Let’s face it. Miami isn’t known for pizza, but when one of our top chefs gives it a go, we’re all for it.
Many of us have had the thin-crust pizzas pulled fresh from the brick oven at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, and now we’ll get to sample an expanded selection of those pies when Harry’s Pizzeria opens tomorrow.
Michael Schwartz has taken over the former Pizza Volante space in the somewhat unexplored outskirts of the Design District, on the opposite side of North Miami Avenue, and believes his brand of pie will be more successful than that of the former tenant. With pizzas such as the MGFD bacon and the slow-roasted pork, we’re inclined to agree.
The look of the restaurant, which is named for Schwartz’s son Harry, is all Design District, with a modern, industrial feel coupled with a rustic wood bar and a brick oven à la MGFD.
The menu will feature ten pizzas whose dough is made from the MGFD recipe, along with various snacks — including polenta fries, house-ground meatballs, and Michael’s homemade ricotta — and a selection of salads.
These aren’t usual pies. Take, for instance, the slow-roasted pork, which is paired with figs and fontina, or the rock shrimp, featuring grilled lemon, manchego, scallion, and cilantro. Then there’s the “MGFD bacon,” a dangerous-sounding creation featuring fingerling potatoes, cave-aged Gruyère, caramelized onions, and arugula.
In true Michael’s style, even the beer list is local, featuring four draft selections from Florida at opening. Also available is a tight selection of pizza-friendly old-world vino, Panther coffee, and desserts such as zeppole, fritters made from the leftover pizza dough and dipped in honey-whipped ricotta, because they might as well put that extra dough to good use.
When will Schwartz’s other offspring get their eponymous restaurants? Look for Ella’s and Lulu’s, coming soon.