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What are the absolute "MUST HAVES" at Michy's to insure a GREAT dinner?

We have a gift certificate for Michy's, and have been reading lots of pros and cons. It seems as if it depends on what you order. Fellow chowhouds, I am looking to you to tell me what the "highs and lows" are.

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  1. I really depends what you like. If you like gazpacho, I'd order the white gazpacho. Then again some people dislike cold soups. If you enter "Michy's" in the search tool you'll get tons of links that already go over this topic.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lax2mia

      Wow Frodnesor, you've had a lot of dishes there. While in the Miami area a few months back we had our best diner at Michy's. My wife started off with the ceviche and I had the foie. For an entree, she had the cod and I had the sweetbreads. The cod was excellent with a nice crust and texture. The sweetbreads were done very well and the veal cheek ravioli was as Frodnesor put it rich and tasty. I wish this was a little bigger portion but we had room for the bread pudding which was fantastic. Not like any bread pudding I've had previously. Rich decadent way to round out the meal. I'll have to try the gazpacho next time around.

      1. re: scubadoo97

        Unfortunately couldn't convince my wife to split the bread pudding last time we were there, and still haven't had the baked alaska either!

    2. First, a little tip, you can see the menu at this website:
      http://www.restaurantelite.com/miami/...
      It may not be completely up to date but it's reasonably close.

      I posted a detailed commentary on several things I've had there, but for mysterious reasons the post has been removed.

      Here are my hits and misses of the dishes I've tried off this menu (stars for the dishes I would call "must haves"):

      Ceviches - usually very good, but can't tell you they're better than any other good ceviche.
      **Tuna Tartare - very nice.
      Tuna Carpaccio - decent, the celery remoulade is a nice touch, the soy is a little too strong I thought.
      **White Gazpacho - outstanding dish - I love this. A thick almond-garlic creamy soup poured over marcona almonds, grapes, and herbs. My favorite thing there.
      **Bibb lettuce salad w/ jalapeno-ranch dressing - I'm not a big salad person but I like this one.
      **Blue cheese croquetas - nice fluffy crispy croquetas w/ some blue cheese tang, saltiness from the ham, and a sweet fig dipping sauce.
      Truffled polenta w/ poached egg & bacon - nice flavors, but a little too gloppy in texture between the soft polenta and the egg.
      Conch escargot style - curious idea and great presentation (w/ the baby conch shells) but it tastes awful.
      Foie gras torchon - nice but not noticably different than any other cold poached foie w/ brioche and a sweet jam/gelee type deal.
      Serrano jam - pretty good simple dish, although I'm not sure about roasting the radishes.
      Duck confit - the duck is a nice confit but the brussel sprout side is awful.
      Quail stuffed w/ rabo encendido (braised oxtail) - I had this once, pretty tasty bird and good stuffing but a little heavy
      **Crispy sweetbreads - if you like sweetbreads, these are great. Crispy outside, light and fluffy inside, the veal cheek ravioli that comes with is rich and tasty, w/ a pea puree that goes together nicely.
      Fettucine carbonara - OK - I like my own better. A little gloppy and cheesy.
      **Codfish - very yummy, with a mustard-miso rub and crispy fried bok choy. I'm pretty sure this is a take-off of two of the best dishes at Yakko-San (a great Japanese restaurant which is another subject altogether).
      Salmon w/ fava bean ragout - this is pretty nice dish, though they use Atlantic salmon which I think has very little flavor. Get a good crispiness to the skin.
      Veal scallopini - didn't like this much at all.
      Lamb Spareribs - the one time I got these they were overly fatty (and I'm usually not averse to a little fat).
      **Short ribs - excellent, served over very fluffy mashed potatoes. Probably the second best dish here (next to the gazpacho).
      Steak Frite - Pretty good, like a mini-parillada with a couple cuts of steak, some nice crispy fries.
      Duck Breast - very good, done with a mole sauce. Like this but not quite to the point of a "must have".
      **Bread pudding - delicious. A big bowl, studded w/ chocolate chunks, raisins, bits of orange. Really yummy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Frodnesor, you are amazing! I agree with your faves and admire your writing and organization. You should write for a magazine. (I'm actually starting one)! :)

        1. re: Frodnesor

          I hope that gazpacho is on the menu this weekend...

          1. re: Wursthof

            The white gazpacho is a stalwart and is always on (at least every time I've visited).

            1. re: lax2mia

              Paid a visit to Michy's for the first time in a couple months last night. We went early (before 7) and it was virtually empty, and we didn't get a hard time over tables being reserved for later diners (pretty much filled up as we were there). Had 2 servers working our table practically tripping over each other to be of service.

