In 2008, chef Jean-Stephane Poinard of Lyon, France, launched Bistro de Leon, a casual eatery with authentic country French food and pastries. It’s not unusual for separate dining parties to strike up a conversation — usually about their respective travels in France — in the cozy space. In 2010 The Floridian opened with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, fresh seafood, and old-time Florida flavors such as fried green tomatoes.
Except for the discreet logo, you would never know the Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront was a hotel. The property, which opened in 2005, looks like a neighborhood of Spanish houses. It consists of 19 interconnecting buildings that house 72 rooms and is the smallest Hilton in the Americas, we were told. Though it was built from the ground up, it’s historically accurate and an aesthetically pleasing addition to the Spanish-themed city.
Ellen Albanese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.