The reopening of Michelle Bernstein’s beloved restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard, Michy's, is only weeks away, and the busier-than-ever chef is staffing up. She is preparing to unleash a new menu featuring some classics alongside new creations.
Bernstein has hired Michael Mayta and Keily Vasquez as chef de cuisine and pastry chef, respectively. The two, who are also behind Illegal Bakery, will be joined by 27 Restaurant & Bar’s former chef, James Seyba.
Though the menu is still being finalized ahead of the expected April opening, Bernstein’s Serrano-ham-and-blue-cheese croquettes will make an appearance, Mayta says.
There’ll also be a fettuccine carbonara that trades cream sauce for a more savory pork jus, and steak frites will be daubed with a port-wine-and-shallot butter as the dish leaves the kitchen.
A burger will also be offered, but “Michelle’s vision is to explore a lot more vegetables and grains,” Mayta says.
That means beet risotto with sorghum, the kind of ancient grains championed by Southern chef Sean Brock, rather than the usual short-grain Arborio rice. The kitchen is testing green gnocchi with kale pesto, Parmesan broth, fresh-shucked peas, and mint. It’ll pose some stiff competition for the kale-flecked, ricotta-based dumpling served at the Vagabond, which opened on Biscayne while Michy’s was shuttered for renovations.
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At the same time, Bernstein has been overseeing the opening of Seagrape at the new Thompson Hotel, a partnership with Broward County’s Memorial Institute, and a lounge at Miami International Airport.
But amid it all, her namesake will undoubtedly offer the same refined yet comforting experience that made Michy's a pioneer in the MiMo District.
“It’s going to be like you're coming into David and Michelle’s house, and you’re able to hang out and eat a few dishes,” Mayta says.