James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz continues his colonization of the Miami culinary landscape with Amara at Paraiso. The restaurant is part of Paraiso Bay, a luxury residential project in Edgewater. Chef de cuisine Michael Paley heads up the day-t0-day kitchen.
Housed in a building that will eventually become the Paraiso beach club, the ground floor restaurant offers unimpeded waterfront views.
The indoor-outdoor restaurant includes a main dining room outfitted in white-washed paneling, natural woods and graphic concrete tiles. Outdoors, the feeling is relaxed and urbane, with white canvas chairs, nautical ropes and couches and candles lending a romantic vibe.
Start with cocktails?
Indeed. Inspired by Latin American ingredients, cocktails are served on-tap, as single servings or punch bowls.
The list includes concoctions such as the Monkey Business made with rum, bourbon and Giffard Banane du Bresil, a banana liquor.
Be prepared to eat
It’s Michael’s take on Latin American-inspired cooking. The open kitchen features both a wood grill and a Josper grill/oven that churns out everything from lamb ribs to banana leaf-wrapped cobia.
Prices are geared to the well-heeled with small plates $11-$19 and larger mains $29-$42.
Plenty of Schwartz’s greatest hits from his Design District restaurant, Michael’s Genuine, make it onto the menu.
Snacks include crispy hominy, smoked fish dip and pan-roasted half chicken.
Start with small plates, like the grilled flatbread with chimichurri, fried oregano and whipped carrot dip, before moving on to entrees that include grilled mahi and charred hanger steak.
The “medium” section of the menu intrigues the most with dishes of crispy flounder Milanesa, wood-grilled sweetbreads and calabaza hominy stew.
Desserts are decadent with a chocolate torte topped with smoked maldon salt and wood grilled pineapple upside cake with coconut-kafir ice cream.
Reduced valet parking is available for $5.
Hits from Michael’s Genuine combined with water views equal a potential hit for the Genuine Hospitality Group.