Monday, May 27, 2024

These Are Florida’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants, 2024

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Chefs across Florida can exhale: Michelin announced new additions to the state’s starred restaurant guide during a live ceremony on April 18. Nine new stars were added to the guide, for a total of 26 starred restaurants in Florida. This marks the third year Michelin has reviewed restaurants in Florida, across Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. On April 11, Michelin also announced four new additions to its Bib Gourmands list, a selection of restaurants where diners can order a starter, main course, and dessert for $40 or less. This year’s Bib Gourmands additions included Tam Tam in Miami, Streetlight Taco in Tampa, and Sushi Saint and Zaru in Orlando. Though receiving a Bib is still a big deal, the organization’s coveted stars are the main event.

A Michelin star is one of the most sought-after recognitions in the food world. One star indicates that a restaurant is “worth a stop,” two means it’s “worth a detour,” and three stars indicate that the restaurant is “worth a special journey.”

In 2023, 19 Florida restaurants received stars: 12 in Miami, four in Orlando, and three in Tampa. Notably, three restaurants on last year’s list—Cote, Le Jardinier, and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon—are outposts of well-known New York restaurants. Of those, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is the only restaurant that holds two stars. This marks a broader trend of big-name (and heavily resourced) restaurants opening flashy outposts in Miami.

Among this year’s star recipients was Ebbe Vollmer of Ebbe in Tampa, who also holds two stars at his restaurant Vollmers, in Sweden. While Vollmers bills itself as a four-hour Scandinavian tasting menu, Ebbe is a slightly more compact tasting menu—still with more than 14 courses. Notably, a third of this year’s newly starred restaurants—Natsu, Shingo, and Kōsen—are centered around an omakase experience. Victoria & Albert’s, a restaurant inside Disney World, also took home its first star. Kaya in Orlando and Krüs Kitchen in Miami both took home Green Stars, a relatively new award that recognizes a commitment to sustainability. Two restaurants, Knife and Spoon and The Den, did not retain their stars.

It was a big deal when the guide landed in Florida for the first time in 2022. Michelin’s presence in a city can supercharge its restaurant scene. But the fact that stars are only granted to restaurants in several Florida cities also points to a thorny dynamic: Michelin’s expansion into new cities is often fueled by tourism departments that can pay hefty sums of money to support the guide’s coverage. In 2019, California’s tourism board paid $600,000 to bring the guide to Los Angeles and other cities reviewed by Michelin. State and local tourism boards in Colorado also paid to facilitate the guide coming to select cities. Tourism boards in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami also shelled out cash—to the tune of approximately $116,000 per year, per city—for restaurants in their cities to be reviewed by Michelin.

Still, Michelin inspectors remain anonymous and don’t accept free meals while reviewing restaurants. “I think there is this perception that it’s pay to play, which is inaccurate,” Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Tampa Bay’s tourism board, told the Tampa Bay Times in a story published April 15. You’re not guaranteed anything.”

In addition to the awarding of stars, this year’s Michelin ceremony in Florida included a number of special awards. Justin Levaughn of Orlando’s Otto’s High Dive took home the Exceptional Cocktails Award, while the Sommelier Award went to Gabriela Espina from Boia De in Miami. Israel Perez from Victoria & Albert’s in Orlando took home Michelin’s Service Award. The Young Chef Award went to Tam Pham of Tam Tam in Miami.

Find the full list of Michelin-starred Florida restaurants below.

Entries are organized alphabetically.

Two-Starred Restaurants

  • L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

One-Starred Restaurants

  • Ariete, Miami
  • Boia De, Miami
  • Camille, Orlando (new)
  • Capa, Orlando
  • Cote, Miami
  • Ebbe, Tampa (new)
  • Elcielo Miami, Miami
  • Entrenos, Miami (new)
  • Hiden, Miami
  • Kadence, Orlando
  • Koya, Tampa
  • Kōsen, Tampa (new)
  • Le Jardinier, Miami
  • Lilac, Tampa
  • Los Félix, Miami
  • Natsu, Orlando (new)
  • Ogawa, Miami (new)
    Papa Llama, Orlando (new)
  • Rocca, Tampa
  • Shingo, Miami (new)
  • Soseki, Orlando
  • Stubborn Seed, Miami
  • The Surf Club Restaurant, Surfside
  • Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt, Miami
  • Victoria & Albert’s, Orlando (new)

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