River Rocks
Address6485 S. U.S. Highway 1
CityRockledge
Phone321-757-7200
Price$$$
Scott's Review

River Rocks has a wonderful location, directly on the Indian River Lagoon, and it takes full advantage with a delightful deck overlooking the water. Unfortunately the food does not rise to meet the setting. It's unimaginative, inexpertly prepared and overpriced. Better to come here to sip a glass of wine or have a cocktail at sunset and then go elsewhere for dinner.

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Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room
AddressBritsh Isles Pavilion
Epcot
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$
If most people choose to eat at Restaurant Marrakesh for the belly dancers, most people who choose to have dinner here do so because of the great view of Illuminations. Tip from the Disney folks: If you want to view Illuminations from here, "take a seat on the popular patio before sunset." Before sunset -- the show is at 9 p.m. That's a lot of pints to pound down while you're waiting. And what will you eat? Bangers and mash? Fish and chips? Sorry, I can't recommend the food here. And I've always been disappointed with the staff. I love my visits to England -- the real one, across the Atlantic -- and the people there are always wonderful. But the cast members at this pub are usually surly. (And why not -- they've got people camping out on their patio tables for four hours waiting for the fireworks to begin.)... Read more
Santiago's Bodega
Address802 Virginia Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-412-6979
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Santiago’s Bodega has opened in the space formerly occupied by Logan’s Bistro on Virginia Drive in Orlando. Actually the place takes more than the Logan’s space. It has incorporated the storefront next door and has produced a new brick porch/patio in front. For all its newness, Santiago’s has a well-worn look that makes it immediately likable and comfortable. This is a tapas restaurant. Although Santiago’s is new in Orlando, this is a second location for a restaurant in Key West. So the concept isn’t new and neither is the menu. Still, the restaurant was struggling the night I visited as hordes of curious diners descended on the place and overwhelmed the staff. Mistakes were made, most of them accountable to the vagaries of a new operation, new location and a staff unfamiliar and shell-shocked. Those things can be ironed out. My main complaint was the cost. My check came to over $68 for five tapas and one glass of wine. (We had two other glasses of wine but the server said they were on the house because of some problems at the beginning of the meal; otherwise the check would have been over $90.) That isn’t a tremendous amount of money for a night out, but the cost-to-quali... Read more
Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill
Address14900 Chelonia Parkway
CityOrlando
Phone407-919-6300
Price$$$
Seemingly out of nowhere, a big new JW Marriott has appeared and along with it a pretty darned good restaurant, Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill. The hotel is a new neighbor of other large hotels like the Waldorf Astoria, Hilton and Wyndham in the area known as Bonnet Creek. In fact, if you sit on the restaurant’s comfortably spacious veranda, as I did on my recent visit, you’ll have a view of the actual creek and its woody banks just below. As you might deduce from the clever name, Sear + Sea is a steak and seafood restaurant, which might sound a bit ho-hum at first. But the menu, under the direction of chef de cuisine Alex Pyser, is creative and appealing.... Read more
Seasons 52
Address7700 Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-354-5212
Price$$$
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

Shake Shack
Address119 N Orlando Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone321-203-5130
Price$
Scott's Review
Shake Shack opened a few weeks ago, but I resisted going because, frankly, I refuse to wait in line for food. The last time I did so was at a Magnolia Bakery in the West Village and I felt like the fool I was for waiting more than an hour to end up with a very average cupcake. So imagine my surprise when I finally screwed my courage to the proverbial sticking point and headed for the restaurant, preparing not only for the line but the already legendary inadequately sized parking lot, and not only got a parking space right away but also walked into the Shake Shack and stepped right up to the counter to place my order. Of course, it was 3:30 in the afternoon, so there's that. The burger, a 100 percent all natural angus patty (no hormones or antibiotics), was very good. Hour-long wait good, no, but walk right in and have a bite to eat good, yes. The patty was not too rare (too thin for that, really) but had a wonderful charred flavor, and the Shacksauce, whatever that is, added a nice condimental note. The crinkly-cut fries had a good crisped exterior and an airy potatoness inside. The shake was thick and creamy. The strawberry flavor was more of a hint than a major component... Read more
Shantell's Just Until
Address503 Sanford Ave.
CitySanford
Phone407-878-7785
Price$
Scott's Review
Despite the impermanence of its name, Shantell’s Just Until feels like an anchor of the neighborhood. At least it did when I visited on a balmy evening recently when when the owner, Shantell Williams, herself was seated at a table outside. My dining companion, dog and I took a table next to a large brick planter filled with colorful flowers. Nearby in a tall tree, an osprey stood watching over the restaurant. The menu is a bit more Caribbean than it is Southern soul.... Read more
Sideward Brewing
Address210 N. Bumby Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-866-2195
Price$
Scott's Review
New brewer in the burgeoning Milk District. The beers are the main draw, but the food is pretty good, too.... Read more