The Cypress Room Keeps It Classy in the Design District
The tale of the frogs' legs begins as you'd expect, but then it takes an unexpected turn.
billwisserphoto.com Frogs' legs with potato, caper, and brioche crouton.
There they were, leaping through a mosquito-infested bog in the Everglades, when suddenly they resurfaced in a very different environment. Chefs at the Cypress Room, a posh Design District restaurant filled with fine china and crystal chandeliers, season and panfry the limbs. They meld the delicate results with capers, brioche croutons, arugula, and golden garlic and then splash it all with brown butter. These frogs' legs wind up on dainty porcelain plates.
But that's not where this yarn ends. Soft-spoken waiters deliver them to tables topped with white linens and silver cutlery. Surrounded by rose-colored wallpaper, middle-aged women blushing from too many diamonds and too much wine grab the legs, pick apart the flesh, and tear into it with their teeth. In this elegant dining room, they renounce shyness and let loose.
When eating such delectable food, that's exactly what you should do too.
In March, Michael Schwartz gutted this boxy nook on NE Second Avenue and festooned it with stuffed deer heads, Old Florida photos, and aqua-upholstered tufted benches. With that, the James Beard Award-winning chef secured his triumvirate of Design District restaurants: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, an ingredient-driven, laid-back dining room; Harry's Pizzeria, a casual place with handmade pies and house-cured meats; and the Cypress Room, a symbol of refined Americana. Inspired by 1920s fine dining, his newest venture is his most ambitious yet.