A Food, Film & Art Ménage à Trois

The Harry’s Pizzeria and O Cinema love affair – OMG! Dinner & a Movie – that many of you have come to enjoy, has been going strong now for over a year.  And since we’re feeling French this month, we’ve added a third party to the affair! Please welcome Locust Projects to the party for their Art, Film & Food Series.

First, Thursday, November 16th at 6:30pm: Art, Film & Food

The highly anticipated documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters will have its premiere, followed by a brief discussion of Crewdson’s work by local Miami collectors. Tickets here.  Here’s the menu by Harry’s Pizzeria chef de cuisine Manny Sulbaran:
Pear & Watercress Salad
Mushroom-Spinach Cannelloni
Short Rib Cannelloni
Hedy’s Seasonal Bread Pudding

Then, Monday, Nov 19th at 7pm: OMG! Dinner & a Movie.

Step Up to the Plate, filmed in the South of France,  documents renowned chef Michel Bras through a father to son chef transition in their world of haute cuisine. Tickets here.  And another inspired menu by chef Manny Sulbaran, Viva la France!

Lyonnaise salad. Frisse, bacon bits, hard boiled egg & Dijon vinaigrette
Roasted Ratatouille. Local eggplant, tomato, zucchini, onion, red peppers & herbs
Pommes de terre rotiesNew Florida potatoes, parley & garlic  butter.
Boeuf Bourguignon. Burgundy wine, Pearl onion & mushrooms
Pain d’épices aux pommes rôties. Gingerbread with roasted apples + caramel and Hazelnut Palmiers

Lastly, a quick congratulatory note to our longtime partners at O Cinema. If you haven’t heard yet, take a moment to check out their website.  It’s got a great new look, thanks to a great new addition to their family: O Cinema Miami Shores @ MTC!  Fist bump on the expansion, Kareem and Vivian!  Love that South Florida has yet another venue to enjoy special and previously-hard-to-find films.  What would we do without you guys?  : )

Last Call: Pop Go You, Riesling & a Gallery Tomorrow Night!

Zack’s images begin to scale the walls at Harry’s.

Tickets are, gasp!, still available to tomorrow night’s Riesling Pizzeria extravaganza at Harry’s to celebrate Summer of Riesling! Here are the two different but equally as enlightening ways to experience it, especially since James Beard Award-winning wine genius Paul Grieco will be in the house.

Sipping & Showing ~ 6:00 – 7:30 p.m./$40:  Taste 40 different Rieslings (yes, wine director Eric Larkee has totally outdone himself!) potent with Mr. Grieco’s encyclopedic brainpower while you nosh on passed snacks from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink chef de cuisine Bradley Herron  and meet artist Zack Balber responsible for our provocative Summer of Riesling pop-up gallery.  The pouring begins at 6:00 p.m. at Harry’s and ends at next door at Locust Projects, the local art space commissioning Zack’s work, for a slideshow and presentation by the artist. And of course more Rieslings!

Dinner ~ 7:30 -10:00 p.m./$129:  Enjoy passed snacks, three courses by chef de cuisine Herron, and dessert by executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, all served family-style and each complemented by one New World, one Old World Riesling for a total of 10 wines. You’ll take home a signed, original Balber photograph from the pop-up gallery plucked from the wall!  Tax and gratuity are included.

See the menu and get your tickets HERE while they last!

The Good, The Bad & The Dubstep of Conceptual Artist Zack Balber

The work in progress.

Last week I sat down with Zack Balber, the local conceptual artist behind Harry’s Riesling Pizzeria pop-up gallery commissioned by Locust Projects, to get his perspective on the grape and how it will be portrayed through his grandfather’s 1957 Polaroid camera.  But Zack hadn’t come to talk fruit, exposure or aperture.  “I’m going to be candid,” he started, “the truth is pretty ridiculous as it is.” Which is true, and as an artist in Miami, a city that is trying to define itself in the art world, Zack knows something about what it means to seek out truth.

His 2011 solo show at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Wynwood was titled Tamim, a hebrew word that means perfection. But  a Google search of the word and his name reveals pictures of tattoo-covered, mohawk-wearing overweight men.  Not exactly the image of perfect, in Hebrew or any other language. Balber didn’t mean the title to be ironic though, he meant for his lens to shed light on what’s shunned, hidden, or outside of a culture – like tattoos in Judaism – to show how the subjects are still pure, somehow, and true to themselves.

Back to the future.

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[UPDATED] Summer of Riesling Returns to Miami at Harry’s with Riesling Pizzeria

Update: Chef de Cuisine Bradley Herron has just nabbed a spot on Eater National’s Young Gun list for 2012, and you can now find his menu for Riesling Pizzeria available here.

An image from Miami-based conceptual artist and photographer Zack Balber’s Riesling pop-up gallery, commissioned by Locust Projects for Harry’s Pizzeria and Summer of Riesling.

We bid spring adieu on June 20 which can only signal one thing.  Summer of Riesling is back!

From June 20 through September 21, hundreds of the finest dining establishments across the nation will participate in the fourth annual Summer of Riesling by serving patrons Riesling wines by the glass, as well as more by the bottle. Michael Schwartz’s The Genuine Hospitality Group (TGHG) is bringing the festivities to South Florida for the second consecutive year with an acidic splash — Riesling Pizzeria, a pop-up dinner and gallery on July 17 at his new Design District joint, Harry’s Pizzeria, featuring the energy and smarts of newly-minted James Beard Award-winner and Summer of Riesling overlord Paul Grieco, wines by TGHG wine director and Summer of Riesling Florida Chairman Eric Larkee, food by Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (MGFD) chef de cuisine Bradley Herron, and artwork in Polaroid pictures by conceptual artist Zack Balber.

