Bernardo Fort-Brescia: Architect, Tangerine Farmer, Tavern Tastemaker

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If there is one person who has their finger on the pulse of this city, this magic, ever-changing city, it is an architect. Better yet, a founding principal of Arquitectonica, the international architecture and urban planning firm founded in 1977 in one of the least developed, original villages in this parts – Coconut Grove.  It has grown to over 500 employees in 11 offices worldwide since then, and Bernardo Fort-Brescia’s awards and accolades have kept rolling in.  Still, he will be the first one to tell you that it is with each new project he faces that his career is rebuilt, just as each new project changes the face of that city.

As our final Tavern Tastemaker, it was fitting that Bernardo was full of surprises. It wasn’t until after their lunch of various fruits de mer that we learned Bernardo knows a thing or two about fruits himself. He is a tangerine farmer in South America and as we discussed the ways that the United States prefers perfectly shaped fruit while Europe prefers blemished, we sipped on the “Sunshine State.” Named for its main squeeze, the sumo tangerine, and rosemary cordial, with sake and Plymouth Gin.   “I like this cocktail because you feel the fruit, but also the pure,” Bernardo added.

We hope you have enjoyed these brunches and lunches with Ocean Drive Magazine Editor in Chief Jared Shapiro, and each of our Tavern Tastemakers. Just as Bernardo’s projects shape his career and a cityscape, we like to think our cocktail hours are an opportunity for people to come together with friends and family for a taste of the tavern and maybe the start of something special. One thing is certain, there is a place at our table for artists, producers, chefs, models, architects, television stars, and you.

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Cheers to a First Season | Introducing Tavern Tastemakers with Ocean Drive

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The Schwartz table, set last night for the Tavern Tastemakers launch party.

The tavern has long played that important role in a community, a welcoming place known to stir a good chat and bring people together over a meal.   One of the things we’re most proud of here in Miami is the electricity of our lifestyle. That can’t stop, won’t stop attitude is contagious, inspiring new ideas and creating opportunities for change.  This is where culture lives.  In The Genuine Hospitality Group‘s home base of the Design District, this unstoppable collaborative spirit surrounds us, and a passion for craft, not just in Michael’s kitchens or behind the bar, is alive and percolating in our dining rooms.  It’s time to participate through a new lens and explore the vibrant narrative of our city through conversations with good company — our guests.

In an innovative new media partnership with Ocean Drive Magazine, we are excited to announce Tavern Tastemakers, an online video series featuring one-on-one interviews with the people at the forefront of Miami’s popular culture.  Hosted by Editor in Chief Jared Shapiro at Cypress Tavern, webisodes roll out on Tuesdays beginning March 1 at oceandrive.com/taverntastemakers.

Ocean Drive is thrilled to partner with Michael Schwartz to intertwine his vision for groundbreaking culinary experiences with the tastemakers of Miami to continue to innovate Miami’s foothold as a global city for art, fashion, design and media.” says Shapiro.

In the premiere episode, Setting the Schwartz Table, the Chef talks staying power in the competitive restaurant business, how Miami’s food scene has evolved and what’s new in the Design District.  Forthcoming episodes feature Andrea Minski, Telemundo host, mother, and creator of the digital platform Mujer Balance, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, a founding principal of Arquitectonica, Style maven and Wilhelmina model Kasey Ashcraft, music mogul Emilio Estefan and world-renowned visual artist and Miami Beach native Michele Oka Doner.

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Andrea Minski and Jared having a good laugh over Yellowfin Tuna Nicoise and Skuna Bay Salmon.

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Series sponsor Cadillac at last night’s reception at Cypress Tavern’s 195 underpass lot.

“Pulling the series together has been a great experience, especially collaborating with Jared and the team at Ocean Drive on shoots. It’s always a fun surprise seeing what made the final product – and knowing what hit the cutting room floor,” says Schwartz.

The 3-month series runs from March 1 until May 31 and is underwritten by Cadillac, the official vehicle of The Genuine Hospitality Group, and Pernod Ricard. Ocean Drive and Chef hosted a private dinner party at Cypress Tavern last night to celebrate the series kickoff with its collaborators.  As part of the program, each Tastemaker will have a special cocktail crafted in their honor and rolled out as a special in the restaurant to mark the airing of new episodes. For content including behind the scenes footage, what Tastemakers enjoyed at the table, and special events and offers related to the series, please visit oceandrive.com/taverntastemakers and follow #taverntastemakers on social media.

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Harry’s Pizzeria + Coconut Grove = Spring 2015

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Harry’s Pizzeria, the Design District original Est. 2011, in motion.

The people have spoken!  It’s time for a little southern hospitality… and a genuine pizza joint for the Nearby Republic of Coconut Grove Est. 1873. Please get ready to welcome Harry’s Pizzeria Coconut Grove Est. 2015.

On the heels of Harry’s Pizzeria’s third anniversary, The Genuine Hospitality Group especially friggin’ ecstatic, South Miami-based me! is proud to announce that chef/owner Michael Schwartz’s casual neighborhood joint will open its first new location in 2015 in Coconut Grove, and it feels pretty darn good if you don’t mind us saying so!  As if that news wasn’t good enough, we are working with famed Coconut Grove-based architectural design firm Arquitectonica to build out the space located in the heart of town at 2996-98 McFarlane Rd, mere steps from Peacock Park and beautiful marina-lined Bayshore Drive.  We’ll be celebrating with Michael’s Genuine® Home Brew and Harry’s addictive Polenta Fries from 2:30 – 7 p.m. this Saturday, October 18 at Grovetoberfest.  It’ll be our third time participating in Miami’s annual beer festival and just think… next year we can all walk to Harry’s after for dinner!

