Earlier this evening, LoanDepot Stadium in downtown Miami was buzzing and it had nothing to do with baseball. While the stands are typically filled with fans chowing down on all-American fare, tonight's menu included home runs from the MICHELIN Guide Florida selection. Last year proved the power and breadth of the Sunshine State's gastronomic acumen, and tonight raised the bar. Over a dozen new Florida selections, eight new Bib Gourmands, and four new One Stars. From vibrant French cuisine with hints of Asian flavors to scintillating Mediterranean cuisine with hyper-local ingredients, below is the full list of MICHELIN Guide distinctions in Florida.
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Miami - Two Stars
The menu offers both tasting portions and large plates; but go with the seasonal prix fixe. The bread basket is a lovely opener, arriving in advance of such thrilling bites as a seared sea scallop with toasted spices. Tuna sashimi in a warm vinaigrette of brown butter, mustard and makrut lime dazzles, while artichokes, housed underneath a glass dome and floating in a chickpea and turmeric "cappuccino," delight. Finally, the aptly named le chocolat sensation is a thrill with its balance of textures and tastes.
Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt - One Star
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.
Ariete - One Star
First-timers should aim for the tasting menu, as it's the surest way to experience the chef’s talent for creative combinations and excellent sauce work. Lush with greenery, this restaurant immediately welcomes with a menu that weaves together new American and classic French influences to dazzling effect.
Boia De - One Star
Sandwiched between a laundromat and a medical center in a Buena Vista shopping center, the neon-pink exclamation mark that glows above the front door is impossible to miss. Surprising is certainly an apt descriptor for Chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer’s destination. Servers say the food is Italian, but is it really?
Cote Miami - One Star
Owner Simon Kim and his team know what they're doing in this highly stylized Korean steakhouse, which almost feels like a temple to beautifully marbled and aged beef, much of it on display in a nearby room. Just as you would find at the original location in New York City, top-quality ingredients, astutely seasoned dishes and engaging servers make for a seamless experience.
Le Jardinier Miami - One Star
The menu is a study of vibrant tastes and smart compositions that pack big flavor minus the heaviness.
Highlights include a wonderfully smooth summer gazpacho with avocado; tortellini with chanterelles and hazelnuts; as well as seared Hudson Valley foie gras with cherry.
Elcielo Miami - One Star
The menu offers diners a taste of traditional Colombian cuisine with a modern take. Presentations are dramatic, from the tableside "chocotherapy" to the "Tree of Life" bread service. Tasting menu favorites have included a silken corn purée poured over garam masala-sprinkled popcorn and curds of queso fresco; as well as local, seared-to-a-crisp grouper plated with a salsa criolla-dressed tamal.
Hiden - One Star
Beyond the hustle and bustle, Chef Seijun Okano offers a mature, finely tuned omakase for the fortunate few seated at his counter. Fish flown in multiple times a week from Japan are handled with precision, sliced carefully and pressed into lush, vinegar-tinged rice that he makes at the start.
Los Félix - One Star
This is highly creative Mexican cooking that sends guests on a gustatory trip—at the hands of servers who are armed with ample information about the provenance of each ingredient. Recent highlights have included hearty pork cheek carnitas with a myriad of salsas; snapper crudo topped with shavings of jicama and avocado aïoli; and grilled octopus with beetroot mole.
Stubborn Seed - One Star
Chef Jeremy Ford brings the heat, and his ambitious and brashly creative cooking is best enjoyed by way of the tasting menu.
The Den at Azabu Miami Beach - One Star
Fish flown in a few times a week is treated and dressed minimally, often with just a single brush of nikiri. Recent highlights have included thinly sliced octopus dotted with a sunny orange miso as well as soy-marinated akami nigiri.
The Surf Club Restaurant - One Star
Sauces are what this team does best, starting with the scallop crudo with buttermilk-basil dressing; followed by the brilliantly reimagined Maine lobster thermidor with sauce Américaine; and finishing with the coconut chiffon cake with lime-flecked crème anglaise.
Capa - One Star
Expect a distinctive experience defined by hickory-grilled steaks and impressive tapas. Kick things off with pan con tomate or pork belly with apple butter before indulging in a main dish, like flame-kissed ribeye with tamarind-ancho sauce. Patatas bravas, that Spanish ode to the potato, is a worthy side that demands attention, while artful plating, like the swipe of piquillo salsa accompanying the tender filet, is a calling card.
Kadence - One Star
Accessed through the bar via a sliding door, this sushi sanctum hosts just eight diners per seating and feels like being wise to a wonderful secret. Fun and light-hearted, the chef turns serious when focusing on the food. The omakase opens with hot dishes and cool sashimi. This is food that's free-spirited, yet manages to honor classic methods with pacing that is on point.
Knife & Spoon - One Star
Care and skill are the hallmarks of this team headed by chef de cuisine Gerald Sombright, as they turn out contemporary steakhouse fare woven with seafood. There is an element of excess to the cooking, but nobody is complaining.
Soseki - One Star
This tiny operation with Chef Mike Collantes at the helm is an ideal illustration of a contemporary meal expressed by way of an omakase. A laser-like focus on local Florida produce results in a menu that changes monthly.
Rocca - One Star
Koya - One Star
There is 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.
Lilac - One Star
Cuisine: Mediterranean Cuisine
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-executed and flavorful lobster feuillantine.
Hero image: Nikolas Koenig/Lilac