The Elevated Tavern: Michael Schwartz's Concept in Miami Offers an Inviting Atmosphere with an Approachable, yet Refined Menu

The Elevated Tavern: Michael Schwartz's Concept in Miami Offers an Inviting Atmosphere with an Approachable, yet Refined Menu

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Dining and drinking have been a part of America's social fabric since colonial times, and the setting of this activity was often Taverns. 

These establishments were and always have been where all different walks of life to socialize over a drink and some bites. 

But, taverns have come a long way from what they used to be.

"From colonial times to the mid-19th century you had taverns, which provided food and lodging. They had a tapster in a cage—as opposed to at a long bar—and it was open to all members of the community, including women and children. Then you start to see the dedicated saloon, which didn’t necessarily serve food, and mixed cordials and spirits at a long bar. Women were rarely allowed. Hotel bars existed on the high end, catering to business travelers. During Prohibition there were speakeasies, and after that people went back to the term tavern, though it was more like the old saloon," said Christine Sismondo, author of "America Walks into a Bar," to "Smithsonian."

The concept of a tavern is still very much alive today. But now, taverns range from being small, dimly lit, dingy bars to high-end restaurants that offer an impressive bar menu

One of the most popular restaurants in Miami (that is a Foodable top 25 veteran) is Cypress Tavern, a restaurant that channels the esthetics of a refined tavern, while serving top notch food and an array of hand-crafted cocktails.

 

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Avoid the Fight, Grab the Right Bite

Avoid the Fight, Grab the Right Bite

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

With less than two weeks until Valentine's day, you may be quietly (or not so quietly) panicking about what to do to impress your favorite lady or gent. 

If procrastinating has not produced the miracle idea you have been praying for, don't feel ashamed. 46% of people start shopping for a gift in early February, so you are not alone. 

But, nothing to fear Foodable reader! We are here to guide you on how to avoid the fight and grab the best bite. 

Check out the video above where people in Miami's Wynwood share their past Valentine's Day experiences, featuring the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Nonetheless, Valentine's Day should be all about love and creating memorable experiences.

"People don’t always get what they want on Valentine’s Day, and that’s because most people shop for their significant others without the input of that person. Most often, people receive candy, chocolate and cards on this heartfelt holiday, when what they really want is an evening out or an experience," writes "Entrepreneur."

So without further ado– here are some dos and don’ts to consider when planning your dining experience. 

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Miamians Line Up for Artisanal Desserts at The Salty Donut in Wynwood

The Salty Donut began as a mission to bring handcrafted, artisanal doughnuts to Miami. Owners Andy Rodriguez and Amanda Pizarro traveled across the country for these desserts and wondered why Miami didn’t have them.

“We realized that Miami is usually at the tail end of a lot of gastronomic trends and we just really wanted to do something that was for our city. Bring a little bit of culture that we didn’t have from other places around the country to our city...because I feel like Wynwood is part of the town, part of Miami that’s most accepting to kind of different things,” Rodriguez said.

Prior to having their storefront, “Salty,” as it is affectionately known, was trying to keep up with their customers' insatiable demands from a pop-up truck. Even now that they have been able to move into their storefront, The Salty Donut regularly has lines stretching down the street and often sells out of doughnuts before the business day is done — not surprising, due to its widely varied consumer base.

“I think we’ve got kids [who] are super trendy and kinda fashion-forward. I think we’ve got, you know, grandmas and grandpas that are 80 years old that come in and get our doughnuts,” Rodriguez added.

With quirky items like the pancetta, cheddar, and cornbread cake doughnuts and classics like the traditional glazed buttermilk, Salty offers a treat for every flavor profile. The menu is thanks in part to veteran pastry chef and The Salty Donut Executive Pastry Chef Max Santiago. With his 20 years of experience, Chef Santiago can change his menu regularly.

“Whenever anyone asks me, ‘You do just doughnuts?’ I don’t do just doughnuts, I do desserts,” he said.

And those desserts are just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the stomach. As customers walk in to satisfy their doughnut craving, many can’t help but stop to snap a shot for Instagram or Facebook.

Watch this episode of REACH Miami to see what all the fuss is about at The Salty Donut.

Coyo Taco Doesn't Cut Corners When It Comes to High-Quality, Modern Mexican Food

Coyo Taco resides inside Miami’s revitalized neighborhood of Wynwood, a district that was transformed through graffiti art by visionaries Tony Goldman and Jeffrey Deitch.

Coyo, as locals call it, is one of the most popular fast-casual modern-Mexican cuisine concepts in the area. It features outdoor seating with four royal blue, communal-style picnic tables that sit eight people comfortably, along with large umbrellas for a sun-and-rainproof experience. The simple industrial style that reigns the interior of Coyo allows its open kitchen to take center stage, where guests can watch the hard-working staff prepare their food from the comfort of their high-top table or booth seating.

Executive Chef Scott Linquist, a Los Angeles native who spent most of his professional career cooking Mexican food, has based the Coyo Taco menu on authentic Mexican flavors and cooking techniques, but has modernized it to fit everyone — from the casual foodie to the health-conscious or vegetarian guest. 

Their corn grain tortillas are hand-pressed and cooked on-site every hour throughout the day. It’s no surprise Coyo’s philosophy, which is "todo fresco," means “everything fresh.” They incorporate this philosophy to everything they do inside the restaurant/bar and out in their commissary kitchen by using fresh and local ingredients.

“We are not cutting corners in the processes… our duck carnitas [Carnitas De Pato], is a process of doing a confit with a duck leg for hours at a really low temperature. Whenever we do our Cochinita Pibil, Yucatan-style pork, it’s for 12-hours, we cook it overnight wrapped in banana leaves. We do barbacoa with short rib with a similar process. So, we’re not cutting any corners,” Linquist said, who just opened his own restaurant in partnership with entrepreneur Aaron McKown, called Olla.

Coyo is also home to a “secret” bar past a light blue door located at the far end of the restaurant. It serves specialty, crafted drinks with fresh ingredients — specializing in margaritas— and is open every day of the week except on Sundays.

Linquest assures that the margs and the tacos are not the only items that make an impression on Coyo’s guests, but also the sound quality to their not-so-secret back room.

“In this small 12,000 square-foot space, we have some really powerhouse equipment to really put out great sound, so that attracts a lot of DJs that can come back and play in the bar for an intimate audience,” Linquist added.

To learn more about Coyo Taco, check out our first REACH Miami video episode above!