All the Florida restaurants added to the 2023 MICHELIN Guide
During last week’s 2023 Michelin Guide ceremony in Miami at the LoanDepot Park, four Florida restaurants joined the growing list of MICHELIN-Starred spots in Florida. MICHELIN Guide inspectors awarded the infamous stars to 19 restaurants total with L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Miami at the top of the list with its two Stars.
“Florida has three distinct culinary hotspots that make the state a premier destination for gourmet-travelers, who can experience a wealth of flavors and creative cooking styles,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides. “We are especially happy to announce three one-MICHELIN-Star restaurants in Tampa – Koya, Lilac and Rocca – and a new one-Star restaurant in Miami Beach: Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt. Congratulations to these restaurant teams and to all who received Guide distinctions. Your guests are always in for a treat.”
Here are the new MICHELIN-Starred and Bib Gourmand restaurants in Florida:
MICHELIN-Star (with inspector notes):
Koya (Tampa, Japanese cuisine)
Adriana and Eric Fralick keep a watchful eye over the experience at this intimate eight-seat counter, where a multicourse contemporary tasting menu shares a singular interpretation of Japanese cuisine. The dishes are often unexpected yet always thoughtful. Spectacular seafood is a given: staple luxuries like bluefin tuna and uni are flown in weekly from Kagoshima market, where the team has a personal buyer. Instead of the typical parade of nigiri, dishes offer unique combinations of Eastern and Western culinary sensibilities, as in the beet- and vodka-smoked salmon macaroon or a chutoro hand roll with wasabi guacamole. The meal ends memorably with desserts like yuzu ice cream topped with Hokkaido uni and a sprinkling of caviar with lime zest.
Lilac (Tampa, Contemporary cuisine)
Situated in the sleek and oh-so-stylish Edition hotel, this concept from John Fraser is a popular spot with in-demand reservations. The small space has a sexy vibe, albeit not a stitch of lilac in sight. Peruse the contemporary four-course prix-fixe with Mediterranean influences, Florida-focused ingredients and French techniques. A meal might include luxe bites like a Diver scallop infused with rosemary smoke and dramatically served under a cloche to well-execute and flavorful lobster feuillantine. Main dishes include Ora King salmon with a Florida stone crab salad or Colorado lamb chop with tender leeks and house-made lamb sausage. Cocktails and wine are on offer, but Lilac has upped the ante when it comes to tableside service with a champagne cocktail cart. (Yes, please!)
Rocca (Tampa, Italian cuisine)
Chef Bryce Bonsack blends his New York know-how with Italian training to great effect in this of-the-moment eatery. Naturally, there’s an assortment of pastas, skillfully made in house and showcasing classic flavors and scrupulous technique, as in spaghetti al limone, tossed with knobs of blue crab and lemon, shaved garlic and zucchini. Guests gush over mozzarella hand-pulled to order in a tableside cart, but the flavor outshines the show. Perhaps most exciting of all are the displays of originality, as in a vibrant hiramasa carpaccio with green apple, capers and horseradish; and dessert is a delightful bookend to an impressive meal. Basil custard topped with an elegant brunoise of fresh apples and a layer of streusel is spot-on in every way.
Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt (Miami Beach, Contemporary cuisine)
Inside the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort on a rather calm stretch of Collins Avenue, find this ambitious dining bijou helmed by Chef Tristan Brandt and his trusted lieutenant Timo Steubing. The duo delivers a colorful, multicourse tasting grounded in French cuisine with notable Asian inspiration. The results are anything but timid: Expect rich, bold sauces and foams made with the likes of parmesan, lobster and saffron, and ginger turbocharging everything from tomatoes to scallops to wagyu. By contrast, the space itself is fairly spartan, sequestered off to the side of the main hotel bar and defined mostly by oversized oak tables, blue leather chairs and modern light fixtures. Swing for the second seating of the evening for a longer menu.
The inspectors found 33 restaurants worthy of this particular awarding. These places are where guests can have two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $50 or less.
In addition to the Bib Gourmand and Star awards, four other categories were presented that night:
Photo c/o Rocca/Keir Magoulas