Michael Schwartz's fine-dining establishment, the Cypress Room, is turning into Cypress Tavern, an American grill and cocktail bar.
The new concept will launch Thursday, October 29, in what Schwartz calls "welcoming and warm, one that draws on the essence of what an approachable, elevated dining experience needs to be in Miami." In the meantime, the Cypress Room, located at 3620 NE Second Ave., is accepting reservations through Saturday, October 24.
This news comes just days after New Times reported Cypress Room's chef de cuisine, Roel Alcudia, was dispatched from the restaurant, with the kitchen's three remaining cooks walking out in solidarity. An unnamed cook at the restaurant told New Times: "They ripped the soul out of that place, even the legs. Everything is gone."
Michael Schwartz responded to the rumors of a possible closing of the Cypress Room in an email: "As a restaurant group, we are constantly evolving and changing based on our experiences, from small tweaks in our restaurants to big ones, and it's now time for Cypress." That evolution Schwartz mentioned means a major change for his elegant-dining concept.
Schwartz opened the Cypress Room as his third Design District restaurant in March 2013, and even though the restaurant was lauded for its casual elegance and elevated food procured from the best sources, the restaurant never caught fire the same way the chef/restaurateur's Michael's Genuine Food & Drink did just a few blocks away.
When the Cypress Room becomes Cypress Tavern, it will feature a menu developed by Schwartz and the Genuine Hospitality Group's executive chef, Bradley Herron, serving dinner and weekend brunch.
Dinner will feature large plates and an expanded side menu. Appetizer cost $12 to $19 and include wood-grilled giant prawn with garlic butter and grilled lemon (PA); citrus-cured wild salmon with marinated cucumbers, trout roe, and crème fraîche ($18); French onion soup ($12); marrow bones with preserved lemon, celery, and garlic toast ($18); and steak tartare with pickled shallots, salsa verde, and potato chips ($18).
Entrées cost $21 to $24 and include a half spit-fired chicken with crisp new potatoes and smoked paprika aioli ($28); steak-frites ($44); Albacore tuna served Niçoise-style ($29); and snapper meunière ($34). The restaurant's coveted Cypress Burger, a blend of chuck and dry-aged beef served with thrice-fried potatoes ($22), remains in its rightful home.
Weekend brunch offers 18 savory plates ($8 to $22) and seven sweets ($8 to $19), including eggs en cocotte with spicy tomato, chickpeas, cilantro, scallion, and grilled sourdough ($14); a rotisserie of the day served with roasted potatoes and Meyer lemon salsa verde ($18); French toast with fig compote, pistachio, and crème fraîche ($12); and buttermilk pancakes with smoked Maldon salt, whipped butter, and maple syrup.
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The restaurant will also offer an extensive beer and cocktail program, including a special brunch cocktail menu.
The space will also undergo some aesthetic changes before being unveiled as Cypress Tavern and the website will be changed to cypresstavern.com.
Cypress Tavern will be open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. The restaurant will be open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.