Michael’s Genuine® Cleveland Launches Sunday Brunch on Mother’s Day, May 12

We take brunch seriously.  Seriously fun!  It’s hard to imagine that in October we will celebrate 10 years of brunch service at our flagship restaurant in Miami.  Our favorite weekend pastime at Michael’s Genuine launched a year and a half after opening.  Chef took his time figuring it out, but he knew what he didn’t want — Sunday wasn’t going to be a line of glowing red lamps.  After a whirlwind of planning, our busiest service yet shifted into gear on October 25, 2009 and hasn’t let up since.  Now it’s time for Cleveland to join the party, with chef de cuisine Vinnie Cimino in the driver’s seat, and we aren’t wasting any time greasing the wheels.  Expect the unexpected, beginning Mother’s Day Sunday, May 12!  Click the menu below for a preview.

“Brunch is my favorite meal of the week and always an opportunity to go for it, so why not make food to order and bring the buffet to guests at the table,” says Michael. “It’s a marathon service for the kitchen, but we are better for it and can have some fun making a new menu each week.  The challenge keeps things dialed in — thinking of new ways to approach things and to utilize ingredients.  It’s interesting for Cleveland, because we kind of know what we are doing now with this format. We are really excited to share something we have grown to love with Cleveland and see how they respond!”

Beginning this Sunday, 10:30am – 2:30pm, enjoy our weekly Brunch service including savory and sweet small plates, and special Brunch cocktails like our signature Kimchi Bloody Mary with vodka, kimchi and skewered rock shrimp — the best!  For a look back at our OG Brunch, five years in, click here.  To make a reservation, visit our website.

 

Myrtille’s Morning Baking Routine at Amara at Paraiso — Anything but Routine

Her “long coffee”

It’s 5:40 a.m. on a recent Friday, and I’m blasting up I-95 under a nearly full moon-lit sky thinking I’m late.  Myrtille Quillien runs on baker’s hours, and they began 40 minutes ago in pastry’s corner of the kitchen at Amara at Paraiso.  I arrive relieved to find out I’m just in time.  She’s in the dining room’s coffee station, brewing coffee for the crew arriving later on and making her own morning cup — a long espresso latte with steamed milk filled to the brim of a juice glass. We have a laugh about the Google calendar notification we both received at 4:50.  I had mistakenly set today’s appointment remembering the much earlier wake up call for my visit to the commissary in the fall to make bagels with Pastry Chef MJ Garcia and her team, which at the time included Myrtille.

“We start here at 6,” she smiles. “The morning here is a bit different. It’s the first half hour checking everything.  It’s not like at the commissary where it is a lot to do right when you get in and MJ has organized the day’s prep list to assign everyone tasks. It’s a little quieter, just Yesenia and I for a while.”

A soft light has begun to emerge in the horizon, a thick yellow band bleeding into blue-green.  Although it’s still dark at (the now one hour later) 6:15, for me the sky transfixes at its most dramatic.  It’s that moment on the verge, the sun’s proud entrance imminent yet still tucked so deep into the unknown below.  Mesmerizing, and gone in a hot flash not more than 20 minutes later.  Not quite so subtle after all, all this anticipation, and Myrtille jams a pint container to prop open the “in” swing door, one way only during service.  This isn’t just a trick to ease the flow of traffic that will pass through in waves from both directions as prep ramps up later on.

Pre-dawn here isn’t all about the sunrise, that view so different from any other time of day that few rarely witness.  It is really about the dough — because so is Amara.  There are two types for the restaurant’s empanadas alone, one of the first items to greet guests on the menu. Myrtille’s first helper to arrive is Yesenia, a transplant from ella pop café, and she begins there, scooping heaping stainless steel spoonfuls of glistening starch-white lard from a tub that smells like bacon. Once stretched in a pasta roller, cut into discs and portioned onto wax paper, it will be filled with tender pulled short rib, crimped and then baked to golden brown. The other is fried, puffing to a crispy delicious pocket thanks to the fluffiness of cooked yuca in the mix.

Flatbread dough, flecked with scallion.

