When you think of comfort food, pie, mashed potatoes, and pasta may come to mind. Now, mingle that with luxury foodie ingredients such as artisan cheeses, spices, oils, farm-fresh veggies, and fresh-caught fish. Ta Da – it’s “luxurious comfort food,” a modern bistro food style that celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein (Iron Chef America, Top Chef, The Today Show) implements in her Miami restaurant Michy’s.
This notion was strange to me, taking these "comfort foods" and jazzing them up to the
point of earning the fine-dining label. Let's take the dessert, for example: deep-fried cherry pie with cola syrup, served with vanilla ice cream. Looking at the menu, it reminded me of something you would order at a fair. Steak and French fries or chicken and mashed potatoes seem like something you could easily get at your neighborhood chain steakhouse, right?
Wrong. The Young Chicken Roulade (chicken and mashed potatoes) is stuffed with chicken apple sausage and served with buttermilk mashed potatoes and green apple poultry jus. The Steak Frites (steak and fries) turns the heads of restaurant goers because of the unique presentation of homemade fries, béarnaise and au poivre dipping sauces, and flat iron seared steak.
As for me, I had shrimp and pasta, homemade pasta that is, died black with squid ink, and soaking up a delicious seafood nage sauce. The two prawns that sat atop were as large as parakeets and tender enough to impersonate small lobsters.
The casual yet exquisite cuisine meshed well with the kitschy orange floral wallpaper, fancy chandeliers, bench-style seating, and paper tablecloths. But don’t be fooled by the laid back vibe, at $30 per plate, the service is everything you'd expect of fine dining.
Michelle Bernstein was having dinner with her family a few tables over, wearing the total embodiment of the restaurant’s vibe – flannel shirt paired with high heels. The whole thing says, “We’re not trying to be overly fancy, just genuinely delicious.” Luxury comfort food is definitely a trend worth trying.