A Harmonious Experience at 150 Central Park Sets Sail

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Harmony of the Seas captured by Eric Larkee at STX France’s docks in Saint-Nazaire (May 4.) She began her first sea trials on March 10 and and was delivered to Royal Caribbean on May 12.

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Lobster Gnocchi with carrot butter sauce, herb salad (paired with Qupé, Marsanne, Santa Barbara County, California)

After a build time of 32 months, Harmony of the Seas has set sail on her maiden voyage from Southhampton, UK with a shiny new 150 Central Park for Team Genuine to call (third!) home.  Harmony features VOOM, the fastest internet at sea, so book your next trip here, make a dinner reservation, and tag #150CentralPark so we can see your impressions while onboard!

Befitting the latest — and largest — offspring in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class fleet, Harmony’s edition ensconced comfortably on Deck 8 rolls out all new menus by Michael highlighting artisanal ingredients in a new format that offers guests more ways to experience simple, elegant American dining.  Oasis and Allure will follow suit with version 2.0 later this summer.

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Click here for the menu in full.

A straightforward multi-course menu includes Appetizers, Entrées, and Dessert or Cheese Cart, trimming from the previous six course tasting but with more dishes to choose from than ever before.  The idea is to streamline dining time, allow the guest to explore the restaurant on multiple visits and try something new each time, and maintain the thoughtful details that make an experience at 150 Central Park special.

BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE BOURBON TART salted caramel, spiced pecans, cranberry chutney, chantilly cream GRAHAMS, “SIX GRAPES”, PORTUGAL 6

Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Tart with
salted caramel, spiced pecans, cranberry chutney, chantilly cream
(paired with Grahams, “Six Grapes,” Portuga)

For an introduction to the menu, a three course dinner invites diners to design their meal by selecting a desired dish for each course.  Or, for an elegant evening out, opt for a four course pairing with a choice of four dishes, each expertly matched with wine by sommelier Eric Larkee.

New to the menu is a world-class cheese cart, tuna tartare service and 23-ounce dry-aged rib eye presented tableside, showcasing the importance of details and deliver the special touches and personal service in the dining room while catering to distinctive tastes.

150CentralPark_CheeseAndDessert_0523asThe result of months of collaboration with our F&B partners here at the port, but informed by what we’ve learned in the dining room since Michael first introduced his Farm to Ship program aboard Oasis of the Seas in October 2011, the changes went live under the thoughtful direction of  Director of Licensing Operations Mr. Larkee and Executive Chef Bradley Herron, who each made two trips overseas with new TGHG assistant chef Megan Hess to ensure smooth implementation and to capture feedback and respond to issues nimbly.  Harmony’s home port will be Barcelona until October 23 when she crosses the Atlantic to Port Everglades, FL.

The most dynamic wine pairing program of any Royal Caribbean restaurant, created with the direction of Michael’s Genuine® sommelier, Eric Larkee. Chef Schwartz’s passion for food and wine, combined with 150 Central Park’s comprehensive tasting program, make for an upscale and intimate gastronomic experience onboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-Class ships.

150 Central Park Dining Room

After the plastic wrap!

Harmony of the Seas spans 16 guest decks, encompasses 227,000 gross registered tons, carries 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,747 staterooms.  The ship combines the iconic seven neighborhood concept that sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are known for, with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities and offerings that will appeal to guests of all ages. From The Ultimate Abyss, a dramatic 10-story tall slide, to unparalleled entertainment including Broadway’s hit musical Grease and distinct high diving, acrobatic performances in the ship’s trademark AquaTheater, sophisticated dining in venues ranging from Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to Royal Caribbean’s whimsical restaurant Wonderland, which is a unique culinary adventure for the senses, and robot bartenders, there is an adventure for everyone onboard Harmony of the Seas.  Follow what she’s up to at #harmonyoftheseas!

After Glow: Announcing ella after 3 Thursday, October 8

mgfd_miaIt's. About. To. Go. Down. @chefmschwartz on the roasted and raw turnips with bottarga and white miso #ellaafter #ellaafter2 dinner service #secondpop #soldout begins at 7pm @ellapopmiami. Next dinner is 10/8. Tickets live 9/8 through the link on its profile. #bottarga #turnip #whitemiso @ericlarkee @chefbradleyj 🌟🌟🌟

Michael’s view from the pass of his first course at ella after 2, roasted and raw turnips with bottarga and white miso

On October 8, ella will turn its clocks back a little earlier for Michael’s ella after 3 dinner service to open up new time slots: 6:30, 6:45, 7, 8:30, 8:45, and 9 p.m.  CLICK HERE for tickets to select your seating.  Early bird gets the worm!

Here’s a refresher on the ella after drill: Chef’s new light and airy cafe in the Design District has a second pop. One Thursday a month the café stays open late for a prix fixe dinner cooked and served by chef/owner Michael Schwartz including 4 courses with wine pairings for $75, plus tax and gratuity. The inside is set with communal seating and offers advance tickets in 2-hour time slots beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Menu will be released prior to event and is subject to change. No substitutions. All sales are final. Please be on-time – after 15 minutes seats will be forfeited.