“It’s funny, what began with a question mark – should we open a pizzeria – has grown up and become this great restaurant with an identity all its own, one that we feel has great potential for growth, ” says Schwartz. “Choosing the right next location was super important, from the community, to the space itself and the partners involved. To have another opportunity to work with the Forts and the team at Arquitectonica is really exciting, and I think we’re all really looking forward to collaborating and getting to know our new neighborhood!”

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Harry’s Pizzeria is The Genuine Hospitality Group’s third restaurant, a casual neighborhood joint opened in September 2011 and named after Schwartz’s son Harry. The restaurant is a comfortable place to gather for snacks, salads, and specials featuring seasonal ingredients, Hedy Goldsmith’s desserts, Schwartz’s signature thin-crust pizzas cooked in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven, local and craft beers on draught, creative wines by the glass and bottle, and other beverages including housemade sodas and Panther Coffee. To make a new house a home, its “Chef Pop-Up Series” has welcomed America’s most acclaimed chefs into the kitchen over the past three years, effectively cementing Harry’s Pizzeria as a fixture in Miami’s dining community known for both its consistency and energetic, fun approach to the restaurant experience.

“We are very excited to be working with Michael on this restaurant. The addition of Harry’s to the neighborhood is a big part of our re-visioning for the center Grove to make it a place for everyday life and a unique destination” says Raymond Fort, Arquitectonica Project Designer.

The space on McFarlane Rd that Harry’s Pizzeria is entering is owned by Main Highway Partners.

“We have a history here – our family home is in the Grove and our corporate headquarters in the Grove, in the original space the company launched over 30 years ago. We understand the fabric of the neighborhood and are so thrilled to have entrepreneurs and business owners like Michael Schwartz and Panther Coffee coming into the fold,” says Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Founding Principal of Arquitectonica.

Arquitectonica was brought on by The Genuine Hospitality Group to design the build out of the space for Harry’s Pizzeria.

“Arquitectonica is a big believer in smart urban planning. In the Grove, where we have our roots, we are excited to take part in designing the pieces that will come together to enhance the community,“ says Harold Fort, landscape architect for ArquitectonicaGEO.

We have a little ways to go to get numero dos online, but we will keep you posted on our progress until that happy day via the restaurant’s social media on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  Just follow @harryspizzeria and #HPCoconutGrove for updates as they happen!

A Toast to Our Future Paradise

Royal Red Shrimp & Quinoa Salad with yogurt sauce, Chargrilled Lamb on cucumber with fennel and kumquat preserves, Local Tuna Crudo with carrot ginger juice, sunflower seeds & sprouts, Market Crudités with paddle fish caviar & smoked trout roe butter, Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Beef Tartare on garlic toast with lemon aioli, crispy shallot & herbs, and Seeded Wood Oven Flatbreads with Spanish sheep’s milk (Idiazabal) cheese, shaved vegetables, sprouted grains & tomato fondue.  Michael’s Genuine Home Brew.  The Chantwell, a welcome cocktail of Clement Agricole Rhum, Velvet Falernum, hibiscus-citrus kombucha, mixed berries, and lemon. Sound delicious?  So does welcoming to The Genuine Hospitality Group family a new restaurant to the shore of Biscayne Bay.

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Toast your own paradise at home with The Chantwell. Click the image above for The Genuine Hospitality Group beverage director Ryan Goodspeed’s recipe.

Plans for a waterfront restaurant and luxury beach club were announced yesterday, a collaboration between Michael and the CEO and Chairman of The Related Group Jorge Pérez.  Located in the East Edgewater neighborhood, the new concept is our second partnership with Related, on the heels of the SLS Brickell announcement.

“I’ve admired Jorge’s work for some time now and am looking forward to this opportunity to collaborate on a project together, especially this one,” says Michael. “The Edgewater community is one of Miami’s hidden gems. Paraiso Bay will bring something truly unique to the mainland and deserves a waterfront restaurant to match. We’re going to do something really special here.”

Kicked off last Friday evening with friends and colleagues close to the project, the future restaurant will no doubt be inspired by the magic hour bay views of sky and water ablaze in golden pink and aquamarine, and our fearless leader’s hallmark approach to food, drink and fresh ingredients.

The team will work closely with Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea and global architecture firm Arquitectonica to create a cohesive and fluid indoor/outdoor atmosphere for residents and restaurant patrons. “This is a unique opportunity to bring the best elements of Miami to one place and add the last finishing touch to our latest new condominium development, Paraiso Bay,” says Pérez, “We’ll have Michael’s incredible cuisine, gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay, a boutique beach club, all surrounded by Enea’s landscaping, this is really going to be a paradise in Edgewater.”

The Related Group was established in 1979, and is America’s leading developer of sophisticated metropolitan living. For more than 30 years, The Related Group has created innovative residential developments that have dramatically changed South Florida’s urban landscape. Since its inception, the privately held company has built and managed more than 85,000 condominium and apartment residences. The Related Group has earned a national reputation for its visionary design and development of luxury condominiums, mixed-use center and affordable rental properties – often in emerging or undiscovered neighborhoods. The firm is one of the largest Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States with a development portfolio of projects worth in excess of $15 billion. TIME Magazine named Mr. Pérez one of top 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States, and has made the cover of Forbes twice. The Related Group has redefined the new cycle of real estate with the rollout of over 12 projects beginning with Apogee Beach in Hollywood and MyBrickell in downtown Miami, the first in each of their respective neighborhoods to be completed since the boom.