La Mar by Gaston Acurio
13 Celebrity Chef Restaurants in Florida | Best Places to Eat in Florida | Gourmet Dining | La Mar Cebicheria Miami
Peruvian celeb chef Gaston Acurio opened a sleek Miami outpost of his Lima temple to the Peruvian marinated seafood staple, La Mar by Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental Miami, in April 2014. Sit outside by Biscayne Bay and watch the upper crust stroll the waterside while sampling refreshing ceviches like the Criollo – marinated yellowtail snapper, calamari, scallops spiked with aji Amarillo leche de tigre – and sipping a pisco sour spiked with sweet, purple chicha morada.
Get a taste of culinary royalty at Café Boulud in Palm Beach at the Brazilian Court Hotel. Part of chef Daniel Boulud’s vast restaurant empire (this one was the first of his 17 worldwide restaurants to be established outside Manhattan), it’s chic and sophisticated — a little taste of New York fine dining, beachside. Savor — don’t scarf — the $29 prix-fixe brunch on weekends of petite Belgian waffles and foie gras terrine.
Think you can’t eat well in the epicenter of Orlando’s theme parks? One word: BAM! Emeril Lagasse’s empire stretches to Universal CityWalk, a high-energy shopping, entertainment and dining complex that connects Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando. At Emeril’s Orlando, you’ll sample the ultra-famous chef’s N’Awlins classics like andouille gumbo and a roast prime rib po’ boy.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
Sourcing from the best ingredients and executed with perfection, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the flagship restaurant of James Beard Award-winner for Best Chef: South, Michael Schwartz, really has something delicious going on. They also brew their own beer, so don’t forget to order a pint with your crispy pork belly pizza, topped with fennel, fontina cheese and arugula.
Emeril’s Tchoup Chop
I know we already mentioned an Emeril Lagasse restaurant at Universal Orlando Resort, but wait … (in our best Yoda voice) … there is another. It’s Emeril’s Tchoup Chop (pronounced “chop-chop”), at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, a nod to Tchoupitoulas Street where the flagship Emeril’s is located. Here’s you’ll find a fusion of Asian flavor as bold as the decor (left), including wok-fried udon noodles in garlic-hoisin sauce and pulled Hawaiian-style pork with pineapple-hoisin BBQ sauce.
One of the founding fathers of modern American cuisine, James Beard Award-winner Norman Van Aken marries Floridian, Caribbean, Central and South American ingredients and techniques to showcase vibrant flavors. His restaurant, Norman’s, at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes is a favorite for fine dining, and the views just can’t be beat out the windows of the vast rotunda. Go full force with the $99 six-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, which includes dishes like adobo lamb with mole verde.
Bobby’s Burger Palace
With the opening of Bobby’s Burger Palace at the Dadeland Mall in Kendall, just outside Miami, Food Network’s golden boy, Bobby Flay, makes fast food his own. Regionally named gourmet burgers (the Miami burger is topped with ham, Swiss, pickles, mustard and mayo, of course), 13 different milkshakes and malts (including a few with booze — how about the Vanilla Caramel Bourbon?) and the frozen cactus margarita bar has Flay’s signature southwest flavor written all over it.
13 Celebrity Chef Restaurants in Florida | Best Places to Eat in Florida | Gourmet Dining | Primo by Melissa Kelly
She was the first two-time James Beard Foundation award-winner for Best Chef, and with good reason. The food at Melissa Kelly’s restaurant, Primo, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes (right next door to the Ritz-Carlton) is, in fact, primo. The garden right outside sources most of the vegetables and herbs for the menu of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Feast on braised local rabbit with hand-rolled ricotta cavatelli and pork saltimbocca in a sage-infused mushroom jus.