Mother’s Day at Fi’lia | Mom’s Got More than Just a Pizza with Her Name on It

Mother’s Day calls for making things a little more special than your average Sunday.  The bar is high!  Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz takes this to the heart Sunday, May 14 with a supplemental menu of a la carte dishes fit for a queen and her party, available during breakfast and lunch.

So, what’s our move?  How about toasting with Emilia, a bewitching cocktail of Solerno blood orange liqueur, Mancino Chinato, blood orange juice, Dimmi and Prosecco, packing as vibrant a punch as it does color. Perfectly forked stacks of Wood Grilled Peaches, whipped ricotta, pistachio pesto and peppery arugula need follow.  Then Mom’s Pizza would hit the table to share, spring’s swan song in bechamel, fava beans, morels, mint, onion, pecorino and Calabrian chiles.  The combination is almost too much for one mind’s eye to contemplate.  But to be bewitched by Plum and Brandy Custard Brulée?  That’s the Mother’s Day dreams are made of. Reserve now by calling 305.912.1729 or emailing filiareservations@slshotels.com.

Wood Grilled Peaches with whipped ricotta, pistachio pesto, arugula

 

Meat Us Wednesdays at Cypress Tavern for Porterhouse, Pots & Port

fullsizerender-68Especially in Miami, especially when it refuses to cool off (patience!), we crave the winter vibes.  We break out the brown liquors, reds with structure, and yes, the meat.  It just feels like the right thing to do and indulging is always more fun with friends.  So gather some and head to Cypress Tavern because Wednesdays are now about upping the steak dinner game in a big, sharable way.

Beginning next week until March 29, our guests can enjoy the restaurant’s signature large plate off the wood grill, a 32 oz. Dry-Aged Porterhouse, with a choice of two sides – Grilled Asparagus, Thrice Cooked Fries Whipped Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts or Leeks Gratin – with two glasses of Michael and Eric’s Nebbiolo blend with Jim Clendenen, Lua Rossa No. 4, for $89. $22 more will get a full bottle, a glass more each to go the distance.  Because that’s what we would do.

ct_meat-us-wednesday-menuChef Schwartz also recommends aficionados handle it like he would, with surf.  Add a Wood Grilled Giant Prawn (PA) for the table, basted with garlic butter, seared off to a tender char and served with a cheek lemon to squeeze, the essential bright cut.

Round out the experience with a healthy dram of Smith Woodhouse 10 yr Tawny Port to savor with Cypress’ decadent Chocolate Pot de Crème complete with soft whipped cream and sugar-toasted brioche for $18.  Says beverage manager Amanda Fraga, “Dessert wines are kind of magic.  When paired properly they can really enhance a dessert by adding a new layer of flavor. Here we add notes of caramel notes to the chocolate.”  Brainer, no brainer.

To reserve a table, email reservations@cypresstavern.com or call 305.520.5197. $5 Design District Valet is available, as well as street parking in the city lot in between 37th and 38th street. Full menus and more information are available at cypresstavern.com.

Lua Rossa likes meat, too.

Lua Rossa likes meat, too.

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.

Lick Your Ribs: Chef Justin Smillie’s Slow Fires Cookbook Dinner Menu is Here!

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Chef Justin Smillie is coming to town, and he’s making a stop with Michael Schwartz first! Before the restaurant he opened in NYC with Steven Starr, Upland (named after his hometown in California) opens in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood later this fall, we will welcome him for a cookbook dinner and preview of the deliciousness to come. Join us Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm for Slow Fires at Cypress Tavern. We are thrilled to release the menu today, with some of the dishes now pictured here.

Lamb Ribs

Lamb Ribs

Cookbook Dinner & Taste of Upland Miami
Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast & Grill

WELCOME COCKTAIL & CANAPES

Bill Pay Buck – vodka, aperol, ginger, lime
Kaffir Lime Octopus with blistered shishitos
Grilled Sausage charred escarole, spicy brown butter-hazelnut vinaigrette
Veal Meatballs with gingered buttermilk, corn two ways
Crispy Lamb Ribs

ONE
Riviera Salad with oil cured tuna, tomato vinaigrette

TWO
Grilled Quail
 with broccolini, coal-roasted garlic
Clams with avocado-chile butter

THREE
Peppercorn-Crusted Short Ribs
celery, castelvetrano olive, horseradish, walnut
wood grilled hen of the woods mushrooms

FOUR
Chocolate Budino with orange caramel, toasted brioche

Tickets available for purchase exclusively through this link in advance include it all: passed canapes, welcome cocktail and four plated courses each including wine pairings (stay tuned for those!), with a signed cookbook and tax and gratuity.

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Drawing on his rural youth — the rustic elements of the outdoors including regular camping trips, foraging for wild ingredients, and fly-fishing — for inspiration, Smillie worked his way through some pretty incredible kitchens to get where he is today, making his own mark. From Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen to Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern and Jonathan Waxman’s Washington Park and Barbuto, Smillie fell in love with the bold flavors and rustic techniques showcased in the restaurant, and this philosophy would stick with him. We too got bitten by the Smillie bug after many memorable meals at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, where he earned three stars from The New York Times.

In November 2015, he released his first cookbook, Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill, exploring fundamental techniques of braising, roasting, and grilling, so you can learn the rules to break them.

 

[VIDEO] You’ve Got a Weekend Brunch at Cypress Tavern

We were itching for our first brunch at Cypress Tavern the moment we decided to go for it on both Saturday and Sunday.  Getting the restaurant off the ground was fast and furious so dinner naturally was a priority for training.  With the chefs working double time on menus and getting ready for service, brunch came together in as organized a way as on-the-fly can get thanks to technology and a good deal of old fashioned face time.   With menus set and plenty of feedback from the team thanks to patient chefs (more eggs please? more… everything, please?), we knew it was going to be good, but what would it taste and look like?  We decided to make a video at this past Saturday’s first service to find out.

Big thank you to Gio Gutierrez for shooting our footage, always there to jump in when his technology skills are needed.  We hope you enjoy this first taste of what is going down during brunch at Cypress Tavern.

IMG_8632 (1)On the weekends, 18 Savory ($8-22) plates escalating in size offer guests flexibility to craft their brunch experience, whether it’s starting with oysters and the Lobster Omelet with fine herbs (15), or Bibb Lettuce Salad with heirloom tomato, radish, black olive, and creamy Meyer lemon dressing (8) and Eggs en Cocotte with spicy tomato, chickpeas, cilantro, scallion and grilled sourdough (14). Today’s Rotisserie (18) features a special spit-roasted protein, like lamb shoulder, served with roasted potatoes and Meyer lemon salsa verde. Extras (8) including thrice-cooked fries, breakfast sausage and wood grilled asparagus are there when you need them. Seven Sweet ($8-19) dishes delicately touch on all the brunch sweet spots like French Toast with fig compote, pistachio, and crème fraîche (12) and Buttermilk Pancakes with smoked Maldon salt, whipped butter and maple syrup (11). The Chocolate Pot de Crème is a silken stunner, served with toasty, sugared brioche cubes (12).

For dinner menu, full bar offerings including special cocktails for both Dinner and Brunch, and to make a reservation, please visit cypresstavern.com.  Cypress Tavern is located at 3620 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami’s Design District and welcomes walk-ins but encourages reservations at reservations@cypresstavern.com and 305.520.5197. Hours of operation are Dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 6-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m., and Sunday until 10 p.m, and Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Closed Monday. $5 Design District Valet is available, as well as street parking in the city lot in between 37th and 38th street.