photo credit: Photo Courtesy Michael's

Michael’s Genuine review image

Michael's Genuine


130 NE 40th St, Miami
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Certain people make you feel at ease no matter where you are—like that friend who assures you that you’re not the most underdressed person at the party, even though you totally are because you didn’t bother to read the invitation. Michael’s does this sort of thing too.

This place is located in the Design District, surrounded by a jewelry store and more high-end labels than the Met Gala red carpet. It’s a neighborhood that might give you that “underdressed” feeling on a spiritual level. But even though Michael’s is an upscale spot, it feels refreshingly casual compared to its immediate surroundings. No one cares who made your clothes or whether or not you want to buy the most expensive bottle on the menu. They just want to bring you some fantastic oysters and a cocktail.

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Justin Namon

Michael’s is one of the first places that made people want to eat in the Design District, and it’s still our favorite spot in the neighborhood. You’ll recognize just about everything on the menu: roasted cauliflower, stracciatella, octopus, pizza, deviled eggs, and snapper. But the food is never boring, either. The octopus is roasted in a wood oven like a pizza until the tentacle is soft as mozzarella. The snapper is roasted until the skin is crispy and the inside is super tender. And the massive roasted tuna collar is one of the most impressive (and delicious) fish entrees you’ll find in Miami.

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Photo Courtesy Michael's

There’s indoor and outdoor seating, both of which are good choices depending on whether it’s possible to sit outside for more than 60 minutes without bursting into flames. There’s also a rectangular bar that fills up quick for their weekday Happy Hour from 4:30-7:30pm. But when it comes to brunch, we like to sit outside so we can watch the occasional passing Ferrari while eating our breakfast pizza or kimchi benedict with crispy pork belly.

No matter what meal brings you to Michael’s, though, we can pretty much guarantee two things will happen. The food you eat is going to be very good and—like your friend who convinced you that shorts are totally fine at a black-tie wedding—you’ll relax and stop worrying about anything that doesn’t immediately involve the cocktail and oysters in front of you.

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Food Rundown

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Justin Nam

Deviled Eggs

Perhaps too many cheap, bland deviled eggs at company potlucks and family picnics have made us forget just how good these can be when done right. Michael’s are rich, seasoned perfectly, and worth ordering every time you’re here.

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Justin Namon


It’s never a bad idea to get the soft and creamy stracciatella on the table. It usually comes with chunks of basil, a little olive oil and sea salt, and some sort of seasonal produce, like heirloom tomatoes or peaches.

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Justin Namon

Crispy Pork Belly

The pork belly comes in a pretty thick cube. The skin is indeed very crispy and the pork itself is fatty and soft, like a good pork belly should be. The kimchi on the side is very mild though, and tastes more like a vinegary coleslaw.

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Justin Namon

Wood Oven Roasted Cauliflower

This head of cauliflower is slightly charred on the outside, nice and soft on the inside. We don’t dream about it or anything, but if you like cauliflower, get it.

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Justin Namon

Wood Oven Roasted Octopus

Octopus is on just about every menu in Miami and the universe in general and it’s probably only a matter of time before we see it rotating on those hot dog things in gas stations. However, this is quite good and cooked until it’s incredibly tender. Maybe it’s that wood oven, but this thing is like butter.

Michael’s Genuine review image

photo credit: Justin Namon

Wood Oven Roasted Whole Snapper

Snapper is usually a safe bet in this city, and Michael’s does it great in—once again—their wood oven, which deserves a raise because they are getting more than their money’s worth out of it. The best part of this is the perfectly cooked, juicy meat.

Whole Roasted Tuna Collar

If you want something a bit more exciting (and bigger) than the roasted snapper, go for the tuna collar. The massive collar looks like it came from the Shaquille O’Neal of tuna. It requires some dexterity to pick the meat off the bone, but it’s worth the effort because the collar is hiding some of the best meat on the fish.

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