The root of the cassava plant synonymous with Cuban cuisine also forms the base of the pâte à choux for the restaurant’s addictive savory snack, cheesy yuca puffs.  The dough is cooked raw over a burner as the rising agent, then mixed with a blend of cheeses before resting, rolled into balls, and frozen before hitting the frier and sprinkled with parmesan at plate up.  Myrtille is starting with the flatbread, a yeast dough that began as the Harry’s Pizzeria recipe and then took shape over the summer as Executive Chef Michael Paley worked through how they wanted it to eat.

“The more you let the yeast dough rest, the more it will develop flavor,” she explains.  “So we let it rest until it rises to the top of the bowl, but maybe a little longer is ok, too.”

Myrtille is from Nantes, a city on the Loire River in Brittany.  Yes, she is French and is all those things you dream a paragon pâtissier to be, but the cliché is not lost on MJ.  This import from the northwest reaches of France had an “interesting” resume which immediately piqued her interest for the commissary gig in the fall. MJ started developing her and showing her the concept of how we approach baking and pastry at TGHG.  When the Amara opportunity came up, it was very easy to explain the new role, and apply the simplicity of technique and beautiful pastries to the new concept.

“It was really nice that she had the French pastry background, which isn’t a typical find here in Miami, ” MJ recalls.  “Myrtille comes from a country where learning the basic skills to properly execute traditional techniques is important.  She’s a natural — it’s ingrained. So she had a lot of experience.  Her vibe and energy also felt so good. I had Brad [Herron] interview her right away. I thought she had potential toward something else.”

Chef Paley explains that Amara’s approach to pastry began with building a great dessert menu that hits all the notes: The flan is the foundation, it was important for us at the outset we have the best flan in Miami. Beyond that, a great chocolate dessert, a great fruit dessert, and well executed ice creams and sorbets. Nothing overly technical, just delicious and simple.

The young family arrived in Miami in 1999, her husband and their first 6-month-old baby, Valentine, it tow.  Myrtille was an art teacher back in France so that’s what she did here until 2004 when she got hooked on pastry in Chef Kris Wessel’s kitchen one summer.  She followed him everywhere until 2010 when the French government suddenly cut the couple’s work visas. Back in France, she pursued a year of formal training in pastry in 2011 to get her diploma and spent time with Pierre Hermé for cake and macarons at Ferandis School in Paris. Her sister owned a small restaurant back home at the time.  Myrtille worked there and knew she wouldn’t find a better job, so when it was about to close, she applied for a Green Card.  It was 2017, they were approved and now with an 18-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, the family had to make a call.

“Europe is small so you can travel with your car. It is important for kids to see things and to travel, and we’d take one big trip every summer,” she explains. “But we were living in a small town, and we didn’t want them to grow up like that. With my husband and kids we sat down, and we asked ourselves what do we do? Do we stay in France or go back? We said, ok, let’s change.”

Chef Paley getting a look at the pastelitos.

With Chef Paley driving the concept of the menu both savory and sweet, Myrtille’s role requires equal parts artist’s touch and technical skills — someone who can precisely develop ideas into executable desserts and baked goods suitable for production.  The approach is working together and inclusive for a cohesive outcome on the menu, and all the chefs get to be included in the process of developing pastry. Myrtille works smart and tests in small batches as she goes. The new Sunday Brunch is an area she can bring new ideas to the table, since dishes change weekly, like last Sunday’s guava pastelito. She took the paste and thinned it out just a bit on the stove top, adding ginger and lime zest to bring out the guava flavor but not upstage it.

“Myrtille is dedicated, skilled, and up for challenges,” Paley says. “She is always down to figure things out, do the research, and make things as good as they can be.”

Much like its savory companions, Brunch’s sweet cart is the chefs’ chance to be spontaneous and creative. The balance between hyper-traditional items, like the concha — a sweet Mexican-style brioche — or the flan, to more out of the box twists, like kaffir lime churros.  Paley swears by her Arroz con Leche which he says is “out of this world.”   They say at the commissary that Myrtille is made out of rainbows.  I think we now know why.

