by The Editors | August 27, 2018

Just Hatched: Openings Around the State

Debuts to peruse: brand new restaurants, galleries, shops, resorts and more

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North


EL JEFE

Jacksonville

Already known for his fried green tomatoes and creamy shrimp and grits, Chef Scott Schwartz of Amelia Island’s popular 29 South restaurant set out to recreate a cuisine he first fell in love with as a kid: Tex-Mex. Not “fresh Mex,” or Baja style, or any other chef-driven take on it. Just old-school Tex-Mex. Before opening El Jefe in Jacksonville’s historic Murray Hill neighborhood, Schwartz traveled to Texas to taste his way through the border’s best tacos, nachos, fajitas and queso fundido. All tortillas are made in-house, and cocktails like the El Diablo—a tequila-style concoction that includes Polish blackberry brandy—are crafted with freshly squeezed juice. eljefejax.com


PURE HYDRATION

Jacksonville Beach

Avid travelers Spencer Wanderon and his wife Hannah first tried IV hydration therapy in New York City. Within 15 minutes, both felt a sudden onset of energy, mental clarity and general well-being. After experiencing the same results at other clinics, the couple was hooked and decided to open what would become the first IV hydration spa in their hometown. Designed with the serenity of the sea in mind, Pure Hydration features multiple suites adorned with subdued hues of gray and blue. The company’s most comprehensive infusion treatment includes a combination of vitamins and nutrients designed to improve the immune system, reduce inflammation, promote skin health and boost energy. purehydrationspa.com


Beefy cuts of fresh Gulf Coast seafood like this one set The District: Seville Steak & Seafood apart from other Pensacola steakhouses.

THE DISTRICT: SEVILLE STEAK & SEAFOOD

Pensacola

Housed inside a century-old building in downtown Pensacola, owner Wilmer Mitchell’s newest restaurant, The District, embodies his expert take on the classic American steakhouse with a contemporary spin. With a design aesthetic modeled after The Plaza Hotel in New York, the upstairs lounge makes for a society-style gathering place, with leather love seats and sofas framing sets of cocktail tables. The downstairs dining room exudes an upscale but casual ambience, perfect for a business-minded power hour or a romantic date night. Featuring executive chef Josh Warner at the helm, The District is developing a menu that includes dry-aged steaks, fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood and house-made desserts. districtsteaks.com


GROVE MARKET CAFE

Tallahassee

A breakfast and lunch eatery with a throwback diner feel, Grove Market Cafe is the kind of place where you can count on staples like fluffy eggs and cooked-to-perfection bacon. A chef by trade, owner David Gwynn introduced a few creative dishes designed to cure a sweet tooth, his favorite being the pineapple upside-down pancakes. And then there’s pie. Think freshly baked pie with a flaky crust and ooey-gooey filling, made in-house and displayed at the counter to tempt you. The coconut cream is a crowd favorite. If you’re still set on your diet (more power to you), there are plenty of healthy and gluten-free options on the menu as well. facebook.com/grovemarketcafe


Central


Streamsong Black golf course, tucked quietly between Orlando and Tampa, was designed by Gil Hanse, architect of the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro. Photography by Nile Young

STREAMSONG BLACK

Streamsong

Golfer’s paradise Streamsong Resort occupies sprawling acreage between Tampa and Orlando. Already home to two popular golf courses, Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue, the resort recently opened its third course, Streamsong Black. Designed by Gil Hanse, architect of the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro, the new course stretches across a landscape with rolling elevation changes and challenging tumbles and ridges. After a round, players can cool off inside the new clubhouse at Bone Valley Tavern, which features cold draft brews as well as pub fare classics by chef Victor Kendlehart. The world-class spa also shouldn’t be missed at this elegant retreat. streamsongresort.com


Photography Courtesy The Veranda Live

THE VERANDA LIVE

Orlando

Featuring an outdoor stage draped in string lights and surrounded by restored colonial-style homes, The Veranda Live in downtown’s historic Thornton Park has an ambience that’s equally charming and relaxed. It’s a come-as-you-are sort of place where couples and families can sway to the sounds of a live band under a starry night sky. Jim Faherty, a longtime music promoter in Orlando, handpicks performers to play free shows on Thursdays and Saturdays. Faherty, who’s booked everyone from the Indigo Girls to Nine Inch Nails over the course of his career, wanted to create a laid-back, kid- and pet-friendly music venue—filling a void in downtown Orlando. And he’s already drawing plenty of fans. theverandalive.com 


