Soleil is officially open in beautiful Destin, Florida. Located in The Inn at Crystal Beach, the stunning views from the beachfront patio, bar, and dining room add to the warm, upscale atmosphere. Proprietors Bart and Micah Begley opened Soleil on May 8, 2022, just in time for summer. The new beachfront dining experience is led by celebrity chef and sommelier Chef Michael Sichel. Chef Sichel is passionate about his work and it shows, not only when speaking to him, but in every dish he and his team prepare. The setting of the sun, sand, and sea are reflected in all of the creations they offer. The menu boasts dishes you won’t find anywhere else. The creativity and thought in each plate comes from Chef’s yearning to be different, to make a statement.
Chef Sichel is overjoyed to be here, saying, “It is a perfect fit. I’m surrounded by people who are like me, owners who are supportive of my vision – and we’ve created a workplace of people who feel the same way. On top of that, it’s a beautiful place to be. I am at a point in my life and career where I don’t want to just be serious, I want to be animated – and that’s what I get to do here every day.”
Pastry Chef Michael Bump leads the way in dessert creations, with thoughtfully prepared delights sure to top off anyone’s meal as a grand finale. General Manager Greg Nass and Front of House Manager Staci Stroin, ensure every guest is cared for to the highest standard. Bar Manager Daniel Labrador AKA “Lab” is a premier mixologist leading the bar team with his vast experience.
The space was recently renovated to bring it to the level it deserves. Every detail, finish and fixture was carefully chosen to bring in the sun, the “Soleil”. The expansive views are like no other and are celebrated as such.
Owner Bart Begley said, “Since our company Salt Water Vacations manages The Inn at Crystal Beach, it made sense for us to make our dream restaurant right here in the place we love. You can’t beat the view and searching for a Chef was quickly over when we met Chef Sichel. It’s an honor to be here and we are proud to offer this space to everyone.”
Soleil serves lunch from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m. until close Tuesday – Saturday along with a Sunday Brunch from 11:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Soleil’s menu and more information can be found at soleildestin.com.
About Chef Michael Sichel: As a New York native, Chef Michael Sichel grew up immersed in the ingredients, heritage, and family-style cooking of his Italian roots. A Culinary Institute of America (CIA) grad, Sichel’s first job in the kitchen was at New York City’s legendary Gotham Bar and Grill, and he credits its pioneering Chef Alfred Portale as his most influential culinary inspiration. Chef Sichel has since been in the kitchens of Rubicon (Drew Nieporent’s San Francisco blockbuster restaurant), the Abbey of Sainte Croix (Salon-de-Provence, France), Auberge du Soleil (Napa), Restaurant Indigo (New Orleans), and Galatoire’s (New Orleans), among others.
Chef Sichel’s accolades include competing on Bravo’s Top Chef: New Orleans, 2013, an Internship with World Pastry Champion Chef En-Ming Hsu of The French Pastry School at the Ritz Carlton Chicago, being a featured Chef at Jazz Aspen in June of 2018, being a featured Chef at Gatsby on DAOU Mountain Annual Wine Club event in Paso Robles, California in 2016, and he was a featured Chef at Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Opus Ball XXXII in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2016, to name a few.