Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink Gets a Facelift
The restaurant that kicked off the restaurant renaissance in the Design District, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, just underwent a two-week long renovation in order to freshen up the space, create a larger bar and a add a new raw bar.
“We’ve always tried to stay one step ahead to keep things fresh at Genuine. It’s something we think about all the time as a company and challenge each other everyday to make the right decisions and be smart about our future. That applies to the growth of The Genuine Hospitality Group, but no where is it more important than where it all began,” says Michael Schwartz, the restaurant’s James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur.
The new space increases bar seating to 25 with 11 new seats in the Bar Room, surrounded by four tables each seating four on the north wall and an additional four window seats overlooking the restaurant’s courtyard. Taking over the original private Gallery Room by knocking through the back bar wall, the new bar’s mahogany counter was sourced and forged by Schwartz’s longtime collaborator Miles Black also responsible for millwork at The Cypress Room. Carl Myers’ latest coin mosaic series featuring fish uses the restaurant’s own local catch as its subject, including Queen Snapper and Yellowedge Grouper brought to the doorstep this summer by fishmonger George Figueroa of Trigger Seafood.
As the Design District enters “busy season,” the restaurant will now be able to receive guests for 1.5 more hours during the previously closed “in-between” period following Lunch, as well as offer an Afternoon menu to satisfy beyond simply Snacks as previously offered during the 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Happy Hour window. The Raw Bar will be available for all service periods including Lunch, Dinner, and Sunday Brunch.
The focal point of Afternoon’s a la carte menu is the new Raw Bar featuring a rotating selection of two east coast and two west coast oysters (3 each); middleneck clams on the half shell (2 each,) traditional shellfish platters (plateau 65, royale 130); classic shrimp cocktail with house cocktail sauce (12); chilled ½ Maine lobster (PA); stone crabs with mustard sauce (PA/seasonal); and one crudo, tartare and ceviche with setups that will change daily (13-14).
Then there are six classic Schwartz dishes in stracciatella highlighting the fall season’s first Florida heirloom tomatoes with local basil, extra-virgin olive oil, fleur de sel (13); butter lettuce with orange, hazelnuts, avocado, shallot-hazelnut vinaigrette (13); honeycrisp apples with greens, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, Dijon vinaigrette (15); crispy sweet & spicy pork belly with kimchi, crushed peanuts (15); and two wood oven pizzas – a daily special such as cured salami with pesto, red onion, arugula, fontina, as well as heirloom tomato with pesto, roasted peppers, mozzarella, pine nuts (18).
Genuine Snacks round out the savory selection, and milk chocolate cremoso with extra-virgin olive oil, sourdough crostini (10) and the restaurant’s Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith’s daily-changing homemade ice creams & sorbets served with a shortbread cookie (10). The back of menu will highlight the restaurant’s cocktail list and offer the same solid rotating selection of craft and other longtime favorite beers, as well as wines by the glass and bottle.
“It’s a great looking bar, but more importantly it’s going to function a lot better, which will give the team flexibility to do more,” says Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed. “We’re going to focus on what we do best and do it even better.”
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