Sette was developed to serve the types of Italian fare one might find on the sidestreet of a hipster Brooklyn neighborhood. You’ll find red sauce here, and it’s good, but Sette is more about lemons and vegetables, olive oil and Parmesan, than it is the parmigiana-type dishes most popular in Central Florida.Read more
Let me tell you what the Sanford Food Tour is like. The basics are simple: A guide walks a group of you to a few restaurants in the charming historic downtown area of this small Florida city. You taste a special food and drink at each, maybe more, and learn a little or a lot about the establishment’s back story.Read more
Loads of Orlando restaurants are opening their doors on Christmas Eve and Christmas so you can celebrate without a bit of work. Others will prepare food in advance that you can heat and eat once at home on the big day. Here are our favorites.Read more
Here are five great places to eat on Thanksgiving in Orlando 2017. I'll be sharing this info on Orlando's Fox 35 about 9:45 on Sunday morning, so please tune in.Read more
From bar snacks to fine dining, you'll find great food at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.Read more
Try the DoveCote Magical Dining Menu 2017 for $35. What a value!Read more
Crispy Chicken Skin Skewers, and other culinary adventures from Hawkers new menu.Read more
It'll be that time again soon. The pressure! Here are some of the more special Valentine celebrations in Orlando that have come my way. Check back regularly, as I'll add on newbies.Read more
Remember prime rib? Parker house rolls? Key lime pie? Luke's takes on American classics like these In Maitland, Florida, a suburb of Orlando.Read more
My favorite Orlando pizza is from the chain MidiCi. I may have to crawl under my computer desk and lash myself as punishment. The shame!Read more
If Chinese won't due for Christmas and Christmas Eve in Orlando, yet you want to dine out, try one of these restaurants.Read more
There's no way around it: The ugliest dish I tried at Winter Park's new Bulla Gastrobar is also the most delicious. I must share.
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I knew Bernard Carmouche was one of the two culinarians behind Two Chefs Seafood. He'd made great meals at Emeril's Orlando, in my experience, so I trotted over recently to see what he's doing now that he's untethered from celebity chef Emeril Lagasse.Read more
For $9.99, I got a fresh little salad plus steak, griddle-cooked cheese (we practically arm-wrestled over who got to finish it), green plantains, and fried casava.Read more
Put on your heels and dust off that credit card. It's time to dine out in Orlando. September is Magical Dining Month here. That means dozens of restaurants offer three-course dinners for $33 every night they're open. Some of the menus give tremendous value, which is why locals find themselves sampling eateries all over town.
We were invited to experience the Magical Dining Month offerings at Le Coq au Vin, so last night we headed to South Orange Avenue to revisit an old-time French restaurant we'd been meaning to retry.
Every restaurant handles its Magical Dining Month menu differently. We were delighted to see that all the servers at Le Coq au Vin mentioned the Magical Dining Month option to each party as they handed out menus.
Some restaurants decline to bring up the fact that they have a lower-priced option. At those places, servers sometimes scorn while delivering a flimsy add-on menu when guests dare to ask about the selections. Le Coq au Vin not only mention the choice but has it on the back page of its hardbound regular menu.
That's smart. It gave us a chance to look at the regular entrees and remark, "Oh, this really is a value. Most of the entrees are $33 on their own." Most of the Magical Dining items were different than the standards, but that's okay. The quality level was the same.
We started with the French onion soup, which was a nice version of the simple, flavorful broth topped with melted cheese. It arrived in a decidedly small cup. I'd imagine the full, and even the half, versions on the standard menu are larger (I could be wrong), but we found it satisfying.
I'm a long-time fan of the restaurant's onion tart so quickly chose the $33 menu's zucchini tart. It was similar--a flaky pastry bottom topped with a combination of three creamy cheeses plus sliced vegetables. Mixed greens tossed with a spectacular herb-laced vinaigrette on the side made the appetizer more of a meal.
The third appetizer choice was a salad of wild greens with a mustard seed vinaigrette. If it's like the tart's side salad, or even if it's a larger version of that salad, it'll please you.
Le Coq au Vin offered four menu choices. We, hesitantly, passed over tournados of beef with Port wine sauce, and beef Bourguinon with egg noodles. Instead, we had a fork-tender salmon fillet with a mustard-flavored crust.
Our other selection was chicken Chasseur, a cut up leg or breast (your choice) in a brown sauce flavored with vermouth , tomatoes, herbs and spices. Both entrees were plated with butter-coated broccoli and carrots, and a cheese potato dish.
The dessert choices are crêpe Suzette and apple tart. The tart was sweet but not too sweet, buttery but not too buttery, and warm with vanilla ice cream on top.
My dining companion chose to pay $6 extra for a souffle. He ordered chocolate but received what I believe is Grand Marnier. Although he'd been craving chocolate, he liked end meal-topper so much that he didn't even mention it to the waiter.
We happened to have been due for a Le Coq au Vin visit so this was the perfect Magical Dining Month starter for us. You can choose from all kinds of other restaurants. Here's the list. I haven't tried any of this year's other $33 menus yet, but, that said, I'll suggest choosing Spencer's for Steaks and Chops, Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, and Luma on Park for starters. They all seem to offer exceptional value.
Once the server cleared Michael's place, though, I felt self-conscious about eating slowly. I felt rushed, as if the table-clearing were a clear message that I should hurry the heck up. And pissy. I felt very pissy.Read more
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