his team in February 2017 from Michael’s Genuine, where he had been working the line for a year after interning there during culinary school.  The culinary assistant role is a unique one, providing support to all Genuine group entities — from Amara at Paraiso to Fi’lia in the Bahamas to our commissary kitchen — with ongoing training, their chefs with last minute help on the line, working Michael Schwartz Events including private parties from cocktail receptions to cooking classes and off-site catering, and handling special projects.  Really everything under the sun.  Most recently, Dillion worked with the Genuine Pizza cookbook team on a week-long photoshoot.  The 150 pictures of recipes and lifestyle shots due to publisher Abrams Books quickly became 180, including several step by step instructive images for which he and colleague Brandon Green served not only as prep cooks but subjects.

Some of the Genuine Pizza cookbook photo wall, most of Dillion’s hands!

“This job requires flexibility and versatility, but it demands a good attitude,” Bradley explained.  “You have to be able to jump in to help and get things done at a moment’s notice, and they need to be done right. Dillion is as fast as he is proficient, but these are strengths that as a cook you always want to be improving upon.  That comes with experience, time on the line and repeated exposure to new environments and things.”

Dinner at Vetri is conceived based on each table, and everything isn’t the same.  The on the fly structure is part of the challenge, the fun and the instruction.

“It was cool to see how dynamic the approach is with the tasting menu,” Dillion reflects.  “It’s not just what the chef wants to do, it’s trying to make the diner’s experience as custom and to their tastes and food preferences as possible.”

The first day, Dillion was a fly on the wall for service, and they would make him an extra of each dish to taste. Tuesday was spent with the baker, milling fresh flour and baking bread.  He worked service with “pasta guy” and also helped with private events upstairs.

“Matt, the executive chef… On Monday he was the dishwasher.  I mean, it really sets the tone when the first courses come in heavy and the pasta cook comes in to help put it out.  You could tell in the kitchen that it was a huge team effort,” he reflected. “Everyone will do whatever. The whole operation is impressive, the attention to detail and craft but also people being genuine with each other — and incredibly welcoming to me.  They didn’t want to ask me to do things, like the stuff that’s not glamorous, and I’m there to work and to do anything. I had so many questions and no one got annoyed with me!”

The City of Brotherly Love indeed. Something we can all benefit from emulating!  Follow Dillion on Instagram @dillion_wolff.

It’s Even Better in The Bahamas with Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz

Traveling to The Bahamas just got a whole lot tastier!  Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz opens today just a 42 minute pond jump away on Nassau.  Located on the Baha Mar property in the main casino floor just steps from SLS Baha Mar, the new 299-room hotel our partners at sbe opened last month, this is the restaurant’s first international outpost and second location after opening at SLS Brickell in Miami last year.

The “Mistaken” (a Negroni Spagliato) is a spritz twist on the classic aperitivo that swaps gin for prosecco.

Chef, Bradley, Eric and I were down last week as part of the last wave of visits and some yet-to-depart implants collectively known as “task force”.  This system in place to support Fi’lia’s opening team from start to finish line — think part placenta, part brain trust — involves an orchestra of players from sbe and The Genuine Hospitality group with expertise in front and back of house. On our agenda was mock service, tastings, final menu formatting, food and spacial shoots, and fine tuning the dining room for lighting and sound.  Where the bulk of the important foundational work occurs gradually over a period of months tracked methodically through a “critical path” spreadsheet and meetings to check in on progress, the 11th hour is a critical stage in the process visible even to the untrained eye where everything comes into sharp focus.

The idea is to make sure there is enough institutional knowledge and depth on the ground to have the resources required to handle anything thrown the restaurant’s way. This is an all-hands-on-deck troubleshooting and brain-stretching exercise, where you have planned for everything especially the things you can’t control.  From menu covers stuck in LA to cocktail tags printed from the only Miami vendor that was open and able the week before the holiday to mule with cookbooks in checked luggage, it ain’t always pretty… but this is what openings are all about and why we love what we do.  And then you have a restaurant!

The host with the most.

“The hospitality on island has been second to none, and we are fortunate to have a hard working team that is digging in with a smile in the true Bahamian spirit,” says Chef.  “We can’t wait to share with guests the same incredible welcome we’ve experienced here in The Bahamas!”

