Celebrity chef, Michael Schwartz, recently opened his latest restaurant in the epicenter of Miami’s young professional community.
Forget the drive to the Design District, or to mid-town, or the hassle of parking. Hop on the Metro Mover to Brickell Station and meet for lunch at Fi’lia, in the chic new SLS Brickell Hotel. It’s signature Michael Schwartz – fresh, farm-to-table fare, bringing new twists to standard fare, only this time, it’s Italian-style.
Personal touches abound. At each teak table, pewter salt and pepper shakers flank small clay pots of fresh oregano. Larger herb pots line walls and windows vertically, from ceiling to sill. Waiters flavor Chef Michael’s branded olive oil with herbs snipped tableside to accompany aromatic crusty bread, served fresh out of the oven.
Caesar salad is prepared tableside, with fresh, grilled croutons. Beef carpaccio is served with almost equally thin fried potato crisps and salad.
Pizzas are designed with an imaginative palate an cooked in a brick oven hearth on the far side of the teak an stainless steel bar. Comfort food gets healthy with cauliflower gratin. Heartier fare, like homemade sausage, roast lamb, wood-grilled chicken, and grilled giant prawns, sates the most voracious appetites.
Leave room for dessert, though. “Chocolate budino” may translate to plain old chocolate pudding, but this version is deeply dark, topped with salted butter caramel, a dollop of flavored whipped cream, and brandied cherry cookies. There’s also a pine nut and honey tart with bitter orange, creme fraiche and rosemary; an olive oil cake with fig compote and zabaione; and a selection of gelato sandwiches.
Zagat, Time-Out Magazine, and Miami New Times have all described Fi’lia as one of the hottest new restaurants in Miami. If Chef Michael’s other restaurants are any indication – Michael’s Genuine Food, Ella, Harry’s Pizza, The Restaurant at the Raleigh, and Cypress Tavern – downtown residents and commuters alike are in for a treat.