“We’re really exciting to get our Riesling on again with Paul,” says Larkee. “Our menu at MGFD, especially during the summer, is Riesling’s dream come true. We had a lot of fun pouring the entire gamut from sweet to dry at MGFD last summer as we do throughout the year, and can’t wait to let Harry’s play, too.”

Summer of Riesling is back and bigger than ever thanks to Larkee’s efforts to convene Florida’s largest industry assembly to date through a statewide roadshow in May educating local sommeliers, wine distributors, and producers and encouraging restaurants to sign onto the program in advance. The requirements are simple: Pour three Rieslings by the glass for the whole 94 days of the summer, isolating two of those to Germany during the 31 days of July, and if possible some special activities for customers like Schwartz’s Riesling Pizzeria, featuring passed snacks and three courses by chef de cuisine Herron and dessert by executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, all served family-style and each complemented by one New World, one Old World Riesling for a total of 10 wines for $129.

MGFD hosted last year’s first Summer of Riesling event in Miami.

“We live for this stuff, and taking the party to Harry’s as part of its pop-up dinner series just makes good sense,” Schwartz explains. “I’m really excited to see what Brad does with the menu and what Rieslings Eric brings to the table with Paul. No matter what, with these two in charge, guests are going to get out of their comfort zone to experience Riesling in a whole new light.”

Complementing this enlightenment of a liquid nature at Riesling Pizzeria will be a pop-up gallery by Miami- based artist Zack Balber commissioned by Locust Projects, Miami’s premier not-for-profit art space in the Design District a few storefronts down from Harry’s. Here, Balber, whose recent work has dealt with highly acclaimed intimate portraits and earlier work was inspired street photography, offers an unexpected twist on Riesling — the consumption, harvest, ingredients, and enjoying Miami. Through unique perspectives, eccentric props, Polaroid images masquerading as digital prints, digital prints mocking Polaroids, and more than a few glasses of crushed grapes, the work transcends the wine experience into an edible visual experience using a 1957 Polaroid Land Camera. In combining traditional and modern wine customs and the printed Polaroid versus the digital image, Zack creates a visual platform for Summer of Riesling, its intersection with Miami, and a fully immersive experience for guests of Riesling Pizzeria.

Riesling Pizzeria can be booked exclusively online in advance through Brownpapertickets.com and offers two ticketed options as follows:

 Sipping & Showing: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m./$40 (portion of proceeds go to Locust Projects) Guests meet at Harry’s Pizzeria to preview the pop-up gallery and enjoy flowing Rieslings of all kinds and passed snacks from chef de cuisine Bradley Herron. A Q&A with Zack Balber and Paul Grieco will follow at Locust Projects at 7:00 p.m.

Riesling Pizzeria Dinner: 7:30 -10:00 p.m./$129 Guests enjoy passed snacks, three courses by chef de cuisine Herron, and dessert by executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, all served family-style and each complemented by one New World, one Old World Riesling for a total of 10 wines. Dinner guests can take home and schwag themselves in paraphernalia of all kinds including temporary tattoos, stickers, and the pièce de résistance — a signed, original Balber photograph from the pop-up gallery of their choosing.

Newly-minted James Beard Award Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional Paul Grieco, Wine Director of Hearth and Terroir Wine Bar in NYC, along with chef/partner Marco Canora, founded Summer of Riesling in 2008, a not-always-sweet and sometimes-dry-and-minerally crusade, rallying the restaurant industry to pour and therefore educate customers on one of the world’s most versatile and misunderstood grapes. In June 2011, Schwartz and Larkee first welcomed Paul and his Summer of Riesling co- conspirator, chef/owner of Hearth Marco Canora, to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink for a pairings dinner that kicked off the crusade in Miami. Thirty guests experienced first-hand that the grape so often characterized as only sweet actually produces wines that vary in dryness, sweetness, minerality, and acidity, cementing Riesling as the perfect complement to an infinite variety of dishes. Last year’s original goal was to get the participation of 75 restaurants. The final tally: 222, or triple the goal. For 2012, the goal is 500.

Connect with the full array of national activities online at www.summerofriesling.com and locally at the following Twitter handles: @summerriesling, @ericlarkee (Florida Chairman), @spitpaul (Founder & Overlord Paul Grieco), @chefmschwartz, @harryspizzeria, @mgfd_mia, @locustprojects, and #rieslingpizzeria. For more information, visit http://www.thegenuinekitchen.com and http://www.harryspizzeria.com.

Smash and Grab the MGFD Cart’s Last (Miami) Hurrah

It’s time to let Grand Cayman play with the MGFD food cart…  But before we send ‘er off on the cargo ship in November for some fun in the island sun, she’ll be parked outside our friendly neighborhood art cooperative, Locust Projects, on Saturday for its “Smash and Grab” Fall Fundraiser.

One part raffle, one part kickin’ party, the Locust Projects celebrates the 9th year of this annual event we support and like to think will make a smidge more irresistible this time around with wood oven roasted local eggplant with chickpea, cilantro, roasted tomato, and Greek yogurt (drool)  and BBQ white oak pastures beef tongue sandwich with mustard slaw (double drool.)
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