              Had some old favorites (white gazpacho, tuna tartare, bibb lettuce salad) and a couple new additions to the menu that I thought were good enough to report on.

              Crispy sweetbreads - the sweetbreads had been on the menu previously, with a veal cheek ravioli and a pea puree. This new incarnation is done with a braised pork jowl (very much like really tender pulled pork) and a barbecue sauce. An unusual combination but I thought it worked great.

              Orrechiette - pasta w/ duck sausage, "loxahatchee greens" (wilted arugula?), chiles, pecorino and herbed ricotta. This was excellent - great combination of ingredients, really yummy.

              Somewhat less exciting was a salmon, also a variation on a prior menu item. Now it's an Alaskan salmon, done w/ crispy skin, served with couscous and a yogurty cucumber sauce. A little too squeaky for me, I like when dishes pick up on the meatiness of salmon instead but that's just a personal preference.

              The pacing of the meal was slightly unusual but worked just fine. We did a full order on the salad and 1/2's of everything else. They brought out the salad, the gazpacho, and the tartare at the same time; then brought out the salmon, the sweetbreads, and the pasta at the same time. My wife and I swapped the gazpacho and the salad mid-way, and put the tartare in the middle to split; then treated the pasta as a side to split with our salmon and sweetbreads.

              Wine list seems to have gotten lengthier and has some interesting items. We found a 1996 Piedmonte red that was excellent, nice to find a back vintage like this for a relatively reasonable price (about $65).

              1. re: Frodnesor

                Conch-two little babies served 'escargot style' (garlic, parsley, butter)-really delightful, one biters;
                Crispy Sweetbreads are also tiny-I recommend the big order unless you aren't sharing (I was eating alone at the bar, and mostly concentrating on my wine, so it was enough), pork jowls in BBQ sauce were so rich and complex I did a double-take;
                Seared Foie had a nice sea salt crunch, and the corn pancake was unexpectedly tasty (covered in maple syrup, it was breakfast-y);
                Tarte Tatin-just amazing-hot and crispy pastry with juicy apples and pears (I believe), great contrast perfectly executed and topped with a scoop of ice cream.
                Had a nice glasss of Banyuls, and a lovely bottle of 'La Garnacha', $35 (!). It is very refreshing to see a decent wine at $35 in a place like Michy's.
                On Thursday, the chef was in, looking very unassuming, unpretentious, and adorable (like the restaurant itself, actually), in a plain t-shirt-not all chef-white-d out, although she seemed very in-tense. Her husband, David, is a superb host, who always makes you feel at home, and seems to solve most problems before they happen. They are definitely still hitting their stride here.

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  ate at michy's a couple nights ago for the first time and it was delicious. i thought the almond gazpacho was very nice but not fantastic... very unique though haven't had anything like it before. the ham and blue cheese croquettas were great, light on the ham and the cheese wasn't too strong. the fig dipping sauce complemented it perfectly. i had the crispy chicken which was delicious and also tried the short ribs (outstanding) and the oxtail with gnocchi (probably the best gnocchi i have ever tasted). for dessert the bread pudding was a must. rootbeer float was ok and the red velvet cupcake was really nice. next time i will def get the short ribs, gnocchi, and bread pudding again. also, service was very good. at the end of the meal someone was clearing plates (maybe the host) and accidentally tossed a napkin into the gnocchi which was going to be packed up. he noticed the horrified looks at the table (hahaha the gnocchi was that good) and immediately offered to have a fresh one made to go. we politely refused twice and insisted that it was not necessary. sure enough, a fresh dish to go arrived at the table after dessert. thats what i call service.

              2. Update from a visit tonight ->

                Sorry to see that a couple of my favorite dishes are not on the latest menu. There were no sweetbreads of any kind (this dish had gone through at least 2 prior variations), and the orrechiette w/ "loxahatchee greens" and duck sausage was also gone.

                Beet salad, which used to come with a blue cheese espuma, is now done up with thinly sliced apple, celery and creme fraiche. I thought it was bland but my wife loved it.

                I started with a "not your grandmother's" chicken livers, and indeed it wasn't. Rather, a light-as-air mousse, served in a little mason jar, not overcooked and still with a hint of pink. Slivers of baguette to accompany along with a tiny bunch of champagne grapes and a little toss of baby frisee.

                A gigantic grilled shrimp w/ tarragon and creamed corn was a great combination of flavors, though only if you like tarragon (some folks are really put off by it). This was an expensive item, only done in one portion size for $20, which only gets you one shrimp. Even if it is a behemoth (probably 6-8 inches long and split down the middle to grill), that's still awfully pricy. The baked shrimp app at Sardinia gives you 2 of these bad boys for less and is equally delicious though completely different.

