Next Week is The Bee’s Knees!

Thirsty Thursday is the Bee’s Knees, so we have an announcement! Next week The Genuine Hospitality Group is joining Caledonia Spirits in their annual Bee’s Knees Week promotion encouraging creative cocktails in support of bee education. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Amara at Paraiso, and Tigertail + Mary will each feature their own spin on a Bee’s Knees cocktail – traditionally made with gin, lemon, and honey. They will also feature a special dish to be paired with the cocktail, where honey’s the star – of course. Check it out next week only, September 23rd to 29th!  No wonder the expression came to mean “the height of excellence”, popular in the U.S. in the 1920s, along with “the cat’s whiskers”… or meow!

So why now?  Established in 2017, Bee’s Knees Week has collectively donated over $31,000 nationally to non-profit bee and pollinator organizations. The Bee Cause Project is an organization “working to help inspire the next generation of beekeepers and environmental stewards by installing beehives in local schools and organizations.”

You might be saying, what’s all this buzz about bee’s? Why are bees so important? Well, as a big player in pollination, the bee affects the entire balance of our ecosystem. Recently, bee populations have declined rapidly due to threats such as pesticides, mites, and colony collapse disorder. According to Bee Informed, 45.2% of honeybee colonies were lost last year. TGHG is doing our part to help! During Bee’s Knees week, $1 of each cocktail ($12 across all restaurants) benefits The Bee Cause Project. Keep reading to learn more about the special cocktails and dishes buzzing next week, and follow the fun nationwide on social media at #beeskneesweek.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

Cocktail: Bee Keeper Barr Hill Gin, saffron-infused honey, lemon (Jorge Hernandez, Head Bartender) 
Dish: Honey Glazed Wings calabrian chili agrodolce (Dillion Wolff, Chef de Cuisine) Also available during Happy Hour!

Amara at Paraiso

Cocktail: Tarragon with the Wind Barr Hill Gin, tarragon, green chile, honey (Billy Yoder, Bar Manager)
Dish: Fried Queso Blanco honey sherry vinaigrette, aleppo pepper, lemon, fresh herbs, watermelon radish (Michael Paley, Executive Chef) 
Also available during Happy Hour!

Tigertail and Mary

 

 




Cocktail: Miss Beehavior  Barr Hill Gin, shiso-honey, lemon (Jonathan Cano and Austin Conway, Head Bartenders)
Dish: Peach + Speck Pizza taleggio, sofrito, hot honey (Stephen Ullrich, Executive Chef)

 

 

A Friday Morning Trip to the Genuine Commissary, in Numbers

It was my first time at the commissary, and I was in for a treat. As I finished my drive and parked my car outside, right “next to the Empanada place”, the sun was beginning to rise. When I walked in I saw a bustling hive of early rising folks. Everyone is working to complete the prep list of the day before Jean brings the van to whisk everything away and deliver it to the restaurants. Billie Eilish plays in the background. Let’s break down my time here into numbers:

10 people working here. Each with their own task for the day. There’s Myrtille Quillien, head pastry chef for Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Amara at Paraiso and Ella Pop Café. Then Yesenia, her assistant and master donut maker, a dealbreaker for Myrtille when she transitioned in her new promotion from Amara, their former home. CJ is the commissary manager, handles savory production and makes sure all orders are accounted for. Micheline and Nancy work on short rib and pig ears, while Marie is on the fryer for potato chips. Joceline washes dishes, while Stacy and Alex roll out cinnamon rolls and make coconut cake filling. Lastly, Jean loads up the van and makes the rounds dropping off the goodies to each restaurant. Each unique. Each essential to the process working right.

9 things I can see being made when I walk in. Cinnamon rolls, financiers, quiches, coconut cake, mayonnaise, pig ears, short rib, donuts, and potato chips. The days list doesn’t end there though! Many more items are made throughout the day.

8 steps to the coconut cake. 1- Bake the cakes 2-Cut them into sheets for stacking 3- Lay down the first sheet, brush with syrup 4- add frosting to each layer 5- repeat with all of the layers 6- frost the whole cake 7-cover in coconut flakes 8- torch the coconut flakes. This cake is a dessert at Amara and is sometimes featured in Ella’s pastry display.

