Chez Vincent
Address533 W. New England Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-599-2929
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Chez Vincent continues to serve classic French dishes in pleasant, if slightly worn, surroundings. Chef/owner Vincent Gagliano is a master with soup, and the coquille St. Jacques is one of the better seafood entrees. Steak au poivre is a good choice for a meat dish.

Chez Vincent’s waiters are mature and professional. I mention the maturity because it’s a welcome change from the working-my-way-through-college servers who seem to dominate the Winter Park restaurant scene. The waiters here allow the guests to dictate the pace of the meal.

If Chez Vincent has survived over the years it’s because there is an appreciation among Central Florida diners for a quiet place to enjoy a good, classically prepared meal.

If that’s true, there’s hope for aspiring restaurateurs out there, and, not incidentally, for all of us who will support them.

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Chianti's Pizza & Pasta
Address685 Towne Center Blvd.
CitySanford
Phone407-878-5900
Price$$
Scott's Review
There's nothing special about the atmosphere, but the food is very good, and the service is sincere. I liked my lobster ravioli, and the "Big Meat" pizza was good, too, although it could have used a bit more of the big meats. There is a second location in Longwood.... Read more
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen
Address6967 Lake Nona Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-955-4340
Price$$
Scott's Review
Another Lake Nona dining choice from Tavistock. Most items are "small plates" to encourage sharing. The lamb sliders are a standout. Note that service doesn't begin until 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.... Read more
Chuy's
Address7913 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (192)
CityKissimmee
Phone407-787-3545
Price$$
Scott's Review
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City Pub
Address861 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-652-0600
Price$$
Scott's Review
City Pub is the new restaurant and bar that replaced North Quarter Tavern. The bones of the place are the same, with the central bar and surrounding dining tables. But some decorating touches have been added — royal blue paint, wood wainscoting over a tufted banquette along the back wall — that give it a traditional pub mien. And the food is still above average, though not as creative as when NQT first opened. But then, in retrospect, that menu was probably too ambitious (and costly).... Read more
Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub
Address2421 Curry Ford Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-895-1555
Price$$
Any out-of-towners wandering into Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub in the last few weeks might be surprised to learn that it has been away for close to a year and a half. It thrums with the laughter and chatter of a full house, background to the lilt of traditional music, sometimes recorded, sometimes live. Despite its relative newness, it feels comfortably worn, familiar. ... Read more
Columbia
Address649 Front St.
CityCelebration
Phone407-566-1505
Price$$$

Columbia is the oldest restaurant in Florida, but not this location. The original in Tampa's Ybor City has been around since 1903 (although, until recently, it was thought it was established in 1905). The Celebration restaurant has had its high and low moments in the past 15 years; lately it has been doing better. The menu is not as authentically Spanish as they would like you to believe. It's not even all that Cuban. But the creative stylings at least get the spicing right. Try the red snapper Alicante or the scallops Casimiro. Desserts are less satisfying.

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Cork & Fork
Address5180 S. Conway Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-250-6763
Price$$
Scott's Review
This Belle Isle casual restaurant has gotten better than when it first opened. The burger is a good bet.... Read more