“She’s special in the sense that her energy is driven by the passion, and what she genuinely likes,” MJ adds.  “She takes pride and loves it — you can see in every movement in her hands, her care and attention. It made everyone around her feed off that energy, and the effect it had on our team was very nice.”

Taste the rainbow for yourself — for dessert and brunch menus, as well as reservations, visit our website.  Many brunch items aren’t shared (or created!) until the weekend, but you may get a preview or glance by following our Instagram @amaraatparaiso.  It’s also where you can tap into Instagram Story highlights of our mornings with Myrtille.

Amara at Paraiso Launches Brunch A La Cart This Sunday

Amara at Paraiso, the latest addition to the genuine family and quintessential Miami waterfront restaurant is ready to up Miami’s brunch game. Known for reinventing our favorite weekend pastime, Michael launches Sunday Brunch on February 11 with an energized new format featuring sweet and savory food carts.  Guests can order as they like and pick and choose from weekly specials tableside as they roam the dining room and terrace throughout the meal.  Located directly on Biscayne Bay in the Paraiso District of East Edgewater, Amara at Paraiso will offer brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., cultivating a distinctly Miami vibe.

“Brunch is my favorite meal of the week and always an opportunity to go for it,” explains Schwartz. “At Amara, we were excited to have some fun with the new format. The flavors are big and the food we are doing plays very well in daytime. The amazing view is the last ingredient for the quintessential brunch experience.”

At the table, guests will be presented with printed a la carte menus from which to order drinks and food, and will then be visited by sweet and savory food carts with more from which to choose. Servers will mark orders from the cart on a card at the table to be tallied with the check at the end of the meal. Sweet items include delicate and decadent Arroz Con Leche ($6) with toasted coconut, macadamia nut, pineapple; Concha ($5) a streusel- topped brioche pastry with Mexican roots served with dulce de leche; Amara dessert favorite Dulce Flan ($10) with dulce de leche and crema; and Guava Toast ($7) Griddled brioche, crème fraiche. Savory carts will carry items like a Tilefish Taco ($5) chayote squash salad, lime, smoked paprika aioli; Grilled Pork Belly Feijoada ($6) braised red beans, egg, crunchy cassava; and Waygu Beef Tartare ($8) quail egg, green papaya, cashew, lime.

The a la carte menu offers Snacks, Raw Bar, Empanadas, Small Plates and Large Plates. Snacks include addictive Crispy Hominy ($7) with verde spice and lime; and Whipped Carrot ($7) with green garbanzo, crème fraiche, and seeded crisp. Small Plates include Overnight Oats ($10) with sweet plantain, apricot, cashew; and Turmeric & Beet- Cured Salmon ($14) crème fraîche, corn flour cracker, hard-boiled egg. Large Plates include the juicy Choripan sandwich off the outdoor wood grill with housemade chorizo farm egg, vinaigrette smoked paprika aioli; a hearty Amara Breakfast ($18) highlighting slow-cooked meaty Domingo Rojo beans, two fried eggs, short rib empanada, chorizo, avocado; Egg White Omelete ($16) with hominy, green garbanzo beans, calabaza squash, queso fresco, fermented chile hot sauce; and Short Rib Tamal ($15) with grilled spicy shrimp, fried egg, pickles, cascabel chile paste.

Brunch drinks from Assistant General Manager Maria Pottage offer a vibrant and refreshing celebration of Amara’s extensive agua fresca and freshly-squeezed juice program that invites the guest to craft their own journey. Bottomless Tropical Sparkling ($30 per person) includes sparkling wine plus the guest’s choice of mixer (guava, strawberry basil, grapefruit, passionfruit, chile-mango). Spiked Fresca (1L bottle equals 4 drinks for $44 or a glass for $12) pairs a choice of spirit with a carafe of Agua Fresca like Hibiscus, Purple Corn (Chicha Morada), Tamarind, and Horchata. In addition to Champagne and Rosé bottle specials, Brunch Cocktails include solid twists on standards like Bloody Mary-a ($12) Hangar One vodka or Milagro Blanco tequila, tomato, cucumber, celery, lemon, aji panca, aji amarillo salt; and the E.L. Michelada ($9) with local blonde ale Wynwood La Rubia, lime, Mexican spices, Amara hot sauce; as well as specialties of the house including Woke Up Like This ($12) St Germain, coconut water, lychee, lemon, bubbles; and Let’s Samba ($13) Yaguara cachaça, passion fruit, lime, demerara, mint, and more.

