Bosphorous
Address108 Park Ave. S.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-644-8609
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Bosphorus is a delightful restaurant with stylized Turkish classics.

My favorite from the list of entrees was the hunkar begendi, or sultan’s delight, a classic Ottoman dish. It featured hunks of seasoned beef sauteed with onions and tomatoes in the center of the plate surrounded by a moat of creamy-textured puree of smoked eggplant.

The etli guvec was good too. It was a meat casserole with cubes of lamb mixed with green beans, eggplant,zucchini, potatoes, okra, carrots, bell peppers and tomatoes. It all blended into a wonderful, richly seasoned stew that was served over rice.

The desserts are worth sampling. Winner of the 2007 Foodie Award for Best Middle Eastern.

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Café De France
Address526 Park Ave. S.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-647-1869
Price$$$

Cafe de France is one of the long mainstays of Park Avenue, lasting through its slump in the '90s and into the avenue's current revival as one of the area's premier dining destinations. Locals love the quintness of its small dining room and the charm of its hostess and owner, Dominique Gutierrez

A renovation a few years ago converted the spot into a sophisticated bistro. The menu is less traditional French, but has some good points. Osso buco (hello? Italian!) was good, but the chef did a better job with the fish of the day. Calamari with fried potatoes was the best starter, and clafoutis a sweet end.

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Cocina 214
Address151 Welbourne Ave. E.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-790-7997
Price$$
Scott's Review
It's refreshing that Cocina 214 doesn't claim to be authentic Mexican and try to hide its Tex-Mex roots. In fact, it's right there in its name: the 214 is a reference to the area code of Dallas. (That's not the city I think of when I think of Tex-Mex, but there you go.) I liked the huevos rancheros I had on a brunch visit, and the carnitas tacos were delicious on a dinner visit. I also like the big open atmosphere. It's nice to have the Tex-Mex flavor on Park Avenue. (Or just off Park.)... Read more
Columbia
Address649 Front St.
CityCelebration
Phone407-566-1505
Price$$$

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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Graffiti Junktion
Address700 E. Washington St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-426-9503
Price$
Scott's Review
The original Graffiti Junktion has moved a couple of blocks east to the corner of Summerlin Avenue. Graffiti Junktion, if the name doesn’t already give it away, goes more for a grunge aura, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, it seems kind of appropriate. The decor relies heavily on the graffiti part (must have been easy to decorate -- just leave a few cans of spray paint out overnight and when you come back in the morning, voila!). Its subname is an American Burger Bar, so red, white and blue figure into the scheme. I had the burger called the Lone Star, a big thick patty, cooked close to the requested medium-rare, topped with thick rashers of bacon and cheddar cheese and slathered with barbecue sauce. It had crispy lettuce, tomato and pickles on a fresh bun. And it was accompanied by a generous portion of slender, spiced fries. Good burger.
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Greek Corner
Address1600 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-228-0303
Price$$

It’s Greek, and it’s on the corner; you can’t get more succinct that that. But no corners are cut on the quality. All your Greek favorites are here, served in a small, unassuming space.

I supped on the melitzanosalat, a dip made with roasted eggplant, and followed with a bowl of tangy avgolemeno, the chicken soup thickened with a lemony egg sauce. For my main course I had the moussaka, a big brick of seasoned beef, eggplant and potatoes topped with a fluffy bechamel. Substantial and delicious.

If it’s a warm day – it’s Florida, the odds are in your favor – sit on the patio, across the street from Lake Ivanhoe.

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K Restaurant
Address1710 Edgewater Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-872-2332
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
I'm delighted to report that K Restaurant & Wine Bar is as good as it has ever been. Certainly some of the continuity is provided by Ryan McLaughlin, who served as sous chef under Fonzo and now holds the title of chef de cuisine. It also helps that neither Phelps nor McLaughlin plans to change the restaurant's commitment to using locally sourced ingredients and market availability to drive the menu.

The fried green tomatoes were wonderful, and a towering presentation of three tomatoes layered with crab and corn salad. The tomatoes were thick and firm and breaded just right. The barbecue shrimp were good, too, although there were only three in the dish and four of us at the table so we had to fight over them. The chicken livers were, well, chicken livers.

For our main course we each decided independently to order the porcini dusted filet mignon. I had mentioned to my companions that it has always been one of my Fonzo favorites. It still is. The meat was thick and as tender as it could be, and cooked to the requested temperature. The bit of truffle oil was just right -- enough to give it distinction but not so much as to overpower.

The filet mignon is still a... Read more

Ravenous Pig
Address565 W. Fairbanks Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-628-2333
Price$$$
Scott's Review

The Ravenous Pig calls itself “an American gastropub,” gastropub being a British term for a pub that serves more than a basic bar menu. This wonderful restaurant goes way beyond that. Chef/owners James and Julie Petrakis met while attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and they obviously learned a lot while there. The menu changes regularly, but everything is worth trying. The Pig’s burger was the winner of Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide’s first Burger War!

Beyond burgers, try the pork belly if it's available, and the steak frites is one of my favorites. As with those served with the award-winning burger, these fries have a spritz of truffle oil. From the pub menu during a lunch visit, I chose lobster tacos, lamb mezze and pork ribs. The tacos were wonderful, three crispy shells with lightly fried chunks of lobster and crunchy hot peppers. The mezze had lamb ribs, tender and aromatic, and lamb meatballs. The pork ribs were one of the few disappointments. They had precious little meat, and what was there was soggy and mealy.

Roasted cod was another good entrée. A beautifully white fillet, flaky and cooked just so, was served with a pure... Read more

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