Ravenous Pig
Address565 W. Fairbanks Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-628-2333
Price$$$
Scott's Review

The Ravenous Pig calls itself “an American gastropub,” gastropub being a British term for a pub that serves more than a basic bar menu. This wonderful restaurant goes way beyond that. Chef/owners James and Julie Petrakis met while attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and they obviously learned a lot while there. The menu changes regularly, but everything is worth trying. The Pig’s burger was the winner of Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide’s first Burger War!

Beyond burgers, try the pork belly if it's available, and the steak frites is one of my favorites. As with those served with the award-winning burger, these fries have a spritz of truffle oil. From the pub menu during a lunch visit, I chose lobster tacos, lamb mezze and pork ribs. The tacos were wonderful, three crispy shells with lightly fried chunks of lobster and crunchy hot peppers. The mezze had lamb ribs, tender and aromatic, and lamb meatballs. The pork ribs were one of the few disappointments. They had precious little meat, and what was there was soggy and mealy.

Roasted cod was another good entrée. A beautifully white fillet, flaky and cooked just so, was served with a pure... Read more

Red Wing Restaurant
Address12500 State Road 33
CityGroveland
Phone352-429-2997
Price$$
Scott's Review

If you’re looking for “old Florida,” you can’t get much older than Red Wing Restaurant. For over 60 years the stone building, which at one time was a private home, has served as a meeting place for Lake County growers, farmers, truckers and others. It’s the sort of place where you might find a boothful of grimy construction workers next to a table with a family with children and not far away a couple on a date.

But you will find some obscure menu items. It isn’t often that you see Buffalo fried frog legs. Even less frequently will you hear me say they were really good. The appetizer featured three haunches, each with plenty of meat, deep-fried and tossed with a hot sauce, a la Buffalo wings, except there was more meat on the legs than you’ll ever find on a chicken wing.

And if fried frog legs don’t appeal to you, or even if they do, you might want to try the fried dill pickles. Why this delicacy is seen so seldom I don’t know. But usually they’re served as dill chips. Here they’re long spears with enough surface area to hold the light batters and even substance to give a good, salty crunch.

Fried green tomatoes had a crisp breading with firm fruit inside.... Read more

River Rocks
Address6485 S. U.S. Highway 1
CityRockledge
Phone321-757-7200
Price$$$
Scott's Review

River Rocks has a wonderful location, directly on the Indian River Lagoon, and it takes full advantage with a delightful deck overlooking the water. Unfortunately the food does not rise to meet the setting. It's unimaginative, inexpertly prepared and overpriced. Better to come here to sip a glass of wine or have a cocktail at sunset and then go elsewhere for dinner.

... Read more
Russell's on Lake Ivanhoe
Address1414 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-601-3508
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The menu does not read as French but there is classic Frenchness in its execution, as you might expect from executive chef Emmanuel Clement.... Read more
RusTeak
Address1568 Maguire Road
CityOcoee
Phone407-614-3765
Price$$
Scott's Review
RusTeak fancies itself a gastropub, and indeed it has a pubbish atmosphere, casual and convivial. On the gastro side, the menu features an array of flatbreads and burgers as well as fuller entrees, including pastas and steaks to more involved creations. For my entree I selected the Mahi Out of Control, a kitchen-sink kind of offering that had a grilled fillet of mahi mahi buried beneath sauteed diced shrimp, toasted almonds, cherry tomatoes and broccolini, all of it sitting atop a bed of vegetable and potato hash. It was the sort of dish that could be a huge mess if it didn’t feature quality ingredients, but all of it was first-rate, not the least among them the firm, fresh-tasting mahi.... Read more
RusTeak Thornton Park
Address101 S. Eola Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-601-5219
Price$$
Scott's Review
For some reason, the Thornton Park RusTeak had me thinking it was a restaurant run by newbies who were still trying to figure how everything works. Instead of above average food, it was mostly just average.... Read more
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
AddressDisney's Hollywood Studios
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$
It’s an outdoor drive-in theater indoors. The movies glorified here are the wonderfully trashy movies of the '50s - those low-budget flicks that had spacemen clad in Reynolds Wrap and rocket ships dangling by all-too-visible wires. Of course, when you go to a drive-in, you sit in a car, so the Disney folks have constructed some special vehicles. The cars are convertibles set up as booths, and everyone faces forward. Most of the cars have a front seat, a back seat and a middle seat. A family of six can sit two by two by two. If the kids start acting up, Dad can turn around and take a swat at them. There's a real possibility, however, that you'll be seated in a car with strangers. If those strangers' kids are acting up, it is not all right to take a swat at them. As for the food, well, no one ever went to a drive-in movie for the cuisine. ‘Nuf said.... Read more
Se7en Bites Bakery Shop
Address617 N. Primrose Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-203-0727
Price$
A small bakery that does some nice fancy sandwiches. Good for a quick bite.... Read more