Amara at Paraiso, Quintessential Miami Restaurant with Waterfront Dining, Opening January 2018

Amara at Paraiso, rendered. Our dining room view from the entrance, with open kitchen to the left and bar to the right, and the main ingredient front and center — Biscayne Bay. Out the doors to the left, outdoor seating on the water.

Chef and Restaurateur Michael Schwartz announces his first waterfront restaurant, Amara at Paraiso, the James Beard Award-winner’s love letter to Miami.  Amara at Paraiso will open in January at 3101 NE 7th Avenue on Biscayne Bay in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, creating the quintessential Miami dining experience from environment to cuisine to vibe. The bayside enclave will be fully open to the public and has inspired Chef and his team to cultivate a menu influenced by the bold flavors of Latin America, coastal ingredients, and the diversity that underpins Miami’s cultural identity.

“Amara at Paraiso is about the dynamic energy, local ingredients, and natural beauty that defines why we live here and why so many love to visit,” says Schwartz. “We are in the unique position to bring it all together, a sense of place that can only exist here.  It’s our love letter to Miami and why we are proud to call it home.”

Highlighting the open kitchen’s wood grill and Josper charcoal grill oven, Schwartz is building a vibrant menu around bold, clean-eating food, and cooking techniques centered around the flame. Dishes emphasize balance of acid and contrasts in temperatures and textures. Ingredients are showcased as they are meant to be enjoyed, enhanced by fragrant herbs, bright sauces, chilies and spices. Freshly-grilled, sprouted flatbreads and hand-formed savory pastries will meet sizzling, smoky platters of specialty cuts of meats and fresh, local seafood at the table. Cocktails crafted with the tropics in mind will spill good spirits out to the bay, mingling with sea grape trees and palms dotting the shore.

Flanked by Paraiso Park, Amara at Paraiso resides just two blocks east of Biscayne Boulevard off 31st Street, offering the public unimpeded access to its entrance with street and valet parking. The 4,500 square foot, indoor-outdoor space designed by Meyer Davis Studio celebrates the natural beauty of its surroundings incorporating the tropical, waterfront environment as an design element. The restaurant includes main dining room and bar seating for 150, with floor to ceiling windows offering dramatic Biscayne Bay views, as well as deck seating for 70 on the water. The approach is warm and inviting, drawing the outside in with white washed paneling, natural woods, and graphic concrete tiles. Detailing is open, honest and relaxed with exposed trusses, and an open double-height steel stair.

For more information visit amaraatparaiso.com and follow for updates on opening and inspiration for the restaurant @amaraatparaiso.

The Philadelphia-born owner of The Genuine Hospitality Group (TGHG), James Beard Award-winning Chef, and cookbook author, Michael Schwartz is the face of the South Florida restaurant industry and a nationally recognized celebrity chef. Locals and tourists alike have come to embrace and crave his sincere and thoughtful approach to the entire dining experience and seriously good food.  At the root of this philosophy and a lens for growth is flagship Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink in the Miami Design District, setting the bar in Miami for 10 years with its laid back bistro atmosphere, emphasis on sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients, and lively bar scene and courtyard. Michael has since successfully developed complementary fine dining concepts including honest Italian at Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz at SLS Brickell in Downtown Miami (October, 2016), the quintessential Miami restaurant with waterfront dining at Amara at Paraiso at Paraiso Bay in Edgewater (November 2017) and the ultimate neighborhood restaurant in Coconut Grove at Park Grove (2018.)  Harry’s Pizzeria® is the group’s American pizzeria, challenging pizza traditions with a thoughtful passion for genuinely better pizza and meals to gather around it. Named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 25 Best Pizzerias in the U.S., the group’s casual concept is charting a course for regional expansion to 20 locations by 2020, with three currently open in South Florida in the Miami Design District (September 2011,) Coconut Grove (2015,) and Kendall’s Downtown Dadeland (2017.) Ella (2015) is a light and airy café in the Miami Design District’s Palm Court serving breakfast, lunch and early evening bites, curating pastries from the best local bakers in town and a convenient grab and go station with healthy alternatives. The Chef’s partnership with global cruise leader Royal Caribbean began in 2011 developing menus with ingredients from sustainable sources for 150 Central Park on Oasis Class ships and now includes the gastropub evolution of Michael’s Genuine, Michael’s Genuine® Pub, on Quantum Class ships. Michael Schwartz Events offers catering and private parties, with genuine food and hospitality for memorable occasions. TGHG has been recognized by leading trade publication Restaurant Hospitality magazine as one of its RH 25: Coolest Multi-Concept Companies.  For more information, visit thegenuinekitchen.com.

