The Who: Michelle Bernstein is back at the stoves in the space where she opened Michy’s 10 years ago. The homey spot was due for a little freshening-up, and Bernstein and crew are right where they left off.
The Space: The humble Biscayne Boulevard entrance remains the same — a half-block north of Starbucks with a friendly valet in the back parking lot. But once inside the changes become apparent: a new bar facing the boulevard. An open kitchen. Terrazzo floors. Large framed mirrors and gold sculptures on the walls. An airier, more opened-up feel.
The Dishes: Bernstein’s eclectic take on classics. It’s safe to say the James Beard Award winner has developed her own style, which borrows from Latin and multiethnic traditions. There’s a renewed focus on veggies (with a trendy cauliflower steak) and soon a rotisserie will be crisping chickens. The menu comprises plenty of shareable small plates and a handful of hefty mains. Prices are reasonable with starters $12-$18 and larger plates $18-$39.
More veggie dishes include a roasted carrot salad with Moroccan carrot puree, and creamy polenta with crunchy brussels sprouts and slow-poached egg. Offal lovers will be happy to see sweetbread tacos, and a Middle Eastern influence shows up again with harissa lamb spare ribs a la parrilla. Seafood dishes run the gamut from tempura scallops over smoked potato salad to a whole snapper stuffed with leek and fennel. For mains there’s a burger made with a blend of brisket, short rib and prime-aged ground beef, and Michy’s trademark slow-braised short rib. Pastas plays with staples like a fettuccine carbonara with dashi and furikake and a green gnocchi with kale pesto.
The house bread pudding will forever reign on the dessert menu, but newcomers like the fennel panna cotta with rhubarb compote and a pair of fried apple pies a la mode deserve attention as well.
The Bottom Line: Die-hard Michy fans are already jostling for seats at the chef’s revamped flagship.