Friday, January 12, 2018

Michaels on East: Sophisticated American Cuisine

One of the finest restaurants in Sarasota, Michaels on East recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in April of this year. Founded in 1987, co-proprietors Michael Klauber and Phil Mancini seem to have done everything right for the restaurant has been a treasured fixture on Sarasota’s culinary scene for over three decades now, having built an unsurpassed reputation for exceptional service and inspired cuisine on the principle that each guest should be treated the way they expect to be treated, every moment of each and every visit. "Quite a lot has changed in Sarasota since 1987 and we’ve been proud and privileged to be a part of so many evolutions in the culinary scene, festivals and community events," says Klauber. Both partners enjoy traveling the world and bringing back the very best from their adventures, whether it’s a new wine that Klauber and his wife Terri discover on a trip to South Africa or a new fad ingredient like kale that they find a unique way to utilize, the team at Michael’s are always reinventing their menu, but some classics have been there from the start and will probably never go away.

Starters such as Chef Jamil Pineda's fabulous Maine Lobster Bisque with Tempura Blue Crabmeat and my Mom's favourite Hoisin Duck and Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls with sweet-sour chile dipping sauce and pickled ginger. The steak and seafood menu at Michael's is legendary with dishes such as the delicious Pan Seared Scallops with Maine Lobster and Housemade Ricotta Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash in sage brown butter sauce, Grilled Provimi Veal Chop with crushed red bliss potatoes and garlic scented broccoli rabe, and selection of succulent steaks from the meltingly tender Filet Mignon to Phil’s Porcini-Rubbed 14-ounce New York Strip served with roasted shiitake mushrooms, arugula and lemon-oregano fingerling potatoes. Side dishes are equally tempting with Potato Croquettes, Fresh Creamed Spinach, Royal Trumpet Wild Mushrooms and Molly’s Truffled Macaroni and Cheese with Manchego, Gruyere and Parmesan. After 30 years, Michael's on East is still food heaven.

Beautiful fountain with twinkle lights in the leafy courtyard entrance to Michael's on East in Sarasota 

The entrance to Michael's on East

The elegant interior of Michael's on East

One of the finest restaurants in Sarasota, Michael’s On East restaurant takes fine dining to another level with award-winning modern American cuisine and outstanding service

Our server aerating our bottle of 2014 Lola Pinot Noir which she then poured back into the bottle

Serving our delicious full bodied wine

Michael's freshly baked housemade breads and papadam 

2014 Lola Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley in Napa

Angel Hair Onion Rings

Maine Lobster Bisque with Tempura Blue Crabmeat, Fresh Maine Lobster
and Brandied Crème Fraîche presented in the bowl, and followed by the bisque poured overtop

Intensely flavoured and wonderfully delicious Maine Lobster Bisque

Hoisin Duck and Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls with sweet and sour chile dipping sauce, pickled ginger and seaweed salad

Sautéed Pompano Casbarian topped with Gulf Shrimp and Tomatoes, seasoned with garlic, fresh herbs and crushed chili peppers, lemon beurre blanc and garlic-scented haricot verts

Pan-Roasted Bluefin Crab Cakes with Truffle Roasted Potatoes, Herbed Tartar Sauce and Roasted Asparagus

10 oz Filet Mignon

Pan Roasted Royal Trumpet Wild Mushrooms Sautéed with Garlic

Roasted Truffle Potatoes

USDA Prime New York Strip Sirloin Steak aged 25 days with roasted baby peppers and served with  Bernaise sauce

Pan-Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with Artisanal Sardinian Fregola with Maine Lobster, Fire-Roasted
Corn and Herb Roasted Tomatoes with Spiced Lobster Broth

Founded in 1987, co-proprietors Michael Klauber and Phil Mancini celebrated the 30th anniversary of Michaels in April of this year

A beautiful decorated Christmas Tree at the entrance to Michaels

Butter-Roasted Flounder with Grain Mustard Beurre Blanc
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Jamil Pineda

4 7oz pieces of flounder filets 
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste 
24 Brussels Sprouts, shaved
2 tbsp olive oil

Beurre Blanc:
2 cups white wine 
1 shallot, minced
3/4 cup champagne vinegar 
1 lb butter
2 cups heavy cream
1 pinch of sugar
1 tbsp grain mustard 
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown Butter Sauce:
1/2 lb unsalted butter
2 tbsp toasted almonds
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped

2 russet potatoes
4 cups vegetable oil
Salt to taste 

For the beurre blanc, combine the shallots, wine and vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and simmer until the cream has reduced by half. Increase the heat to medium-high, and rapidly whisk in the butter, piece, by piece until it has melted into the cream and thickened it, then remove from the heat, cover and set aside.

