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October 08, 2014

Miami Mainstay: Chef Michael Schwartz's Culinary Prowess

By Suzy Buckley Woodward | Food
Miami Mainstay: Chef Michael Schwartz's Culinary Prowess
Photo courtesy of Kyle Johnson

“Timing is everything,” says Michael Schwartz (above) when asked to explain the wild success—and longevity—of his Miami Design District bistro Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (130 NE 40th St.; 305-573-5550).

It opened in 2007, when the farm-to-table movement was in full swing and a mini backlash was brewing against the lavish and swank. “It was a moment when people were ready to redefine what fine dining was, and that it didn’t have to mean getting dressed up to go to a fancy place where you’d talk quietly.” Almost overnight, Schwartz’s menu and simple, loft-like room earned him praise. “I’m not going to say I knew Prada, Cartier and Louis Vuitton would spring up next to me,” laughs the 50-year-old, who went on to open Harry’s Pizzeria (3918 North Miami Ave.; 786-275-4963) and The Cypress Room (3620 NE Second Ave.; 305-520-5197). 

Though in the end, it’s not the zip code but rather his memorable dishes—especially the particularly outstanding côte de boeuf—that fueled the Schwartz frenzy.