Saigon Flavors
Address3573 Aloma Ave.
CityOviedo
Phone407-951-8818
Price$$
Scott's Review
The first thing you’re likely to notice about Saigon Flavors is that it isn’t in downtown Orlando or anywhere near the intersection of Mills Avenue and Colonial Drive. That neighborhood, which locals have unofficially called Little Saigon for years, has the city’s greatest concentration of Vietnamese restaurants. Saigon Flavors is also more modernistic in style and decor. But the food is firmly set in tradition. Pho, the beef noodle soup with a variety of ingredients, is quite good. For an unusual appetizer, have the "golden pancake," which is more like an omelet with bean sprouts.
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Saint Anejo Mexican Kitchen + Tequileria
Address5248 Red Bug Lake Road
CityWinter Springs
Phone407-636-3600
Price$$
Scott's Review
It’s the latest attempt to bring something more than chain dining to the Winter Springs/Oviedo area. One of the previous tries also involved a restaurant that used a plus sign in its name. Remember South + York? This restaurant, from the same group that operates Agave Azul, another tequila-centric restaurant in the area of Universal Orlando, even aims at offering a more upscale Mexican experience. Not that this is anything close to fine dining, but it is more pleasant than your typical stereotypical Tex-Mexery. It’s even more Mex than Tex, though far from traditional Mexican cooking (any restaurant that lists fajitas on its menu gives up some of its Mexican cred). Still, I must say that I liked what I sampled much more than I did when I visited Agave Azul a few years ago.... Read more
Sanaa at Kidani Village
AddressDisney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The menu is African with Indian influences, but not to the point of excluding beef or pork. Look for those touches in the spicing. The food may be a bit more exotic than most people are willing to try, but it's almost all done expertly. And you can't beat the atmosphere, with a ground-level view of the grazing area where you're likely to see giraffes galloping by.... Read more
Saporito Italian Restaurant & Bakery
Address2759 Old Winter Garden Road
CityOcoee
Phone407-554-2100
Price$$
Scott's Review
For some reason the name Saporito sounds like it would be Japanese takeout place. But, no, it’s an Italian restaurant, and a very pleasant one at that. Or should I say a tasty one, for tasty is the translation of Saporito.... 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.

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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

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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