Michael Schwartz's Favorite Eateries & Bars
by bill kearney
Miami’s culinary It boy since opening Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in 2007, Michael Schwartz went on to garner national attention when The New York Times fell head over heels for his roasted pork shoulder, and he later won the James Beard Best Chef: South award in 2010. In the past few months, Schwartz has added the Design District’s petite yet elegant Cypress Room and The Raleigh’s Restaurant Michael Schwartz to his culinary roster. It’s never down season in his restaurants, but sometimes a chef needs to relax and let someone else create for him. Ocean Drive tapped Schwartz to reveal his most beloved local spots for a peaceful meal.
“The perfect hangout”
The Broken Shaker: Its cocktail program is great, and the bar itself is a perfect hangout. It’s in the backyard of a hostel, with orange, lemon, and mango trees, lounge chairs, Ping-Pong tables, and Jenga, and the food menu is healthier, simpler, and a better approach for the kind of people who are gravitating to the place. It’s always a good time. Freehand Miami, 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach, 305-531-2727
“The most serene”
Mandolin Aegean Bistro: This husband-andwife partnership crosses cultural boundaries with Greek and Turkish cuisine done very well. Simple touches like the director’s chairs, blue accents, and bamboo canopy all create an atmosphere that really transports you to a more serene place. The food is consistently good (I love the octopus) and responsibly sourced. 4312 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-576-6066
“Best bowl of soup in town”
Momi Ramen: It all starts with bone broth. They boil down whole pork leg bones for 24 hours until the marrow thickens the broth. The pasta is made fresh four times a day. This is not your standard ramen. It might be the best bowl of soup in town (my favorite is the oxtail ramen), and hopefully all you are in the mood for, because it’s about all they have. I’m a fan of doing one thing right. 5 SW 11th St., Miami, 786-391-2392
“Not to be missed”
Naoe: Chef Kevin Cory is the only person around here doing traditional omakase style, where there are no menu choices—you just let Cory offer you the best seafood he has. Think of it as water-totable, with offbeat items like cod milt and mullet roe. If you can manage to book one of the 13 seats for either of the two dinner seatings, it’s an experience not to be missed. 661 Brickell Key Dr., Miami, 305-947-6263
photography by david cabrera (killer b); jeffrey Salter (naoe); adrian gaut (the broken shaker), chelsea lauren/getty images for international olive council (schwartz)
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.