It’s almost September, and that means even the most hermetic Orlandoans emerge from their kitchens and grills to dine out. For more than a month starting August 23, 120+ restaurants will offer three-course dinners – with options – for $35. It’s all part of Orlando Magical DIning Month 2019. Perk: Part of what you pay will make its way to this year’s local charity.
Both through Visit Orlando, which runs this program, and on their own, participating restaurants host restaurant journalists and food bloggers to try out their Magical Dining Month 2019 menus. I attended two dinners, and I can honestly say both are spectacular values for $35. Each had a weak link or two but most of the food was phenomenal, and portion sizes were generous. Here are details on each, told in my famously forgettable photos.
Orlando Magical Dining Month 2019 – Reyes Mezcaleria
Chef Wendy Lopez leapt from Tapa Toro to Reyes Mezcaleria recently, and what a boon that was for those of us who adore Mexican fare. Lopez has an infectious enthusiasm, and somehow her bubbly personality shakes into her food, whether it’s Spanish, like before, or from her native Mexico, as now. I’d say that all six of her savory Magical Dining Menu foods were terrific. Here’s what she’s offering, along with three desserts by the pastry chef.
And, three desserts, all good: L-R Mexican opera cake, guera cake (like tres leches), and churros with berry compote and a caramel sauce I could eat by the pint with a spoon.
Orlando Magical Dining Month 2019 – Ravello
I feel like Ravello is my secret Orlando Italian restaurant. It’s in the Four Seasons hotel, so folks figure it’s too expensive. Honestly you can have a splendid meal here for no more than the area’s other higher-end Italian restaurants. Maybe it’s because the hotel’s executive chef, Fabrizio Schendardi, is from Italy, but whatever the reason this is worth a trip into Disney World’s Golden Oak neighborhood.
But three courses for $35? Only during Orlando Magical Dining Month 2019, my dears.
Actually, Ravello was clever. It offers two or three regular options for appetizer, entree and dessert on its Magical Dining Month menu and then gives you the chance to upgrade. For example, you can pay $25 more for a veal entree that sounds worth the extra euros, or add on a pizza course for $15.
Here’s what comes standard.
Both desserts were excellent. Here you see Torta Degli Angeli Con Fragole on theleft; it’s like an Italian strawberry shortcake, and I mean that in a good way. On the right, that’s Semifreddo Alle Nocciole, a chilled dessert with hazelnuts and sea salt caramel. I think I liked that one even better, but I did finish off every bit of my strawberry torta.
Orlando Magical Dining Month 2019 – Two Teasers
So there you have it: Orlando Magical Dining Month 2019 at Reyes Mezcaleria and Ravello. I honesty recommend both. But look at what else you have to choose from! (Click here for a legible version.)
It’s time to start booking tables, my food-loving friends.
Please leave comments about each restaurant you visit below, good and bad, to help other readers. Visit here for every restaurant, every neighborhood and every menu.