By Paige Mastrandrea By Paige Mastrandrea | February 23, 2022 | Food & Drink Feature
MICHAEL’S GENUINE REOPENS IN THE MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT WITH AN UPGRADED LOOK AND FEEL.
Long before the Miami Design District became the cultural and luxury mecca that it has evolved into today, chef Michael Schwartz served as one of the neighborhood’s pioneers by opening doors to his beloved eatery Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. As a Miami institution for 14 years, Schwartz and Genuine Hospitality Group decided to undergo a refresh and expansion. Now, they deliver Michael’s Genuine 2.0, a gorgeous, airy space that accommodates up to 200 guests with indoor-outdoor seating and new and cherished dishes spanning the enticing menu. Here, the James Beard Award-winning chef shares a preview of the updated eatery. 130 NE 40th St., Miami, @michaelsgenuine
What prompted the renovation of Michael’s Genuine?
We made the most of the space we had for 14 years. Our goal was to enhance and expand Michael’s Genuine ahead of its 15th year. It’s been thrilling to watch our loyal following continue to join us for so many years, and we wanted to refresh our offerings for all.
Interior of the newly redesigned Michael’s Genuine
What are some of the menu highlights?
What new dishes must we try, and what classic favorites can we find? We will always offer our stracciatella dish, crispy pork belly and our Poulet Rouge. They are staples and we shift some of the ingredients at times, but they are signature staples. While we paused service to refresh MGFD, the team got together at my house to create new dishes and play with flavors in my kitchen. We wanted to infuse some new flavors into the menu with some of our newer items. We’ve married unexpected flavors and created great new dishes including our lobster toast, which is made with seaweed butter, melted leeks, herbs and caviar creme fraiche, or the spiced lamb and charred eggplant dish that features pickled onions, herbs and pita.
raw butternut squash salad
What was the inspiration behind the new design elements?
Our goal was to maintain and expand on the design we already had. I worked with the designer, Marcela Lombana, to bring in the key elements that made Michael’s feel approachable. We grew the kitchen, added more nooks for seating, a chef’s table, designed an indoor-outdoor feel with open windows and more plant life inside. We leveled the courtyard and created all-weather options for our guests. Through the new design, we are offering the same genuine experience in a bigger space with carefully crafted elements that augment the overall experience.
What is your go-to cocktail?
MGFD Boulevardier with Russell’s Reserve bourbon, Campari and genuine sweet vermouth.
Noble Elixir at Michael’s Genuine
Tell us about your experience in the Design District. You’ve been there since before it was developed. What have you witnessed over the past few years, and how is this indicative of the Miami dining scene as a whole?
It’s always exciting to be one of the first. We were fortunate to arrive in a neighborhood that grew around us to become what it is today. I can’t think of MGFD thriving the way it has in another area of Miami. It’s been thrilling to see the growth of Miami. As a collective, we are excited about it. It provides us the opportunity to showcase our ongoing presence but also helps us to gauge what we can bring to the table as we grow.