We have a particular soft spot for a familiar face — Fi’lia’s Executive Chef Thomas Tennant — veteran of the TGHG culinary family who comes with Caribbean seasoning from his time on Grand Cayman as chef de cuisine of Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink.  Later leading menu implementation, working with international staff and honing his talent for “fixing” provisions from the lower decks with Royal Caribbean, Thomas earned the TGHG title of “Special Ops Chef” for a reason and those skills will no doubt serve him here.

Fi’lia is inspired by the simplicity of Italian cuisine, featuring a menu of straightforward dishes that highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients, housemade pasta and memorable signatures like the Tableside Caesar Salads.  Like Miami, Fi’lia’s dinner menu features Small, Large and Extra Large plates alongside Snacks, Sides, Pasta and Pizza. To start, Beef Carpaccio is Chef Schwartz’s twist on the classic featuring sunchoke, green onion pecorino and mustard vinaigrette, while the Extra Large Grilled Whole Snapper features tomato, Calabrian chile, mint and grilled bread. Rustic pizzas are served with creative topping combinations like Pistachio Pesto with ricotta, charred onion and pecorino.

The Tableside Caesar is prepared from scratch from dressing to grated parmigiano finish on a roaming cart, dispatching delicious smells of toasted garlic croutons in the dining room as it passes. Cocktails are refreshingly uncomplicated with specialties including a section of Spritz. With a focused wine list, Fi’lia celebrates Italian, regional varietals and American wines with an old world sensibility.

Located at One Baha Mar Blvd, Nassau, The Bahamas at Baha Mar Casino, Fi’lia is open Monday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. serving lunch and dinner. For reservations and menus, please visit filiarestaurant.com or call 242-788-8212.  As part of sbe’s larger movement to bring signature specialties in innovative cuisine and dynamic nightlife to The Bahamas, the group also operates Cleo, Monkey Bar (the signature SLS lobby bar) and Bungalow Pool Bar & Grill at SLS Baha Mar, with Privilege and Skybar coming in early 2018. Additionally, Katsuya (sbe’s modern take on classic Japanese cuisine) opened in mid-August on the Baha Mar Casino floor, and Bond, sbe’s nightlife concept, is debuting December 29th, offering late-night entertainment as the destination’s see-and-be-seen place to be.

Genuine Holiday Hours | Here’s When to Eat, Drink & Be Merry at Our Restaurants

We look forward to spending the most wonderful time of the year with the most wonderful people.  Here are our 2017 Holiday Hours to help you plan your festive gatherings with us and those you love!  For catered events and large party private dining, please contact Lindsay Guidos at MICHAEL SCHWARTZ EVENTS.

MICHAEL’S GENUINE® FOOD & DRINK
Thanksgiving
 | Thursday, November 23: Closed
Christmas Eve | Sunday, December 24:
Open for Brunch and dinner until 10:00pm.
Christmas Day | Monday, December 25: Closed
New Year’s Eve | Sunday, December 31:
Open for Brunch and dinner until Midnight
New Year’s Day 2018 | Monday, January 1, 2018:
Open for lunch regular hours and dinner: 5:30 – 11:00pm
Regular Hours of Operation
Brunch: Sunday 11am – 3pm
Lunch: Monday – Saturday 11:30 am – 3pm
Afternoon: Monday – Sunday 3 – 5:30pm
Dinner:  Monday – Thursday 5:30 – 11pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30pm – Midnight, Sunday 5:30 – 10pm
Genuine Happy Hour: 1/2 off oysters, snacks, cocktails, wine & beer 4:30-7:30 weekdays at the bar

HARRY’S PIZZERIA® [DESIGN DISTRICT, COCONUT GROVE, DOWNTOWN DADELAND]
Thanksgiving
 | Thursday, November 23: Closed
Christmas Eve | Sunday, December 24: Regular Hours
Christmas Day | Monday, December 25: Closed
New Year’s Eve | Sunday, December 31: Regular Hours
New Year’s Day 2018 | Monday, January 1, 2018: Regular Hours
Regular Hours of Operation: 
Sunday 11:30am–10pm
Monday 11:30am–11pm
Tuesday 11:30am–11pm
Wednesday 11:30am–11pm
Thursday 11:30am–11pm
Friday 11:30am–12am
Saturday 11:30am–12am

