Michael’s Genuine® Cleveland Opens Friday, April 12 in the Van Aken District

 

Here we go Cleveland! On Friday April 12, we open Schwartz’s new Ohio outpost of Michael’s Genuine at The Van Aken District in Shaker Heights! We are in the throws of practice services and getting everything tuned up from lighting and ambience, to decor and signage — understanding what the restaurant becomes when the lights go down and service begins.  It’s a feeling out process and the fine tuning is super important to bring the experience to life in the best way.

“Cleveland feels really good, and we’re so excited to finally open and get to know our new community,” says Schwartz, “For us, genuine is a thoughtful approach to hospitality – I’m a chef, but it’s as much about making fresh, simple, pure food that tastes great from quality sources as it is about a tireless attention to detail of every aspect of the dining experience for guests. As we build a new team in a new location, making sure our culture thrives is really important to us. We’ve worked hard to get here and are looking forward to continuing to grow in our new home.”

It’s good to be home away from home with staples like Slow Roasted Short Rib with romesco sauce and cipollini onion.

For the menu, Michael and Ohio-born Chef de Cuisine Vinnie Cimino wanted to incorporate some favorites from home and also celebrate some local things too.  Organized simply with sections of dishes ranging from small to extra-large like Miami, there are many ways to enjoy a meal.  An abundant raw bar with Oysters with classic mignonette, King Crab with green sambal, Snapper Ceviche, and Seafood Tower available in tiered sizes comes off the food bar and oven station — a first!  Greatest hits include Butter Lettuce with orange, duchilly hazelnuts, avocado, and shallot-hazelnut vinaigrette; Crispy Pork Belly with kimchi, crushed peanuts, and cilantro; and Wood Oven Roasted Whole Chicken with plumped currants, toasted pine nuts, and arugula. Schwartz’s upbringing in Philadelphia drew him to old world Cleveland comforts inspiring the Liverwurst Toast snack made with red onion, iceberg lettuce, and yellow mustard. A food sensitivity key makes it easy for guests to know what they’re eating, labeling dishes that are vegan (VE), vegetarian (VG), and gluten free (GF).

Embracing an open floorplan, the restaurant is designed to feel comfortable and welcoming. Guests are first greeted by the butcher block-topped bar and the main dining room behind, through a wood beam slatted partition. Warm woods, polished concrete, marble counters and vibrant red accents channel an easy energy throughout the space, anchored in the far corner by the Marra Forni wood burning hearth and raw bar display. The glass-enclosed dough room is an active workhorse for the menu, where pizza dough is proofed and fresh pastas are handmade daily. In the warmer months, the restaurant expands outdoors to an expansive 50-seat patio with umbrellas.

The beverage program, led by Michael’s Genuine veteran and The Genuine Hospitality Group’s Head Sommelier Amanda Fraga, takes a page from Miami’s approach, where cocktails, beer and wine are interesting, yet familiar, complementing what’s on the table.

“We naturally lean toward food-friendly wines, especially old world styles and classic interpretations,” Fraga explains. “When I first went to Cleveland, I was excited to see such an eclectic style of wine programs at the restaurants I visited. I’m really excited by Cleveland’s adventurous taste and desire to try something new. ”

Cocktails include beloved classic recipes as well as original house twists. Beer selections include diverse styles from local breweries, rotating on tap, as well as an extensive by the bottle list.

Situated in the heart of The Van Aken District in the historic Shaker Heights community just 9 miles east of the Cleveland city center, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Cleveland is located at 3427 Tuttle Road, Shaker Heights, OH. The restaurant opens with dinner service Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., with lunch and brunch hours to follow with the arrival of summer. Reservations are available via OpenTable or by calling the restaurant at 216.230.8022.  For updates on Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Cleveland visit the website and follow @michaelsgenuineCLE on Instagram.

Toasting 12 Years with 12 Hours: We’re Extra Happy for MGFD’s Birthday on Wednesday, March 13

When you’re moving so fast it’s important to take a moment to stop, step back and appreciate what you have. Today one of those moments presents itself, and we’re making a point to celebrate.  A week from today, Michael’s flagship turns 12 and with this milestone another opportunity for growth as Dillion Wolff steps into the role of chef de cuisine of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami. The perspective of a dozen years is important, giving new meaning to what this position means, especially as we ready our new location in Cleveland.

Dillion, with whom we spoke last summer, follows in the footsteps of not just Chef but a long line of talented cooks that have led this formidable kitchen and gone on to do and create great things of their own.  If you’ve dined with us since January, you’ve already enjoyed a taste of Dillion’s understated but notable influence — walking the precarious but rewarding line of honoring the approach and making it all his own.

Last night’s cobia collar special, a perfect example of a genuine dish with contrast of color, temperature and texture.

Congratulations to Dillion on the well deserved promotion — he’s worked hard under the mentorship of the position’s original alumnus, TGHG culinary director Bradley Herron, having a hand in virtually every piece of business under the TGHG umbrella from Michael Schwartz Catering to the Genuine Pizza cookbook, and we can’t wait for what’s in store.

Join us next Wednesday, March 13 to raise a glass to the next chapter and the people inside and out that have contributed to MGFD’s success and form its extended family. Beginning at 11:30 a.m. enjoy an extra long 12-hour happy hour with half off cocktails, wines by the glass and beer, as well as snacks. From 4:30-7:30 p.m., our regular happy hour, we’re pouring a complimentary first glass of sparkling for all guests! Cheers to #MGFD12.

Dillion working the Lynx Grill at the Genuine Pizza cookbook shoot last May.

Be Genuine in CLE. Michael’s Genuine Cleveland is Hiring Now!

