Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Michael's Genuine

Starting off with house made potato chips and roasted onion dip.

Make no mistake about it, my meal at Michael's Genuine Food and Drink was monster.

With only one night in Miami, I had been thinking about exploring more Latino cuisine. Specifically Cuban or Argentine cuisine. In fact, I had chosen an Argentine restaurant and sent a text message to Juan Manuel to see what he thought - being that he's Argentine and from Miami.

The response that came back surprised me. Forget the Argentine place and go to Michael's. Michael's? I'm going to eat at yet another farm to table kind of restaurant when I'm in the land of Cuban/Latin cuisine? That sounds like madness. So mad that I almost thought of bailing on Juan Manuel's suggestion and hitting the Argentine place anyway.

Passion fruit soda.

Then I thought about it more. Juan Manuel knows cuisine pretty darn well. His palate and taste is one that I respect. He knows my tastes in cuisine and I knew that he wouldn't steer me wrong. With that in mind, and against my personal judgment, I decided to head down to Miami's Design District for a taste of what Michael's had to offer.

I won't write much more but to say that the meal was absolutely killer. Just from reading the menu alone, I knew that I was excited. My only regret is that I was dining alone - because a menu this good deserves to be explored thoroughly and while I'm willing to order a number of plates to sample, ordering the entire menu by myself would just be "too much" - even for a man prone to excess like myself.

With restraint, I chose some selected items to taste from. I didn't finish them all but instead ate them on the way to Key West the next day.

Fried Beef Cheek.

I'm a big fan of rib eye steaks. Give me a nice rib eye and I can be very happy. My favorite part of the rib eye is the flap that surrounds the eye. It's full of juicy fatness that makes the steak. Michael's offers just that flap as their Ribeye Cap Steak. A nice cut of meat whose seasoning I wasn't too keen on but it made for delicious eating on the way to Key West.

Of all the dishes I sampled, the absolute star was the Fried Beef Cheek. Simply amazing and well worth the visit. In fact, I could have eaten just that dish alone (with a side of fries, of course) and it would have been perfect. Beautifully soft, tender and seasoned meat then fried til crisp... Good God, it was just unbelievable. I think of that cheek with fond remembrance.

Wood Roasted Double Yolk Egg with gruyere cheese.

I ended the meal with the Basil Panna Cotta at Juan Manuel's suggestion. It was good but I was more intrigued by the Roasted Popcorn Ice Cream that I passed on in favor of the panna cotta.

Surprisingly, Michael's offers a dark roasted blend coffee from Intelligentsia in Chicago but sadly, it misses the boat. Dark, roasty and carbon-tasting. It's typical restaurant coffee with a fancy roaster attached to it. Disappointing and in need of sugar and cream. Lots of sugar and cream.

Grilled Prime Ribeye Cap Steak - faro salad, feta and salsa verde.

French Fries, of course!

Basil Panna Cotta.

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NorthEast 40th Street
Miami, Florida 33137