Amura
Address950 Market Promenade Ave.
CityLake Mary
Phone407-936-6001
Price$$$

Amura continues to improve on a good thing with its latest location. Although it wants to be considered a chophouse, this is a sushi spot. If beef is what you want, the Kobe steak may be worth a really big splurge.

But for roughly the same price as the Kobe steak, my guests and I feasted on the Heathrow boat ($87.99), a small yacht decked out with sushi, sashimi and assorted hand rolls. Onboard were an Africa roll with yellowtail and tuna; crab Rangoon with real crab, smoked salmon and cream cheese; electric shock roll with tempura eel, avocado and cream cheese; rainbow roll with salmon and tuna; and nigirizushi nibbles of shrimp, salmon, snapper and tuna. All of the raw fish had a cool taste and a soft, buttery texture and every bit of it was delicious.

From among the kitchen foods, the Chilean sea bass with black bean sauce was a favorite. The fish was a large fillet with white flesh that broke off in big chunks. The sauce of tiny black beans provided subtle spiced notes.

... Read more
Armando's
Address463 New England Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-951-8930
Price$
Scott's Review

A new offering from Armando Martorelli, owner of Trattoria Toscana on Park Avenue, Armando's is a more casual Italian restaurant. Pizzas are a focus, but there are also full entrees, such as veal Milanese, and the price point is very good, with most entrees in the mid teens.

It's a big bright space with doors and windows that open wide to the outdoors. There is plenty of seating outside, too.

... Read more
Armando's College Park
Address2305 Edgewater Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-0333
Price$$$
Scott's Review
A College Park outpost of the Hannibal Square eatery. The vibe here is a bit more vibrant, at least on nights that have a good crowd, which seems to be most of them.... Read more
Bahama Breeze, International Drive
Address8849 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-248-2499
Price$$$

It will be interesting to see if Darden keeps backing this Islands concept, which for some reason has never quite caught on with the dining public. For the most part, the food is good  and the restaurants are attractive and lively, often with entertainment. And they’re a favorite outdoor dining destination for locals.

As for the food, my companion out-ordered me with tortilla soup and a ropa Joe sandwich. The soup had layer upon layer of textures and tastes, with pliant avocado cubes, chicken and strips of tortillas.

The sandwich was, as the name might suggest, a version of the classic ropa vieja specialty of shredded beef served on a Cuban roll. Lots of well-seasoned meat, some cheese, peppers and onions livened it up.

For my starter course, I chose a special of ahi tuna ceviche, which featured tiny cubes of tuna dressed with citrus juices served atop a platform supported by watercress. The watercress was more annoying than helpful. It was wadded onto the plate in long stems, and every time I tried to fork a little watercress with some tuna, a long vine would trail behind.

For my entree, I had another special of... Read more

Bar Harbor Seafood
Address2000 Premier Row
CityOrlando
Phone407-447-6455
Price$
Scott's Review
Bar Harbor Seafood, one of the companies that provides fresh fish, shellfish and other goodies from the sea to area restaurants, has been serving lunch from its South Orlando warehouse space for about a year now. I only learned of it recently, and stopped in thinking it would be an obscure, sparsely attended out-of-the-way lunch spot to try out. Well, it certainly is out of the way. But sparsely attended, no. In fact, I haven’t seen lines this long for a counter restaurant that didn’t specialize in barbecue and have the name Rivers attached to it for quite some time. Bar Harbor’s wholesale facility is on Premier Row, just west of South Orange Blossom Trail, in Orlando’s Central Park. Its neighbors are other warehouses and showrooms, and I’m thinking it was a lot of the workers from those other businesses that were cramming into the decidedly too small space where lunch orders are taken. (It’s the same space where the company offers retail seafood orders to those who don’t buy their fish by the tonnage. The menu features fish and chips, Ipswich clams, sushi rolls, cod sliders and such. Most of the cooking seems to be done somewhere else on the property -- one of the work... Read more
Barnie's CoffeeKitchen
Address118 Park Ave. S.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-629-0042
Price$
Scott's Review

A renewed look and branding for Orlando-based Barnie's, CoffeeKitchen has the look of a country kitchen, albeit one with five or six tables. The food, under the direction of former Norman's chef Camilo Velasco, is much more ambitious than your average coffee shop. The menu changes seasonally, but it is always wonderful.

... Read more
Bem Bom Food Truck
Address3208 E. Colonial Dr
CityOrlando
Phone321-236-2660
Price$
Scott's Review
The name means good good, and it's that and more. The cuisine is Portuguese, and the standout items include a confit of duck taco with chopped crispy skin and orange dust.... Read more
Big Fin Seafood Kitchen
Address8046 Via Dellagio Way
Dellagio Town Center
CityOrlando
Phone407-615-8888
Price$$$
Scott's Review
There has been a change in ownership, but the original chef, James Slattery, remains. (He's also one of the new owners.) Quality of the seafood is first rate, the atmosphere fun and casual.... Read more