Nona Tap Room
Address9145 Narcoossee Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-440-4594
Price
Scott's Review
A neighborhoody sort of place, with a wide array of beers on tap. The food menu stays pretty close to the basic pub fare. I ordered the Loaded Burger, which features onions, bacon and mushrooms as well as a choice of cheese. The patty was marinated in Guiness beer and had a nicely charred crust and a not unpleasant greasy quality. It was not, however, cooked to the requested medium-rare. It had passed that point some time before it was delivered.... Read more
Ocean Prime
Address7339 W. Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-781-4880
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

An upscale seafood (Ocean) and steak (Prime) supper club (live music) in the vein of The Oceanaire Seafood Room. The main dining room features warm wood walls with huge five-foot portholes that look through to the lounge area. (The dining room has its own bar for more intimate imbibing, a nice touch.) Touches of blue neon and a soft glow from drumlike light fixtures offer romantic notes, and white tablecloths and candles with frosted shades add a touch of elegance.

A “surf n turf” appetizer had lovely sea scallops and boneless short ribs plopped together in a smallish bowl with way too mashed potatoes. Good scallops, good ribs, bad presentation.

Onion soup was distinguished by a near lack of broth under heavy cheese; she-crab soup had a slight astringency and was not nearly as rich as it should have been.

Service was professional and thorough, and once the kitchen makes the right improvements, Ocean Prime will be a good choice.


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Oley’s Kitchen and Bar-b-que
Address2700 S Rio Grande Ave
CityOrlando
Phone407-422-7288
Price$
Scott's Review
Pleasant place with a good blend of Southern/Soul and Caribbean style cuisine.... Read more
Orchid Thai
Address305 Park Ave. N.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-331-1400
Price$$$
Scott's Review

A splashy and elegant restaurant with a hip vibe that befits its Park Avenue milieu. Short rib massamam featured a large beef short rib, braised and then sautéed with potatoes and small pieces of sweet bell peppers with a chili sauce and a bit of roasted peanuts. That the meat was not the most tender hunk of rib I’ve had – a bit more braising might have helped – does not detract from the overall enjoyment of the dish.

And part of the enjoyment of this entrée, and indeed most every dish served here, was the elegant presentation, which almost invariably included luminous purple orchid blooms as plate garnish. (Yes, orchid petals are edible, but frankly I enjoy looking at them much more than ingesting them.)Short rib massamam and yellow curry with chicken are a couple of menu highlights.

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Paddlefish
Address1670 Buena Vista Drive
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-934-2628
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
Paddlefish is the reimagined Fulton’s Crab House (née Empress Lily), on the nonfloating structure made to resemble a vintage paddlewheel river boat. It’s less vintage-y with the recent renovation, which gave it a modern look, both inside and out (though the frozen-in-place paddles remain). This is a huge facility, but it features several smaller dining rooms that keep it from feeling like a large main feeding room on a cruise ship.... Read more
Padrino's Cuban Bistro
Address13586 S. John Young Parkway
CityOrlando
Phone407-251-5107
Price$$$
Scott's Review

I'm prepared to call this the best Cuban restaurant in Central Florida, it's really that good. A family operation out of South Florida, Padrino's features both traditional Cuban dishes and some more stylized "bistro" items, and they're served in a pleasant, bright dining room.

My guest and I started our dinner with the classic empanadas, crisp, flaky pastries filled with a spicy ground beef mixture. They were served with a wonderful guava chutney that I could have eaten by the spoonful.

We also had a selection of tostones topped with ropa vieja, ground beef and chicken. The shredded beef of the ropa vieja was a favorite.

For my entree I chose Mayi’s mahi mahi, a colorful dish of red, green, orange, yellow, golden and white that featured a fresh-tasting fillet topped with fresh mango and pineapple chutney, served with mashed sweet potatoes and fresh vegetables.

The owners are usually at the restaurant tending to the customers and making sure that everything is first-rate. And it usually is.

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Pannullo's Italian Restaurant
Address216 S. Park Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-629-7270
Price$$
Scott's Review
Quietly, Pannullo's Italian Restaurant is also celebrating its silver anniversary at its Park Avenue address. It's not the oldest along the avenue -- Cafe de France and Briarpatch outdate it -- but its 25-year achievement is worth noting. Also worth noting: It may have been 25 years since I last dined there, or pretty close. I'm not entirely sure why that is, but knowing of the anniversary and needing a place to meet a friend for lunch, I decided to stop in.... Read more
Paradiso Pizza
Address1502 N. Semoran Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-745-4226
Price$
Scott's Review
Pretty good pizza that can stand up to some New York City shops.... Read more