|Address||1803 Winter Park Road|
|Address||2417 Edgewater Drive|
College Park and Adriatico are a perfect match. The Orlando neighborhood certainly has some good, or good enough, restaurants. But it’s been missing a quaint trattoria, the sort of Italian place with a mom-and-pop feel, one that’s comfortable, homey and immediately familiar. A welcoming spot where the food is good but beside the point.
The “mom and pop” owners are Marco and Rosetta Cudazzo. She runs the dining room, greeting guests with a matronly welcome, and he does the cooking, demonstrating the skills he most recently plied at the estimable Terramia, a multiple Foodie winner, and at Antonio’s La Fiamma in Maitland before that.
Have the scallopine alla Sienese or the pollo al limone. The scallops are a perfect appetizer. I could have made a meal of the three huge scallops sauteed with shallots and brandy in a creamy sauce tinged with a touch of mustard, served over fresh spinach. One could want little more when the appetizer is this good.
The classico antipasto misto was a thoughtful selection of salami, prosciutto, cubes of hard parmesan, roasted peppers, baby artichokes and a handful of some of the tastiest green olives ... Read more
|Address||360 W. Fairbanks Ave.|
|Address||611 S. Orlando Ave.|
(US Highway 17-92)
When Greg Gentile opened this massive two-story restaurant in a renovated family steakhouse, everyone thought he was crazy and that the place would close in one year. That was about two decades ago. Why did it succeed? Simple: good food, good service and an atmosphere for everyone; fine dining upstairs and a casual deli down.
The best dish I sampled is the anitra con rosmarino all'agrodolce, which I'm sure you know is roast duck. The duck meat, free of bones, was moist and tender. Spit roasting gives it a terrific flavor, but to enhance the taste, there's a wonderful sauce of balsamic vinegar, rosemary and maple syrup (yes, maple syrup). The syrup isn't overpowering and the flavors are just meant for each other.
The downstairs deli is a wonderful place for friends to meet. It's cramped, with tables set up throughout the market area, but it adds to the atmosphere.... Read more
|Address||528 Park Avenue S.|
|Address||463 New England Ave.|
A new offering from Armando Martorelli, owner of Trattoria Toscana on Park Avenue, Armando's is a more casual Italian restaurant. Pizzas are a focus, but there are also full entrees, such as veal Milanese, and the price point is very good, with most entrees in the mid teens.
It's a big bright space with doors and windows that open wide to the outdoors. There is plenty of seating outside, too.... Read more
5601 Universal Blvd.
Dinner at Bice is not an inexpensive night out. But when you consider cost vs. quality, you’ll find that Bice is not overpriced.
Just consider the restaurant’s signature dish, ravioli stuffed with beef short ribs and spinach. The pasta was delicately thin and tender, and the braised meat inside had a rich, fatty mouthfeel that blossomed with the sauce of mushrooms and Marsala wine. Absolute heaven.
Or another from the list of primi piatti, big, fat tortellini filled with spinach and ricotta and dressed with a sauce of butter and sage.
From the secondi my companion had the scalloppine di vitello, flattened medallions of veal sauteed with a darkly rich mushroom sauce and served with a timbale of potatoes similar to a potatoes Anna dish.
I chose a special of the evening that featured sea bass in parchment. Enclosed inside the envelope with zucchini, yellow squash, red and green peppers, and a few salty olives, the fish took on all the vegetable flavors while maintaining a fresh and moist texture. The taste was buttery and absolutely delicious.
Desserts are worth lingering over.... Read more