Soleil restaurant in Destin offers beach views, kitchen led by celebrity chef Michael Sichel

Special to the Destin Log / USA TODAY NETWORK

DESTIN — A new restaurant recently opened at The Inn at Crystal Beach that specializes in a unique menu and beautiful views.

Chef Michael Sichel is pictured at Soleil, a new restaurant which opened May 8 in Destin.

Proprietors Bart and Micah Begley opened Soleil on May 8, 2022, just in time for summer. The new restaurant was designed around stunning views from the beachfront patio, bar, and dining room that add to the warm, upscale atmosphere.

The new beachfront dining experience is led by celebrity Chef and Sommelier Michael Sichel.

Soleil's crab cake is pictured. The new restaurant opened May 8 in Destin.

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"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," Sichel said. "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."

As a New York native, Sichel grew up immersed in the ingredients, heritage, and family-style cooking of his Italian roots. A Culinary Institute of America 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.

One of the lobster dishes at Soleil is pictureda.

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.

His accolades include competing on Bravo’s "Top Chef: New Orleans" in 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.

The menu boasts dishes you won't find anywhere else. The creativity and thought in each plate comes from Sichel's yearning to be different and to make a statement.

Pastry Chef Michael Bump leads the team in dessert creations. General Manager Greg Nass and Front of House Manager Staci Stroin oversee the restaurant.

One of Soleil's craft cocktails is pictured.

Bar Manager Daniel Labrador, AKA "Lab,” is a premier mixologist leading the bar team.

The restaurant 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."

Soleil's menu includes roasted oysters.

"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," Bart Begley said. "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 also has a shrimp cocktail dish.

Soleil serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. until closing Tuesday through Saturday, along with a Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Soleil's menu and more information can be found at soleildestin.com.