It’s that time! We are a little over a month away from Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink in Cleveland’s first service, in full hiring mode and ready to complete our opening team after a successful job fair last week!

As we get to know Cleveland through its people and places we find more and more in common with our new home away from home.  Its rich layers of history command respect, and we have only begun to access at the surface.  We are inspired and motivated.

Dinners out with the team, like last Wednesday at The Black Pig in historic Ohio City, have been opportunities for bonding and also for discovery.  Flanked by Great Lakes Brewery and The Westside Market, the building reveals soul in its structural bones from exposed brick to curiously placed electrical outlets.  These anchors for the city physically and communally form a unique sense of place, and serve as conduit for connection, good energy and creativity.  This is what Genuine in Miami means to us and what we believe it can embody on the road, and so this orientation process is as important for us as any menu item or special cocktail will be come April.

At brunch in Miami during South Beach Wine & Food Festival the weekend before last.

General Manager Katie Syracopoulos and Chef de Cuisine Vinny Cimino, both hospitality veterans hailing from The Land, have been experiencing their own introduction to our culture, working closely with our team here in Miami.  From the office to service and on the line, it’s a feeling out process of what makes us tick here as the flagship approaches 12 years on March 13, and what it can become in Cleveland.

Lots of work to get the space delivered soon! The countertop at the pizza bar and raw bar station went in Thursday, with continued work on the floors including epoxy in the kitchen.

Genuine is a thoughtful approach–not just making food that tastes great from quality ingredients, but a tireless, it-can-always-be-better attention to detail in every aspect of the dining experience.  We are laser-focused on growing the company, and our people, their passion, and desire to contribute to this culture. We are always looking for dependable, reliable, and professional staff members with great attitudes and personalities to join the team and help us be better at what we do.

As we continue to hire all positions front and back of house, email jobs@thegenuinehospitalitygroup with cover letter and resume and click here for open positions. Stay tuned for a video of our time spent so far up north immersing in CLE and building our team as we prepare to open. We can’t wait to share it!

Chefs Schwartz & Sawyer Pop a Cookbook Classics Dinner at Cleveland’s The Greenhouse Tavern

Falafel with tahini sauce & pickled red onions

We’re getting cozy up north!   After so much fun keeping our grills hot and bodies warm in Shaker Heights at Van Aken District’s December Chill & Toast holiday block party, Michael is heading downtown to pop a cookbook dinner with CLE’s host with the most — Chef Jonathan Sawyer!

Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m., The Greenhouse Tavern throws it back welcoming the James Beard Award winning chef duo to cook from the delicious canon of classics that put them on the culinary map.  As always, expect some surprises from an evening with these two!  Tickets are now live here.

The Greenhouse lunch spread on our December visit.

In anticipation of their Cleveland restaurant openings, there’s no better way to get reacquainted with old standbys and meet some new favorites.  Seating is communal and first come, first served.  $100 tickets include the 3-course family-style menu and beverage below (subject to change), a cookbook to take home, and tax and gratuity.  Follow along as we share some of our crowd favorites leading up to the event at #MGFDCLE, some of which are bound for our opening menu in April!  Eat, drink, make friends and be merry.  And see you soon!

Welcome 

Bulletproof Manhattan
Beer Cocktail

Passed

Pan Fried Onion Dip with thick cut potato chips
Falafel tahini sauce & pickled red onion
Schwartz

Bessiere Omelette with house made semolina toast, local cheese & fine herbs
Crispy Confit of Chicken Wings with garlic, black garlic, roasted jalapeño, vinegar & apple
Sawyer

First

Tuna Conserva Salad with marinated vegetables, Rancho Gordo flageolet, red wine vinegar
Schwartz

Artichoke Boullibaise with leeks, dryed provencal olives, market fish, fennel & Absinthe
Sawyer

Second

Slow Roasted & Grilled Short Rib with cipollini onion, cress, romesco, smoked almonds
Schwartz

Wild Ohio Venison with salsa verde, spiced red wine, potato tarte & kale
Sawyer

Third

Chocolate Custard with candied orange rind, hazelnuts, crema
Schwartz

Apple Hay Ride with custard cake, ice cream, toasted pumpkin seeds & ohio apple brandy
Sawyer

To Drink
One white wine, one red wine and one beer
Poured all night long!

Take Home Gift!
A (one) signed (personalized on-site!) copy of the chef’s cookbook of your choice:

Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat by Michael Schwartz

House of Vinegar: The Power of Sour, with Recipes by Jonathon Sawyer

Never out of style – Chef’s Slow Roasted Short RIb!

Once Upon a Cocktail: Throwing Back a Classic Exercise to Suit Both Enthusiast & Curious Barflies

With respect to those that came before, and laid the groundwork for what a House Cocktail is all about and how it comes to be, we present the classics. New to the Michael’s Genuine bar, a devotion to the old standards that never go out of style and always inspire our creative juices.  Beginning today for the immediate future, enjoy our roadmap to explore them with Gabe Urritia of @spiritedmiami and our #mgfdbar team.  You’ll find a portrait shot on-site for Instagram and why you should care according to people and cocktail books we trust in the caption, from origin myths to the specialness that makes them memorable.

The first sip is one familiar in name but an outlier perhaps as a go-to.  Rolls off the tongue smooth but maybe has fallen out of favor.  From now on that changes, at least for me.  I’ve come upon an unlikely new favorite. “Sin azucar” for cafe con leche fix in the morning, but not so after 5pm.  The Sidecar effectively delivers a balanced tangy punch because it’s deeply dusted in sugar.  No longer are rims reserved for salt in my book.  Cheers to that!