Orlando Gets Some Michelin Stars + Miami and Tampa

https://michelinmedia.com/pages/blog/detail/article/c0/a1188/?fbclid=IwAR07tG71NfIstxoRwMMZsuEGy1i-jCgykDn2xaQhj1KQX8mU2USx0SNVlpY&fs=e&s=cl

Four Orlando restaurants were just awarded a single Michelin star. Knife and spoon, Soseki, Kadence, and Capa.

My take:

Capa - Fantastic chop house with a Spanish flair. Located in the Four Seasons near Disney. You can see the nightly fireworks from the deck. For locals this is a special occasion restaurant. The food and service are excellent, but it is also very pricey and not located near our residential zones. The wine list is OK but also quite pricey. The family-style steaks, which includes like a 65 ounce porterhouse, are delish.

Kadence - arguably the best restaurant in town. A very small Omakasa place. Only does two seatings per night. I think it can seat 8-10 max at a time. The owners are very young, hip, fun and super creative. Your meal will have between 10-14 small plates and bites of their choice. Totally BYOB friendly and I highly recommend it as their wine list is basic. We went there for NYE, brought our own music, and even got the owners drunk and dancing. A fantastic place. Located in a residential zone in Winter Park. Generally hard to get a rezzie, this will only make it harder! Really happy for the owners.

Soseki - Another Omakase joint and less than a block from Kadence. I like that these restaurants may draw in some adventurous tourists away from the Disney zone, so y’all can see what real Orlando is like. This is a solid place but very new restaurant. Surprised it got a star given its newness. It’s a more modern style of Omakase. Bring your own wine. They will drink with you.

Kabooki - The most surprising thing is that the hottest restaurant in town, Kabooki, only got a “recommended”. Chef Henry is a genius. Started this place at age 24 and it’s crowded every night. He’s even expanded and is adding a late night spot and menu for the young crowd. The food is fantastic. Never misses. I’ve been here over 100 times, easily. The wine list is basic but you can bring your own bottle. The sake and whisky list is quite strong. Henry also does Omakasa but you need to reserve it, and it’s quite special. Honestly, just show up and order off his nightly specials menu. I could eat here every week and never get bored.

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Shameless plug - the sake my husband imports, Kikuhime, has just made a splash with a major distributor in FL. So it should be on lists soon at places like those you mention. Keep us in mind!

No star or Bibb for Berns! I know the food does not cut it but if ever a restaurant deserved a star for wine alone its Berns.

And Ichicoro Ramen getting a Bibb is surprising based on my one visit two or three years ago.

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I was just talking with my wife about berns the other day. I think some of the food is world class, but mostly the sides and things that aren’t steak, which is the focus of the cuisine part of the restaurant at least.

The steaks aren’t just underwhelming, though, they’re entirely unacceptable to the point that if something I grilled at home turned out like that it’d be downright embarrassing. I can’t think of another steakhouse I go to where I refuse to order steaks.

Obviously the wine selection and cellar are world class.

My wife’s point was that they go through 1000+ covers a night and if it wasn’t working they’d change it, idk.

Your wife is correct. Think about Caymus - which incidentally - is their best selling wine. Caymus makes a product for the market that works, even if most of us do not like it. Bern’s steaks, and the place as a whole, are wildly popular. So why change?

I think people over-think Bern’s. I have been here dozens of times, and honestly, am rarely disappointed with the food. I keep it simple: I order the Chateaubriand Pittsburgh style rare. It is generally well-executed. Funny enough, the one time I was disappointed with the food was when I went with a group from this website that had never been, and they ordered the fancy dry-aged ribeyes, t-bones, etc. Those were fine, but not at the level of say Flannery’s cooked at home by some seasoned cooking pros. The sides are always fun.

Again, keep it simple. Focus on the wine and the ambience. And enjoy. Not every meal is a Michelin 3. And some Michelin-starred places have crappy wines lists, so keep that in mind as well when thinking about Bern’s.

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I order the Chicken Bern because it is very wine friendly. A secret is the steak sandwich, only offered in the bar, is actually the best thing on the menu.

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We will be at Bern’s on Sunday. Looking forward to it even if the steaks are average at best.

I get it, just hate paying $100+ for a steak that would get sent back if I ordered it at outback.

That’s a ridiculous statement.

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I will say this about Berns.

  1. We always get the rack of lamb and it’s always great. The food is top notch but it is “basic” . That’s what old school steakhouses are though.

  2. Their service is absolutely the best. Michelin worthy for sure.

  3. I’ve never not enjoyed myself there and should be back in August which I’m already looking forward too.

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I had the rack of lamb the last time I was there and it was better than the steaks.

I’ve had steak there three times and each time it wasn’t good and wasn’t prepared correctly. Medium rare - was charred on the outside and literally raw in the middle.

There are quite a few very good restaurants in Tampa but none that deserve a star in my opinion. I’ve stopped going to Bern’s as many others have as well. The food is mediocre and the wines I want to drink have been drunk.

Capa, is on no way deserving of a star. No way. It is a good to very good restaurant/chop house. They do not develop sauces, the food is neither complex nor layered. It is at best a very good resort restaurant, with a couple of decent menu items. The apps are better than the entrees as well!!

Robert I agree on kabooki. Maybe the most complex and thoughtful food in town. Gotta go try those other two!

Methinks Michelin is not the same as it used to be.

Apparently, Meats is more picky about his meats than I am! I love Capa but have not been since before Covid.

I concur in Kabooki.

Let’s do Kadence some time. You will dig it.

I feel the same……hope I’m wrong… Just hope it stays a reliable resource for me.

Not trying to say the latest awarding of stars in Florida aren’t great just don’t want Michelin to lower their standards. Having lived almost all my life in Florida, I haven’t experienced anything star worthy there.

Some really nice restaurants to visit in Florida but I remain skeptical of these.

I’ve done my share of Michelin-starred restaurants. The tough part is getting a rezzie.

Kadence is definitely worthy of a star.

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I’ll have to check it out, going down this weekend :slight_smile:

I guess I don’t get the negative comments on Bern’s here. My son and I shared a Chateaubriand there last December. I thought it was excellent. Steak is one of those food where I can buy $9.99/lb choice NY Strips at Costco and think they are almost as good as the Flannery Beef steaks that I paid 5x as much. I don’t see the need to pay up for an item like steak. Seafood is another matter. Paying up for top shelf seafood makes sense. Steak not so much. One of the best desert experiences we ever had was the macadamia nut sundae at Berns in their desert room.