As hard as it is to find a native Floridian, it's even harder to find a restaurant that's wholly devoted to the cuisine and ingredients of the state. Enter the appropriately named The Floridian, which takes its moniker very seriously, right down to using purveyors that source from northeast and north-central Florida. Menus are seasonal and change often; a dinner might include small plates of pickled pepper shrimps in local datil-pepper brine, fried green tomato bruschetta, pan-fried polenta cakes, and cornbread panzanella with your choice of grilled catch of the day, shrimp, or tempeh. Or maybe the house will be serving the kitschy-named Kitchen Sink Cobb, with house-smoked bacon, black-eyed pea Southern "caviar," datil-deviled eggs, and pickled sweet onions. Local and regional organic craft beers and biodynamic wines are also on the menu. Everything here really is farm-fresh and fully Floridian, a match for the kooky, Floridian country-style décor, which is both rustic and kind of nuts, complete with a canoe hanging upside down from the ceiling. The no-reservations policy makes The Floridian even more of a hot ticket, but if you call in advance you may be able to snag what they call "priority seating."
- Lesley Abravanel