Tampa restaurants Lilac, Ponte and Noble Rice added to the Florida Michelin Guide

They could even be awarded bibs or stars at a May 11 ceremony.

click to enlarge Lilac, on the ground floor of the Tampa EDITION. - Photo by Nikolas Koenig c/o Michelin Guide
Photo by Nikolas Koenig c/o Michelin Guide
Lilac, on the ground floor of the Tampa EDITION.
Tampa is now home to three more restaurants good enough for the Michelin Guide.

Today, the tire and travel company announced that Lilac at the Tampa Edition (stylized "EDITION"), Ponte and Noble Rice have been added to the guide as “recommended” restaurants.

A rep for the Michelin guide told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that the restaurants will learn if they’ve been awarded specific distinctions like a Michelin Star or Bib Gourmand at a May 11 ceremony in Miami.

Last summer, the guide launched its first Florida edition, with no local restaurants earning the coveted, and controversial, star designation. Three Tampa spots—Rocca, Rooster & the Till and Ichicoro—earned Bib Gourmands, deeming them a great value, with 16 more being marked as “recommended” by the Michelin guide (Bern’s, Timpano, Yummy House, Columbia, Cena and Mise en Place among them).

Some Tampa restaurants may also be upgraded to Stars or Bibs at the May 11 ceremony, while others could be removed the guide as well, the Michelin rep told CL.

Lilac, helmed by previously-Michelin-starred chef John Fraser seems most likely to earn a star this summer, but Ponte—led by James Beard semifinalist Chef Chris Ponte—and minimalist Japanese concept Noble Rice could very well earn the designation, too.

As previously reported, restaurants in Pinellas were not visited by Michelin inspectors because Visit St. Pete Clearwater (VSPC) was not included in the collective which lobbied to have the guide make its initial foray into Florida last year.

As the Bradenton Herald pointed out, Michelin stands to make as much as $1.5 million from state tourism bureaus as part of the agreement.