Where James Beard Winner Michael Schwartz Eats on His Days Off
The Miami-based chef behind Michael's Genuine gives us a tour of his favorite spots in Magic City, including the gin cocktail haunt of our dreams
Ready for a day of superlative eating, which ends in a gin cocktail tasting? A longtime resident of Miami by way of New York, Michael Schwartz has been in the industry since 1995. Schwartz is a James Beard award-winning chef and the owner of The Genuine Hospitality Group, which includes the Miami Design District’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. We sat down with Schwartz and asked where and what he wanted to eat on his day off. Some of his picks we could have guessed — others were less expected.
Breakfast: All Day
For breakfast, I would say All Day. They just reopened, and I think they do an excellent job with eggs and egg sandwiches. So I’d say that, but I’m not a huge breakfast person. Usually, my breakfast consists of a protein shake after a workout, and I wouldn’t say I like to eat a meal until lunch, which I want to eat early. But All Days is a good spot if I’m indulging.
Lunch: Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Usually, for lunch, I work, and a lot of times, I’m trying to be healthy. I’ll make a meal plan and bring lunch with me even though I’m in a restaurant all day. You would think it’s pretty easy to eat whatever you want, but it’s not. I wind up making bad choices, but I love Mandolin Aegean Bistro. It’s open-air, great vibe, solid food and a Design District extension. I usually see people here I wouldn’t see at Michael’s Genuine. An interesting mix of tourists, business people and moms. It has a good vibe.
Snack: Joe’s Take Away
I usually grab some stone crabs from Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant, get a bottle of Chablis and sit at Southpointe Park.
Dinner: Sunny’s Steakhouse at Lot 6
For dinner lately, I’ve been loving Sunny’s Steakhouse at Lot 6. It’s owned by the people that own Jaguar Sun, and it’s super interesting since they pivoted during the pandemic when they really couldn’t even operate because it’s a tiny little space. They popped up at Lot 6, which is in the Little River neighborhood, and it’s a beautiful outdoor space with lots of character, warehouse-like, and big banyan trees. They created a good environment with great martinis, great cocktails and the food cooked outside on wood and charcoal grills. We love going there. It has fantastic hospitality, great food and a good vibe. I always recommend it to people from out of town because it’s exciting and a little bit different.
Drinks: Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Flanigan’s Seafood Bar, and Grill and Tropezón
We have a routine, my girlfriend and me: When we want to do something more interesting than grabbing a drink somewhere, we’ll go to the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Surfside for martinis and fancy little snacks. Then we’ll go over to Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill for some shots and chicken wings. That’s something we like to do, and I always tell people as a good tip since they’re right next to each other. There’s a new place on Española Way in Miami Beach called Tropezón. They do the infusions and create great cocktails, ranging from saffron-infused to warm spice-infused gin. We love to sit at the bar and get guided on a gin cocktail tasting by the people there. They’re all very knowledgeable.
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