Michael's Genuine

130 Northeast 40th Street, Miami, 33137, United States

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Michael’s Genuine (its chef owner is Michael Schwartz) is in the Design District of Miami, an area that could politely be described as up-and-coming. It is in a little arcade of shops, with some outside tables and a very gloomily lit dining room. The menu has starters from $9 - $18, main courses $18 - $36 and side dishes at $5-$8.

The wine list featured a good choice of US wines, and some fine growers from elsewhere. Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2008 was listed at $50 for a wine that costs around $21 to buy in the shops, Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personelle 2001was $78 compared to a retail price of around $30, while the lovely Kistler Vine Hill 2006 was $120 for a wine that you may be able to find for about $80 or so but could easily cost you twice that.

I began with a tuna tartare topped with a quail egg, crostini to add a little texture contrast, and a little olive, shallot and tomato on the side. This was a refreshing dish, properly seasoned (13/20). A main course of linguine featured pasta that had been made from scratch, with smoked bacon, roasted heirloom tomato, onion and Parmesan cheese. The pasta had pleasant texture and the ingredients went well together (13/20).

A dessert of lemon meringue tart had a nicely balanced filling, zest as garnish and was served with a rhubarb sorbet, which added another acidic element that seemed a peculiar idea given the already sharp nature of the dessert (13/20 for good execution). Coffee was decent.

The bill, with a couple of glasses of wine, came to $85, which I suppose is acceptable. Service, however, was disappointing. Despite a prior reservation I was given the worst table in the restaurant, one out of the way of most other diners, just where the bus-boys deposited the dirty plates. My waiter was polite but hardly friendly, and when my glass of wine had not arrived in time for one course and I finally got his attention he said “Oh yeah, I haven’t had time to order it” in an offhand way. Service in America is usually very good, but this was an exception. Overall the cooking was competent but unexciting, and less than I was hoping for one of the highest rated restaurants in Miami.

The murky photos are a result of the gloomy ligtiting here.

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