Bold Latin flavors coming to Vilano Beach at Pesca by Michael's

·2 min read
Chef Michael Lugo is pictured at the site of his upcoming new venture, Pesca By Michael's, a restaurant and rooftop bar in Vilano Beach.
Chef Michael Lugo is pictured at the site of his upcoming new venture, Pesca By Michael's, a restaurant and rooftop bar in Vilano Beach.

Chef Michael Lugo to open restaurant with rooftop bar

Foodies and seafood lovers will be happy to hear that chef Michael Lugo is opening a new venture. Pesca by Michael's, a restaurant and rooftop bar, is slated to open in the third quarter of 2022 within Hyatt Place, now under construction in Vilano Beach.

Lugo is well known in the area as the chef and owner of Michael’s in downtown St. Augustine, an upscale restaurant focused on steaks and coastal Spanish-inspired cuisine

“After 16 years of evolving Michael’s into one of St. Augustine’s benchmark destinations, I was searching for a new way to expand our brand and offerings,” Lugo said. “The opportunity to open a restaurant in the Hyatt Place in Vilano seemed to be the perfect fit for this new venture."

According to Lugo, the quaint community of Vilano Beach is just minutes from downtown St. Augustine, where Michael’s is located.

"The proximity to our new venture, Pesca by Michael’s, brings new challenges on how to create something new without losing our connection to where we started.”

One of the anticipated menu items at Pesca is a riff on a current menu item at Michael's: Potato gnocchi with farmstand vegetables, saffron corn puree, and grilled lobster.
One of the anticipated menu items at Pesca is a riff on a current menu item at Michael's: Potato gnocchi with farmstand vegetables, saffron corn puree, and grilled lobster.

Pesca by Michael’s will combine bold Latin flavors with Florida’s coastal influence. It will also work towards a Fresh From Florida designation by sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. Comprised of an elegant dining room inspired by Miami’s Art Deco architecture, along with a rooftop bar and grill offering live music and panoramic coastal views, Pesca by Michael’s will bring a new and exciting culinary concept to Northeast Florida’s growing cuisine scene.

From escabeche with pickled rainbow carrots, cauliflower, peppers, onions, and shishito peppers to Scallop Crudo with hazelnut salsa macha, mint, and orange segments to a seasonal selection of oysters, grilled lobster, filet mignon, lamb chops, and burgers, Pesca by Michael’s will offer menu items for even the most discerning of palates.

The word “pesca” in Spanish translates to “fishing” in English and is also inspired by the name of one of Chef Lugo’s favorite restaurants in his native Puerto Rico.

“The hotel will have a banquet room for weddings and events, which we will be the caterer,” said Lugo. “There will also be a lobby bar with patio seating for locals to enjoy the Vilano vibe. This new project is going to be a lot of work, it’s actually already been two years in the making, but I’m excited to venture outside of the steaks and tapas that I have become known for through Michael’s and use Florida’s coastal and cultural diversity as a vessel to share more of my culinary journeys.”

The new Hyatt Place hotel is being built at 117 Vilano Road in Vilano Beach. For updates on Pesca by Michael's, sign up at pescavilano.com

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Bold Latin flavors coming to Vilano Beach at Pesca by Michael's

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