Sundown Grillout | Genuine Summer Series Spotlight

Yesterday we announced our first ever summer series with the Miami Design District, with a line up of events reimagining classic outdoor summer pastimes.  Now it’s time to grill down the details of our kickoff event.  June 10’s outdoor feast is like a greatest hits of Chef Michael’s favorites, featuring a menu of cookbook classics and then some more off Lynx Grills (and rotisseries, a pizza oven and flattop “asado” grill!)  Because it’s summer, pairings by Wines of Germany with special attention to Riesling are in order, the perfect bright complement to a fiery feast of smokey, genuine flavors.

Guests will enjoy a cocktail hour from 6-7PM with passed bites followed by a three-course seated dinner at farm-style tables in breezy Palm Court. The evening will feature live music from Marcus Grant “Mutes & Roots” Jazz Trio.

  • Passed Bites
    Crispy Shortrib  romesco, duchilly hazelnuts
    Slow Roasted Pork Pizza  fig, grilled onion, fontina, arugula
    Wood-Grilled Florida Shrimp  dill aioli
    Ricotta Crostini  apricot thyme jam
    Local Fish Ceviche
    Classic Deviled Eggs
    Paired with 2014 Blue Fish Original Dry Riesling, Pfalz
  • First
    Florida Mangos  torn herbs, bean sprouts, peanuts, nuoc cham vinaigrette, fried onions
    Paired with 2013 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett, Mosel
  • Second
    Rotisserie Leg of Lamb served family-style   new potatoes, preserved meyer lemon, salsa verde, watercress
    Merguez lamb sausage
    Pickled red onions
    Cucumbers & yogurt
    Paired with 2012 August Kesseler “N” Pinot Noir, Rheingau
  • Dessert
    Grilled Peaches with crème fraiche, Florida honey, pistachios, and thyme.  Paired with NV Dr. L Sparkling Riesling, Mosel

Log_intern_WoG_4cPurchase your Sundown Grillout tickets here and visit the series home at for the full line up and tickets, including season pass to all three events at a discounted price. Follow along at #genuinesummerseries.


Announcing Harry’s Chef Pop Up No. 24 | 2014 Food & Wine Best New Chef Matt McCallister


It’s Miami Baby! And good things happen under The Cypress Room’s overpass when Riesling is involved… Here, the Riesling Road Trip made its first stop complete with mobile bar  in a modified shipping container.

Another month or so has passed and another enchanted evening was upon us last night, this time at The Cypress Room with our second special guest after February’s wondrous visit from the Gramercy crew.  We welcomed Wines of Germany’s Riesling Road Trip and the Overlord of all Overlords since he presides over this wondrous realm in which sugar and acid hang in delicate balance. I write of  our friend, James Beard Award Winning Wine Director Paul Grieco, who along with delicious partner Marco Canora, share their passion for creative wines finished with context at their beloved Hearth restaurant and Terroir wine bars in New York City.  Eric Larkee always says that wine is the last ingredient of a dish.  I’ll add that a great story is the last ingredient of a wine.  And my oh my does Paul have some stories. And we learned so too does Berlin-based Riesling expert Stuart Pigott, like how pea soup is typical of German cuisine of the Rheingau, where 2012 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Feinherb, Gelblack calls home.  So fitting as the pairing for CHILLED PEA SOUP — CRAB AND SORREL, the second of many standout dishes from chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia and Hedy Goldsmith.  See how the Riesling went down, and to such a sweet crescendo indeed, with our Flickr album of 96 priceless pictures.

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Uncorked: Summer of Riesling 2013 in #Genuineland

The Genuine Hospitality Group’s intrepid wine director Eric Larkee’s Uncorked column comes often (but never enough!) to TGK.  Stay on ahead of the grape game curve. Listen to Larkee. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ericlarkee. In a bind figuring out what to buy at the store? Tag #dialasomm, and he’ll try to assist… store-dependent!

June 21 is almost here and that means one thing to your friendly neighborhood Sommelier.  Summer of Riesling!

This is an interesting time for the James Goatee Award winning Paul Grieco-led program. Last summer was Year 2 here in Florida, and we represented — well — we held a state-wide industry focused tasting with four stops including Orlando, Tampa, Palm Beach, and of course, Miami. Results from the tasting were great; we placed third in the nation (after New York and California) in the number of participating locations and the nationally the program reached a high water mark. Here in Florida the question has been, “Did we drink more Riesling?” Hard to tell, but I will say we drank better Riesling, which is far more important.

SoR2013_ LOGOThe past two years also saw Mr. Riesling himself, Paul, traverse down here for dinners where we expended much of our Summer of Riesling energy into one night. These dinners were great and we got to see the difference in Riesling priority Paul and I have. While he gets stoked to show the ying-yang balance of the sugar and acid and how awesome it works with food, I simply like to show people how delicious straight up dry Rieslings are.  See here for all the hoopla from 2011 and 2012.

This year our approach is a bit different. Home Base (Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink) is the only fully sanctioned 4 Riesling By-the-Glass pouring restaurant but you will find Riesling-centric programming at our other Design District locations. Here is a run-down of what you will find:

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
– Pouring a number of Rieslings BTB including sparkling, still and dessert styles.
– An available flight of the still Rieslings, sure, try them all!
– An expanded & rotating Riesling section, again, focused on some of my favorite dry-style single vineyard selections.

Harry’s Pizzeria
– Slipping a Riesling onto the wine list.
– Check out the chalk board, we’ll be opening something appropriate with the nightly dinner special. If you are lucky there might be a glass left the next day at lunch, little known fact (since it usually all gets drunk) but most Riesling is better the next day!

The Cypress Room
– Riesling Focus on the Tasting Menu.
– We’ll have a delicious Riesling open to pair with the Cheese Plate.

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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