Miami is now home to many Michelin stars.
On Thursday, the world’s most popular global restaurant ranking guide awarded its star stars to restaurants in Florida for the first time, focusing on three cities: Miami, Orlando and Tampa.
Miami featured with 10 one-star restaurants and one two-star rated, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in the Design District. The French restaurant is led by Chef Alain Vizzeroli and a team of patrons of the late Joel Robuchon, who was awarded 31 Michelin stars at the time of his death in 2018.
“It was clear to us that the consistency and strength of implementation at this site indicated a two-star rating,” said the unidentified Michelin chief inspector. The reviewers, called inspectors, eat out at restaurants around the world and do their best to remain anonymous.
He said that inspectors judge restaurants based on five key criteria, no matter where they are located: product quality; Each dish “harmony of flavour”; Mastery of cooking techniques Chef personality and consistency between visits (if one inspector is eating a great meal and the other isn’t, this counts).
He also praised the diversity of Miami’s culinary scene.
“The Miami scene was a real exploration,” he said. “We knew notable names like Thomas Keeler [The Surf Club] and Joël Robuchon, but while digging in we discovered places run by local talent, like Michael Beltran from Ariete, Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer from Boia De, and we were really happy to highlight them. …we knew the Miami scene was going to be fun, but I have to say, 11 stars are pretty cool. Everyone knows that Miami is a world star. Everyone wants to set up shop there.”
No three-star restaurants have been named in Florida. Only 13 American restaurants have been given three stars: six in California, five in New York, and one each in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
But Michelin has named 29 “Bib Gourmand” restaurants in the state, a label that recognizes great food at great value. These are places where diners can have two courses and have a glass of wine or dessert for less than $49. Miami has 19 restaurants in this category.
Visit Florida, the state’s tourism and marketing agency, and local tourism agencies in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa are paying Michelin Guide an estimated $1.5 million over the next three years to evaluate Florida restaurants. Restaurants will be listed in a printed directory that Michelin sells and puts online.
Gwendal Bolnik, International Director of Michelin Guides, said he expects to see more starred restaurants in Miami in the coming years. He said the guide is “open-minded,” and has no specific quota or number of stars to be awarded (or withheld).
“We are always working,” he said. “We have inspectors constantly in the field. It’s a great start. Miami will be recognized as a global culinary hot spot.”
Here are the local Michelin star winners, along with notes from the inspectors:
2 star restaurant
Joel Robuchon’s workshop: The French restaurant’s tasting notes advise diners to order the fixed seasonal prize. “The bread basket is a great opener, arriving in advance for such juicy meals as grilled sea scallops with toasted spices. The layout of the design area carries all the beloved hallmarks through its counter and open kitchen.” 151 NE 41st St., Suite 235, Miami; latelier-miami.com
1 star restaurants
Aries: Chef Michael Beltran’s Coconut Grove Spot “instantly welcomes a menu that weaves together Cuban and French influences for wow effect.” 3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove; 786-615-3747; arietecoconutgrove.com
buoy from: A pink exclamation point above the front door caught the attention of Michelin inspectors: “The surprise is certainly an apt description of Chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Mayer’s distinctive and impressive menu.” 5205 NE Second Ave. , Miami; 305-967-8866; boiaderestaurant.com
Miami coast: There has been a lot of praise for this Design District and owner Simon Kim: the Korean steakhouse “looks like a temple of beautiful marble and aged beef, much of it on display in an adjoining room.” Côte d’Ivoire also has one Michelin star. 3900 NE Second Ave. , Miami; 4668-434 305; cotemiami.com
The Den at Sushi Azabu Miami: This hidden omakase room at the Stanton South Beach Hotel is an “intimate temple of sushi. Airlifted fish are handled several times a week and fixed to a minimum, often with a single brush of nikiri.” Sushi Azabu in New York has one Michelin star. 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-276-0520; theden.miami.azabuglobal.com
Heaven Miami: With locations in Washington, D.C., Bogota, and Medellin, this restaurant run by acclaimed Colombian-born chef Juan Manuel Barrientos offers “a taste of Colombian cuisine presented in a modern and dramatic way.” 31 SE Fifth St., Miami; 305-874-7867; elcielorestaurant.com
Hidden: Chef Shingo Akikuni at Wynwood “sticks to tradition, sourcing most of his produce from Japan—beautiful slabs of tuna, sweet vegan grapes, and generous portions of uni are the highlight of the tasting menu that never feels hot or overly revered.” 313 NW 25th St., Miami; hidenmiami.com
The gardener: Michelin inspectors described this French spot in the design district as “head-to-toe chic,” adding that the menu is “a study of vibrant tastes and clever combinations that pack a punch minus heft.” 151 NE 41st St., Suite 135, Miami; lejardinier-miami.com
His Excellency: Servers at this Mexican restaurant in Coconut Grove come “armed with ample information about the source of each ingredient.” Highlights include “delicious pork carnitas with a myriad of sauces, crudo snapper with jicama shavings and avocado aioli.” 3413 Main Hwy., Miami; losfelixmiami.com
stubborn seeds: The notes say Chef Jeremy Ford’s restaurant is “exciting and elegant with its industrial-chic décor and glass-fronted kitchen,” adding that his “ambitious and imaginative cooking” stands out best on the tasting menu. 101 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 786-899-2726; stubbornseed.com
The Surf Club Restaurant: Thomas Keller’s first project in Florida has been praised for its sauces, “what this team does best, beginning with scallop crudo with curd sauce; followed by the masterfully reimagined Maine lobster Thermidor with Américaine salsa.” Chef Thomas Keller now has seven Michelin stars , including three at Per Se and three at the French Laundry. 9011 Collins Ave., Surfside; 305-768-9440; thesurfclub.com
The chefs were delighted – and humbled – with these awards.
“It is a real honor to be included in the prestigious Michelin Guide to the company of some of the best restaurants in the world,” said Atsushi Okawer, Head Sushi Chef at The Den at Sushi Azabu, which includes an 18-seat sushi restaurant. Made of Hinoki cypress. “When I took command of The Den late last year, it was always my intention to maintain the restaurant’s highly regarded reputation while incorporating new elements to showcase Japanese culinary arts and rich, natural benefits with the freshest ingredients.”
Thomas Keeler of The Surf Club said he was proud to see Florida’s talent recognized.
“It is an honor to be recognized by Michelin in my home state, where I initially became interested in cooking,” he said. “This honor would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our Surfside restaurant team, our committed partners, and our loyal guests.”
Here are the Miami-area restaurants that are known to offer great value:
Bishr. Chug Restaurant Are You; El Turco Indian Ghee Kitchen Muscat Barbecue Miami. Itamae. Croissant Kitchen La Natural Locale. Long Ya Tai Tapas; Mandolin Aegean Bistro; real Michael; Vok yes Red Rooster Overtown; Sanguish de Miami; Tinta y Cafe; Zack Baker Zeitz some
The Michelin Guide also announced two special awards for the Miami area. Victoria James of Cote Miami was awarded Sommelier of the Year and Robin Royon of L’Atelier and Jardinier received the award for Exceptional Cocktail.
Four restaurants in Orlando have received one Michelin star each: Kappa (a steakhouse at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World); sōseki (fusion/sushi); Cadens (Japanese / Sushi); and Knife & Spoon (a Ritz-Carlton Orlando steakhouse). No restaurants in Tampa have ever received a star.
Orlando had seven Pepe Gourmand restaurants, and Tampa had three.
This story was originally published June 9, 2022 8:30 p.m.