Fi’lia-ing the Love | Michael’s First Italian Concept Opens Wednesday at SLS Brickell

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Puttanesca! My personal favorite pizza, with Pistachio Pesto not far behind.

Meet the newest member of The Genuine Hospitality Group family.  Our beloved James Beard Award-winning Chef and Restaurateur now brings his straightforward approach to ingredient-driven Italian cuisine from the hearth with Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz!  Click here to make a reservation.

The restaurant opens for dinner Wednesday, October 26 at the corner of South Miami Avenue and 13th Street at the brand new SLS Brickell Hotel (1300 South Miami Avenue) in the heart of the neighborhood.  Breakfast and lunch begin the following day.  Valet is available at the hotel entrance off 14th Street connected to the restaurant through its lobby, supplemented with metered parking and street entrance on South Miami Avenue.  Fi’lia is managed and operated under the Disruptive Restaurant Group umbrella of sbe.

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“Fi’lia is ‘honest Italian,’ an expression of the simplicity that I love about this style of food,” Chef explains. “It’s not specific to a particular region. This is the way I like to cook and eat Italian — straightforward and with handmade touches.”

In keeping with Schwartz’s ethos that good food should speak for itself, the premium at Fi’lia is unpretentious food and the experience to match, highlighting the freshest ingredients from the hearth and the attention to warm hospitality for which he’s known.  

Chef and Tim getting their pasta on!

Chef and Tim getting their pasta on!

I overheard this sformato (like a savory Italian custard on the delicate cakey side) with pecorino crema "a memory"... a standout from the Small section.

“A memory” for sure:  sformato (like a savory Italian custard with a delicate cakey texture) with pecorino crema.

Chef de Cuisine Tim Piazza comes to Fi’lia from his post as Sous Chef at Michael’s Genuine, bringing to life Schwartz’s food and approach in this new kitchen. Dinner draws guests in with irresistible Snacks including Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with stracciatella and basil and Charred Eggplant Spread on freshly grilled bread with grated bottarga. Working down the menu, dishes are conveniently listed by size, ranging from light but satisfying Small dishes like the bright Citrus Salad with pistachio and aged piave vecchio, to a bold and flavorful traditional cut in the Extra Large 42oz Bisteca Fiorentina executed simply on the wood grill with Meyer lemon and rosemary.

A special, not-to-miss part of the Fi’lia experience is its Tableside Caesar, a classic salad presented the old school way – made right in front of the table, dressing and all, which is the point – and tuned to perfection with garlic croutons toasted on the cart.

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Pillows of perfect agnolotti.

Fresh, daily-made Pastas are an important part of the menu and guests can enjoy this handmade touch in a few ways. Delicate, filled bundles of mouth-watering Corn Agnolotti are brought up with a zesty roasted lobster sauce and decadent Braised Short Rib Crespelle are Italian crepes baked to crisp, bubbly decadence with béchamel, taleggio and fontina. There is a nod to the classics in Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with black pepper and pecorino coating the noodles with just the right amount of sauce, and a more modern approach in Bucatini with the salty, briny punch of bottarga to balance the comforting heat of chile flakes, garlic and breadcrumbs.

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Chicken in the window.

Pizza has pride of place on the menu with perennial favorites like Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil in perfect proportion and finished with the restaurant’s own first press, cold press Italian extra-virgin olive oil blend. A taste of something new comes in combinations like Leek & Potato with pancetta, rosemary and trugole, as well as Pistachio Pesto with house made ricotta, charred onion, pecorino – all of them created using the freshest ingredients and Schwartz’s signature restraint.  LargeExtra Large and Sides highlight proteins and vegetables that ground the meal, like Wood Grilled Chicken with savory bread pudding, mustard greens, pine nuts, currants.

