Antonio’s La Fiamma
Address611 S. Orlando Ave.
(US Highway 17-92)
CityMaitland
Phone407-645-1035
Price$$$
Scott's Review

When Greg Gentile opened this massive two-story restaurant in a renovated family steakhouse, everyone thought he was crazy and that the place would close in one year. That was about two decades ago. Why did it succeed? Simple: good food, good service and an atmosphere for everyone; fine dining upstairs and a casual deli down.

The best dish I sampled is the anitra con rosmarino all'agrodolce, which I'm sure you know is roast duck. The duck meat, free of bones, was moist and tender. Spit roasting gives it a terrific flavor, but to enhance the taste, there's a wonderful sauce of balsamic vinegar, rosemary and maple syrup (yes, maple syrup). The syrup isn't overpowering and the flavors are just meant for each other.

The downstairs deli is a wonderful place for friends to meet. It's cramped, with tables set up throughout the market area, but it adds to the atmosphere.

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Brick & Fire
Address1621 S. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-426-8922
Price$
Scott's Review

Originally one of the tenants of Church Street Station, Brick & Fire cut its losses and moved from the historical confines of that downtown entertainment complex to a location on South Orange Avenue whose only history is as a Moe's Southwestern food chain and a Pizza Hut joint. Better pizzas are coming out of chef Mark Dollard's ovens, and the place is often filled with neighbors and workers from the nearby medical complex and their families. The wine list here isn't stellar, but it's cheap. Note: there is a second location at 1410 Semoran Blvd., Casselberry; phone 321-332-6430.

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Rolando’s
Address870 State Road 436
CityCasselberry
Phone407-767-9677
Price$$

Some consider this the best Cuban food north of Havana. We may have to wait a while to make our own comparisons, but until then, Rolando’s does serve good Cuban dishes in a family friendly atmosphere.

The original owner of Rolando's -- that would be Rolando -- had been the owner of Numero Uno. When he sold that restaurant to open this one, he originally called it Numero Dos, which brought a complaint from the new owner of Numero Uno. So, Rolando had to change the name, which is just as well because you really don't want to have a restaurant named Number Two for a variety of reasons.

All the Cuban favorites are here, including ropa vieja and carne asada. Whatever you have, be sure to get the black beans and rice to go with it.

 

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