GENUINE PIZZA [AVENTURA*]
Christmas Eve 
| Sunday, December 24: Close at 8:00pm. Aventura Mall closes at 6:00pm
Christmas Day
 | Monday, December 25: Closed
New Year’s Eve 
| Sunday, December 31: Close at 10:00pm.  Mall closes at 7:00pm
New Year’s Day 2018
 | Monday, January 1, 2018: Regular Hours
Regular Hours of Operation: 
Sunday 11:30am–10pm
Monday 11:30am–11pm
Tuesday 11:30am–11pm
Wednesday 11:30am–11pm
Thursday 11:30am–11pm
Friday 11:30am–12am
Saturday 11:30am–12am
*ATLANTA TBD

ELLA
Thanksgiving
 | Thursday, November 23: Closed
Christmas Eve
 | Sunday, December 24: 11am – 5pm
Christmas Day
 | Monday, December 25: Closed
New Year’s Eve
 | Sunday, December 31: 11am – 5pm
New Year’s Day 2018 
| Monday, January 1, 2018: 11am – 6pm
Regular Hours of Operation: 
Monday – Saturday 9am – 7pm, Sunday noon – 5pm

FI’LIA
Thanksgiving
 | Thursday, November 23: Regular hours
Christmas Eve
 | Sunday, December 24: Regular hours
Christmas Day
 | Monday, December 25: Regular hours
New Year’s Eve
 | Sunday, December 31: Regular hours
New Year’s Day 2018 
| Monday, January 1, 2018: Regular hours
Regular Hours of Operation: 
Sunday 7am–10:30pm
Monday 7am–10:30pm
Tuesday 7am–10:30pm
Wednesday 7am–10:30pm
Thursday 7am–10:30pm
Friday 7am–12am
Saturday 7am–12am

 

[UPDATED] All Smiles, No (Significant) Damage & See You Tomorrow at MGFD, ella pop café, Harry’s Pizzeria Downtown Dadeland

As of Thursday, September 14:

Harry’s Pizzeria in Coconut Grove is back online and opened at 4pm!

As of Wednesday, September 13:
We are currently preparing to reopen with regular business hours ASAP as follows:

OPEN TODAY
HARRY’S PIZZERIA® Downtown Dadeland and Miami Design District 
MICHAEL’S GENUINE® FOOD & DRINK
ELLA POP CAFE

OPEN FRIDAY
FI’LIA BY MICHAEL SCHWARTZ

We will advise as soon as HARRY’S PIZZERIA® Coconut Grove is back online, as it’s currently dealing with power issues.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND STAY SAFE IN YOUR RETURNS AND RECOVERY!

TGHG executive chef Bradley Herron’s breakfast treat this morning for Senior Director of Human Resources and Administration Charles Bell. Lucky.

Sous chef Randy prepping for tomorrow’s reopening.

We are extremely lucky. Such is the sentiment you’ll probably find expressed from Miamians the city over today. Despite challenges with power and downed foliage and the occasional complication associated with water damage, our restaurants and teams are in great shape sustaining virtually zero damage and preparing to reopen tomorrow pending rounding up staff and power. Here is the latest from the home front:

MGFD, ella and Harry’s in Downtown Dadeland will be open tomorrow business as usual and with regular hours. Please visit their websites or Google for quick access to accurate hours, location, contact, menus and more.

We are out of power at Harry’s in Coconut Grove and the Miami Design District (where the only losses are a stolen smoker from our chain gated back lot (looters cut the fence), ripped awnings, and blown away planters. FPL estimates Grove power will be restored by the 17th. We are holding out for sooner (being that it’s also my neighborhood!)  Word on Fi’lia coming soon, and despite a collapsed crane on the Paraiso Bay property, Amara is all systems go on schedule with what appears to be no damage or backtracks to construction.

Cheers y’all. I’m working remotely from my brother’s apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn currently until Thursday with my cat Kittie.  Per usual, updates here and on all our social feeds. Hope everyone is ok and wishing all a swift return and recovery.