Sangreal grey goose, punzone blood orange liqueur, lemon 14 cocktail glass

Samgreal, a nod to sbe Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian, featuring Grey Goose, Punzone blood orange liqueur, lemon

Nothing at Fi’lia is extraneous, especially in the beverage program.  Drinks are a personal favorite part for me, featuring Cocktails (including chilled lovely bottles of them popped at the table) and Spritz.  At the open kitchen’s bar, cocktails offered are refreshingly uncomplicated—less about complex recipes, and more about how perfect a Spritz is on a July or December afternoon.  There is a section devoted to this Italian afternoon pastime with six including Bicicletta with Campari, white wine and soda water – one of the lowest in alcohol, normally drank before getting on the bicycle and riding home for the evening.   Lacuna with Knob Creek Rye, Carpano Antica and Angostura bitters is one of the bottled delights to love.  Lupa 35 is presented in a flute with Hennessy VS, Averna, Luxardo apricot, prosecco. A beer list of craft and seasonal styles complement a focused wine list of Italian regional varietals and American wines with an old world sensibility.

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The airy décor designed by Philippe Starck also skews towards unadorned simplicity, with a focus on clean lines and unobtrusive, sleek teak furniture and vertically stacked citrus planters that frame the room. It’s a modern take on restrained elegance that allows the food to take center stage.

Fi'lia's Italian olive oil blend

Fi’lia’s Italian olive oil blend, available for sale at $23/500 ml bottle at the restaurant, along with 8oz bags of housemade semolina pasta in four shapes for $8 each.  Find out more here.

Fi’lia includes combined indoor and outdoor seating for up to 116 people and is open every day for breakfast Monday – Sunday 7-11am, lunch Monday – Sunday 11:30am – 2:30pm, and dinner Sunday – Thursday 5:30-10:30pm and Friday & Saturday 5:30pm – 12am, with bar menu of snacks and small dishes served daily from 3-5:30pm. To make a reservation, call 305.912.1729 or email filiamiami@sbe.com.

Expansion Mode: Harry’s Pizzeria® Opening Third Location in Spring 2017: Downtown Dadeland!

Great news for Harry’s Pizzeria fans down south!  On the heels of its fifth anniversary on September 27, Michael’s neighborhood American pizzeria will debut in Downtown Dadeland at 8975 SW 72nd Place in spring of 2017.  The 2,100 square-foot restaurant will feature indoor and outdoor seating and joins Miami Design District and Coconut Grove locations as the third in the brand’s South Florida expansion.

“We are so excited to connect with a new community of people who are gathering around great food, which is exactly what Harry’s is all about,” Michael explains. “We have some work ahead of us, but look forward to welcoming guests into our new home with great pizza and genuine hospitality!”

Named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 25 Best Pizzerias in the U.S, Harry’s Pizzeria is a hip, casual joint for pizza lovers who crave innovative and genuine cooking. Downtown Dadeland will feature its sought-after menu anchored by hand-formed pizzas with fresh, chef-curated toppings and a tender, quick-fired crust with integrity. At the table, the Harry’s experience is complete with warm service and a wholesome menu to make a meal, including snacks, colorful salads, daily specials and dessert. From the sidewalk to the dining room, the restaurant buzzes with friends and family hanging out over craft beer, a creative wine list and great music.

“Harry’s is in expansion mode, and we have been very thorough in the selection process for our third pizzeria,” says Harry’s Holdings CEO Sunil Bhatt. “We believe in the future vision for the Downtown Dadeland neighborhood and are thrilled to be a part of it.”

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Eater breaks the news today.

Located on 7250 North Kendall Drive, Downtown Dadeland offers a fresh urban vision, bringing together dining, shopping and health & fitness establishments to create a dynamic, vibrant destination and chef-driven culinary center.  Michael launched Harry’s Pizzeria in 2011 and will celebrate its fifth year anniversary on September 27.  In five short years, the restaurant has become a fixture of the Miami dining scene and nationally-recognized pizza hotspot through its culinary innovations and original concepts such as the “Chef Pop-Up Series,” which has welcomed America’s most acclaimed chefs into the kitchen over the past three years. For more information as we get closer to opening, please visit harryspizzeria.com/locations and follow on social media @harryspizzeria.