For the brown butter sauce, add the butter in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it starts to turn brown. Add the sage and almonds, then set aside until the dish is ready to be plated.

Wash the potatoes. Slice into 1/4-inch thick slices, then into 1/4-inch sticks. Wash thoroughly in cold water. Drain well. Deep fry in batches at 350°F until potatoes are cooked, but not brown. At serving time, increase the oil temperature to 375°F. Fry potatoes in batches, until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt.

In a non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat, sauté the sprouts with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside momentarily while the fish is prepared. In a non-stick sauté pan over high heat, add the oil. Season the flounder with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on both sides. Set aside until the dish is ready to be plated. 

To serve, spoon the brussels sprouts in the middle of each of 4 dinner plates. Top with the fish, spoon the brown butter mix on top, then the beurre blanc across the fish. On top of each portion, garnish with the fried potato allumettes and serve immediately.

Michael's On East Mighty Murf Burger
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Jamil Pineda

Michael’s On East has cooked up a burger beyond the ordinary beef patty and cheese. Instead, they have devised a healthy blended creation, marrying meat with mushrooms in the Mighty Murf Burger, named after Michael’s On East Proprietor Michael Klauber’s father. Robust and juicy, the burger triumphantly stands, waiting for the first bite. 

2 lb ground bison sirloin
1 lb Spanish chorizo
1 lb beech mushrooms
4 oz olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the oil and mushrooms. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are thoroughly cooked. Season with salt and black pepper. Place the mushrooms in a food processor for 45 seconds and set aside to cool down. In a mixing bowl, add the bison, chorizo and processed mushrooms and combine well. Portion into balls about 8 oz each and form into burger patties. Place patties in the refrigerator for one hour to allow all the ingredients to settle.

Porcini Rub:
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
7 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup porcini powder
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and set.

Onion Relish:
1 medium Spanish onion, diced
2 tbsp roasted red pepper
20 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp sugar
2 oz olive oil

In a sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the onions with olive oil until they begin to brown. Add the sugar and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Once browned, set aside and allow to cool for one hour. Transfer the onions to a small bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well for assembly.

Creole Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 tbsp green onions, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
2 tsp coarse-grained mustard
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well and set aside for until the dish is ready to be plated.

Trumpet Mushrooms:
6 large Trumpet mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 oz olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

On a large sauté pan over medium high heat, sauté the mushrooms with oil, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are semi-crispy. Set aside until the dish is ready to be plated.

To Finish & Plate:
6 brioche burger buns or your favorite buns
6 burger patties
6 tbsp porcini rub
6 slices Monterey spicy jack cheese
Sautéed trumpet mushrooms
1 large tomato, cut into 6 thin slices
6 tbsp onion relish
6 leaves baby romaine lettuce
6 tbsp Creole mayonnaise

Heat the grill on high for about ten minutes. Place the burger patties on the grill and sear for 2 minutes on both sides. After cooking the patties initial four minutes at 2 minutes on each side, keep flipping every 40 seconds until you reach your desired temperature. For medium-rare, Chef Jamil suggests three 40 second flips after the initial 2 minutes on both sides. Add one tablespoon of porcini rub on all the patties and let cook for 30 seconds. Add the cheese and allow it to melt. Remove the patties and grill the buns for one minute. Place the buns on a large assembling platter, add the patties on the button part of the bun. Divide the trumpet mushrooms on each patty, top with one tablespoon of onion relish, one sliced tomato, lettuce and mayo on each burger.  Place the top of the bun to finish the “Mighty Mushroom Burger” and serve!

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