On March 25, 2013, Michael Schwartz opened his first fine-dining concept,the Cypress Room
. Many restaurants mark their first anniversary with a dinner special or perhaps a signature cocktail created for the occasion. But how many celebrate it with a poem?
When you think about it, though, a literary missive is fitting. The restaurant itself is an ode to days gone by, when an evening out at a swanky restaurant meant dressing in your best finery, while elegant servers delivered course after course of beautiful dishes served on silver platters.
The Cypress Room's bar also embodies the spirit of a more genteel era. Relax at the intimate eight-seater while sipping a classic libation made with house-made bitters. Taking Schwartz's cue of working with local suppliers, the bar will soon serve cocktails made with Miami Club Rum, specially barrel-aged for the restaurant.
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Here, by the way, is the poem. We're not sure who wrote it, but we envision a young F. Scott Fitzgerald type sitting at the bar. He's thirsty and hungry and quite fabulous but, alas, has no money in his pockets, so he pens an ode to his favorite chef in an exchange for a meal and a drink.
The chef unlocked the front door and opened the dining room to the cool spring air. It was a passion project through and through, and deeply personal. With wild deer and boar on the wall and crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, his elegant marriage of masculine and feminine had blossomed on a feeling, capturing a sense of place and a moment, creating something very new but familiar. The wood-burning grill and rotisserie were fired up and walk-in stocked with fresh fish, heritage poultry, and only the best pick of the local crop for crudités. Flowers were everywhere. White linens, pressed, fell to their marks. Glasses were polished. Jazz hummed on the speakers, tuned to just the right level. So were the lights. Bone china was perfectly mix-matched. It was the eve of this restaurateur's next chapter, a throwback to old Florida and a more sophisticated time of fine dining. It was Monday, March 25, 2013, and The Cypress Room was open for its first dinner service, ready to receive guests and grow into the restaurant it was meant to be for Miami.