Art Basel Miami Beach is about a month away. So it's time to stop day-dreaming about Mike Kelly's cuddly stuffed animals from last year's Tony Shafrazi booth. It's time to start making dinner reservations, before all the out-of-towners shun us from our favorite eateries.
If you do forget to reserve a table during the fair-filled week, there is still some good news. Michael's Genuine Food & Drink has just announced a café location at Design Miami.
While fairs like Art Miami typically serve food by Spuntino Catering (from the group behind Soyka, Spris and Salumeria 104), the MGFD Café will be the first pop-up restaurant at the event.
Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami run during the city's busiest week of the year, in terms of restaurants, parties and social events. This year will also coincide with the launching of seven new art fairs.
But fairs rarely have good food. Typically, exhibitors and visitors are offered soggy sandwiches, browned-iceberg lettuce salads and lackluster sushi. In the past, most people had to leave fair-grounds for a taste of what Miami had to offer.
The announcement comes at a bustling time for the group, which is spearheaded by James Beard award-winning chef, Michael Schwartz. They are scheduled to take over food and beverage operations at The Raleigh in South Beach in late fall. They are also launching The Cypress Room, an upscale American Tavern, in early 2013.
"We just wanted to make sure we weren't biting off more than we can chew on the format," says Jackie Sayet, brand director for The Genuine Hospitality Group. "We really tried to pick some of our greatest hits for the menu."
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Menu items include stone crab cocktail with mustard sauce and lime ($29), roasted beet and orange salad with arugula, aged goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds ($11) and grilled chicken panini with grilled onion, fontina, arugula, capers and lemon aioli ($14). A selection of foods will be available to-go.
The café will feature a focused menu, including desserts by Hedy Goldsmith, Panther Coffee, wine by the glass, cocktails and MGFD home brew on draft. It will be open during show hours, which runs from December 5 to December 9.
Exhibitors at Design Miami, rejoice.