The Michelin Guide Awarded Three New Stars to Tampa Restaurants Last Night
Three Tampa restaurants were awarded Michelin stars last night at the esteemed restaurant guide’s Florida ceremony, hosted in Miami. The Tampa restaurants—Rocca, Lilac and Koya—are the first in the city to ever be honored with one of the coveted stars. The announcement brings the total number of Michelin stars in Florida to 19.
Rocca, located in Tampa Heights, is a seasonal Italian restaurant, while Lilac, located inside the Tampa Edition hotel, skews Mediterranean, with influences from Italy, Spain and France. Koya, meanwhile, features Japanese omakase at its eight-seat South Tampa restaurant.
Michelin made its Florida debut last year, awarding stars in both Orlando and Miami. Tampa, however, was only awarded the guide’s lesser Bib Gourmand, which highlights good quality at a moderate price. This year, the anonymous Michelin inspectors revisited the three cities, adding the Tampa stars and one new star in Miami to the French restaurant Tambourine Room.
Last year, the Miami Herald reported that Florida’s tourism boards, including Visit Florida, Visit Tampa Bay, Visit Orlando and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, paid more than $1.5 million to bring Michelin to Florida. Nearby cities like St. Petersburg and Sarasota were not considered, since their tourism board did not participate in the effort.