Thursday, February 19, 2009

michael's genuine food and drink, miami, feb. 19

quick post: we are in south beach. planned to go to an old haunt in boca for lunch, but decided it was too far out of the way and dropped back in to michael's genuine food and drink in miami. we came here for dinner last summer and loved it. figured we'd try for lunch.

first off, we had to have the crispy hominy with chile and lime because i was kind of chastised for not getting them last time. we asked if they were like corn nuts. "EXACTLY!" said the waiter. well, not exactly, but they were really good. they were crispy on the outside and chewy inside. worked really well, loved them. they were sort of LIKE corn nuts, but certainly not exactly.

we split a panzanella, which was really good. the chef, michael schwartz, is very big into farm-to-table, and the bar that faces the kitchen is lines with all sorts of tomatoes. panzanella is a salad of bread and tomatoes. ours included purple, yellow, green zebra and red tomatoes. the dressing was balsamic and basil. the bread retained chewy texture even though it was soaked in balsamic dressing and tomato juice. excellent stuff.

we each got a sandwich. both were ok, neither spectacular. pam got the curried mahi wrap. a house-made flatbread wrapping the fish, caramelized onions, couscous and raisins, with curry mayo on the side. she said it was good, but the fish was pretty small. she thought she got the bottom of the barrel on the fries.

i couldn't decide between the short rib and fontina panini or the steamed mussels. i asked the waiter, and with every ounce of conviction i like to see from a waiter, he suggested the panini. it was good, and i can see people loving it, but i was left wishing i had gotten the mussels (especially after i just saw a photo of the mussels dish on their website a minute ago, wow.) the panini was good. there was more fontina than short rib, and the short rib was braised and pulled to the point that it was almost like a meat pudding. it kept squeezing out of the sandwich. again, it was good, i wasn't disappointed, just wasn't great. it came with a tomato chutney that was very good. my fries were fine.

we skipped dessert because i suspect it will be a long weekend of eating. but i didn't want to, because i remember the chocolate cremosa i had the last time we were here. i really wanted to get it again.

we are going to dinner at a place just down the street from michael's, sra. martinez. if the desserts there don't impress me, i'm stopping in for a cremosa.

oh, and we had a celebrity chef sighting (i suspected that was possible): michael symon was in with an entourage. i felt like i recognized a couple of people with him, but could not place names.

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