                The brussels sprout accompaniment to the duck confit is finally and mercifully gone (I like brussels sprouts but not that particular iteration), replaced instead by a cranberry relish and a dab of celery root puree. This is a combination that really works - like an updated Thanksgiving. The tart/sweet of the cranberry plays off perfectly agains the richness of the confit.

                Another new dish (for me, at least, it's been a couple months since I've been) was a gnocchi with braised oxtail and brie de meaux. The oxtail, and a thick meaty broth, were tasty with just a hint of spice, the gnocchi had a light and melting texture. The cheese I thought was a superfluous and even distracting addition.

                Some desserts sounded intriguing including a red velvet cupcake and a root beer float w/ homemade tootsie rolls, but we had no room. There were at least a couple other new items we didn't try, including a tuna poke and probably a couple more I'm not recalling now.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Frodnesor

                  Gee - I'm not so sure I want to visit after this report... sounds pretty depressing... that prawn, in terms of pricing, is on par with Joel Robuchon's famous "Langoustine" at his Atelier in NYC - $17 for one langoustine. Granted, his isn't as large as the shrimp you describe... but it really wasn't worth $17 either.

                  1. re: ulterior epicure

                    UE - not depressing at all, as I tried to explain in my other post on the thread you started.

                    I have had the L'Atelier langoustine of which you speak at the Las Vegas location, and you get a lot more for your $20 gigantic shrimp at Michy's than you do for your $17 langoustine at L'Atelier (where I'll be visiting again in a couple months!).

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      Another one on the L'Atelier bandwagon! I'll be at the one in LV next month and now I at least know of one thing to pass on.

                      UE - keep Michy's on your list. It's a one-of-a-kind place here in Miami and to pass it up would be unfortunate. The place is all about Michelle and everything she puts out there comes from the heart. Now the fact that there's no sweetbreads is a shame because she does killer versions of them (and it was one of the dishes she made she she slayed Flay in Iron Chef).

                      1. re: lax2mia

                        Yeah, I don't think you can NOT eat at Michy's while you're here, because it is one of the best restaurants in terms of food, service, and value in Miami (whatever that means). The fact that she's changing her menu is good, I think. It's just basically a 'greatest hits' type of menu anyway.

                        That being said, I had the wood-oven grilled giant prawn at Michael's for $13, and it was definitely worth it. This was the perfect example of why you should cook stuff in a wood-burning oven. I could order them all night. Tasted almost lobster-y. It was definitely a U-3, and they are expensive. Didn't even touch the accompaniments so I could savor the prawn. Sorry, I'm really hungry right now!

                        1. re: Miami Danny

                          MD - They must be killer from the wood-burning oven. A couple other places you can get them are Sardinia (where you get 2 with the baked shrimp & fregola app!) and sometimes at Yakko San (simply grilled and delicious).
                          L2M - beware the wine list at Atelier. If you think Miami markups are outrageous, just wait till you see ...

                          1. re: Frodnesor

                            Agree with wine list markups in Vegas- a friend ate at Bouchon recently and a $7 retail bottle was $43. Ouch.
                            Mr. Frodesnor-The wood-grilled prawn was so good, I was actually gnawing on the shell. The bartender looked aghast.

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              Great! One more thing I should try at Michael's - the wood-fired prawn. Thanks for the tip, MD.

                              Between Michy's, Michael's and Tulala, I seriously hope that someone has got sweetbreads on their menu. :)

                              1. re: ulterior epicure

                                You're best bet will be Michy's. I've never seen sweetbreads at either Michael's or Talula. If you're hankering for sweetbreads you may have to hit up an Argentinean place here.

                                And this has nothing to do with sweetbreads, but the pork belly with "kimchi" (in quotes because it's more of a fresh, spicy cabbage than what we're used to as kimchi) at Michael's is awesome. And the wood-fired prawn seems to come and go so don't be disappointed if it's not there. Then again, there'll probably be something equally as delicious to take its place.

                                1. re: lax2mia

                                  Unfortunately I've never had sweetbreads at any parilla that can rival Michelle's.

                                  My 10-year old son went absolutely nuts over that pork belly dish, as I commented previously here ->
                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42203...

                                  1. re: lax2mia

                                    re: pork belly with "kimchi" - sounds very David Chang-ish. LOL

                            2. re: lax2mia

                              No - the "Langoustine" is worth it, if you really really really like langoustines and want to spend that kind of money on something the size of a pinky finger. It was good; I just think Robuchon is a little over-priced... it's all about the cachet. His food is great... but it's expensive.

