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Orlando -- Compensate for the searing summer sun by having truly good food at a lower price than usual. These three so-called Dining Deals offer value at places with great food. I talked about them recently on Orlando's Fox 35 with David Didzunas, executive chef of the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, and anchor Lauren Johnson. Here's the clip. David Didzunas, executive chef of the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, will join me. Manly Mondays Head west, hearty eaters. The Crooked Spoon, a gastropub in Clermont, will match your appetite with a Manly Mondays basket guaranteed to fill you up. The “Man-Sized Meat Baskets” will be filled with three or four house-smoked meats, such as ribs, wings, and smoked and grilled sausage. The selections will change weekly. Extras like grilled corn, corn bread, fritters or French fries will be in there too, all for $19.
A Manly Mondays basket
I allow myself no Manly Meals, as I want a Small Waist, but I’d say a Manly Meal plus a doggie bag sounds like a fine idea. 200 Citrus Tower Blvd., Clermont, 352.404.7808, thecrookedspn.com Estate Italiana Peperoncino is a sweet little Italian restaurant on Restaurant Row in the Dr. Phillips neighborhood. It’s offering a three-course dinner on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $30. Here’s the catch: You must mention Rona Recommends to receive this package. You’ll be entitled to an appetizer such as cozze pepate (peppery mussels) or arancini (fried rice balls); a “primo,” which is a small entrée; sorbet or a homemade dessert; and a glass of house red or white wine. The menu changes daily, but your primi choices might be pasta with a Bolognese ragù sauce or pasta alla Norma, made with roasted eggplant and fresh ricotta cheese.
Fried rice balls
Pasta with eggplant and ricotta
Dellagio, 7988 Via Dellagio Way #108, Orlando, 407.440.2856, peperoncinocucina.com Liberty Weekend Food & Wine Experience The chefs at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport put together gourmet wine-pairing dinners several times a year. This month, they’re having a Liberty theme. The four-course dinner will be served while the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performs live. The entire meal is $105 including tax and tip. That’s quite a value for the combo.
Diners sit on the balcony and watch the orchestra below.
The meal will begin with seared Idaho rainbow trout topped with a Zelwood corn creme. Cedar-roasted quail will follow, plated with smoked barbecued cannellini beans and an heirloom tomatoe confit. For the entrée, expect a strip of roasted bison loin with a roasted plum demi-glace and fingerling potatoes, bacon and baby Swiss chard. The meal will end with a warm blueberry and blackberry cobbler topped with ice cream. These summer flavors will be accompanied by Grgich Hills Estate wines paired with each course. Valet parking will be free and a lodging package is available. Saturday, June 28, 2014. 9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd., Orlando, 407.825.1315, orlandoairport.hyatt.com Eat enthusiastically, Rona www.ronarecommends.com