Michael Schwartz the James Beard Award-winning chef and the King of Miami cuisine has added another jewel to his growing empire with the recent addition of The Cypress Room. Michael's cooking talent has been no secret to locals dating back to his days behind the stove at Nemo. But who knew he was a savvy businessman as well? With the opening of The Cypress Room, his fourth restaurant not including 150 Central Park on the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas cruise ships, the upcoming restaurant at The Raleigh Hotel and a future spot at the upcoming SLS Hotel in downtown Miami, will a James Beard Award for Restaurateur of the Year be far behind? I think not.
The Cypress Room opened last week around the block from Michael's fantastic flagship restaurant Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in the booming Design District section of Miami.
I know some people avoid going to new restaurants during their opening week. That's nonsense when you are dealing with the
Roel was born in the Philippines and moved to New York City at the age of 13. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute he worked in several high end kitchens in New York City before becoming Jonathan Waxman's Chef de Cuisine at Barbuto.
I knew the Dream Team was ready to roll on week one and they certainly were. I enjoyed my first experience so much that I returned again the following night. Both were genuine culinary treats for this food, wine and cocktail lover.
I appreciate great professional service and they delivered. I appreciate old school proper cocktails and they nailed it. I love great wine and Eric Larkee shines. I love great food prepared with attention to detail that respects the ingredients and is executed with finesse. Schwartz, Alcudia and the team deliver big time.
This is sophisticated food in a sophisticated setting while still remaining genuine and unpretentious.
The design of the dining room is sharp and inviting. The bar area was designed perfectly. The overall setting and vibe transported me to New Orleans. Others at the bar mentioned Brooklyn or a Colorado Lodge. Regardless it should resonate positively with everyone.
Four barrel aged cocktails are available including the OLD PAL, campari, basil hayden, dolin dry vermouth, carpano antic. LITTLE NOBLE, campari, lillet blanc, sombra mezcal, espolon reposado, orange bitters. My favorite, the VIEUX CARRE courvosier vs, benedictine, redemption rye, carpano antica sweet vermouth, peychauds and angostura bitters and the BONNIE AND CLYDE hendricks gin, solerno blood orange liqueur,cocchi americano.
Additionally, several classics, house specialties, aperitifs and digestifs are available along with an extensive list of spirits and cordials.
The three kings, Chef Schwartz, Chef Herron and Chef Alcudia.
Eric Larkee is easily one of the best and most versatile Wine Directors in town. He excels not only at pouring and pairing affordable wines with pizza at Harry's Pizzeria but with the difficult small plate options at Michael's Genuine and with the tasting menu at The Cypress Room.
Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed has created a perfect cocktail menu for the vibe of the restaurant. I suspect that the bar will become a destination for local cocktail lovers. Rumor has it that the bar will stay open late and offer a bar menu. This would be a cool addition to the area and scene.
Christian working hard behind the bar making a proper old fashioned. One of the best versions in town.
There are two ways to play the menu. You can opt for the a la carte route or take advantage of the frequently changing tasting menu featuring dishes that are not on the regular menu. $95.00 for five courses actually provides the diner with some value. For an additional $60.00 you can take advantage of Eric Larkee's knowledge and solid wine list. His pours are paired perfectly and are a fantastic way to sample some great and diverse wine.
The Beverage Book contains the cocktail list along with the by the glass options and a user friendly wine list.
Ryan and team deliver a proper take on the aforementioned New Orleans classic cocktail, the Vieux Carre. This is perfect pre or post dinner.
TASTING MENU VISIT ONE
I'm a big fan of tasting menus as I love sitting back and enjoying the chefs special creations for the evening along with his/her thoughtful progression. Thus, I opted for the tasting menu on visit one along with the wine pairing.
While waiting for the first course to arrive, Eric poured a great glass of Gaston Chiquet NV champagne.
Michael and Roel started the night off with a sorrel soup littered with delicious chunks of blue crab. Eric paired it with a nice Vio 2010 Pigato-Liguria.
Next up were wonderful pieces of tender and moist cured salmon topped with caviar and paired with picked vegetables and a saffron aioli.
Eric opted for one of my favorites, a William Fevre Chablis Premier Cru 2010.
I am a pasta snob and the gnocchi was my least favorite bite during both visits. The texture and taste were off the mark for me. However, the mushroom and antelope ragu was packed with incredible deep flavor. I gracefully tried to soak up every last ounce of it.
Here Eric went with a delicious burgundy from Saint Romain Alain Gras 2009.
The last savory course of the night was a dynamite ribeye cap that was perfectly seasoned and cooked. It was loaded with flavor and elevated by the inclusion of delicious bone marrow. Creamed potatoes and a red wine jus rounded out this home run dish.
Eric poured another winner via a 2008 Barolo Corsini.
I highly recommend dipping the rib cap directly into the marrow. Dynamite!
For dessert, Hedy delivered a perfect panna cotta which was paired with a very nice dessert wine via Muscat de Beaumes.
Two last bites courtesy of Ms. Goldsmith. Dulce de leche and chocolate cookies.
On night two I opted to create my own tasting menu despite being advised by the waiter that the chef had new dishes ready for me if I wanted to go the tasting menu route again. Of course, I wisely left the wine pairings up to Eric.
This was another outstanding meal.
ROYAL RED SHRIMP — CUCUMBER, COCONUT, LIME, PUFFED RICE
An incredible dish that excelled on so many levels. The royal reds were outstanding and the dish was packed with tremendous flavor plus nice textures via the puffed rice and cucumbers. I'm a muscadet fan and thought it paired well with this dish. It was Chateau L'oiseliniere 2004 Melon, Les Clos-Muscadet.
FROG LEGS — BROWN BUTTER, SPINACH, MARCONA ALMOND
I almost felt bad for the frog legs because they followed the flavor pop of the last course. Neverthless, these were very nice and meaty legs plated with a subtle brown butter sauce, spinach and Marcona almonds. This was paired with a Prager 2011 Riesling Steinriegel, Federspiel, Wachau.
ANTELOPE — BABY TURNIPS, APRICOT, MIZUNA
The antelope was cooked at a perfect medium rare and was tender and full of flavor. The baby turnips, apricot and mizuna made for a well rounded dish. I thoroughly enjoyed each end every bite. Eric paired it was a great red wine from Domaine du Marcoux.
THE CYPRESS BURGER — JASPER HILL LANDAFF, ONION MARMALADE, THRICE COOKED FRIES
No disrespect meant to Hedy buy yes, I ordered the burger for dessert. And I finished it all and I loved every bite as it melted in my mouth. I'm not sure of the exact blend but I know they are using trimmings from the ribeye cap. It's topped with Jasper Hill Landaff cheese and an onion marmalade.
The Cypress Room is a special place that food, wine and cocktail lovers will thoroughly enjoy. I've already booked my next reservation. See you there!
3620 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33137