Michael's On East Receives 20th Consecutive AAA Four-Diamond Award



Bill Diamond, Senior Motor Auto Club Manager from the AAA Auto Club South presented  Michael Klauber and Phil Mancini their 20th consecutive AAA Four-Diamond Award on Friday, February 12, 2010  at Michael’s On East.

Michael’s On East is one of only 17 restaurants through-out the United States, and one of only two restaurants in Florida to receive the AAA Four-Diamond award for more than 20 years uninterrupted.

Professional evaluators dine unannounced at nominated restaurants by AAA Members, evaluating based upon a rigorous evaluation criteria: a combination of the overall food, service, décor and ambiance. Restaurants do not pay to be AAA Approved and Diamond rated, ensuring objective information and an ample selection.

The AAA Four-Diamond Awards Criteria for receiving this prestigious and distinctive fine-dining experience are:

  1. The orchestration of the executive chef
  2. An accomplished and proficient staff who delivers exceptional service and meets the guests every expectation
  3. A menu that reflects a high degree of creativity and complexity
  4. Presenting imaginative dishes that enhance the high-quality and market fresh ingredients
  5. A staff knowledgeable of the menu and can provide recommendations of wines and libations to complement each dish
  6. A highly refined ambiance, incorporating quality materials and well-coordinated décor, and a variety of upscale design enhancements to give each guest a first-class dining experience.

Michael’s On East is one of only two recipients in Sarasota County to receive the AAA Four-Diamond Award.

It was unreal! Everyone is still talking about it.

I can't thank you enough for everything you did to make our wedding a success. It was unreal! Everyone is still talking about it. The food was superb, the service excellent and my goodness - was is goregous!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! - J.L & S.L

Sarasota Restaurants Create Recipe for Success

The team behind Michael’s On East has been making news lately — becoming local celebrities, really. However, behind the great success of the staple fine-dining spot, a bigger success is brewing. Sarasota is on the map and not only for its beautiful beaches this time. Sarasota’s tasty talent is finally being discovered. By staying on top of technology and trends, Michael’s On East has stayed fresh and in front of consumers for more than 22 years. Word-of-mouth reviews from its loyal customers haven’t hurt, either. But continued local attention burst into national attention, when Michael’s On East was named one of only 10 restaurants in Nation’s Restaurant News 2009 Fine Dining Hall of Fame. The inductees, among them big names in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, will be highlighted in the July 20 issue of Nation’s Restaurant News. Michael’s On East adds that award it to its ever-growing collection, including honors such as the AAA Four Diamond Award every year since 1992, being recognized by the Zagat Survey as the “most popular restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast” and consecutively named as one of Florida’s top 20 restaurants by “Florida Trend” magazine for the past 18 years. Even after decades of awards, it seems co-proprietors Michael Klauber and Phil Mancini are just hitting their prime. “Quality recognition for our restaurant scene can only encourage more budding restaurateurs to join our ranks here,” Klauber says. “To be honored by our national restaurant peers is truly a great accomplishment, but it is the pride in the eyes of every one of our staff that is the best reward.” Editor-in-chief of Nation’s Restaurant News, Ellen Koteff, said that Sarasota is no longer a place known only for “early-bird specials,” but it’s an up-and-coming restaurant destination. With a number of Sarasota, Longboat Key and other area restaurants continuously named “Florida Trend” Golden Spoon winners, it appears Sarasota’s focus on food is on the upswing. Restaurants and chefs aren’t the only ones noticing this change. According to research provided by Sarasota & Her Islands Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sarasota County is home to the highest concentration of Zagat-rated restaurants in Florida. In spring 2009, 90.2% of visitors listed “dining out” as an activity they enjoyed while in the area — which ranks higher than the 85% who answered “the beach.” “We are poised to become a restaurant destination,” Klauber says. “The diversity in restaurant cuisine and ambience has grown dramatically over the past few years in Sarasota. This honor will bring new attention to our local culinary scene, which I believe truly rivals that of some of the bigger well-known markets.” Derek’s Culinary Casual Restaurant’s executive chef, Derek Barnes, agrees. “Sarasota is most definitely poised to become a restaurant destination,” Barnes says. “I have lived here for seven years and have watched a wealth of great, innovative restaurants surface in my short time. We already have a large number of highly-rated Zagat guide restaurants and a good amount of Golden Spoon award recipients.” Barnes, who has garnered national attention as a 2009 James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for best chef in the South, credits Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau’s “Savor Sarasota” restaurant week with helping to reinforce the quality restaurants in our area. Other Golden Spoon award-winning local chefs and restaurant owners are noticing a few more trends in our local culinary world: more international clientele, as well as internationally experienced chefs (such as The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s chef, Chris Southwick), a wide variety of fresh, local products, seafood and produce, and most importantly, local supporters. “The key is a core of chefs who care about producing excellent products who have stayed and not left for a big city,” says Selva Grill’s Darwin Santa Maria. “In all food articles you must now talk about Sarasota chefs and the support of local customers.” “I think Sarasota is headed in the right direction with trying to establish a more distinct culinary culture,” says Katie Moulton, president and general manager of The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort. “With the continuation of the ‘Savor Sarasota’ campaign, it provides further reinforcement, particularly to our local residents, that they live in an area rich with dining choices. Also, supporting the local, independent restaurants is extremely important if we want to establish the area as a culinary destination.” best of the best Nation’s Restaurant News” 2009 Fine Dining Hall of Fame honorees: • Barolo Grill, in Denver • Blue Ginger, in Boston • Bouley, in New York City • Herbsaint, in New Orleans • Naha, in Chicago • Nana Restaurant, in Dallas • Michael Mina, in Las Vegas • Michael’s On East, in Sarasota • New Rivers, in Providence, R.I. • Slanted Door, in San Francisco IF YOU GO Michael’s On East 1212 East Ave. South 366-0007 www.michaelsoneast.com

