When Michy’s opened in an unassuming space on Biscayne Boulevard it was typical for guests to drop $200 - $500 on a bottle of wine. That was seven years ago when the economy was booming and proper cocktails were still hard to find in Miami.
David Martinez, Chef Michelle Bernstein’s husband and partner, says the emphasis then was on the bistro’s food and its elaborate list of wines, which flourished to as many as 250 labels at one point.
They simply didn’t have space for much else and they were fine without a liquor license, he says.
Later, the duo flexed their cocktail skills with the help of renowned bartender Julio Cabrera in 2008 when they introduced the late Sra. Martinez to the Design District.
They brought Cabrera back in to develop Michy’s first cocktail menu with the customers in mind: it’s heavy on martinis.
“The Boulevard has changed and service has come back to Miami,” said Martinez. “I want to serve cocktails that complement my food – from start to finish.”
Twists on classics:
The “Flame of Love,” homage to the Rat Pack’s favorite cocktail, is a full-bodied combination of vodka and dry sherry poured into a sherry-coated martini glass (for a smoother experience).
The “Naked Dry Martini” is served in a 3 oz. martini glass with “frozen gin” (think really, really cold), a mist of dry vermouth and a Spanish olive.
The elegant “Russian Deluxe” includes “frozen” Stoli Elit served in a frozen 3 oz. martini glass with a spoonful of caviar and cream. Just the way the Russians do it.
The “Anejo Old Fashioned” adds a bit of spice to the meal with Cabrera’s jalapeno-infused agave syrup and dashes of Dale’s Pimento Bitters added to the aged tequila.
Michy’s Negroni is 1 oz. each of gin, Campari, red vermouth, and prosecco served in a bottle at the table. It comes with a rocks glass and one big cube, giving you the freedom to pour as you go.
Martinez and Cabrera met nearly 10 years ago when they were at the helm of a luxury hotel in Mexico. They share the same philosophy – “service comes first.” While Cabrera currently spends most of his time behind the bar at The Regent Cocktail Club at The Gale, he continues to collaborate with Martinez as often as possible.
The new cocktail menu is now available during regular hours and Sunday brunch, a new offering at the restaurant featuring a DIY Bloody Mary bar.
Galena Mosovich is the lead writer for cocktail culture for Miami.com and The Miami Herald.