7 am call time. I am not a morning person, so you can imagine my sentiments. But these are baker’s hours. Myrtille gets here around 5 and is a self-proclaimed early-bird. She went to bed at 8 pm the night before!

6 colors of Fruity Pebbles. Yesenia spent hours at home separating the colors of the cereal in order to make a special rainbow donut. Then, she meticulously places them to create a beautiful and cheery design. Painstakingly perfect, just like the rainbow that appeared in the sky as we left later!

5 people help load the truck around 8. The definition of genuine teamwork! From the meditative state of getting through the morning prep list, the energy shifts into high gear as the morning’s haul is rushed into the van, quickly tallied with any missing items handed off in a flurry as Jean steps on the gas to make his delivery rounds. Phew! Everyone takes a small break before prepping for the next day.

4 trays of eggs in the Combi oven for mayonnaise, dialed in with a recipe that ensures perfect every time with zero breakage! Fun fact: we make our own mayo. Not so we can write “house made” on the menu (we don’t) but because it tastes better, is extremely cost efficient and is easy to make!

3 stops for Jean to make in the van: Michael’s Genuine, Ella Pop Café, and Amara at Paraiso. Everything is delivered fresh daily!

2 perfectly zested lemons by Myrtille. As she was stirring her almond Financier dough and folding in the fragrant flecks, I looked over to see two of the most perfectly zested lemons I’ve ever seen in my life! Myrtille was taught by a woman who spent hours zesting oranges to make orange sugar. All white pith, no sweet peel to be found, nor wasted.  “It’s my special technique!” she exclaimed.

1 cup of French Press coffee. After the Commissary’s espresso machine was taken for to Tigertail + Mary, Myrtille took matters into her own hands and brought her mini French Press when Culinary Director Bradley’s idea of Mr. Coffee didn’t sit well. Good coffee is a must when your alarm goes off at 4:30 in the morning!

Introducing Tigertail + Mary: Lush Neighborhood Retreat for Relaxed American Cooking Opens May 2019 in Coconut Grove

Coming Soon: An oasis devoted to vegetable-forward food and the easy village lifestyle of Miami’s oldest bohemian neighborhood on Biscayne Bay

Since announcing the project some four years ago with Park Grove co-developers Terra and Related Group, we are excited to share today the details on our newest restaurant, coming to Coconut Grove in May — Tigertail + Mary!  Following Harry’s Pizzeria’s successful 2015 debut, Chef’s second in Miami’s oldest village on Biscayne Bay is a lush neighborhood retreat for fresh, vegetable-forward American cooking, inspired by the Grove’s one-of-a-kind bohemian lifestyle, easy energy, and textured tropical landscape. For Michael, good food begins with great product, and here the menu will celebrate this notion’s ultimate expression – vegetables – as well as other fresh, thoughtfully-sourced proteins, like local seafood and meat from animals raised with care.  To get to know the restaurant and the neighborhood as opening approaches, follow @tigertailandmary on Instagram, Facebook and visit our new landing page at tigertailandmary.com.

Patio! Landscaping hasn’t fully begun but we have designs on one of our favorite Miami backyard and front lawn treasures — mango trees!

“Coconut Grove feels good I think because it doesn’t try too hard to be something. It is consistently, 100 percent itself, full of good energy and honesty. Food should be this way, too,” he explains. “We’ve always embraced this notion as a restaurant group, and as we’ve grown, it has become an extremely important lens that defines our Genuine approach in each new space we inhabit. For us it’s about food that is unhindered in its sincerity to the ingredient and the way we want guests to feel welcome when they join us. Being in the Grove in many ways reminds us of what we aspire to be, and creating this restaurant and the dining experience has been an affirmation of our commitment to know ourselves better and be who we are. We’re having fun making good food and making a place our neighbors can feel good calling home.”

Hero signage concept from Ribbit, a long time collaborator responsible for our flagship neon signage at Michael’s Genuine.

