Michael Schwartz built one of the most beloved Miami restaurants, in a part of town no one thought could work, at a time when the Design District was even more of a gamble than a young Wynwood — and became a Miami success story.
It nearly never happened. “This was my last-ditch effort to stay in Miami, to save face,” Schwartz said on a recent Wednesday as he sat in his landmark Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink on the cusp of its 10th anniversary — a milestone for a Miami fine-dining restaurant. "
As Miami's restaurant scene flourishes, diners have watched many locally grown concepts mature into sought-after dining destinations. Thanks to heightened demand, five of the Magic City's most prominent eateries have announced openings beyond Miami.
From Fort Myers and West Palm Beach to Brooklyn, D.C., and the Dominican Republic, here are five homegrown restaurants representing Miami outside the 305.. ...........
Izzy's Fish & Oyster
Izzy's Fish & Oyster, known for its homey, traditional Northeastern food in Miami Beach's SoFi neighborhood, will expand to Fort Myers. Through a partnership with the National Restaurant Group, Izzy’s is set to open at the end of April on First Street in downtown Fort Myers. Created by chef/owner Jamie DeRosa, the menu will offer many of the staples at the Miami Beach flagship, including the Maine lobster roll, fish 'n' chips, and steamed or grilled lobster, along with a few new additions.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan are always cooking up lots of things in South Florida. The duo recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the NATPE conference. Their Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” is coming to Miami this year. The couple has also been busy supporting daughter Emily as she follows in the family business, releasing her first album “Take Whatever You Want.”
Bazaar Mar Restaurant
The 58-story SLS Hotel & Residences in Brickell features dining concepts from chefs Jose Andres and Michael Schwartz. With The Bazaar a smash at the South Beach SLS property, Andres is expanding his horizons to include the vast ocean with Bazaar Mar. The restaurant features seafood from Caribbean and local waters, dishing out a sea of snacks ranging from ceviches to crudos to tiraditos. Menu favorites from The Bazaar will also make their way onto the menu. Likewise, Schwartz has introduced an Italian concept (his first in Brickell) Fi'lia, which follows the chef's philosophy of simple and honest cooking with hand crafted breads, pizzas, and pastas. SLS Brickell, 1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33130, 305-239-1300.
Arjun Waney, the restaurateur known for Zuma, Coya, and most recently Doa, is behind yet another soon-to-open international concept: La Petite Maison, a London-based French restaurant coming to Brickell. The eatery is slated to debut in mid-February in Brickell House (1300 Brickell Bay Dr.). Waney and partners Bob Ramchand and Raphael Duntoye, who is also executive chef, are at the helm of the restaurant's U.S. expansion. The Magic City is home to the first American outpost.
Milly’s Empanada Factory has opened in Kendall, bringing a much-needed injection of Venezuelan food to the area.
Manager Jose Atencio explains the recently opened Milly’s, located at 13911 SW 66th St., was started by his father.
""My dad opened Rafucho’s which was Miami’s first Venezuelan food truck. Following that success my mom, Milly, started selling empanadas on the streets on North Miami,” says Atencio. When the food truck closed, Milly decided to capitalize on her street food success by opening a wholesale empanada business which now resides next door to the establishment.
Chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson once planned to become an architectural engineer, but then he dropped out of school to cook instead.
""It turned out well, though, because now I'm not only a chef; I'm also building restaurants,"" Schulson tells New Times. ""Most people don't have the ability to close their eyes and envision what a restaurant will be like from plans or renderings, but it's easy for me to imagine a place — how the energy will flow — before there're even four walls.""
Today the Philadelphia-based restaurateur's vision has made him a sought-after chef.
He worked his way up the culinary chain of command from New York’s Peacock Alley at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and David Burke’s Park Avenue Café to Philadelphia’s Le Bec-Fin and Susanna Foo. He helmed kitchens in New York City (Buddakan) and Philadelphia (Pod). Now he has joined Hollywood's Diplomat Resort.
In 2008, Schulson opened his first restaurant, Izakaya, in Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. He's also behind several Philadelphia establishments, including the Japanese eatery Double Knot, Asian-inspired Sampan, Graffiti Bar, and the new-American hot spot Harp & Crown.
SOUTH BEACH — Craft Café is the new sister restaurant to South Beach’s A Fish Called Avalon. The cafe offers coffee, tea and specialty drink selections plus desserts and baked goods and Atlantic Ocean views. The space is now open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 700 Ocean Drive.
After much fanfare and plenty of speculation, yesterday Trader Joe’s reps confirmed a location of the popular grocery store would be heading to Miami Beach next year. The store will be located on the corner of 17th Street and West Avenue within a new South Beach mixed-use development, 17 West. It is slated to open the second half of 2018 and will occupy approximately 11,500 square feet inside the five-story building.
This marks the second location in Miami-Dade County for the chain, the first being in the Pinecrest neighborhood at 9205 South Dixie Highway, but it also has locations throughout South Florida including outposts in Davie, Pembroke Pines, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.
The brand is best known for its private label items, which it features more than 4,000 of, including domestic and imported foods and beverages, frozen entrées, juices, deli items, and vitamins, plus the basics, like milk, eggs, and bread. Its items are usually priced at a lower cost than its main competitors like Fresh Market and Whole Foods, who both have locations just around the corner from this new location of Trader Joe’s
One of New York’s best-loved restaurants, Sant Ambroeus (340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach), which has three locations in the city and a fourth in Southampton, has finally expanded outside the state, opening an outpost at the new Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach. After a little over a month, a table at Sant Ambroeus is already one of the toughest to score in the tony town.
Owner Dimitri Pauli and general manager Adil Avunduk preside over the 174-seat room designed with mahogany and stone and inspired by a 1950s Italian café, and greet their regular customers as if the place has been there for decades.
Of course the authentic Milanese dishes offered at breakfast, lunch and dinner are familiar as is the awe-inspiring array of home-made pastries (don’t miss the key lime meringue), but here there is more of an emphasis on seafood, colorful salads, grains, and local ingredients. Sharing a menu with those traditional items like caprese salad, carciofi salad, and Tagliatelle alla Bolognese are new offerings such as blue crab, lobster, an array of pizzas, and a simply cooked section. The cocktail program also emphasizes South Florida bounty, while the wine list is filled with unique selections from obscure Italian regions.
A gelato cart is stationed outside at the floral-strewn entrance, and if you can’t get a seat in the dining room, the menu is also available at the bar, which has café tables. And soon you might not mind cooling your heels waiting for a table – Poinciana’s plaza’s chic update should be completed by the end of the year, with shopping to rival Worth Avenue.