Pink Narcissus gives Lilly Pulitzer fans a new reason to visit Daytona Beach. Photography by Pink Narcissus Daytona Beach

PINK NARCISSUS

Daytona Beach

Perfect for the shopper in a sunny state of mind, there’s nothing that will jumpstart a vacation mindset more than a vibrant Lilly Pulitzer sheath dress. Danny Quinton recently opened the fourth outpost of his popular Florida-based Pink Narcissus boutique in the new One Daytona entertainment and retail complex, across from Daytona International Speedway. A Lilly Pulitzer signature store, the boutique carries everything from pineapple-adorned beach totes to coral reef–inspired caftans, plus plenty of gift ideas for every member of the family. And since the store has a dedicated staff that aims to make every customer feel special, you know you’ll walk out with something fabulous. lillypinknarcissus.com


Taste of Rosé at Wine Bar George; Photography b yLauren Yochum

WINE BAR GEORGE

Lake Buena Vista

As one of the world’s elite master sommeliers, George Miliotes knows a thing or two about wine. It was important to him to develop a restaurant concept where guests could learn how to swirl, sip and taste in a comfortable setting, without too much pomp and circumstance. His new Wine Bar George in Disney Springs looks like a cross between what you might see in Napa Valley and Tuscany. Along with executive chef Ron Rupert, the team pairs a powerful combo of cheese, charcuterie, small plates like mac and cheese bites, and family-style entrees like wine-braised chicken with more than 40 varietals of wine from regions around the globe. winebargeorge.com


South


Noela Chocolate Salted Turtles; Photography by Noela Chocolate & Confections

NOELA CHOCOLATE & CONFECTIONS

Sarasota

Mmmmm, chocolate. Shane and Ande Grant, a husband-and-wife team with artistic expertise in crafting melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, named Noela Chocolate & Confections after their two sons, Noah and Elijah. While the Grants just opened their first artisanal chocolate boutique in downtown Sarasota, they also have a bustling 6,000-square-foot factory in Cape Coral. They enjoy combining flavors and designing fair-trade chocolates that are almost too pretty to eat. Starting with eye-catching packaging designed in-house by a team of graphic designers, customers fill keepsake boxes with chocolates they pick out, making for a uniquely personal experience. noelachocolate.com


El Vez chef Steve Menter makes killer guac and fish tacos. Photography by Andrew Hektor

EL VEZ

Fort Lauderdale

A virtuoso when it comes to masterminding culinary hit after hit, Stephen Starr is one of America’s most successful restauranteurs. He’s opened another one of his crowd-pleasers inside the posh W Fort Lauderdale. Considered an elevated cantina concept, El Vez has everything you’d expect from a Mexican restaurant by Starr, including super high-quality food and drink. A few key staples include chef Steve Menter’s made-from-scratch guacamole, mahi mahi tacos and whole fried yellowtail snapper topped with fennel, jalapeno, olives and lemon. Wash it all down with a frozen blood orange margarita, then play a game of cornhole with sweeping beach vistas in the background. elvezftlauderdale.com


The Zen suites at Nobu Hotel combine clean Japanese-inspired design with luxe Miami touches. Photography by Nobu Miami Beach

NOBU HOTEL

Miami Beach

What happens when Academy Award–winning actor Robert De Niro and world-famous Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa get together on a business deal? A collection of one-of-a-kind hotels and restaurants. Considered a hotel within a hotel, Nobu Hotel is located inside the historic Morris Lapidus–designed Eden Roc on the glittering shores of Miami Beach. Already a magnet for A-listers, the celebrity-studded Nobu Restaurant & Bar moved from its original location in South Beach to the new 206-room hotel. While the hotel’s exterior displays iconic Miami modern architecture, interior designer David Rockwell brings the outside in with black-and-white photography of Japanese landscapes juxtaposed against striking ocean views. nobuhotelmiamibeach.com