Mai Thai wants to be known as an Asian fusion restaurant, though like everything else in life wanting it doesn’t make it so. About the only thing fusionesque on the menu is the Duck Tacos.
MT apparently also wants to be both a restaurant and a nightclub. Apparently, after dinner service the tables and chairs are moved out of the dining room to clear way for a dance floor. That might make one wonder how serious a restaurant it wants to be, fusion or otherwise....
|Address||22 E. Pine St.|
Maria & Enzo's
A 2018 addition to the Disney Springs lineup of restaurants. M&E is a massive space that is meant to resemble the terminal for the one-time seaplane business that served the Springs (the story is made up). The food is good and the Italian dishes are authentic....
|Address||1560 E. Buena Vista Drive|
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
Market to Table
Market to Table, a new restaurant that took over the AlFresco space in the Roper Building in Winter Garden, started in an actual market.
From a booth in Plant Street Market, Ryan Freelove sold stocks, soups and other products for home cooks before opening the restaurant last year. Don’t assume, as I did, that Market to Table is just another way of saying farm to table. Freelove freely admits that he sources some ingredients from more conventional means, including major distributors. (Though not exclusively; indeed some items come from as close as a rooftop garden.)
But that does not diminish the overall high quality of the food served here....
|Address||146 W. Plant Street|
MOOR is inside the Gaylord Palms Resort in the space that previously was Sunset Sam’s. There have been subtle changes to the decor, but the main scenery element — a tall ship “floating” in a waterway inside the resort’s massive terrarium of a lobby — remains.
Seafood is a forte here, and it's all done well.
In fact, the restaurant’s new name is inspired by the connection that ties boat to land, although the menu also suggests an acronym that celebrates the regional cuisine: Mindful Of Our Resources.
Whatever, I’ll have some MOOR, please....
|Address||6000 W Osceola Parkway|
Napasorn Thai Restaurant Sushi Bar
The food is basically the same as it has been for years: perfectly acceptable but rarely extraordinary. My lunch companion and I started with an appetizer of “soft rolls,” the unfried version of the spring rolls. Although shrimp was listed among the ingredients, I spotted none in the roll I ate, only noodles and lettuce inside a spring roll skin. The panang curry with beef had big hunks of bell peppers, snow peas and string beans mixed in with the sliced beef. The curried sauce was a bit on the mild side, but the flavors, which included fresh basil, were very nice. The dish would have been more enjoyable if the rice had been moister and fluffier. What we were served did not seem as though it had been recently steamed. The pad Thai was fine, the rice noodles well coated with the slightly sweet sauce, tossed with tangy bits of scallions, crunchy bean sprouts off to the side....
|Address||56 E. Pine St.|
Nona Blue Modern Tavern opened May 2013 and has been been keeping the tables filled ever since. The first time I visited was a Monday, and the place was doing the sort of business that some restaurants in town would cherish on a weekend. Part of that, of course, is the newness and part is the aforementioned scarcity. And some of it has to do with the allure of Graeme McDowell, the golfer, who is one of the owners (along with Joe Davi and Bill Bona). Whether they will keep coming is yet to be seen, but with a few tweaks here and there -- especially in the area of service -- they should be able to keep those seats filled.
I liked what I saw when I first walked into the place (once I found the front door, which is not easily spotted). I liked what I smelled even more. The air was infused with the aroma of hickory smoke, and it had me immediately craving something wood-smoked.
The menu makes full use of that grill. There isn’t anything particularly daring or innovative on it, just your basic tavern fare. You’ve got your burgers, your steaks and seafood offerings. And quite a long list of appetizers, called shareables on the menu, some of which are priced as much as some of the fu...
|Address||9685 Lake Nona Village Place|