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.

... Read more
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
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