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The Green Orchid at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 2024_Salad

The Green Orchid at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 2024_Salad

The Green Orchid by Michael’s On East is now open to the public, making Marie Selby Botanical Gardens home to the fully solar-powered restaurant, soon to be the world’s first net-positive energy restaurant, generating more energy than it consumes.

The garden-to-table eatery was designed by Overland Partners and is operated by Michael’s On East, the celebrated Sarasota restaurant, founded in 1987 by Michael Klauber and Philip Mancini. The Drs. Andrew and Judith Economos Rooftop Edible Garden at Selby Gardens provides fresh produce for a seasonally inspired menu. The garden was planned, planted, and is maintained by Operation EcoVets, a non-profit organization that provides personal, educational, and professional growth opportunities for military veterans.

The Green Orchid’s menu incorporates vegetarian and vegan options, caters to a wide range of dietary preferences, and showcases the versatility of vegetables and grains. The menu features fresh selections such as The Green Orchid Salad and Cape Malay Street Tacos. For a sweet finale, all desserts are house made including the Lavender-Infused Crème Brûlée.

“The new restaurant is a great fit for Selby Gardens, with a focus on sustainability and providing wonderful dishes with ingredients from local farms and our rooftop garden,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “Our goal is to be best-in-class in everything we do, and The Green Orchid more than meets that standard.”

The kitchen was designed by world-renowned Jimi Yui, of Yui Design Inc. His clients include Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Nobu Matsuhisa, Eric Ripert, Joël Robuchon and many more influential chefs around the globe. The kitchen features state-of-the-art electric and induction cooking facilities where no gas or flame is used. Induction cooking uses electromagnetic fields to heat pots and pans directly, leading to extremely fast heating times and precise temperature control, which is essential for delicate cooking processes. Since induction doesn’t provide visual cues like a gas flame, cooks need to rely more on timing and the specific settings of their induction cooktops.

“We are focused on making the garden-to-table offerings at The Green Orchid both fresh and distinctive,” said Michael Klauber, co-proprietor of Michael’s On East. “Doing garden-to-table well – especially while using electric and induction cooking techniques – requires a high level of skill and inventiveness. We believe that visitors will be impressed.”

The Green Orchid at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 2024_Greens from The Drs. Andrew and Judith Economos Rooftop Edible Garden

The Green Orchid at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 2024_Greens from The Drs. Andrew and Judith Economos Rooftop Edible Garden

The restaurant, which seats up to 150 people, offers indoor and outdoor table service with no reservations required, and is open daily from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission to Selby Gardens—which is free to Garden members— is required to access the restaurant.

“We are proud to open Selby Gardens’ new restaurant, and we look forward to offering spectacular garden-to-table fare for Selby Gardens visitors to our region and for residents of Sarasota and west-central Florida,” said Philip Mancini, co-proprietor of Michael’s On East.

The new restaurant is part of Phase One of a three-phase master plan for Selby Gardens’ downtown Sarasota campus. The recently opened Phase One features 188,030 square feet of new facilities and amenities, including three buildings that create the first net-positive energy botanical complex in the world.

The Green Orchid is located at 1534 Mound Street in The Morganroth Family Living Energy Access Facility (LEAF), which also houses parking, the roof garden, and a gift shop capped with a 50,000-square-foot solar array. As part of the LEAF, a filtration system treats stormwater runoff and returns clean water to Sarasota Bay. Going above and beyond LEED certification, Selby Gardens is seeking “Petal” certification through The Living Future Institute and will strive for net-positive energy, be free of toxic chemicals, and lower the energy footprint many times below that of a generic commercial structure.