I had met Executive Chef Michael Schwartz at the 2007 Food Network Food Festival. He was just about to open his own spot and right after I saw him, his resto exploded in Florida media as well as national media. Here he is in the New York Times.
I finally had a chance to try Michael’s this past Christmas break. I did my Allergic Girl protocol and it worked like a charm. I called and spoke with the manager asking if the chef felt comfortable with food allergies. “Not an issue,” they said, “We’re happy to accommodate you.” I used Opentable.com putting down my requests in black and white. When I entered, I was greeted by Tamara, the Chef’s wife and business partner. I identified myself; she said they were aware of my special requests and were all ready for me.
I sat at the bar, made nice with bartender/cutie/Californian Ryan who double and triple checked my order with chef. So far, so great. I ordered a bunch of sides of veggies (I’ve had so much meat out in the last six to eight weeks that I’m back on a veggie kick, all veggies everywhere) including these totally splendelicious (yes I made that word up, thank you) flat yellow beans that are local and my new favorite thing and something I’ve never had before. Add to that a dish of fingerling potatoes, roasted asparagus and Brussels sprouts and you have my veggie dinner. However, their regular Brussels have house-cured pancetta and they got nervous that maybe some of the spices in the curing would be anti-AG. So they made a whole new fresh batch for me. I was touched. And I was sated.
As many of you know, without a caring, knowledgeable chef who has trained his staff about food allergies, all the calling ahead in the world and opentable.com ressies aren’t going to help with your special requests. It was clear from the moment I walked in that this place cares about its customers. And in turn Michael’s customers clearly care about Michael’s(there were lots of regulars), I look forward to becoming one and I can’t wait to go back and try some meat!
130 NE 40th Street
Miami Design District
Miami, FL 33137