Collins Avenue doesn’t exactly scream dining destination, but Primrose at the Stiles Hotel, 1220 Collins Ave., is hoping to change that. Helmed by regional executive chef Evan Percoco, the intimate eatery describes itself as a fusion of Eastern fare, traditional American gastronomy, and French technique.
Prior to taking the position with Trust Hospitality (which owns the Stiles Hotel), Percoco cooked around the world, from Washington, D.C., and Boston to Orlando and even Italy. Saudi Arabian Prince Turki Al-Faisal handpicked him to work the kitchen of the consul’s estate, and an executive chef stint at Chicago’s Wit Hotel landed him a plethora of local TV appearances on ABC’s Windy City Live and Chicago’s Best. But it was the warm weather that lured the Long Island native to South Beach.
During the next couple of years, Percoco plans to open 20 concept restaurants with Trust Hospitality, which has Villa Bagatelle under its hotel umbrella. For now, however, he’s focusing on this bohemian beauty that boasts a cozy downstairs bar, quaint dining room, and alfresco terrace. Its 60 seats give Percoco the ability to make Primrose hyper-local and draw ingredients from area farms.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast includes typical hotel fare like continental breakfast ($5), steel-cut oatmeal ($7), and eggs Benedict ($15), as well as updated classics like an egg-white frittata with farro, kabocha squash, kale, and goat cheese ($14).
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Lunch items can be enjoyed indoors or out by the pool and feature appetizers such as French onion hummus ($7) and colossal Gulf shrimp with cinnamon-basil romesco ($21). There are also salads (think Thai chicken or kale caaser) and sandwiches (think grilled snapper with papaya slaw and preserved lemon rémoulade or Kobe beef burger with a fried egg, bacon, and red onion balsamic jam).
For supper, the menu will comprise charcuterie platters ($16), crisp confit chicken wings ($12), red snapper ($26), sugar-cane pork butt ($22), five-spice duck breast ($30), steak frites ($28), and tea-brined chicken breast ($26).
There’s also a handcrafted cocktail program with libations such as bourbon lemonade ($13), Florida citrus elixir ($12), 1220 Collins martini ($12), and a spiced mojito ($13).