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Three Tampa restaurants added to the Florida MICHELIN Guide

interior of a restaurant with white linen table clothes and chandeliers
Inside Ponte in Midtown Tampa

Tampa is a major foodie city, and the editors of The MICHELIN Guide continue to recognize its growth. The team behind the food lover’s guide have announced that there will be 11 new additions to the guide this spring — and three of the new spots are in the city of Tampa. The new additions are Lilac at The Tampa EDITION, Ponte in Midtown Tampa, and Noble Rice in the Channelside area.

“By revealing some of the new additions made by our inspectors throughout the year, we enhance our digital tools to further strengthen the ties that bind us to food lovers,” Poullennec said. “We hope that these regular revelations and updates to the selection throughout the year will provide opportunities to highlight the profession and invite everyone to discover and support the restaurants around them.”

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MICHELIN Guide celebrates Tampa’s booming food scene

“Celebrated chef John Fraser brings his talent to another Edition property with Lilac, a spot serving up fresh produce with finesse,” write MICHELIN Guide editors in their rationale behind the Tampa selections. “Similarly, local talents Adriana and Eric Fralick opened Noble Rice offering their spirited proposition on omakase and Japanese bites.”

They also note that “few spots as refined as Ponte, the brainchild of chef Christopher Ponte.” The restaurant in Midtown Tampa is rooted in classic American cuisine, the resulting dishes are a “symphony for the eyes (and tastebuds) while the equally elegant decor sets the scene with flair.”

Côte de Boeuf Rotisserie (left); Ora King Salmon (right) | Photo via @lilactampa

Dining at Lilac at Tampa EDITION

MICHELIN Guide evaluators were captivated by decor and presentation at Lilac (500 Channelside Dr). The city’s new 5-star hotel is home to several dining experience, but Lilac is truly the main event. Editors were wowed by the restaurant’s contemporary four-course prix-fixe with Mediterranean influences, Florida-focused ingredients and French techniques.

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A meal at Lilac might include luxe bites like a Diver scallop infused with rosemary smoke and dramatically served under a cloche to well-executed and flavorful lobster feuillantine. Main dishes include Ora King salmon with a Florida stone crab salad or Colorado lamb chop with tender leeks and house-made lamb sausage.

a steak seared under a flame. An aerial view of a plate of seafood over greens.
Photo via Ponte Tampa

Ponte is a phenomenal Tampa legacy

Chef Christopher Ponte oversees the very grand eponymous restaurant located in Midtown Tampa (1010 Gramercy Pk Ln) where a cream-and-white palette sets an elegant tone. “This is a linen tablecloth kind of place where a comprehensive menu lists dishes with a contemporary and creative American flair,” writes MICHELIN Guide.

They invite visitors to experience Champagne and pearls—oysters finished with a pink peppercorn mignonette foam—or opt for the salmon Wagyu set over crispy sushi rice. Discover an entire section of the menu devoted to steaks with different sauces, toppers and butters.

A plate of sushi topped with greens and drizzled with a light sauce.
Hanabi Maki – Chu Toro, Tempura Shishito Peppers, Serrano relish and avocado.

Noble Rice enlivens an already charged Channelside

Noble Rice (615 Channelside Dr) has an omakase on offer at a separate counter, but the real draw here is their à la carte sushi-focused menu with some izakaya and small plate options (think shrimp toast and karaage; skewers and ramen). Traditionalists should head for the king salmon nigiri sourced from New Zealand, while bold and creative flavor combinations are found in maki like the negi toro roll, with spicy fatty tuna, scallion and tobanjan kewpie in a black garlic soy sauce. Steer seasonal, as in the bright Dungeness crab salad.

You can view the current Florida MICHELIN Guide online. When it first debuted, Ichicoro, Rooster and the Till, and Rocca all earned Bib gourmand awards.

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