Brunch will be offered every Sunday starting February 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with live music from Grammy- nominated Miami band PALO!. Amara at Paraiso is located at 3101 NE 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33137. $5 valet is available. For reservations visit amaraatparaiso.com, email reservations@amaraatparaiso.com or call 305-702- 5528. Amara is a breathtaking venue for private parties and events; for groups larger than 12 guests email lindsay@michaelschwartzevents.com. More information and menus at amaraatparaiso.com and via @amaraatparaiso on social media.

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

ct_valentines_presenter-2017

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.

 

Red Rooster Brunch at Cypress Tavern with Chef & New York Times Best Selling Author Marcus Samuelsson

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Sunday Tomato Eggs

Sunday Tomato Eggs (credit Bobby Fisher)

A relaxing Sunday full of soul is coming to Cypress Tavern as Michael welcomes chef Marcus Samuelsson to celebrate the debut of The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem with a special brunch!  Join us November 13  from 11-3 pm at our American Grill & Cocktail Bar in the Miami Design District by making a reservation here or calling the restaurant at 305.520.5197.

Conjuring the familiar scenes and smells of Spanish Harlem, to the soulful comfort of Southern food with its layers of flavor and history, chef Max Makowski and the Cypress team will highlight a selection of delicious dishes (and we hope cocktails!) from the New York Times best-selling author’s iconic Harlem restaurant, as featured in the cookbook.  Copies will be available for sale on-site, along with an author eager to sign them!

Neighborhood vibes.

Neighborhood vibes.

The Red Rooster Cookbook is more than a volume of recipes; it’s a celebration of the delicious result of diversity, with music woven throughout and sections prefaced with a playlist by theme (El Barrio, Sunday Jazz, Family Meal…)  Pages that juxtapose historic and contemporary Harlem reveal the essence of Marcus and his approach to cooking: that food and community are one in the same, inseparable and forever bound by tradition and the fabric of people that care for it.   Sharing a moment with his friend and Jazz band leader Nate Lucas (whose Nate Lucas All Stars have a regular gig on Sundays at the Red Rooster), the chef also describes this music’s place in Southern foodways, or the cultural, social and economic intersection shaping food traditions.

Experiencing this music makes me think about the connections between jazz and Southern food. Both travelled north and were transformed. Both come from a deep tradition of what it means to riff on what you think you know. I listen to “Bitches Brew” and think gumbo. It’s a dish that can be a fridge cleaner or can break your piggy bank if you let it. Onions, bell peppers, shrimp, tripe stirred into the patience of a whiskey-colored roux.  Like me, Nate knows what it feels like to play and improvise; to feel scared and arrogant at the same time.

The Breakfast, featuring shiro (an Ethiopian stew made with chickpea flour), candied bacon, grits, and a poached egg with a golden yolk to run into everything.

The Breakfast, featuring shiro (an Ethiopian stew made with chickpea flour), candied bacon, grits, and a poached egg with a golden yolk to run into everything (credit Bobby Fisher)

When he opened Red Rooster on Harlem’s Lenox Avenue, Marcus envisioned so much more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a gathering place at the heart of his adopted neighborhood, where both the uptown and downtown sets could see and be seen, mingle and meet – and so he did, in a big way. Ever since the 1930s, Harlem has been a magnet for more than a million African Americans, a melting pot for Spanish, African, and Caribbean immigrants, and a mecca for artists. Named after a historic neighborhood speakeasy, the modern Rooster reflects all of that, from the local art showcased on its walls, to the live music blaring from its performance spaces, to the cross-cultural food on its patrons’ plates and the evocative cocktails in their hands.  Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Sunday.  We can’t wait to bring this spirit to life at Cypress Tavern!  Follow along @marcuscooks and #redroostercookbook for the latest!