                              See my write-up about my meal at L'AdJR in New York here: http://ulteriorepicure.wordpress.com/...

                              1. re: ulterior epicure

                                Best sweetbreads are at table 8. Very expensive though.

                      2. Just to circle this back to original thread topic a bit, some comments on a few new (at least to me) dishes I had at Michy's last night ->

                        korean style beef tartare - only served in one portion size at $16, and that portion size was a rather parsimonious little souffle dish (couldn't have been more than 2 oz). The beef was hand-chopped and had a light texture, but was pretty mildly spiced for something styled as "korean style". I barely got any hint of spice or heat at all. Accompanied by some very lightly pickled zucchini and bean sprouts (comparable to what you might find as banchan) - again, not nearly as assertively flavored as I would have expected. If anyone remembers the zucchini they'd serve as a little pre-meal nibble at Pacific Time, it was like that, only not nearly as spicy (and PT's was not terribly spicy either). This was a good idea, and a nice play on the traditional Korean beef yukke (or "yook huei" or any other number of spelling variations) but I thought the execution was way too timid. A rather dinky portion too (particularly compared to the fairly massive - nay, intimidating - portion you get at, say Les Halles, as a dinner entree for the same price). And could have used some sort of bread or cracker-like substance to scoop onto.

                        chestnut soup - again, only one portion size, and I believe also around $16. Chestnut puree w/ foie gras, shitake mushrooms and truffle. I wasn't sure from the menu description how the components were going to be incorporated, it turned out that they were all part of the soup puree - a small bowl of dense, thick dark brown puree - which was studded with some bits of chewy chestnut as well. First taste seemed surprisingly murky and a tad bitter, until I figured out that the foie and other components had all been blended into the puree. Further tasting revealed all the components, a nice interplay, though this is still some pretty dense stuff. Interesting flavors (I'm a big fan of the underutilized chestnut), but I think I would have preferred it if the components had maintained some of their individual identity.

                        pork belly - crispy pork belly with a sweet-chili glaze and sauce (more of a "jus" or broth) and several baby clams. I thought this was a brilliant "new/old" dish. Pork belly is the hot new ingredient (locally, at least, other food meccas were perhaps a little ahead of us on this one), and pork w/ clams might seem unusual but is a classic Portugese combination. Michelle's pork belly is scored on top so it gets all sorts of crispy bits, while the fat and meat underneath were perfectly tender, the sweet chili broth added an Asian note, while the little baby clams worked perfectly (for me at least). Having said all that, I thought this dish too was somewhat under-seasoned to my taste and could have used a little more zip.

                        I love the way Michy's menu plays with dishes and combinations from so many different cuisines. The ideas are often inspired and sometimes brilliant - I just wished for some of the things I tried last night that the flavors were a little bolder.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          Weird about the beef tartar. When we tried it, and it had just been added to the menu, it was incredibly spicy and flavorful. I have a feeling some of the clientele may have found it too spicy and it's been toned down. I agree about the portion and the lack of "scoopers" but we enjoyed it regardless. Sad to see it's been dumbed down.

                          1. re: Frodnesor

                            Really enjoyed the pork belly with baby clams tonight. I'm a big pork belly fan and her version was great. The broth and clams were tasty and a perfect combo. Didn't have an issue with the seasoning, maybe they read your post.

                            The gnocchi tonight was done as a meat lasagna and tasted great
                            Didn't see the Korean beef tartare on the menu. Must have missed it.

                          2. We enjoyed a very nice Spanish white wine.....Vina Esmeralda.....Reasonably priced....fruity but dry....and we've been buying that wine for enjoyment at home ever since.....

                            EMac

                            1. Was there on Thursday and was not wowed. Very good and I would not tell someone not to go, but not an epiphany. We had 8 dishes and the only things I would order again would be the ham and cheese croquettes and the short ribs. The sweetbreads were very crispy but not at all creamy on the inside. It could have been any fried fritter. The salad was good. The salmon was acceptable but even though the skin was crispy and charred, it was virtually unedible. The steak frites had soggy fries. The mushroom polenta was tasty buy it was incredibly rich. There must have been a pound of butter in everything. The fettuccini carbonara was rich as expected but very plain and one dimensional. I was expecting more choices with a lighter touch. Most everything is very heavy. Lots of fried foods and heavily sauced dishes. Service was excellent but I would not go back. the next night I went to Yakko-san in NMB. Also small plates that could be shared. Of course it is a totally different type of restaurant but I loved it. Wonderful choices of sashimi and tataki, different meat choice, many different flavors and textures ( much of Michy's dishes had a similar mouth feel) and choices of fried, raw and sauteed foods. They even have some offal. Can't wait to go back.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: dock

                                *Most everything is very heavy. Lots of fried foods and heavily sauced dishes.*

                                Odd, this has never been my impression. In fact the only things I can think of that are fried, out of about 30 menu items, are the croquetas and the sweetbreads (which are pan-fried, not deep fried), and of course the frites with the steak frite (and an occasional fried chicken dish).

