Restaurants - July 14, 2023

Florida’s Culinary Scene Shines with New Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Four restaurants in Florida have recently been awarded Michelin stars, joining the prestigious group of recognized establishments. The announcement was made at Loan Depot Park during the unveiling of the 2023 Michelin Guide for Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.

The anonymous inspectors from the guide awarded stars to a total of 19 restaurants in Florida. Leading the pack with two stars is Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier de Miami. The selection for 2023 comprises 144 restaurants offering a diverse range of 38 different cuisines.

Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guides, praised Florida for its distinct culinary scenes, making it an exceptional destination for discerning travelers seeking a wealth of flavors and creative culinary styles.

During the ceremony, three Tampa restaurants were celebrated for their achievements: Koya, Lilac, and Rocca, each receiving a well-deserved Michelin star. Additionally, Miami Beach welcomed a new addition to its culinary scene with Tambourine Room, helmed by Tristan Brandt, also earning a star. Poullennec congratulated these restaurant teams and all those recognized by the Guide for their remarkable accomplishments.

Dana Young, President and CEO of Visit Florida, expressed delight in the Michelin Guide’s recognition, emphasizing that Florida’s unique talent and flavors are now being acknowledged globally, offering travelers from around the world a glimpse into the exceptional culinary experiences available in the Sunshine State.

Each of the newly awarded restaurants received detailed descriptions from the Michelin inspectors:

Koya (Tampa, Japanese cuisine) – Adriana and Eric Fralick’s intimate eight-seat counter offers a contemporary tasting menu with a distinctive interpretation of Japanese cuisine. From unexpected but thoughtfully crafted dishes to exceptional seafood sourced weekly from the Kagoshima market, Koya combines Eastern and Western culinary sensibilities. Unique combinations like smoked salmon macaroon with beet and vodka or chutoro roll with wasabi guacamole showcase their culinary artistry. Memorable desserts such as yuzu ice cream topped with Hokkaido uni and caviar leave a lasting impression.

Lilac (Tampa, contemporary cuisine) – Located within the elegant Edition hotel, Lilac, conceptualized by John Fraser, offers a popular dining experience with Mediterranean influences, locally-sourced Florida ingredients, and French techniques. Guests can indulge in luxurious bites, such as Diver scallops infused with rosemary smoke and served dramatically under a cloche. Main courses like Ora King salmon with Florida crab salad or Colorado lamb chop with tender leeks and homemade lamb sausage take center stage. The restaurant also provides an elevated tableside service with a champagne cocktail cart.

Rocca (Tampa, Italian cuisine) – Combining his expertise from New York and Italian training, Chef Bryce Bonsack has created a remarkable dining experience at Rocca. The restaurant’s house-made pasta dishes, like spaghetti al limone with blue crab nuts, lemon, garlic shavings, and zucchini, showcase classic flavors and meticulous technique. Hand-pulled mozzarella served on a cart alongside the table is a delightful touch. Rocca surprises guests with inventive dishes like vibrant hiramasa carpaccio with green apple, capers, and horseradish. A basil cream dessert topped with a brunoise of fresh apples and streusel provides a perfect ending to a memorable meal.

Tambourine Room, by Tristan Brandt (Miami Beach, contemporary cuisine) – Nestled within the serene Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Chef Tristan Brandt and his team offer a colorful and multi-course tasting menu inspired by French cuisine with notable Asian influences. Bold sauces and foams infused with Parmesan, lobster, saffron, and ginger elevate ingredients like tomatoes, scallops, and wagyu. The restaurant’s minimalist decor, featuring large oak tables, blue leather chairs, and modern fixtures, creates an intimate setting. Guests can opt for an extended menu for a truly immersive experience.

In addition to the Michelin-starred restaurants, the Bib Gourmand category recognized 33 establishments in Florida. These restaurants offer exceptional value, where guests can enjoy two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for approximately $50. The distinction was awarded to 18 restaurants in the Miami area, 11 in Orlando, and four in Tampa.

With the Michelin Guide’s recognition, Florida solidifies its position as a world-class gastronomic destination, offering an array of culinary experiences to captivate the palates of visitors from across the globe. The Michelin-starred and Bib Gourmand restaurants are ready to enchant discerning food enthusiasts, while Florida continues to establish itself as a top culinary destination.

Text credits: CNN adapted by Flavio Bergmann

Photo credits: photomontage  by Vinícius Pascoal

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