The Rise of the Hotel Restaurant – 9 of Florida’s Best
Forego the notion that hotel restaurants are grab-and-go, flavorless outlets solely created out of conveniences. According to Tasting Table, chef-driven restaurants are taking over the hospitality industry in the wake of the pandemic. Embracing new opportunities, new clientele and creativity, Restaurant Business states that many hotel restaurants have an exterior entrance, providing chefs with their own outpost, which makes it appealing to visitors and locals.
Read on to learn about nine Florida restaurants that are presenting unique menus, setting trends, and wowing guests from coast to coast.
Orno by Chef Niven Patel + THesis Hotel
Located inside of the THesis Hotel Miami in Coral Gables, Orno, is a modern restaurant with an open-kitchen concept, helmed by 4x James Beard Nominee and Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2020, Chef Niven Patel. Recently named as Miami New Times Best New Restaurant, Orno offers guests a true, farm-to-table experience using locally sourced ingredients from Chef Patel’s very own farm, Rancho Patel. The restaurant consists of New American cuisine featuring the finest selection of meats and seafood. Wood-fired culinary creations are complimented by specialty cocktails inspired by literary classics which can be enjoyed in the main dining room or in The Library, Orno’s hideaway lounge and private dining room.
Ovide by Chef Hugh Acheson + Hotel Effie
Ovide at Hotel Effie is the first restaurant in Florida by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson. Ovide embraces the fresh, forward flavors and local seafood of the Gulf Coast. The menu showcases Chef Hugh Acheson’s creativity and passion for distinctive ingredients and cooking techniques by fusing coastal cuisine with a sophisticated French influence. Menu highlights include a 63C Farm Egg, served on a bed of crispy rice, collard stem kimchi, peas spring onion and oyster mushrooms, a Smoked Mackerel Toast with super 100 tomatoes, dill, pickled shallot and bay leaves. A meal at Ovide wouldn’t be complete without Effie’s Biscuits, which are a nod to the hotel’s namesake. Ovide is known for its robust cocktail program by mixologist Kellie Thorn. Thorn has received considerable critical recognition for craft cocktails and specialty libations. Thorne joined forces with star chef Hugh Acheson to create the full cocktail program at Ovide and Hotel Effie.
Mehzcla by Chef Steven Acosta + Balfour Hotel – Miami Beach
Located at The Balfour Hotel in Miami Beach, Mehzcla combines Latin recipes and ingredients in tribute to the property’s Miami Beach heritage. Diners enter the restaurant through a wrap-around terrace with ample outdoor seating overlooking scenic Ocean Drive. The dining room is centered around the historic building’s original marble fireplace, terrazzo flooring, and an inviting lobby bar featuring a well-crafted, classic cocktail program. A nod to the hotel’s Miami Beach heritage, Mehzcla combines a variety of Latin American culinary influences that welcomes people from all walks of life to enjoy a seat at the table for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour. At the helm of Mehzcla is executive chef Steven Acosta, a proud Miami native with 15 years of expertise and techniques in kitchen leadership, who brings a global perspective to the restaurant’s diverse menu.
2 Korean Girls + Shelborne South Beach
Located inside the Shelborne South Beach, 2 Korean Girls is a delivery and dine-in pop-up restaurant bringing fresh and modern Korean specialties and Bibimbap inspired bowls to Miami. Spearheaded by sisters, Jennifer and Michele Kaminski, alongside their mother Chom “Sunny,” and James Beard award winning chef, Allan Susser, 2 Korean Girls focuses on the delicious, nutritious and beloved Korean staple of rice with meat, vegetables and egg. Made from the family’s generation-old recipes, the traditional dishes are created with a contemporary twist to the traditional. 2 Korean Girls garnish their dishes with a heart-shaped egg and golden edible stars, adding an Instagrammable surprise for each diner. Guests are also invited to participate in 2KG’s karaoke nights every Friday night to enjoy a night of sips, songs, and South Beach fun.
Mamey by Chef Niven Patel + THesis Hotel
Mamey is an island-inspired restaurant by James Beard Nominee and Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2020, Chef Niven Patel. Located inside THesis Hotel, Mamey is inspired by Chef Patel’s travels throughout Asia, French Polynesia and the Caribbean. As is true of all Chef Niven’s endeavors, Mamey, which is named after the tropical fruit, features locally grown produce, most of which is sourced from his own farm, Rancho Patel in Homestead, Florida. The restaurant showcases the exotic flavors and spices commonly found in the islands. Mamey’s seasonal offerings are complemented by fun, innovative cocktails that will transport you to the tropics. Draping leaves, rich textures, warm woods, and tropical artworks create a relaxed, yet exciting atmosphere best enjoyed with friends and family over a delicious meal.
Mamey on 3rd + THesis Hotel
Mamey on 3rd is an island-minded rooftop oasis nestled on the third floor of THesis Hotel serving happy hour and bites daily from Executive Chef Niven Patel, a four-time James Beard Award nominee and Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef. The vibrant space is surrounded by lush vegetation and greenery with custom pendant lights at the bar and statement palm tree light fixtures, a special nod to Chef Niven’s vision of a relaxing lounge with a Caribbean, Asian and Polynesian influence. The space has high ceilings, an old-world tropical wall covering, a variety of tropical plants and transparent drapery. The indoor/outdoor aesthetic includes seating nooks adorned in natural materials such as teak, rope and sculptural ceramic side tables. The seductive and biophilic design transports guests into an island setting, right in the heart of Coral Gables. Bringing the vibes with live music, this rooftop destination is one of Coral Gables’ hidden gems.
Roì + Hillsboro Beach Resort
As the only restaurant on Hillsboro Mile, Roí exclusively allows resort guests to experience the upscale internationally inspired cuisine and handcrafted cocktails in an intimate setting both indoors, as well as outdoors on the patio with unobstructed views of the serene Atlantic Ocean. Roí uses locally sourced and seasonal ingredients throughout its menus. A chic, upscale dining venue for any time of day, Roí features Ogetti Schema Moire pendant lights in galvanized iron hanging over each table, accessorized by roped muse chairs in a calming dark gray. The restaurant’s walls are wrapped in a menagerie of extinct animals by Marcel Wanders. Additionally, there are custom screen dividers in a dark bronze metal throughout the restaurant, to coordinate with the resort lobby’s metal screen dividers and create a consistent, yet dynamic environment.
Starboard + The Marker Key West Harbor Resort
Starboard at The Marker Key West Harbor Resort is an open-air restaurant and bar for al fresco and poolside dining by the hotel’s three saltwater pools. With hearty and healthy breakfasts, light bites, fresh seafood and signature pizzas, Starboard brings variety and excellence to the discerning foodie. Drink and dine alongside the seabreeze and Key West sunset at Old Town’s newest waterfront restaurant.
Marina Bar and Grill + Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Famous for making you feel like a local the minute you walk through the door, the best seats in the house overlooking the Choctawhatchee Bay, and our official feathered greeter, Maryann the macaw. But more than that, the Marina Bar & Grill is the place to relax with family, enjoy a hearty breakfast, and maybe even trade fishing stories with friends over an ice-cold beer long after the tackle has been put away. Open for lunch and early dinner any day of the week and weekend breakfasts.