Michael Schwartz's Ella: Beet-Cured Salmon and Lychee Sangria (Photos)

Ella
Ella
Photo by Carla Torres

To understand the Miami boom, take a walk around the Design District's new Palm Court at 140 NE 39th St. It is here that Michael Schwartz continues his culinary domination of the city through his newest baby, Ella. 

It's named for Schwartz's daughter, who just graduated from high school last week and has collaborated on the project. The restaurateur in training will get a dose of real-world experience at Ella five days a week.

Planned as a pop-up, Ella will have a six-month run. But witnessing the amount of love and detail that's been put into the concept, we presume it'll permanently pop up elsewhere if it doesn't remain in this location.

Considering this is the first time Schwartz and his crew have served breakfast, we had to get a taste of the offerings. So we started with breakfast and then hung out a bit. (The patio and its free, über-strong Wi-Fi is perfect for those in the virtual workplace.) Then we moved on to sangria and lunch. Ella doesn't serve dinner, but if you wanted to spend the entire day eating real food, you could always take it to one of Schwartz's other nearby restaurants: Michael's Genuine, the Cypress Room, or Harry's.

Breakfast sandwich
Breakfast sandwich
Photo by Carla Torres

This Bay's English muffin breakfast sandwich is a hand and mouthful of bacon, cheese, and egg ($7). Don't be surprised if every time you visit, you catch Genuine Hospitality Group's beverage director Eric Larkee chowing down on one (or two). 

Avocado toast
Avocado toast
Photo by Carla Torres

Schwartz's favorite, the avocado toast ($9), inspired an internal debate on just how you should eat it. Schwartz believes you should do so with both butter and olive oil, and after trying this dish made with Hass avocados from California and pepper on a slice of True Loaf's wheat, we have to agree.

Bagel and lox
Bagel and lox
Photo by Carla Torres

My favorite item was the homemade everything bagel and lox with beet-cured wild salmon, heirloom tomatoes, onions, and capers ($14). The man responsible for your new go-to breakfast is Cypress Room chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia. Bonus points for the fact that this, along with the avocado toast, is available all day.

Pastries
Pastries
Photo by Carla Torres

The same can't be said for these freshly baked pastries, which run out when they run out. 

Phantom cookies
Phantom cookies
Photo by Carla Torres

Then there are True Loaf's phantom cookies (named for how quickly they disappear), with ricotta worked right into the dough. 

Grilled cheese
Grilled cheese
Photo by Carla Torres

The lunch bell at Ella starts at 11 a.m. That's when you can get this anything-but-average and fully grown-up Parmigiano-crusted grilled cheese oozing with melty goodness and caramelized onions and served alongside tomato jam ($12). 

Cheese board
Cheese board
Photo by Carla Torres

If you're really cheesy, you might want to opt for a cheese board, which is not to be confused with a cheese sampler. Yes, it looks pretty sitting on the counter, but resist the urge to help yourself. 

Daily sangria
Daily sangria
Photo by Carla Torres

In addition to Michael's Genuine Home Brew and copious amounts of rosé, there's also a daily sangria flavor. During our visit, it was lychee, which was perfect to turn up on a Tuesday. 

Rotisserie chicken
Rotisserie chicken
Photo by Carla Torres

Another item coming out of the Cypress Room and with Alcudia's magic touch is the rotisserie chicken ($17), dressed in a hemp-seed pesto and served with a green salad.

Veggie tacos
Veggie tacos
Photo by Carla Torres

If you're a fan of Taquiza's blue masa tortillas, you can get your fix without having to cross the bridge. These vegetable tacos that pack black beans, avocado, pickled onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese ($11). 

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