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Four Orlando Restaurants awarded 2023 Florida MICHELIN Bib Gourmands

MICHELIN Florida just added 8 tasty spots to their selection including 4 Orlando restaurants.The best part? They all offer good food for good value.




Last year, the MICHELIN Guide kicked off their first ever Florida Guide, and in the past 365 days the MICHELIN inspectors have been hard at work discovering new gems and revisiting old favorites.


Next week sees the full Florida selection, and in anticipation, MICHELIN have announced eight Florida restaurants who have been chosen as Bib Gourmand


From feel-good Southern fare sourced locally to Cuban cuisine with flair, here are the new haute boîtes to visit. Just make sure to come back next Thursday, May 11, for the full list of Florida's MICHELIN Guide spots.


Isan Zaap 4693 Gardens Park Blvd Suite 113, Orlando

Isan Zaap
4693 Gardens Park Blvd Suite 113, Orlando

Cuisine: Thai

Orlando's Thai restaurants typically dole out southern curry dishes and the ubiquitous pad Thai, but Isan Zaap strays from the pack with its gaze trained exclusively on northeast Thai cuisine with Laotian overlaps.


There is an impressive level of attention to detail and a nice balance of spice and fermented flavors, and though impeccably executed curry makes an appearance, there's also an entire section dedicated to som tums that can be topped with fermented crab or fermented pork sausage.


House specialties are a hit, as in the unique whole fish larb, cut into bite-sized pieces, tossed with toasted rice powder and fried to a crisp, and crowned with shaved red onion herbs tossed in a sweet yet spicy sauce. For dessert, dig in to durian sticky rice - if you dare.

Norigami 426 W Plant Street Stall 19/20, Winter Garden.

Norigami
426 W Plant Street Stall 19/20, Winter Garden.

Cuisine: Japanese

At Norigami there are just eight seats at this tiny but mighty spot at the Plant Street Market from Chef David Tsan.


This is sushi done in a casual "choose your own adventure" style, as guests pick from various cuts of fish and shellfish and then select as either nigiri, sashimi aburi or temaki.


It's all fun and may include winning plates like popcorn hamachi, a surprising dish with avocado puree, dots of whipped cream cheese and finished with popped sorghum. Shima aji displays its buttery best as nigiri, and it's all about the sear on the avocado served with a sweet kabayaki sauce.


Good products and solid techniques are on display in the hand rolls, where fillings like shredded blue crab make an impression.

Can't choose? The well-priced, ten-piece omakase is a nice option.


Otto's High Dive 2304 E Robinson St, Milk District, Orlando

Otto's High Dive
2304 E Robinson St, Milk District, Orlando

Cuisine: Cuban

This tiny but oh-so-sweet space recalls the charm of Old Florida with its whitewashed brick walls and white tile floors. Billed as a neighborhood rum bar, Otto's High Dive is on point at every turn, from the genuine service to the unfussy but well-executed food.


The kitchen delivers a concise edit of Floridian/Cuban fare with oodles of tropical elements. Begin with oysters before moving on to an array of cold and hot plates ranging from a shrimp cocktail that's all grown up with its thick "Bloody Mary" sauce to chicken mojo and ropa vieja with sides like rice and beans.


Cinnamon bread pudding topped with a delightfully tangy cream cheese whip is a memorable sign-off. Rum is all around, from the Cuba Libre on tap to the daiquiris available by the pitcher.

Taste of Chengdu Baldwin Park. 4856 New Broad St, Orlando

Taste of Chengdu
Baldwin Park. 4856 New Broad St, Orlando

Cuisine: Chinese

A long-standing restaurant in the Orlando area, Taste of Chengdu promises exactly that, as the expansive menu is singularly focused on Sichuan specialties. Chef Xiong “Tiger” Tang shows restraint in his use of spices, instead opting for depth and balance; while classics like mapo tofu are given a nuanced nudge.


Heat-seekers will want to dig right in to the Sichuan cold noodles, a ramped up iteration that replaces the traditional thick sauce with a lighter vinegar-based, sesame-laced zing. More mellow dishes include a delicate white fish in a green pepper broth mixed with mushrooms, cucumber and baby bok choy, or a sautéed cabbage tossed in touch of oil with garlic and scallions that has just the right amount of crunch.

The other winners in Florida include Tampa’s Gorkhali Kitchen (Nepali cuisine), Miami’s Jaguar Sun (contemporary cuisine), Tampa’s Psomi (Greek cuisine) and Miami’s Rosie’s (Southern/American cuisine). For the details click here.


Four Orlando Restaurants awarded 2023 Florida MICHELIN Bib Gourmands

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