by Kara Franker | November 26, 2018

Just Hatched: Winter 2018 Openings Around The State

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



The inside-out quinoa burger at True Food Kitchen’s latest location in Jacksonville; Photography True Food Kitchen



Nutritionists and health aficionados rejoice! Jacksonville is the latest city to score an outpost of True Food Kitchen. The restaurant, which has developed a major following, is inspired by the philosophy that food should make you feel better rather than worse. Founder Dr. Andrew Weil launched the concept to cater to diners who want delicious, healthy dishes without sacrificing flavor or creativity. Think butternut squash pizza made with artisan dough and topped with roasted garlic, vegan almond ricotta, kale and caramelized onions. Wash it down with a citrus skinny margarita and you can walk away feeling guilt-free and great.


St. Augustine

There’s nothing better than old-fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ. The new Chop Shop Artisan Butcher in St. Augustine is a full-scale butchery offering custom cuts. A spin-off by Chef Brian Whittington’s Strive Restaurant Group, the shop sources all its meat from local producers like Black Hog Farm. Omnivores can also browse for for high-quality fruits and vegetables and seafood items like scallops, shrimp and fish. Lead butcher Tony Philpott’s goal is to educate customers about where their food comes from, creating a major departure from the typical large supermarket experience.



Located in Tallahassee’s Old Town District, Mimi’s Table is a neighborhood bistro blending French, Italian and Southern influences. The brainchild of William Lawson, an executive chef with classical French training and more than 20 years of experience, the restaurant is named after his mother-in-law, Mimi, who’s known for her warm, over-the-top hospitality. The ambience is exactly as she would want it: cheerful and elegant with white tablecloths and fresh flowers. As befits a chef-driven bistro, the menu changes on a daily basis and features homemade pastas as well as specialty dishes like smoked pork chops and braised short ribs.



Located near Ponte Vedra Beach, Nocatee is a picturesque community that’s on the rise. And that is exactly what owners Rick Kunzi and Trey Wilder were looking for when searching for a location for their third outpost of Treylor Park. The restaurant flips the script on the typical menu by mixing up ingredients in a creative way. Led by executive chef Marvin Sterling, stand-out dishes include PB&J wings (voted best in Georgia for three years), shrimp and grits tacos, and the bacon brownie. If you have a sweet tooth with a Southern twang, then you’ll want to try the pecan bourbon or the “grapeful dead” with grape Kool Aid–infused vodka and gummy bears. It’s quite the treat!


À La Cart will feature 15 taps of craft creations. Photography by Addison Fitzgerald



A street food concept with a twist, Á La Cart Street Food & Craft Beer introduces Orlando to its first food park. Here’s how it works: A rotating slate of food trucks lines a permanent pavilion that boasts covered indoor seating and an outdoor courtyard. Plus lawn games! The bar inside features a rotating list of craft brews. Former Oregon-based high school teachers April and Dustin Williams became inspired by the food truck parks in Portland. So they brought this new and improved version of the street food concept to their favorite neighborhood in their hometown: the trendy Milk District in Orlando.

Osteria’s cockles and clams invite on a wintery night in Tampa; Photography Osteria Bar & Kitchen



Downtown Tampa has a hot new Italian eatery with star power behind it. Top Chef alumnus Fabio Viviani dazzles diners with truffles, homemade pastas, slow-roasted meats and wild fish dishes crafted with the rustic Italian countryside in mind. A must-try menu item is the rigatoni in a jar, served drenched in parmesan creme alongside house-smoked bacon, Brussels sprouts and farmed egg yolk. It’s a secret recipe handed down through Viviani’s family for generations. Seating in the restaurant is by reservation only, so make sure to call ahead. 


Winter Park

With locations now open in Winter Park and downtown Orlando, Rukus Cycling Studio attracts crowds of cardio enthusiasts by taking fitness to a whole new level. The moment you step inside the CycleArena, you realize that this isn’t your average spinning studio. Think stadium-style setup, low lights, LED TV screens and heart rate monitors that capture all the action. And when the class kicks off, the volume goes way up. It’s a high-energy ride that will make you burn, baby, burn.



Located just north of Clearwater, the picturesque waterfront village of Dunedin is having a moment. And the reimagination of the historic Fenway Hotel adds loads of pizzazz to the already charming destination. Originally opened in 1927, the hotel has a distinctive musical heritage. The rooftop served as the county’s first radio station, and the building, nicknamed the “Grand Lady of Dunedin,” hosted a bevy of traveling musicians and artists. Today, the new rooftop is home to a lively bar and features panoramic views of St. Joseph Sound, while the redesign of the rooms and public spaces channels the rhythm
of the Jazz Age.


Oysters Rockefeller from Speaks Clam Bar; Photography by Natalia Levey



St. Armands Circle, the crown jewel of Sarasota, is home to the newest outpost of Speaks Clam Bar, a speakeasy-style restaurant inspired by 19th-century Little Italy. Owner Natalia Levey, herself a classically trained chef, wants to welcome people and make them feel like part of a family. After frequent world travels and dining with the best Italian chefs, the Levey family eventually longed to share their secret red sauce (available in sweet, medium and hot versions) with like-minded pasta lovers. Levey says the menu changes daily, but make sure to try the housemade corfu seafood linguine. There’s also a garden-to-glass cocktail menu with Prohibition-style favorites like a smoked old-fashioned.

The gleaming Cadillac Hotel sits on the beach. Photography Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club



With the new edition of the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, living the cabana life just got sweeter in Miami Beach. Located on the waterfront boardwalk that runs through the glitzy Mid Beach neighborhood, the property overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and features prime beach access. Inspired by the French Riviera, interior design firm Bill Rooney Studio transformed the Art Deco gem into a new and improved luxury boutique hotel. It’s a rosé-all-day kind of vibe, with loads of class and Mediterranean style.

Root & Bone’s Miami location; Photography by Sabrina Chloe Ramirez



You’ve seen them both on Bravo’s Top Chef. Now, celebrity chefs Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth have opened their second Root & Bone restaurant. While the flagship location is in Manhattan’s eclectic East Village neighborhood, the new outpost is in South Miami. Think classic Southern cooking with quality ingredients. Booth recommends the lemon-dusted, sweet tea–brined fried chicken, a play on an Arnold Palmer. She also highlights the eight-hour braised short rib meatloaf, a crowd favorite, which is served retro-style with fluffy mashed potatoes and house-made tomato sauce. True to the restaurant’s name, there are plenty of vegetable dishes where the chefs allow simple and fresh produce to shine.


Fort Lauderdale

New to Fort Lauderdale’s leisure scene, this riverfront restaurant and bar offers one of the quintessential Florida experiences. Patrons can roll up from land or water and dive into the menu at this addition to the historic Riverside Hotel, also home to Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille and Indigo. Small plates emphasizing Mediterranean flavors are a major feature, and cocktails stir up tropical magic to accompany your octopus fritters and duck fat potatoes with chimichurri.