Traymore by Michael Schwartz Unveils Sling Bar, a Night Market Cocktail Bar at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach

Ocean Drive’s The List Party presided for official opening festivities last night.

Miami Beach has a new hideaway for a fresh taste of the exotic. Sling Bar, a night market cocktail bar opens tonight at Traymore by Michael Schwartz in the COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach.  Cocktails and bar snacks are inspired by the many flavors of Singapore, highlighting the bold and diverse food cultures of Southeast Asia that converge in the global city’s many festive night markets.  Set within the restaurant’s lush and tropical environment, Sling Bar’s energy is immersive, from its “hot coral” orange neon SLING sign, to an evocative video installation portraying circadian rhythms and the juxtaposition of their experience in nature and urban environments.

“Sling Bar is a great addition to the Traymore by Michael Schwartz experience,” says Schwartz. “Singapore is such a vibrant intersection of food cultures — I was able to experience its energy on a recent trip and was inspired by drinks, dishes and even new ingredients that have influenced the menu and cocktail recipes. We are excited to give guests an opportunity to taste something different on a visit to the property, whether joining us for a quick bite and drink at happy hour or making a night of it to dine at the bar.”

Chefs Negron and Schwartz making it taste and look great last night!

Ad in Ocean Drive’s December issue.

From light and refreshing to spirit forward and festive, Sling Bar’s cocktail program is inspired by night market flavors and highlights classic Asian cocktails with a Miami Beach inspired twist. Described as “culinary cocktails” Sling Bar’s libations are designed to be uncomplicated and perfectly paired with bar bites. In the ultimate homage to its name, the ‘SB Sling’ is Sling Bar’s preeminent cocktail and features Bombay East Gin, Benedictine PF Orange Curaçao, pineapple, lime and cherry cordial. Other cocktail menu highlights include the ‘Curry Colada’ with Havana Club Rum, Velvet Falernum, curry syrup, coconut creme, lime, passion fruit and the ‘Banana Daiquiri’ featuring Havana Club Rum, Craigellachie 13 Scotch, banana, lime and coconut.

Executive Chef Jorge Negron was inspired by traditional Singaporean street food flavors and culture when developing new menu items for the bar, incorporating craveable snacks and plates that speak to the diversity of cuisines from Malaysia and India to China and Indonesia inhabiting its neighborhoods. Presentation is simple and convivial, perfect for sharing and pairing with the cocktail list. Menu highlights include the Chicken Satay with peanut sauce, Steamed Snapper Dumplings with garlic oil, coconut sauce, the Young Coconut Salad – curry chicken, rice crisps and the Singaporean Style Stone Crabs seasoned with parsley green onions.

Sling Bar’s food complements Michael Schwartz’s menu at Traymore and celebrates in-season, local ingredients, in line with COMO’s award-winning restaurants worldwide which embrace sustainable sources and pay homage to the flavors of their different locations.

Sling Bar is located at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, 2445 Collins Ave and offers complimentary valet. Find Traymore by Michael Schwartz and its new cocktail bar at
LUCKYRICE MIAMI tonight Thursday, November 21 from 7-10PM SLS South Beach.  For more information visit traymoremiamibeach.com and comohotels.com. Follow Sling Bar on social media at @SlingBarMiami and follow Traymore by Michael Schwartz @TraymoreMiamiBeach.

It Takes Two to Tango the Amara Beverage Book — Part II: Wine

“Because at the end of the night, she says ‘Champagne?'”

It’s happy hour at Michael’s Genuine® a few weeks back, and Amara’s Sommelier Amanda Fraga has placed one of her favorite sparkling wines, Roederer Estate, in front of colleague Maria Pottage.

Flute-free Zone: Fraga holding court if only for a Happy Hour at her old stomping grounds, Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink.

“People say Champagne all day, but let’s be honest, it’s going to get expensive when you’re the one paying for it!,” she jokes.  “It’s tough to have a favorite, because it’s like talking about kids, but this is one of my favorite sparkling wines. Roederer does an amazing job, and I can afford to have multiple bottles.  It may not be French, but it’s Champagne method, not bubble injections.”

We’re continuing our deep dive into the Amara Beverage Book, having transitioned from cocktails to something even more festive with Fraga as our guide.  She sees every glass of wine like traveling and visiting a new place.   When your new place is a new restaurant with a new menu, the journeys are endless in building a wine list.  The process of discovery is winding, sometimes hidden from view.

“Because of Amara’s cuisine, I felt slightly out of my comfort zone,” Fraga explains. “The culinary team was going to Buenos Aires for their research trip, and I’m thinking, this is one if the countries I drank the least of!”

Sommelier Amanda Fraga with her rosé, which happens to be ON-TAP (!)

