After 14 years holding it down as the Design District’s go-to for upscale yet approachable dining, star chef Michael Schwartz’s namesake restaurant Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink temporarily shuttered its doors last summer for an overdue renovation. Aiming to bring its kitchen and dining rooms more in line with the high-end shopping district’s increased foot traffic and designer clout, the restaurant reopened this fall with a redesigned and reconfigured indoor/outdoor space that invites in more light and warmth while offering additional seating and a new, double-sized kitchen.
Returning guests will recognize the bolero red accented walls and artwork including the refurbished Carl Myers coin mosaic carryover from the original decor, with fresh, modernized elements like high ceilings, floating wood pendant lights and lush greenery intended to bring the outside in. Large banquettes better accommodate groups, and a new Chef’s Table offers guests views into the bustling kitchen. On the redesigned courtyard terrace, a new retractable roof allows for outdoor dining no matter the season.
As for food, the restaurant retains its New American identity with many of its greatest hits returning to the menu alongside new additions like Sicilian-style whole roasted tuna collar, wood-roasted camembert with golden chanterelle mushrooms and garlic toast, harissa-spiced long-cooked squash, and lamb massaman curry with Thai fried egg salad and jasmine rice. Representing a more veg-forward shift, the updated menu also introduces a section dedicated to simply prepared seasonal produce served room temperature or cold.
Perhaps best of all, one of the neighborhood’s best happy hours makes its comeback after a long pandemic hiatus. Monday through Friday, from 4:30 until 7pm, sidle up to the original bar (still moodily lit, of course) or a high-top table to enjoy half-off wines by the glass, beers, specialty cocktails and a variety of savory snacks.