Introducing LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress

LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress is proof that hotels' all-day restaurants needn't be drab coffee shops. The bright and polished newcomer is sassy in look and menu. LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress has a polished yet airy decor with lake and pool views.

With LakeHouse, the Lake Buena Vista golf and spa resort offers meals and snacks in a refreshing space. It takes the place of Cascades, a lovely but dated restaurant that served hotel guests for three decades. The new concept is chef-driven and operates under the banner, "Thoughtfully sourced, carefully served."

Light wood dominates the slightly off-kilter ladder-like decor elements, which reach as high as the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Windsong.

And ... the food. That's why you're here. LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress serves both buffet and table-service breakfasts, plus lunches, dinners, bar foods, and midday snacks. That thoughtful/careful menu was cooked up by, among others, Executive Chef David Didzunas and Chef de Cuisine Steven Rujak. Their basic shtick: food that's familiar, but given a twist.

Here's a through-the-window shot of the LakeHouse herb garden. You'll find the parsley, basil, oregano and such flavoring your food.

Here's what you'll eat.

 Medjool dates stuffed with marcona almond and wrapped in a thick slice of hearty bacon and served atop a roasted red pepper puree.

Pizzas are made in a gas-burning oven.

Grilled, herbed shrimp cocktail with bloody mary cocktail sauce, shaved horseradish, and sliced cucumbers

Housebaked pretzel nuggets with a dip of Yuengling beer, aged cheddar cheese, horseradish, and spicy mustard.

The arugula salad looks simple, I know, but the taste is exceptional. The leaves are tossed with local oranges and then a citrus vinaigrette.

Sea bass with citrus butter sauce, spicy greens, lemongrass orzo, and red pepper julienne

Shrimp and cheese grits with passionfruit barbecue sauce

Here's what to drink with your meal.

Pineapple-rosemary caipirinha with fresh pineapple and lime

Entrees are priced from $16 fo a grilled cauliflower steak with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette to $34 for Boursin-crusted half rack of lamb with merlot butter sauce. The pastas run $16 to $19. Sushi rolls cost $9 for a vegetable roll to $19 for the Dancing Eel.

The sushi rolls come with artful garnishes like this carrot butterfly.

And then ... dessert.

Take a look at the strawberry shortcake. The made-from-scratch components are served in measuring cups, inviting guests to compose the dish themselves.

And, more sweets. This hot roasted apple tart is only the beginning of the selection at LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress.

Hot roasted apple tart with fire-roasted apples, crisp flaky crust, almond filling, and house-churcned vanilla bourbon ice cream

Whether you're a local or a visitor, you may want to sup LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress. It's just north of Disney World.

Eat enthusiastically,