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By Olivia Cuccaro | May 12 2017
Known as the “Sunshine State” for its pleasant weather, Florida is beach, pool and yacht-ready year round. With the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west, the US state is a haven for freshly caught seafood. Dotted with vibrant cities and cool coastal towns, Florida offers a variety of cuisines to suit the discerning vacationer. These are our picks of the best restaurants in some of Florida’s most luxurious destinations.
Inside The Biltmore hotel, Michelin-starred Chef Gregory Pugin leads the charge to craft fine French fare. Palme d’Or focuses on fresh, local and sustainable ingredients to create the classic dishes of France with a modern twist. A Chef’s Tasting menu includes a caviar tarte, foie gras terrine and venison roasted in cigar leaves.
Look out over Biscayne Bay while savoring fine Italian cuisine at this Miami restaurant. It is known for the complimentary antipasti that precedes exquisite pasta, risotto, fish and meat dishes. A menu of Italian desserts is a must for an after-dinner treat.
For more than a century, Joe’s Stone Crab has been a family-run favorite in Miami. The restaurant is heralded for its unpretentious ambiance complemented by impeccable seafood. In addition to the classic stone crab meal, Joe’s menu includes tilapia, fried oysters and king crab legs, as well as meat and poultry dishes.
When in Orlando, Disney World is the number one attraction. Victoria & Albert’s proves that a magical destination for kids is equally a dining destination for adults. Inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the restaurant serves American cuisine in an elegant setting. Its reputation for fine dining is evident in Victoria & Albert’s menu, which includes Galilee Osetra Caviar and Australian Kobe-style beef tenderloin.
A little further afoot from the Disney hustle and bustle, Chef’s Table at the Edgewater delivers and intimate, gourmet dining experience. The restaurant offers two options: The Chef’s Table, where guests can speak with the chef and watch the kitchen at work, and The Tasting Room, where guests can enjoy small plates in a relaxed setting.
At La Playa Beach & Golf Resort, Baleen is the best of beachside dining: The restaurant overlooks the beach with several tables on the sand themselves. Being on the water, it’s only natural that seafood should take precedence here. There’s an iced seafood menu with cold water oysters and Gulf catch ceviche, as well as entrees like lobster risotto and blackened ahi tuna.
For fine French cuisine in Naples, Cote d’Azur is just the ticket. Dishes are inspired by Cannes, Nice, Juan Les Pins, Antibes and Monaco to create a Mediterranean Cuisine and a la carte menu. Roasted pheasant, milk fed veal chop and roasted crispy duck are just a few of the plates on offer.
Fine dining inside the Brazilian Court Hotel from a household name, the menu incorporates signature Boulud dishes with French favorites. Executive Chef Rick Mace delights with dishes like foie gras torchon, black truffle tagliatelle or a 14 oz dry aged NY strip. A 400-selection wine list includes ports and sherries, with vintage digestifs also to sip between courses.
“Small plates with big flavors” are the specialty of this Palm Beach establishment. Chef Clay Conley, a two-time James Beard nominee, highlights the tastes and textures discovered during his world travels to create an exciting fare like Octopus tabbouleh, lamb chop with mango chutney and Moroccan “BBQ” chicken. For sushi, try the sister restaurant Imoto.