Some might say Michael Schwartz has too many irons in the fire. In October, the James Beard Award–winning chef opened Fi’lia, his sixth Miami restaurant and first Italian concept, at the new SLS Brickell. “It’s a really dynamic time,” he says, downplaying things. (Did we mention he’s making all the bread and pasta in-house?) Here are a few of the spots the Miami Beach resident frequents during his ever-shrinking time off.
Tried and true carryout
Miami Beach has plenty of kosher joints, but none measure up to Schwartz’s favorite neighborhood spot, Pita Hut. His go-to order (“Takeout only!”) is the chicken-shish-kebab sandwich with tahini, Israeli salad and “lots of pickled vegetables from the back condiment bar.”
Simple and sweet
Schwartz prefers to keep his carb intake simple, as in the plain butter croissant Tomas Strulovic turns out at True Loaf (1894 Bay Rd; 786-216-7207). “It’s perfect.”
Go for broke
For guys’ night, Schwartz trades grilling steaks for high stakes at Seminole Hard Rock Casino. “It’s all about the high rollers’ room!”
If there’s one thing you won’t find Schwartz slaving over in the kitchen, it’s chicharrones: “Those things take time!” For the crispy pork rinds, he heads to El Palacio de los Jugos.
Time to caffeinate
ALL DAY is a great spot serving loads of egg dishes and coffee. “You won’t wait 15 minutes for your macchiato,” says Schwartz. This is a no-nonsense place, just how he likes it. “It has the kind of energy that drives this city.”
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