Chef's Table at the Edgewater
Address99 W. Plant Street
CityWinter Garden
Phone407-230-4837
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Owners Kevin and Laurie Tarter were ahead of the Winter Garden renaissance when they opened their intimate restaurant in the historic Edgewater Hotel there in May of 2008. Eleven years later, the West Orange County hamlet is a hopping with good restaurants and evening entertainment. And the Tarters have expanded their domain with the addition of the Tasting Room, which occupies a space in front of the Chef’s Table’s dining room, and, earlier this year, the acquisition of the Attic Door. But the Chef’s Table remains the jewel, a leisurely evening of three courses, with wine pairings if you like, served by a friendly and attentive staff.... Read more
Chez Vincent
Address533 W. New England Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-599-2929
Price$$$
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.

... Read more
Cress
Address103 W. Indiana Ave.
CityDeland
Phone386-734-3740
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Chef Hari Pulapaka, who, along with his wife, Jenneffer, owns Cress, has a creative touch, but he bases all of his dishes on classic culinary principles. That’s evident in the Cress seafood sampler of fresh black fin grouper, jumbo lump crab cake served with sauce remoulade, jumbo shrimp, with a sauce creole, and grits with bits of andouille sausage, mushrooms and thyme. The fish sat on al dente sauteed squash, and everything was topped with freshly made potato chips. Although the dish was comprised mainly of seafood, each component had a distinct flavor, and all of the tastes and textures played very nicely together. I especially liked the crab cake for the buttery notes in the crisp crust that held the lump meat together. And the firm texture of the black fin grouper was very pleasant. The restaurant, in an old downtown storefront, is pleasant and comfortable.... Read more
DoveCote
Address390 N. Orange Avenue
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-1700
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Much has already been said about the impressive pedigrees of the partners in the venture. They include executive chef Clay Miller, whose resume includes stints at the estimable French Laundry and who was the opening executive chef and pastry chef at Norman’s at the Ritz Carlton; and Gene Zimmerman, owner of the downtown craft cocktail lounge The Courtesy, who oversees the front of the house operations for DoveCote, including its beverage program. The two of them are the co-owners, but Ravenous Pig’s James and Julie Petrakis are involved as advisers and investors. But one of the most impressive things about the new restaurant is the space itself. It has undergone a transformation that is, well, transformative. Occupying a corner of the imposing Bank of America building, the restaurant space has held many tenants over the years, all of which kept the same basic decor dominated by the cold, gray sandstone walls. That look and feel is fine for the bank across the lobby but hardly made for a comfortable dining atmosphere. The attached review has been updated.... Read more
Eddie V's
Address7488 Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-355-3011
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
This latest addition to the Darden collection of premium brands is sometimes said to be the seafood equivalent of that company's Capital Grille steakhouses. But that's not exactly right because Eddie V's, which does indeed to excellent seafood, also does a pretty good steak. In fact, Eddie V's serves prime beef while Capital Grille serves USDA choice. The atmosphere is elegant, like an old-timey Manhattan supper club. It's pricy, though, so be prepared to pay dearly for the quality.... Read more
Enzo’s on the Lake
Address1130 S. Highway 17-92
CityLongwood
Phone407-834-9872
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

Enzo is gone, but his restaurant continues on. Let your server put together an antipasti selection from the table in the dining room.

One of my favorites is bucatini alla Enzo, which features fat, hollow pasta tossed tableside with prosciutto, peas, bacon and mushrooms plus a little sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan. All the ingredients meld together to flavor a buttery sauce that coats the noodles. With prosciutto and bacon in the mix the taste is a decidedly salty one, but not unpleasantly so. Because they’re so fat and unwieldy, bucatini noodles are impossible to be eat gracefully. So just dive in the best you can.

Costaletta di vitello, was as good a veal chop as you’re likely to find anywhere in town. The thick chop was as tender as you expect a veal chop to be – and as tender as you are justified to demand at that price. It was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and seasoned with butter that had just the slightest hint of white truffle essence.

Go before sunset and enjoy the gardens before going inside.

... Read more
Flying Fish
Address2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd
CityOrlando
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
And just like that, Flying Fish, formerly known as Flying Fish Cafe, has become arguably the second most elegant restaurant at Walt Disney World. In my estimation, only Victoria & Albert’s offers a more upscale decor. There is still an on-stage kitchen, and instead of the tiled chef’s counter, gathering-height tables may be abutted next to the kitchen counter to affect chef tables of various sizes. Speaking of the chef, there’s a new one in charge to go with the updated decor. And Tim Majoras, pictured at top, figured he might as well go and redesign the menu. No, the potato-wrapped snapper first introduced by the restaurant’s original chef, John State, and retained by his successors is gone. I don’t think anyone will really miss it.... Read more
H Cuisine
Address7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-3020
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
It truly is an elegant restaurant, a little bit of Manhattan chic on Restaurant Row. Especial attention has been paid to the lighting, which is moody and low. And banquettes, booths and chairs at freestanding tables are plush and comfortable.... Read more