It’s been a few years since I was last in Miami and the last time I was there, I wasn’t blown away by the food scene. South Beach seemed more preoccupied with the perception of a foodie scene, rather than the substance of it. But, on a recent trip to Miami for work, I went outside South Beach where I found delicious cuisine at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, located in the Design District in Miami, is owned by James Beard Award-winning chef/owner Michael Schwartz. The casual bistro focuses on fresh, local ingredients. The cocktails and wine program are fresh and creative. After a delicious Hemmingway Daiquiri, I was impressed by the eclectic wine list that included Greek wines like the Assyrtiko that we started with and the Arbois Trousseau that we finished with.
The menu is divided into Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large section, along with Snacks, Sides and a Raw Bar. When dining with friends, this makes it easy to order a lot of dishes to share.
The food is straightforward, just like the menu. We started with a couple snacks.
Thick Cut Potato Chips with Pan Fried Onion Dip – This is not the onion dip from the dehydrated soup packet that you used to make and bring to parties in college. Here the onions are caramelized until they are tender and sweet. They are then mixed with sour cream, mayonnaise and cream cheese for a creamy, rich dip. Add homemade thick potato chips and it’s a perfect snack.
Falafel – After just having returned from Israel, I didn’t think a falafel could live up to what I had eaten. But, these falafels were perfect – crisp on the outside, soft on the inside.
From the Medium section we enjoyed:
Stracciatella with heirloom tomato, basil, extra virgin olive oil and fleur de sel – simple, fresh, delicious
Crispy Sweet & Spicy Pork Belly with kimchi, crushed peanuts and pea shoots – The pork belly was meaty, not fatty and with the pickled kimchi was the perfect synergy of sweet and spicy in every bite. The peanuts added an extra savory element.
Housemade Gemelli Rustica with caramelized leek, smoked bacon and piave vecchio
Duck Confit with cara cara oranges, frisee and spiced pumpkin seeds
Moving into the Large section on the menu, these were two of the favorite dishes of the night:
Slow Roasted & Grilled Harris Ranch Beef Short Rib with roasted cipollini onions, romesco sauce and duchilly hazenuts
Wood Oven Roasted Striped Bass with pomegranate vinaigrette
Of course, we added a few Sides as well.
Fingerling Potatoes with Mustard Creme Fraiche
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Lemon Aioli
And to complete the meal, we finished with three desserts.
Grapefruit Pot de Creme with Coriander Donuts, Gingerbeer Lime Jam
Sweet Potato Pie Sundae in a Jar
I can recommend every single dish we had. As the name of the restaurant implies, this is genuine food that will satisfy everyone.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
130 NE 40th Street
Miami, Florida 33137