Tucked away along Northeast Second Avenue in the Design District, just minutes from The Shops at Midtown Miami, you’ll find a new date night hot spot and chef Michael Schwartz’s latest conquest, The Cypress Room.
The James Beard Award-winning chef has already made a name for himself in the buzzy area, with his other distinct endeavors, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Harry’s Pizzeria, both serving fresh, unique cuisine that keep the restaurants packed with eager patrons. The Cypress Room seems to work with the same successful recipe .
Walking in, you’re immediately taken back to an old jazz room with soft, relaxing tunes playing over the speakers and romantic dim lighting setting the mood. The deer heads hung along the wooden wall slabs, however, give a slightly muscular contrast to the setting, mixing the intimate date-night venue with some sort of handsome hunter’s den.
“We wanted to do something special,” Schwartz said of the space. “[We wanted] a throwback to a different time, and I think we did. It’s an old Florida fine-dining room, with masculine and feminine touches throughout the room and the menu.”
Speaking of the menu, there’s a range of hearty dishes with bold starters such as bone marrow with preserved lemon, frog legs in brown butter and lamb tartare served with quail egg. The smoked and roasted beets accompanied with robiola and pistachio is the perfect complement to any of the heavier appetizers.
The rest of the selections are packed with various meats you don’t necessarily see elsewhere in Miami, such as the lamb shoulder with gnocchi, antelope with baby turnips and the Bolognese-stuffed agnolotti pasta sprinkled with Parmigianino.
If you’re looking to share a meal with another guest, there are also larger portions of the house specialties, which consist of a whole wood-grilled fish of the day and the côte de boeuf.
Cocktails can be found both on the menu and inside the charming beverage book that offers the ideal starting sips, including the Go Lightly with St. Germain, sparkling wine and lemon. From there, you’ll have a choice of classic drinks, specialty mixes and barrel-aged concoctions, such as the Little Noble made with Espolon Reposado, Lillet Blanc and smoky Sombra Mezcal.
The chef’s own Michael’s Genuine Home Brew is featured on the beer list alongside notable local drinks like Due South IPA. There are plenty of wines by the glass and bottle, too, including the 2010 Erath Pinot Noir and 2011 L’Ermitage Rosé.
Still, The Cypress Room experience isn’t complete without executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith crafting some sort of after-dinner decadence for the table. Desserts such as the Florida citrus chess pie with huckleberries and the toasted Oregon hazelnut parfait solidify the fact that Schwartz has achieved epicurean excellence in the city yet again.
Photos Courtesy of The Genuine Hospitality Group