Urban Tide
Address9801 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-345-4570
Price
Scott's Review
Inside the Hyatt Regency Orlando (formerly Peabody Orlando), Urban Tide showcases local seafood in a stylish and eco-friendly decor. ... Read more
Victoria & Albert’s
AddressDisney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Walt Disney World
CityOrlando
Phone407-939-3862
Price$$$$$
Scott's Review

Quite simply one of the best restaurants in the Southeast, headed by talented chef Scott Hunnel, winner of the 2008 Sante magazine Culinary Professional of the Year award. This is haute cuisine, and dinner here is a delight. The menu changes frequently but is prix fixe with multiple choices. This may be the last restaurant in Florida to require gentlemen to wear jackets. (Also, children under 10 are not permitted in the dining room -- yes, this is a Disney restaurant.)

V&A recently received its 10th AAA five-diamond rating, that guidebook's highest honor. Only 52 of the 60,000 North American restaurants rated by AAA achieves five-diamond status. Only two other Florida restaurants - l'Escalier and the Restaurant at the Four Seasons, both in Palm Beach -- have the top honor.

For a truly special treat try to snag the chef's table. It's a mulitple course feast (I lost count at 15) that can easily last four and a half hours.

A new offering -- a third option -- is the Queen Victoria Room, features tableside service from a menu separate from the dining room but priced the same as the chef's table, $200 per person plus $95 for the optional wine pairings.  A b... Read more

Viet-Nomz
Address7581 University Blvd.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-636-6069
Price$
Scott's Review
Let me just put this right out there at the beginning: Viet-Nomz might just be serving the best Vietnamese food in the area. Those of you who know me know that I don’t make such statements lightly. I put off visiting this small, fast-casual restaurant for a long time because too many other businesses in this spot opened and closed too quickly. I didn’t hold up much hope for another newcomer, especially one with such a cutesy name. But after six months of seeing more cars in front than I ever did for any of the other restaurants that have occupied the University Boulevard space, I decided to pull over and try it myself.... Read more
Vines Grille & Wine Bar
Address7533 W. Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-351-1227
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

It would be almost enough to go here to sit at the bar, sip a glass of wine and eat strips of bacon while listening to live jazz. (Instead of salty peanuts they put rashers of crispy bacon on the bar here.)

On my first visit to Vines I dined in the main room. I sampled the onion soup, a hearty bowl of beefy broth topped with stringy cheese. For my entree I had the braised beef short rib, oh-so-tender meat that had long given up the bone, served with polenta infused with blue cheese and Brussels sprouts roasted with bacon. (They love bacon in this joint.)

On another visit, I decided to make a feast of a couple of appetizers while sitting at the bar. I selected the steak tartare and seared day boat scallops. The tartare looked as though it were a burger patty ready for the grill. It was surrounded by the usual accouterments, capers, onions, as well as hot sauce drizzled on the plate and a pile of salt. It was topped with a raw quail egg, cracked open and still in the shell. The bartender/server asked if I had ever had the tartare there before and I allowed as to how I had not. She made the suggestion that I blend everything together, the hot sauce and salt included... Read more

Wave
AddressDisney's Contemporary Resort
Walt Disney World
CityBay lake
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$
Scott's Review

The first full-serve to open at Disney in years, the Wave is an initial disappointment, not only in its food, which peters out on the plate, but in the decor, which peters out beyond the classy bar. There are two gimmicks here: a "green" menu (notice the "sustainable seafood of the day" selection), and a wine list comprised almost entirely of bottles with screwcap closures. Never fear, these are mainly premium wines gathered by master sommelier John Blazon.

The menu is surprisingly limited, and the food is even more surprisingly unexciting.

Appetizers were downright disappointing. The crab cakes had too much filler and a mealy texture. Lettuce wraps featured pebble-sized pieces of lamb along with bay scallops the size of an eraser on the end of a No. 2 pencil. They were sauteed in soy-rice wine vinegar and presented as a soggy mess that diners are supposed to scoop into lettuce leaves to eat. This one would have been a failure at half the price, which still would have been too much to charge.

The best among the entrees I sampled was the fish of the day, a halibut fillet. It was fresh-tasting and had a lovely crisped exterior and beautiful white flesh insi... Read more

Whiskey
Address7563 W Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-6517
Price$$
Scott's Review
The space that held Cricketers Arms didn’t sit empty too long after that British pub closed. It’s now called The Whiskey, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that any place with such a name is more about the drink than about the food. But based on my recent visit, that isn’t the case at all. Oh, it’s very serious about the drink part, especially with cocktails featuring the eponymous liquid. There is an interesting craft cocktail menu with some intriguing entries. ... Read more
Whisper Creek Farms: The Kitchen
Address4040 Central Florida Parkway
CityOrlando
Phone407-393-4755
Price$$
Scott's Review
The folks at the JW Marriott recently opened two new entities, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen and Whisper Creek Farm: The Brewery. You’ll notice The Kitchen as soon as you walk through the front door of the hotel. It’s just off the lobby, to the right. The Brewery is a little harder to spot. In fact, you’d need a staff person to escort you through the warren of corridors and passageways to the kitchen office where the vats, tanks and necessary gauges have been set up in a corner. It’s definitely not a show brewery such as the one at Cask & Larder. But the Kitchen is on full display, and what it’s churning out is surprisingly ambitious. I say surprisingly because when it was first announced it was downplayed somewhat, as though it would be more of a bar-menu venue. But while portions are meant to be more of the small plate size — or, reasonable portions, as I like to think of them — the items are well above the ranks of bar snacks.... Read more
Wine Bar George
Address1610 E. Buena Vista Drive
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-490-1800
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Not your typical wine bar. It's two stories, serves some serious food, and it's all overseen by a certified master sommelier, George Miliotes, who loves to introduce his guests to new wines. If he makes a suggestion, take it.... Read more