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

Reyes Mezcalaria
Address821 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-868-9007
Price$$$
Scott's Review
From the owners of Osprey Tavern and Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park, this Citrus replacement makes ample use of the patio space, but the inside is just as nice. Stick with the basic Mexican offerings.... Read more
Rocco’s Italian Grille
Address400 S. Orlando Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-644-7770
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Ever since I first reviewed Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar, in October of 2006, I’ve considered it to be one of the finest Italian restaurants in the area.... Read more
Russell's on Lake Ivanhoe
Address1414 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-601-3508
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The menu does not read as French but there is classic Frenchness in its execution, as you might expect from executive chef Emmanuel Clement.... Read more
Santiago's Bodega
Address802 Virginia Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-412-6979
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Santiago’s Bodega has opened in the space formerly occupied by Logan’s Bistro on Virginia Drive in Orlando. Actually the place takes more than the Logan’s space. It has incorporated the storefront next door and has produced a new brick porch/patio in front. For all its newness, Santiago’s has a well-worn look that makes it immediately likable and comfortable. This is a tapas restaurant. Although Santiago’s is new in Orlando, this is a second location for a restaurant in Key West. So the concept isn’t new and neither is the menu. Still, the restaurant was struggling the night I visited as hordes of curious diners descended on the place and overwhelmed the staff. Mistakes were made, most of them accountable to the vagaries of a new operation, new location and a staff unfamiliar and shell-shocked. Those things can be ironed out. My main complaint was the cost. My check came to over $68 for five tapas and one glass of wine. (We had two other glasses of wine but the server said they were on the house because of some problems at the beginning of the meal; otherwise the check would have been over $90.) That isn’t a tremendous amount of money for a night out, but the cost-to-quali... Read more
Sideward Brewing
Address210 N. Bumby Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-866-2195
Price$
Scott's Review
New brewer in the burgeoning Milk District. The beers are the main draw, but the food is pretty good, too.... Read more
Soco
Address629 E. Central Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-849-1800
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The latest buzz generator in downtown Orlando restaurants is Soco, the first "from scratch" restaurant from Thornton Park Restaurant Group. The menu is Southern contemporary (which is why it's called Soco) and highlights include a stylized vesrion of chicken and dumplings and a three-meat-blend meatloaf on lobster mashed potatoes.... Read more
Sodo Sushi Bar and Grill
Address25 W. Crystal Lake Street
CityOrlando
Phone407-286-4225
Price$$
Scott's Review
Sodo has a new sushi bar and grill. It’s called Sodo Sushi Bar and Grill. It took over the space of the oft troubled Olv, whose name had no hidden meaning or acronymic message. Sodo, or SoDo, is shorthand for south of downtown, which is where it is. And that’s a good place for this new restaurant, too, because there aren’t any other sushi joints anywhere nearby. Bars and grills, yes, but not sushi bars and grills. All that seems to have been required to transform the Olv space into a sushi restaurant was to plop a refrigerated case on top of the bar. Voila — or dekiagari, as they say in Japan — sushi bar. ... Read more