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Please join us when Chef does it again with a new menu.  He’s still thinking… But you already knew that! Thanks for playing and see you soon in Palm Court.  Our latest daytime menu adds Wynwood Brewing’s La Rubia bottles, gluten-free bread, JoJo Tea including single origin, a daily breakfast scramble and (not printed) afternoon TAPAS!  There’s just so much ella to love.

Summer at The Cypress Room Shines in The Beverage Book

Cool off from Miami’s heat with something new and refreshing at our elegant American dining room and bar in the Design District!  Beginning today, The Beverage Book at The Cypress Room features six new cocktails from Aperitifs and Classics to Specialty Housemade. Also, for the first time the restaurant offers nightly-changing cocktail and spirits pairings for its 5-course Tasting Menu in a “Bartender’s Choice,” available for $40 additional, plus tax and gratuity.

Inspired by the classics and summer in the Magic City, TGHG Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed reimagines old school cocktails through a modern American lens.  Pouring into vintage bar books and cocktails lists from as early as 1895, Goodspeed can usually find a home for a new idea he’s had or a new ingredient he’d like to feature.

“The beverage program at The Cypress Room is unabashedly spirit driven and careful calculation goes into each drink,” says Mr. Goodspeed.  “Cypress cocktails have a depth and texture to them. They are well-mannered, but get straight to the point!”

Beginning with light and refreshing Aperitifs (11), Four Rosés blushes with Chef Schwartz’s favorite, featuring rosé wine, Lillet rosé, Dillon’s gin-based rosé liqueur, rosebud and hibiscus flower water and a lemon twist. Lonely Negroni combines Miller’s Westborne gin, Campari, Aperol, JuJube syrup, lemon and orange peel. Classics (12) add a Whiskey Sour with WhistlePig rye, Cardamaro, lemon, simple syrup, egg whites and orange bitters, and Singapore Sling shakes Fords gin, Cherry Herring, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple, lime, angostura and a maraschino cherry. Specialty Housemade (14) includes Brewster highlighting the final harvest of the lychee season with vodka or gin, simple syrup, lime and cilantro. And every summer needs an anthem, so for Cypress it comes in the form of Summer’s Soda, a clear-as-a-summer’s-day elixir packing a punch with Highwest Silver Rye, Dolin Blanc, lemon, and lemongrass-lavender-chamomile syrup.

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Christian and Ryan, a meeting of the beverage minds over the TCR bar.

Cocktail and spirits pairings at The Cypress Room change nightly based on the 5-course tasting menu of the evening. Each day before dinner service our chefs review the dishes with Bartender Christian Carnevale and General Manager Amanda Su who perform some improvisational magic exercising their smarts and a little creative license for good measure.

Christian says, “The guests at The Cypress Room are looking to see what we can do. They are genuinely interested in what they’re drinking – whether it’s from a wine glass or a highball. They want to test our knowledge. These pairings give us an opportunity to converse with the Tasting Menu, show off what we can do and get creative! Our focus is on guest experience, everything is thought of beforehand, needs are anticipated and tailored to you.”

And if you were to ask Ryan, what makes a good cocktail? He’d say, “if you keep going back for more!” And we sure will, see you at The Cypress Room!  What will be your summer cocktail go-to at The Cypress Room? Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @thecypressroom and tag us on your next visit. New summer hours offer dinner Monday through Thursday, 6-10pm and Friday and Saturday 6pm-12am. The restaurant is closed Sundays.

The Cypress Room is located at 3620 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami’s Design District. Reservations recommended by calling 305.520.5197 or emailing reservations@thecypressroom.com. For more information, including current menus, please visit thecypressroom.com.

The Cypress Room Tasting Menu Part II: Menu Design with Roel Alcudia

 

The Cypress Room came together with such a singular vision, that every person, at every point of its inception, has had to live up to it. Chef de Cuisine Roel Alcudia came to us from New York City to stand at the helm of the kitchen. The golden boy of The Genuine Hospitality Group, Roel gets first choice of the ingredients that come in fresh from Homestead, the Atlantic, the Gulf, and wherever else we find the beautiful product that graces The Cypress Room’s a la carte menus.  From there, and not a moment before, the daily Lunch Prix Fixe and nightly Tasting Menu are conceived.

Having been trained by our self-proclaimed Godfather, Roel didn’t have much catching up to do in the Genuine kitchens.  He has a keen eye for freshness, a taste for quality that we love so much. So it’s only natural that when I sat down to ask him about how the Tasting Menu dishes come to be, he had three words to say: I wing it.

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The Cypress Room Tasting Menu Part I: Pairings with TGHG Wine Director Eric Larkee

photo(5)The Genuine Hospitality Group’s intrepid wine director Eric Larkee’s Uncorked column comes often (but never enough!) to TGK. Here we take the reins to discuss something special and top of mind these days, whether sailing on the high seas with Royal Caribbean or sidling up to white table cloths and fine china at The Cypress Room on the mainland: the Tasting Menu. They come in all shapes and sizes, yes, depending on the city you are in and the chef behind the line, so how does our newest restaurant approach this complex dance between food and beverage, and the people behind them — and in front i.e. the customer? To explore all the angles, I first sat down with Larkee to talk pairings for Part I. Ellie spoke with chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia for Part II, coming tomorrow.

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