I had been itching to go to the Cypress Room in Midtown Miami, a new restaurant concept of local favorite and celeb chef Michael Schwartz for some time now. I finally made it for lunch today- the much more affordable alternative to their pricey dinner menu. Lunch was still expensive in my opinion, but it was a lovely relaxed dining experience in an impeccable and elegant small dining room. The Cypress Room is a nice sophisticated addition to the restaurants owned by Chef Michael Schwartz in Miami like Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Harry’s Pizzeria, and Restaurant Michael Schwartz at the Raleigh in South Beach. The Cypress Room’s service is better than at any of his other restaurants, Michael’s Genuine is especially lacking.
The décor and vibe is a throwback to the roaring 1920s with polished classic American favorites well-executed and beautifully plated. The cool feminine mint green button-tufted booths contrast nicely with the mounted deer heads and glimmering crystal chandeliers. The opposite wall is covered in era black and white photographs each in a straight black frame with white matting. The look is classic yet whimsical with a light red French colonial wall paper marrying the room together.
Our server was quiet and barely there with the GM stepping in to offer more bread, do wine service, and pour water in our glasses. Everything was served on dainty mismatching china plates with soft floral patterns. My friend and I both ordered the Lunch Prix Fixe Menu which was totally worth it at $31 for 3 courses. I ordered the Beef Tartare with Truffle Vinaigrette, Pickled Mushroom and Parmesan Crisp (normally listed at $18 under the ‘Appetizers’). She had the crudo of the day with trout roe, radishes, and a green broth that tasted like the color green itself- refreshing and bright. The 2012 Foxen Chenin Blanc from California ($16/glass) was the perfect wine for this dish, bright and crisp, it perfumed out of the glass.
For the main course I chose The Cypress Burger (listed at $16 and served a la carte) which I read had rave reviews, made of their ground dry-aged Rib Eye (I’m a seriously lover of aged meat so I couldn’t pass this up). The buns are apparently made from dough from Harry’s Pizzeria; they are chewy and soft and hold up well under the hefty juicy patty. The bun was slathered generously with a sweet warm caramelized onion jam and Jasper Hill Landaff cheese melted down the sides pooling on the toasted bun. It was truly delicious and worth every bite. I loved furthermore that the burger was simply dressed letting the flavors of the beef shine. My only complaint is that we didn’t actually order the fries, but their ‘Thrice Cooked Fries’ listed at $8 were brought to the table and we were charged for them. Regardless, they were crispy and thick, and although the portion was not large, everything was very filling.
Wow I can’t believe I got this far without mentioning the delicious bread brought to our table while we waited for our food! It was fresh and warm served with home salted butter. The butter was fabulously salty, like grainy, and spread softly on the loaf. *Sigh* If only I didn’t have such a dear love for carbs- for that I blame my Cuban heritage, Cubans LOVE carbs.
Although there were two desserts from local talent and master dessert maker and James Beard award finalist Chef Hedy Goldsmith listed on the lunch menu we both chose the chocolate tart with toasted meringue, blackberries and strawberries, pistachio, and a strawberry rhubarb gelato or sorbet. The petit portion was plenty for one person, and I felt myself wanting more meringue! The flavors were subtle and rich. My lunch date loosened her belt as she ordered a macchiato. Sugar came in raw brown and white clumpy balls in a delicate silver serving bowl to the table along with complimentary lemon macaroons. The lemon flavor was more of just a scent, and the creamy filling crept out from underneath the soft puffy meringue crisps. When we polished off these two, the server brought some more despite our protest. We ate them of course and reveled in their delicate flavor.
The Cypress Room was refined but maybe even a bit stuffy. It is not an everyday restaurant and it certainly does not have everyday prices, but it was a treat to enjoy the flavors and creations from the chefs. The décor and service charmed, and the burger was damn good. I’d come back just for that next time.
3620 NE 2nd Ave • Miami, FL • 33137 • (305) 520-5197