Sanaa at Kidani Village
AddressDisney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The menu is African with Indian influences, but not to the point of excluding beef or pork. Look for those touches in the spicing. The food may be a bit more exotic than most people are willing to try, but it's almost all done expertly. And you can't beat the atmosphere, with a ground-level view of the grazing area where you're likely to see giraffes galloping by.... Read more
SEA Thai
Address3812 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-895-0985
Price$$

The Sea in the name is an acronym for Southeast Asia, but there are also some good seafood selections among the traditional Thai dishes. Try one of the curry dishes or ask if the whole snapper is available. If not, the tilapia fillets are a good substitute.

I sampled two of the curry dishes: yellow with chicken; and a massaman with beef. I enjoyed the subtle spiciness of the yellow curry, the heat of the spices tempered by the creaminess of coconut milk. Besides the pieces of chicken, the sauce had peas, carrots, onions and big chunks of well-cooked potatoes to spoon over rice. I am in starch heaven when I can enjoy rice and potatoes in one dish.

Both were included in the massaman curry, too. And it also had a base of coconut milk, but in this one had a slight gravylike texture that coated the mouth with each bite. The pieces of beef were rather negligible but the dish was otherwise enjoyable.

Spicy basil duck was something of a floorshow in its presentation.

... Read more
Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill
Address14900 Chelonia Parkway
CityOrlando
Phone407-919-6300
Price$$$
Seemingly out of nowhere, a big new JW Marriott has appeared and along with it a pretty darned good restaurant, Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill. The hotel is a new neighbor of other large hotels like the Waldorf Astoria, Hilton and Wyndham in the area known as Bonnet Creek. In fact, if you sit on the restaurant’s comfortably spacious veranda, as I did on my recent visit, you’ll have a view of the actual creek and its woody banks just below. As you might deduce from the clever name, Sear + Sea is a steak and seafood restaurant, which might sound a bit ho-hum at first. But the menu, under the direction of chef de cuisine Alex Pyser, is creative and appealing.... Read more
Seasons 52
Address7700 Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-354-5212
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Second location at 463 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs (in front of Altamonte Mall); 407-767-1252. Darden’s latest concept works on a number of levels, thanks to the hard work of manager George Miliotes, executive chef Clifford Pleau and their talented staffs.

The original conceit of the restaurant was that something somewhere was coming into season every week of the year. The kitchen has sort of gotten away from following that too closely, but continues to offer entrees with lots of flavor but fewer calories. Forget about the food being healthfully prepared, you won’t notice a difference when you taste the grilled pork with polenta or the filet mignon. If you start feeling too goody-goody, go crazy and order all the mini desserts. The wine list here – which includes a large number of by-the-glass selections - is especially impressive.

Despite coming from the same company that brought you the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, Seasons 52 is more upscale and casually elegant -- there is even a piano player in the bar area many evenings. And just to drive home the point that adults are the target audience, Seasons 52 keeps no highchairs or booster seats on ... Read more

Shakers American Cafe
Address1308 Edgewater Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-422-3534
Price$
Scott's Review
Winner of the Best Breakfast Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants, Shakers has been a reliable spot for morning meals and lunches for a good long time.... Read more
Sharks Underwater Grill
AddressSeaWorld Orlando
CityOrlando
Phone407-351-3600
Price$$$
Scott's Review
There’s no denying that the setting for the dining room here, with expansive windows into the titanic aquarium filled with exotic sea life, is impressive. It would be a terrific place to have dinner if it wasn’t for the lousy food. There isn’t anything wrong with the menu, it’s fairly straightforward with a little of something for any taste. But the execution and quality are sub par. And I don’t know why that should be. All it would take, it seems to me, is a desire to do better food. But apparently management believes the crowds will come for the view alone, food be damned. Pity.... Read more
Shula's 347 Grill
AddressWestin Lake Mary
2947 International Parkway
CityLake Mary
Phone407-531-3567
Price$$$
Scott's Review

This is a new concept from the folks at Shula's Steak House, the high end eatery that bears the name of the legendary Miami Dolphins coach. He's legendary for the number of wins he led his team to. That number is 347. so that explains two-thirds of the restaurant's name.

The Grill part is meant to set it apart from the upper crust steakhouse, although a few steaks are available on the menu here, as well.

But there are other items, too, including crab cakes (before the Dolphins Shula coached the Baltimore Colts, so he's particular about his crab cakes), seared ahi tuna, sandwiches and other fare. Honestly, the least of the things I sampled during my visit was the steak, which was a bit overcooked.

The atmosphere is an upscale sports bar, with requisite televisions and casual seating arrangements.

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Shula's Steak House
Address1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Walt Disney World Dolphin
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-934-1362
Price$$$$

Shula's is consistently one of the best steakhouses in Central Florida. The decor is high-toned and classy, with a wood-trimmed corporate boardroom mien. Large black and white photos of football action that adorn the walls are tasteful and appropriate. The only real bit of kitsch is the menu, which is printed on the side of an official NFL football (don't even think of trying to walk out with it -- you'll be tackled so fast you won't even see the hostess coming up behind you.)

The steaks here are first-rate and expertly cooked. It ain't cheap, but quality this good is worth the price.

... Read more