|Address||124 Park Ave. N.|
From the folks at Luma on Park, Prato is an Italian concept that features a wood-burning pizza oven and pizzaiola station in the dining room. Pizzas are good, though the thin crusts tend to char easily if not watched closely. Pasta is made fresh in-house, and most pasta dishes are available in half portions, a dandy idea.
Prato's decor is rustic and casual. This is currently the hottest restaurant in town, and can be quite crowded. Expect waits, even for bar seating.... Read more
4040 Central Florida Parkway
|Address||9101 International Drive|
|Address||1640 Buena Vista Drive|
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
You’ll find traditional music, familiar ales and even genuine fittings from old bars in Ireland, but the food is an updated version of Irish classics, some a bit highfalutin.
For example, we started our dinner with a seared scallop on a mint and pea puree. Just saying the words mint and pea puree will get you thrown out of most pubs in Dublin. But it was tasty, as was the potato and asparagus soup, lighter and smoother than you'd expect.
The next course was shepherd's pie, but as I said before, things aren't done in a traditional way at Raglan Road, and this was certainly the oddest shepherd's pie I've seen. Here, the ground meat mixed with gravy was dolloped onto a large spoon with a little mashed potatoes piped on top. It was a little more than one should shove into one's mouth all at once, but there wasn't quite enough to reallly get a feel for the flavor.
Whatever you have for dinner be sure to have the bread pudding for dessert. And the house band, which performs nightly, will make you want to get up and dance without moving your arms.... Read more
|Address||565 W. Fairbanks Ave.|
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
|Address||12500 State Road 33|
If you’re looking for “old Florida,” you can’t get much older than Red Wing Restaurant. For over 60 years the stone building, which at one time was a private home, has served as a meeting place for Lake County growers, farmers, truckers and others. It’s the sort of place where you might find a boothful of grimy construction workers next to a table with a family with children and not far away a couple on a date.
But you will find some obscure menu items. It isn’t often that you see Buffalo fried frog legs. Even less frequently will you hear me say they were really good. The appetizer featured three haunches, each with plenty of meat, deep-fried and tossed with a hot sauce, a la Buffalo wings, except there was more meat on the legs than you’ll ever find on a chicken wing.
And if fried frog legs don’t appeal to you, or even if they do, you might want to try the fried dill pickles. Why this delicacy is seen so seldom I don’t know. But usually they’re served as dill chips. Here they’re long spears with enough surface area to hold the light batters and even substance to give a good, salty crunch.
Fried green tomatoes had a crisp breading with firm fruit inside.... Read more