Michael's On East Inducted Into Fine Dining Hall Of Fame By Nation's Restaurant News

Michael's On East has been named, along with top restaurants in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco, to Nation's Restaurant News magazine's 2009 Fine Dining Hall of Fame. Sarasota resident Burton Sack, a former chairman of the National Restaurant Association, said inclusion in the magazine's hall of fame is a very big deal. "To be selected by the industry's leading publication for inclusion in their Dining Hall of Fame is a high honor," he said. "Those of us that live here should be justifiably honored to have one of our own restaurants selected as one of only 10 restaurants in the entire United States to be selected for inclusion this year." Michael's On East and the other fine-dining restaurants were selected by the magazine's editors based on criteria including excellence in food quality, gracious and professional service and memorable ambiance. "This is the biggest thing in our whole industry, and I've been hoping for this for 10 years," Michael Klauber, who co-owns the restaurant with Philip Mancini, said Thursday. "It's like the Oscars in our industry." Klauber said the staff "was walking on air" because normally the honor goes to well-known restaurants in big cities. "It will help Sarasota get recognized for the awesome restaurants we have here," he said. "We're very excited." Klauber and Mancini have operated Michael's on East for 23 years, and it has hosted the monthly Tiger Bay Club meeting for at least two decades. The hall of fame designation is the latest in a string of awards won by the restaurant. Michael's on East was named by Florida Trend magazine as one of "Florida's Top 20" restaurants from 1992 to 2006. The Zagat Survey named Michael's On East as the "most popular restaurant on Florida's Gulf Coast" in 1996, 1999 and 2001 and the restaurant has received AAA's "Four Diamond Award" every year since 1992. Just during the last month, Michael's on East was host to United Cerebral Palsy's annual Fabulous Foxes and Hot Mamas event and the Sarasota Pride Festival and fed Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink during the Sarasota County Civic League's annual banquet. "It is not so much an honor for Phil and I as it is for our staff," Klauber said. "They are the ones who made this happen."