310 Lakeside
Address301 E. Pine St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-373-0310
Price$$
This is a second location for a restaurant called 310 Park South, which was named for its address on Park Avenue in Winter Park. But 310 Lakeside is not at 310 Lakeside, it's at 301 Pine. Very confusing. The food here is mostly straightforward -- steaks, pastas, salads. And most of it is done well enough. The lake on whose side the restaurant sits (actually, it's across the street) is Eola.
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310 Park South
Address310 Park Ave. S.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-647-7277
Price$$$

Now in its second decade in the address that is also its name, this Park Avenue casual restaurant recently expanded into the space next door (yes, they had permission). They also opened a second location on Central Boulevard across from Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. Oddly, that one is called 310 Lakeside, even though that is not its address. Oh, well, there's only one Saks on Fifth Avenue, too.

The key to its longevity is something of a mystery to me, although I suspect that most of its fans like that its food, though nothing special, is reliable. I guess there's something to be said for that. And to last more than 11 years in Central Florida, a restaurant has to be doing something right. Right?

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American Social
Address7335 W. Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-454-9992
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Boisterous sports bar out of South Florida with good food, especially the burger. Vibrant happy hour.... Read more
Bahama Breeze, International Drive
Address8849 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-248-2499
Price$$$

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

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.

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Bistro 1501
Address1501 International Parkway
CityLake Mary
Phone407-995-7053
Price
Scott's Review
Located in the Marriott hotel in Lake Mary (which for some reason is called the Orlando Marriott), this three-mealer is known to many locals for its brunch. My experience was not a good one, with quality taking a back seat to quantity. It's a bargain at $22.95 if all you want to do is stuff mediocre food in your face.... Read more
Boheme
Address325 S. Orange Ave.
Grand Bohemian Hotel
CityOrlando
Phone407-581-4700
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

The Boheme has grown into a more consistent fine dining experience but now is trying to position itself as more accessible. Try the Kessler calamari, a silly name for a delicious appetizer, and follow with the lamb duet or the Chilean sea bass. The kitchen also has a way with scallops.

A special treat about dinner here is that most nights there is entertainment in the rotunda just outside the dining room, and the music easily wafts in. If you arrive early, have a seat in the lounge, listen to the music, and enjoy the stories of the affable bartenders.

It should also be noted that the Boheme (and by the way it's pronounced boh-HEEM and not like the name of the Puccini opera) also serves a very nice Sunday jazz brunch.

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Cask & Larder
Address1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone321-280-4200
Price$$
Scott's Review
If this had been the Cask & Larder that opened originally in Winter Park, it would still be there. (Sister restaurant Ravenous Pig moved into the Cask's old home.) This is a “Southern-inspired public house,” which means it features stylistic takes on Southern fare. The Larder in the name is a reference to a pantry. The Cask refers to a beer barrel and is an indication that C&L brews its own beers. (All involved would prefer that you not call it a brewpub.) Good beer, too, plus a fully stocked liquor bar (with some fun cocktails, it should be mentioned). Cask & Larder is in Terminal 2 of Orlando International Airport, so you can visit only if you're flying out of that terminal.... Read more
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