Restaurant Michael Schwartz: The Prettiest Outdoor Dining on the Beach
South Beach has never looked as good as it does this sun-drenched afternoon. You're sitting beneath the sea grape tree at Restaurant Michael Schwartz and watching two dudes play catch with a foam football in the Raleigh Hotel pool. Children romp in the water and beg their parents for more soda and fries. Under the black-and-white umbrellas, an ageless couple, immortalized by plastic surgery, smokes cigars and drinks rosé.
billwisserphoto.com Pan-roasted half Poulet Rouge chicken
In a few weeks, this deck will feel different -- teeming with socialites, celebrities, and New Yorkers in floppy sun hats. But right now, you aren't thinking about that.
Your only concern is the weather -- and the ice in your cocktail, which melts too quickly in the heat.
The setting here is lovely, rivaled only by Cecconi's at the Soho Beach House as the prettiest outdoor dining on the Beach.
But Restaurant Michael Schwartz is more than just looks. It also bears the name of Miami's most revered chef.
The news broke two years ago: Schwartz had signed on to handle food and beverage operations at the iconic Raleigh Hotel. Between then and now, the chef added two more local restaurants to his repertoire. Harry's Pizzeria was followed by the Cypress Room, a fine-dining establishment that was recently named one of the nation's best new restaurants by Bon Appétit. In April, after much anticipation and delay, Schwartz took over the Raleigh. He launched Restaurant Michael Schwartz, the only venture to carry his full name.
The chef now oversees seven places, including one in Grand Cayman and two aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships, making him perhaps the leading restaurateur in Miami. And with such success comes expectation. Can Schwartz continue to grow without sacrificing quality?