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St. Augustine Nets Two Winners in Annual Golden Spoon Awards, Recognizing Top Restaurants in Florida

St. Augustine LIfe
Jun 13 4 minutes read

Local restaurants The Ice Plant Bar & St. Augustine Distillery as well as "Preserved" earn top honors in Florida. Congratulations!

Ice Plant Bar & St. Augustine Distillery

       110 Ribera Street
        St. Augustine

Golden Spoon

Before A/C, ice plants made Florida tolerable, and the cool revival of this century-old building makes eating and drinking in the New Cocktail Age exceptional. First-class ice and small batch rum, gin and vodka from the craft distillery, along with fresh juices and syrup, make this a mandatory stop for mixology pilgrims. More than bar food, the victuals are just as carefully sourced, including Florida potatoes, heirloom tomatoes and Wagyu beef, plus local fish and shrimp.


        102 Bridge Street
        St. Augustine

  Best New

The veranda begs you to come for Sunday brunch. There will be great biscuits and gravy and homemade jam, yet there will also be fried oysters and poached eggs and BBQ pork belly. More than just peddling nostalgia, chef Brian Whittington spent years at Orsay and knows his French as well as Southern and local treats, like Mayport shrimp and rice middlins. You taste that heritage in duck cassoulet, bouillabaisse or not-so-plain chicken and black-eyed peas.

FAQ about Florida Trend's Golden Spoons

... with Restaurant Editor Chris Sherman

QUESTION: What are the Golden Spoons and when did they start?

Florida Trend’s Golden Spoons are the oldest and most coveted dining awards in the state. The magazine started the awards 50 years ago as a guide to executives traveling around the state. 

Q. Can any restaurant become a Golden Spoon?

No. Florida has almost 21 million people and thousands of restaurants. Our awards are highly selective and include approximately 100 top restaurants, which means only a handful of establishments in many markets. They cannot include all the fine dining choices in the state; having high prices, longstanding popularity or current buzz does not guarantee a Golden Spoon.  

Q. So, what is the standard to judge if a restaurant merits a Golden Spoon?

Our chief criterion is the food, made from top ingredients sourced carefully and prepared with imagination and authenticity from entrees to vegetables and breads.

We and our readers also expect a setting that is well cared for and service that is knowledgeable and enthusiastic but not intrusive.

Q. How many restaurant awards does Florida Trend give?

In addition to awarding the Golden Spoons, we recognize achievement in other categories, including the Hall of Fame, Best New Restaurants and Best Brands.

Q. How does a restaurant qualify for a Golden spoon?

The classic Golden Spoon recognizes outstanding fine dining restaurants that have demonstrated consistency in high standards and longevity, usually earned after three years in business or more.

Q. How do they get into the Hall of Fame?

Restaurants that have earned repeated Golden Spoons are eligible for the Golden Spoon Hall of Fame.

Q. What are the standards for the Best New Restaurants?

Our selection of Best New Restaurants focuses on restaurants open for less than two years. It salutes ventures embracing new ideas and trends; some may be casual, inexpensive and experimental; some are fine dining debuts that may eventually become Golden Spoons.

Q. Who picks the winners?

The awards are chosen by the editors without regard to advertising. Diners and restaurateurs are weIcomed to nominate restaurants in the various categories by July 31. Readers are also encouraged to contact Florida Trend if they are disappointed by any restaurant we recommend.

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