                                Some other items are certainly pretty rich - the polenta w/ poached egg, the short ribs w/ mashed potatoes, chicken livers, foie ... but I've always found the richness to be mitigated by the chance to order most of them in 1/2 portions.

                                It may be in part how you ordered - the polenta, the fettucine carbonara, the short ribs w/ mashed potatoes all fall into the creamy starch camp, and I think if you ordered those three items at any restaurant you'd find that they were quite rich and that the textures were similar.

                                Yakko-San does indeed rock.

                                1. re: Frodnesor

                                  Best thing to order is the Grüner Veltliner from Höss-best food wine on the list...$48, So easy drinking, you'll want a second. Goes with heavier dishes like short rib, as well as the snapper francaise, the crsipy duck leg confit, and the Gnocchi. Perfect for the Sweetbread Scallopini. Yeah, go for the second bottle. Goes nice with the the Churros,too.

                                  1. re: Miami Danny

                                    What did you think of the sweetbread scallopini? The preparation didn't sound nearly as good as the 2 prior sweetbread iterations I can recall.

                              2. A couple things I really liked on a recent visit ->

                                - giant prawn w/ tarragon, creamed corn and "candied seafood nage" - I am nuts for these monster prawns. I've commented on this item before, enjoyed it so much I'm saying it again. Only gripe is the price - now up to $22 for one prawn (ouch).

                                - churros. Light as air, not greasy, just slightly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and served with dipping bowls of melted Mexican spiced chocolate and salted caramel. The chocolate was the real surprise, as they mean it when they say "spiced". It doesn't hit till the back end, but this carries a deep and strong note of chili spice (ancho? maybe a little chipotle powder?) I know it's tough to pass up the baked alaska or the bread pudding, but this was a nice change of pace.

                                Also tried the "gnocchi lasagna", which falls in the "guilty pleasures" category. Gnocchi w/ a bolognese sauce covered in fresh mozzarella and baked till oozy and a touch browned on top. Honestly, this doesn't quite qualify as "high cuisine" in my book, but that didn't stop us from eating it.

                                Foie gras torchon was done with a nice apricot jam and several slices of toasted brioche, but the foie - presented in 4 skinny slices - was a bit dry and the serving a bit scant (also only available in one portion size). I actually preferred the chicken liver terrine done in a mason jar that I've had here before.

                                1. Revisiting this thread on account of a real knock-out meal we had at Michy's this weekend. A couple of the items were daily specials - roasted marow bones, and rabbit loin, another, sweetbreads, were from the printed menu.

                                  The marrow bones were in a presentation I've never seen before - instead of cut crosswise across the shank, these were longer pieces split lengthwise down the middle, exposing a long seam of oozy marrow, topped with a gremolata-like mix of garlic, caper, parsley and orange rind, served with a couple pieces of challah toast for shmearing. Hands down the best marrow bone dish I've ever had.

                                  The rabbit loan was also excellent, loin wrapped in bacon and served over dandelion greens, carrots and squares of a crispy-outside tender-inside root vegetable which I'm now blanking on (parsnip?) (i.e., all the things rabbits love to eat).

                                  The sweetbreads were yet another version (I've now seen several at Michy's), this one with little segments of orange and a slightly sweet and tangy vinegar sauce, the sweetbreads as always delicately crispy outsde, fluffy and light inside.

                                  I was sorely disappointed that a special of "plum-fed pork" was 86'd before I could get an order in. According to our waitress, the pigs were fed nothing but plums until slaughter - I'm a little dubious about that, suspect rather that it was this special offered through Heritage Foods USA (see link below) for Duroc pigs whose diet was supplemented with 2 1/2 pounds of plums daily. In any event, a good life for a pig, a fascinating product to bring in, and I'm really bummed I didn't get a chance to try the braised jowl and grilled shoulder which ran out before we placed our orders.

                                  http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com/weekl...

                                  Really nice to see this place is still at the top of their game.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                    We also had the pleasure of another great dinner at Michy's this weekend. We started off with the tuna tartar and the bib lettuce salad. Both were wonderful. Then we both had the wild alaskan salmon served with fried artichokes and an interesting garlic and almond sauce. We finished off our meal with the famous bread pudding. I could eat that everyday....fabulous.