1921 by Norman Van Aken
Address142 E. 4th Ave.
CityMount Dora
Phone352-385-1921
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
This highly anticipated restaurant from one of Florida’s most celebrated chefs is, to be a bit trite, a feast for the senses. The restaurant occupies an old house, built circa 1921, across the street from the Modernism Museum in the quaint downtown. In partnership with the museum and Main Street Leasing, which is listed as the “presenter” of the museum, 1921 becomes part of the artistic complex that also includes the museum’s shop (every museum has to have a shop), which shares an adjoining patio with the restaurant.... Read more
310 Lakeside
Address301 E. Pine St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-373-0310
Price$$
This is a second location for a restaurant called 310 Park South, which was named for its address on Park Avenue in Winter Park. But 310 Lakeside is not at 310 Lakeside, it's at 301 Pine. Very confusing. The food here is mostly straightforward -- steaks, pastas, salads. And most of it is done well enough. The lake on whose side the restaurant sits (actually, it's across the street) is Eola.
... Read more
Amura
Address950 Market Promenade Ave.
CityLake Mary
Phone407-936-6001
Price$$$

Amura continues to improve on a good thing with its latest location. Although it wants to be considered a chophouse, this is a sushi spot. If beef is what you want, the Kobe steak may be worth a really big splurge.

But for roughly the same price as the Kobe steak, my guests and I feasted on the Heathrow boat ($87.99), a small yacht decked out with sushi, sashimi and assorted hand rolls. Onboard were an Africa roll with yellowtail and tuna; crab Rangoon with real crab, smoked salmon and cream cheese; electric shock roll with tempura eel, avocado and cream cheese; rainbow roll with salmon and tuna; and nigirizushi nibbles of shrimp, salmon, snapper and tuna. All of the raw fish had a cool taste and a soft, buttery texture and every bit of it was delicious.

From among the kitchen foods, the Chilean sea bass with black bean sauce was a favorite. The fish was a large fillet with white flesh that broke off in big chunks. The sauce of tiny black beans provided subtle spiced notes.

... Read more
Antonio's House of Pizza
Address528 Park Avenue S.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-636-7222
Price$$
Scott's Review
Formerly Maestro Cucina Napoletano, Antonio's HOP still features pizza, of course, but not the Naples style. Now the crust is crustier -- not wrong, just different. Good toppings on the pies, and the Spaghetti Bolognese is wonderful... Read more
Armando's
Address463 New England Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-951-8930
Price$
Scott's Review

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
Artisan's Table
Address22 E. Pine St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-730-7499
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Artisan’s Table, fronted by chef Scott Copeland, may have the best chance of making a go of it at this difficult space, which despite being smack-dab in the center of downtown has a very low visibility. It’s an ambitious undertaking — it serves three meals a day — but the food from Copeland, who previously was executive chef at Antonio’s La Fiamma in Maitland and sous chef at College Park’s K restaurant, is excellent. There are just a few operational things that need to be worked out.... Read more
Ataj Indian Restaurant
Address2901 Parkway Blvd.
CityKissimmee
Phone407-507-0072
Price$$
Scott's Review
There’s no reason for us to get into a discussion of preconceived notions for restaurants in this part of town. Let’s just say that a disappointing number of businesses seem to ascribe to the theory that they don’t really need to try very hard to impress customers because, being in a tourist-dominated area, a new wave of customers comes in every week. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Happily, I did not get that feeling from Ataj. The place was fresh, clean and comfortable, and the staff were all welcoming.... Read more
Boheme
Address325 S. Orange Ave.
Grand Bohemian Hotel
CityOrlando
Phone407-581-4700
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

The Boheme has grown into a more consistent fine dining experience but now is trying to position itself as more accessible. Try the Kessler calamari, a silly name for a delicious appetizer, and follow with the lamb duet or the Chilean sea bass. The kitchen also has a way with scallops.

A special treat about dinner here is that most nights there is entertainment in the rotunda just outside the dining room, and the music easily wafts in. If you arrive early, have a seat in the lounge, listen to the music, and enjoy the stories of the affable bartenders.

It should also be noted that the Boheme (and by the way it's pronounced boh-HEEM and not like the name of the Puccini opera) also serves a very nice Sunday jazz brunch.

... Read more
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