Two of the restaurants on my Miami wish list were located in the Design District, and as it would work out, I had two trips to Miami planned. During the first trip I headed to Sra. Martinez and on the second trip, I headed to the tastefully named Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink.
Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink (for the remainder of this post it will be referred to as MGFD) is located about a block from Sra. Martinez. There is some seating outside, and plenty of seating inside. The restaurant itself is very well lit and wide open. To the immediate left is the fully stocked bar and to the right is the dining area. At the back of the room is the exposed kitchen — a staple of the contemporary American restaurant. I took my seat at the bar and started looking at the menu.
MGFD is definitely the type of restaurant for both foodies and FOODies alike (for those that don’t know, I use FOODie to represent those culinary enthusiasts that are also into local and sustainable). The food is locally sourced, and they make it a point to tell you that. The menu is printed on a daily basis so as to capture the best of those fresh ingredients. I decided to start with the butter lettuce salad, and based on the recommendation of the bartender, then I went with the yellowjack as opposed to the half chicken. I completed my order with some sautéed chard since the fish was served à la carte.
While I was waiting for my meal, I had an opportunity to look around a bit. It took me a little while to notice, but on the bar, where you might find nuts or breadsticks at some places, were bowls full of radishes — certainly a unique and seasonal approach to bar snacks. I was actually about to reach for one when my first course arrived. The salad was simple and very fresh, a nice start to the meal. Butter lettuce, oranges, hazelnuts and avocado combined for a lovely texture and balance. It wasn’t anything that blew me away, but it was nice in its simplicity and restraint.
This theme carried over to both the fish and chard. Again, both dishes that were simply prepared and not overly done up. I guess this is where the “genuine” aspect of the name comes from. The fish had a mild tapanade on top of it, which added a bit of brininess that was a welcome surprise. Unfortunately though, while it had a nice little crispness and crust, the fish was just a bit overcooked and dry. The chard, on the other hand, was sautéed nicely, but I was surprised at the mildness of the flavor.