AAA: Florida a fine dining mecca of Four and Five Diamond restaurants

Florida is a fine-dining mecca, ranking high among states with the most top-rated restaurants, according to AAA.

The Auto Club Group released its 2019 Five Diamond Award list and Florida ranks second for the most Four Diamond eateries, with 54 of 656. It also has three Five Diamond restaurants, ranking fifth on this year’s list of 67 nationwide.

Professionally trained inspectors visited more than 650 U.S. establishments unannounced, rating them on overall food, service, decor and ambiance.

Criteria to make the cut as a Five Diamond restaurant includes leading-edge cuisine of the finest ingredients, uniquely prepared by an acclaimed chef, and served by expert service staff led by a maître d’ in extraordinary surroundings.

Four Diamond restaurants “provide distinctive fine dining, creatively prepared, skillfully served, often by a wine steward, amid upscale ambiance,” according to AAA. Dates in parenthesis denotes when restaurants first received the designation.

Go to AAA.com/diamonds/diamond-awards to see the full list.

Five Diamond restaurants

Palme d’Or, inside in The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables (2014)

Victoria & Albert’s, inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spain Orlando (2000)