Tigertail + Mary’s space and design by longtime Schwartz-collaborators Grove-based Arquitectonica and Meyer Davis Studio (NYC) is informed by its natural surroundings, embedded at the intersection the North Grove’s two main streets and fronted by a new corner park next to Terra and Related Group’s Park Grove entrance. The restaurant offers seating for 120, including bar, main dining room, private dining room and outdoor patio. Biscayne bay breezes, marina sails and palms dotting the coastline are the backdrop, while the front lawn opens up to a thicket of neighborhood streets and homes set within a densely layered colorful tropical canopy. A winding pathway entrance is embraced by foliage drawing guests in. Textured fabrics and natural materials in the design develop the relaxed feeling of the outside environment in the dining room, and the open kitchen with hearth and charcoal grill conjures a welcoming feeling.

Always working.

The restaurant opens in mid-May and will offer breakfast bakery items from its walk-up café with seating at tables in the park, lunch, dinner and brunch. Valet parking will be available in addition to metered street and nearby garage. Look for reservations to open in early May. Walk-ins always welcome. Menus coming soon!

We are busy and looking for amazing people to help us grow in the right ways.  Please visit tigertailandmary.com where positions will be posted to apply, or email jobs@thegenuinehospitalitygroup.com with your resume for ongoing opportunities and openings.  The Genuine Hospitality Group currently operates 9 restaurants including four locations of our pizzeria brand, Genuine Pizza®/Harry’s Pizzeria®, light and airy ella pop café in the Miami Design District and several branching from our fine dining roots at now 12 year old Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Miami Design District: Amara at Paraiso, quintessential Miami restaurant with waterfront dining and fresh approach to bold Latin American flavor, fresh, bold Pacific Rim flavors at Traymore by Michael Schwartz at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, honest Italian at Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz at SLS Baha Mar in Nassau, The Bahamas, and a second location of flagship Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Cleveland at The Van Aken District of Shaker Heights opening April 8, 2019. Chef’s second cookbook, Genuine Pizza: Better Pizza at Home is due out May 14, 2019 with Abrams Books.

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.

Traymore by Michael Schwartz Opens in March, a Miami Beach Hideaway for a Fresh Taste of the Exotic

 

Cocktail testing

We are excited to announce that Traymore by Michael Schwartz will open in March with our partners at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach.  Exploring the lighter, brighter side of South East Asia and the Pacific tropics, Chef’s new menu finds vibrant flavor and energy at the intersection of bold umami and delicate, natural freshness. Guests will experience a redesign of the main dining room, terrace and inner beach path-fronted garden, with lunch, dinner and a new bar program to start.

“I have always been drawn to the bold, bright flavors and ingredients of this part of the world and am inspired by the sense of harmony core to what the COMO brand of hospitality and healthy, delicious food is all about,” Michael says.  “For me, a restaurant is always about the entire experience not just the food and that was really important as we thought about what we wanted this place to become. The bar program channels this balance and brings it all together.”

Raw Bar items like Royal Red Shrimp coconut milk, lime, Thai basil, crispy rice; shareable, vegetable-driven small plates under ‘Market Table’ such as Scarlet Turnips with bottarga, white miso; Appetizers like Beef Carpaccio with heart of palm, kohlrabi, peanuts, burnt lime vinaigrette. Entrees include Wok Charred Wild Salmon four sprout salad, toasted pumpkin seeds, soy lime vinaigrette and sides like Stir Fried Thai Eggplant Curry. Finally, indulgent flavor-packed desserts including Black Sesame Pound Cake with coconut cream, marinated papaya, toasted sesame seed.

 

Schwartz has collaborated with longtime partners at award-winning design firm Meyer Davis Studio – designers of Amara at Paraiso and the forthcoming restaurant at Park Grove – to refresh the space, celebrating its art deco past and the integrity of existing design elements.  The Genuine Hospitality Group will oversee food and beverage throughout the property including in-room dining service and the pool area.  Brunch will shortly follow.

“Miami Beach will always be about the scene, but in this particular location on Mid-Beach we wanted to work with this idea of how losing yourself in good energy can be just as invigorating,” Michael continues. “It’s still a largely unexplored stretch, which is definitely part of the draw.  Tapping into the beach as the original getaway destination it will always be and making that more accessible to locals. It can be that for them, too. Especially!”

COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach is located at 2445 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 33140. For more information visit traymoremiamibeach.com and follow the new restaurant and bar for updates on opening including events and menu, on Instagram @traymoremiamibeach.