All articles and reviews by Florida Trend's Restaurant Editor Chris Sherman.
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"Best Brands," listed by city.
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Running one restaurant with great food and consistent service is tough; running more than one is a daunting challenge. We honor those few who do so with polish and imagination, many of them born in Florida, with as brands of gold. Some are familiar names on restaurants around the country; some are restaurateurs so nimble that they can juggle several concepts at once and rarely try the same thing twice. All are great repeat performers. – CHRIS SHERMAN
BiCE - Columbus, Ohio
The most elegant and oldest global brand of Italian restaurants (1926) may have been the first to introduce fine diners to papperdelle, risotto, sacchetini, biscotti and other delicacies we now love. Delivered perfectly from very fine Italian skill in the kitchens to classical dining rooms.
Miami, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach
Brio - Columbus, Ohio
Rustic Italian goes suburban. Cool feel with fired-up cooking, charred and earthy. Great outdoor seatings, sophisticated brunch.
Boca Raton, Hallandale Beach, Jacksonville, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Pembroke Pines, Tampa, Winter Park
Capital Grille - (Darden), Olrando
Top-dollar steaks trimmed with wild mushrooms. Fine coffee, lobster mac and cheese, all trimmed in gentlemen’s club green.
Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale,
Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Orlando,
Palm Beach Gardens, Tampa
A mezze of small plages ordered from iPads and wine punched up with olives, harissa and goat cheese from around the Mediterranean and the Mideast is the latest serving from Outback founder Chris Sullivan. Steak frites and lamb lolipops for big eaters.
Clearwater, Sarasota, Tampa, Winter Park
Fleming's - (OSI), Tampa
Steaks and seafood tamed, brightened and repolished with tuna mignon, mushroom ravioli, smart bar menu and true wine savvy.
Coral Gables, Naples, Orlando, Sandestin, Sarasota, Tampa, Winter Park
Houston's - (Hillstone), Beverly Hills
The fern bar grew into a casual contemporary beauty. Hand-crafted burgers, steaks, rotisserie chicken and classic comforts.
(Houston's) Boca Raton, Coral Gables, North Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Winter Park; group also owns Palm Beach Grill
Oceanaire - (Landry's), Houston
Fish and shellfish travel first class in sleek floating salons of the streamline era. Rigorously fresh catch from red grouper to blue crab.
Ocean Prime - (Cameron Mitchell), Columbus, Ohio
Millennial supper club with dazzling bling in décor and drinks. More glitz in ginger salmon, Kobe burgers and truffle deviled eggs.
Roy's - (OSI), Tampa
Asian flavors and Pacific fish get fusion recipes and French technique; sauces are smooth as sushi. Laid-back settings with Aloha service.
Bonita Springs, Jacksonville Beach, Naples, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa
Salt Life Food Shack - Jacksonville Beach
Surf's up, sushi and ceviche too -- fish and shrimp, fried, grilled and poked in tacos and in baskets. Flip-flops welcome.
Coral Springs, Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine
Seasons 52 - (Darden), Orlando
Reinvented casual dining for a nutritious age. Flatbreads, duck salad, golden beets, mini cakes and a packed bar.
Altamonte Springs, Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Tampa
Shula's 347 - Miami Lakes
Coach and son trim Hall of Fame steakhouse down to millennial style with fish, burgers and light bites. Have the cowboy steak (but don’t say Dallas).
Coral Gables, Lake Mary, Tallahassee
Texas de Brazil
Décor shouts with the abandon and delight of a Carnival parade in Brazil, which makes all the meat you can eat seem appropriate. Go for it, especially sausages and picanha; sirloin at its best.
Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale,
Miami, Miami Beach, Orlando,
Palm Beach Gardens, Tampa
Truluck's - Austin, Texas
Sophisticated Texans and Florida stone crabs (house caught!) combine for a polished take on surf, turf and claw. More bistro bustle and bar life than most steakhouses. Plus felafel cakes and crab fried rice.
Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Naples