It was at this point that she remembered who she worked for.  The Genuine Hospitality Group wasn’t an ordinary restaurant group with a literal approach. There was room for interpretation.  Sure there would be Malbec…  There had to be and should be, but not 30, with some Cabs to round it out.

“I feel like everyone thinks Latin American wines are only from Chile and Argentina,” she continues. “The idea was to have the coolest wines from Latin America at large and to not forget our roots of fresh and genuine. There is so much diversity in what’s growing and being produced from South to Central America. You have more familiar grapes like Pinot Noir, Albarino and Tempranillo, juxtaposed with Tennat, Listan Negro (the mission grape) and el Pais. It’s the perfect storm.”

Fraga’s passion for education comes from a visceral place, stemming from a drive to expand her own wine knowledge through experience, travel being one of the most salient — a potent source for inspiration that sticks.  As she sees, relating those experiences to her staff is one of her most important jobs in training — the story behind the bottle that leaves an impression.  Her innovative approach to training is predicated on a consistent curriculum and engaging the staff through “Wine Wednesday” trainings on various topics including the importance of backstory and context in wine not just the taste profiles.  They’re catalogued, little nuggets of wine knowledge framed by a narrative on who made the wine and where it came from, on the restaurant’s Instagram at #amarabeveragebook.  It’s something she developed as sommelier of Michael’s Genuine & Beverage Manager for The Genuine Hospitality Group, a useful tool grounding her training process.

Traditional, funky Prosecco, the first Wine Wednesday post at Amara. She explains, “Delicate. nice acid. good fruit. It’s not the Prosecco you know but if you’re a lover of Italy and have an open mind and heart you’re going to love it.”

Balanced with her knowledge of what our guests enjoy drinking guiding balanced by a compass pointing south, the list netted out 35% Latin America, which although not a majority is a focus on which to build, and more than Fraga has ever worked with before.  In 2015 she participated in a competition among Miami sommeliers to build the best wine bar, counter tops and all, hosted by Wines of Chile.  Although Amara was a faint glimmer in her glass and Director of Licensing Operations Eric Larkee’s team poured victorious, she reflects now on this intensive, apt primer that opened her eyes to what was out there.

“I realized the incredible variation even Chile has in itself,” she continues. “Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Malbec , Pinot Noir… There’s so much and the great thing now even three years later is that there is much more being imported in the US.”

It’s at this point I realize something, too.  I’m actually enjoying the Verdejo she’s chosen for me, and this is exactly the point.  The only way you truly know something and understand it is through exposure.  Repeated exposure to new things, even when you think they’re the old thing.  The old thing can surprise you.

“I never had it before [Michael’s Genuine® sommelier] Dean put it on the list,” she recounts.  “I kind of wanted to give you something fun and different, and I feel like you appreciate these things. It’s fun to smell a wine and not automatically be able to guess it but know that it sure does remind you of something.  You try to point to where you had it before.  So we are playing this game now… I know you wanted something white and now we have something that piqued your interest, and curiosity, too.”

For herself, Amanda is settling into the Jean Claude Boisset
, a sparkling rosé from Burgundy Dean has had by the glass for about a month now that she’s wanted to try.  She wanted something light and refreshing and had given Maria the Roederer already.

“I’m pretty sure it’s Chardonnay-Pinot Noir…” she thinks out loud.  Familiar yet at the same time foreign.  Herein lies the balance that creates the magnetism of intrigue, stirring curiosity just enough.  The game continues.

Preshift on Biscayne Bay, the place where it all comes together.

[UPDATED] Menu Announcement: Vetri Pizzeria

Marc is just as delicious as his cookbook!

Update: Event photos can be found here! Marc’s pizza dough rocked our socks, as did his company. Can’t wait to hear about how his new restaurant Alla Spina is when Michael goes to Philly on June 11 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand’s Great Chefs event!

Mmmm. Rustic Italian food. Usually what I want to eat when I crave a good meal, but oh so hard to find when the real thing is 5,155 miles away and its perfect memory comfortably perched inside my head! Now we all can get a little bit closer to the taste of the mother country by surrendering to the direction of the master himself, Philadelphia-based chef Marc Vetri, in his new cookbook of that exact name. Take Rustic Italian Food for a test drive by letting us do all the work on February 22, at our third chef pop-up dinner, Vetri Pizzeria. Straight off the plane from a visit to northern Italy in January where he and his team indulged in the likes of Fiorentina, old city streets, and the occasional vegetable, Marc joins us for an unforgettable evening that starts with salumi and ends with sweet grappa jelly dreams. Wine & beer too! Hot off the presses, view the full menu below and click here to reserve your spot while supplies last!