MIAMI – It was Tampa’s night in Miami Thursday as the Michelin Guide held its star reception at LoanDepot Park to announce the additions to the Florida 2023 edition, which focuses on Miami, Tampa and Orlando. Tampa was the only area that failed to win a star in the inaugural Florida guide last year.
Three restaurants emerged with one star each: Koya, Eric Fralick, chef; Lilac, John Fraser and John Werksman; and Rocca, Bryce Bonsack.
But the real question of the night is: In what world does Victoria & Albert’s, the venerable restaurant at the Grand Floridian with some of the most exquisite food the the Southeast, not rate at least one star? Most people going in to the event were expecting it to come in with at least two stars. In retrospect it was telling that the Michelin organization did not even invite representative from Victoria & Albert’s or Toledo. Neither was Lordfer Lalicon of Kaya.
All three restaurants are included in the 2023 guide as recommended restaurants, along with the other previously named Orlando area restaurants Doshi, Edoboy, Juju and Twenty Pho Hour. Last week Michelin announced the restaurants that would receive the Bib Gourmand designation, those restaurants that offer good food at a good price. In Orlando they were Isan Zaap, Otto’s High Dive and Taste of Chengdu in Orlando and Norigami in Winter Garden.
The Central Florida restaurants that earned a star in the first guide have retained them. They are Knife & Spoon, Capa, Kadence and Soseki.
In addition, Soseki’s Benjamin Coutts won the Michelin Sommelier Award.
L’Atelier by Jöel Robuchon remains the only Florida restaurant with two stars.
The Michelin Guide has been published in some form or other by the Michelin tire company since 1889. It was developed as a way to entice new car owners to get out and drive – burn rubber, as it were – by visiting well regarded restaurants around France. The guide was initially offered for free, but the publishers decided it would be more respected if people had to pay for it. So the 1920 edition went on sale for seven francs.
In 1926, the guide began to award a star to exceptional restaurants, and in 1931 it began its ranking of one, two and three stars.
The first Florida edition – featuring restaurants in only the Miami, Tampa and Orlando areas – was published last year.
More on the awards ceremony tomorrow.