4Rivers Smokehouse Winter Garden
Address1047 S. Dillard St.
CityWinter Garden
Phone407-474-8377
Price$
Scott's Review
 A second location for the wildly popular Winter Park barbecuerie. This one has better parking and indoor (read: air-conditioned) seating. But the barbecue is the same -- excellent. Lines are just about as long here, too, but with two cash registers it moves a bit faster. Try the brisket, a house speciality, or the ribs. The baked cheese grits are pretty tasty.... Read more
Big Easy
Address15502 Stoneybrook West Parkway
CityWinter Garden
Phone407-654-3279
Price$$
Scott's Review

The atmosphere at Big Easy is casual to the point of having a diner feel. The kitchen is open (you could easily see a row of stools there) and there are more windows than wall space for decorations, it seems. The bare-topped tables are a royal purple. Of course, some of the best food in New Orleans can be found in uber casual spaces.

But nothing I tasted at Big Easy had me longing to return. The gumbo was a more watery version, which is how many Louisianans prefer it -- less thickening in the roux. But it also didn’t have much characteristic flavor.

Neither did the jambalaya, which was also overly dry. Estelle’s crawfish etouffe (no, no idea who Estelle is) looked the way it is supposed to, more of a brown gravy. But it was just bland. Both entrees were served with cornbread that had a texture similar to pound cake, smooth rather than crumbly.

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Chef's Table at the Edgewater
Address99 W. Plant St.
CityWinter Garden
Phone407-230-4837
Price$$$

This place is an absolute delight. The small dining room is so close to the open kitchen that you might as well be sitting in it. The menu is creative and changes frequently, but you can’t go wrong with whatever you order. The dining area is a bit rustic, but crisp white tablecloths pretty it up a bit.

Owners Kevin and Laurie Tarter are both service alumni of California Grill, and Kevin has cooked at Victoria & Albert's, as well as kitchens in his native New Orleans, including Arnaud's.

The chef's table concept works nicely here. The eight or nine tables are within view -- and earshot -- of the open kitchen, making it an intimate setting.

Don't confuse open kitchen with show kitchen; this is a working facility with exposed pipes and ducts, stacks of pans, propped-up surfaces and racks of supplies, all under harsh, unflattering lighting. It's not a pretty space. But the dishes that come out of that kitchen are beautiful works of art.

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Market to Table
Address146 W. Plant Street
CityWinter Garden
Phone407-395-9871
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Market to Table, a new restaurant that took over the AlFresco space in the Roper Building in Winter Garden, started in an actual market. From a booth in Plant Street Market, Ryan Freelove sold stocks, soups and other products for home cooks before opening the restaurant last year. Don’t assume, as I did, that Market to Table is just another way of saying farm to table. Freelove freely admits that he sources some ingredients from more conventional means, including major distributors. (Though not exclusively; indeed some items come from as close as a rooftop garden.) But that does not diminish the overall high quality of the food served here.... Read more
Tasting Room
AddressEdgewater Hotel
99 W. Plant St.
CityWinter Garden
Phone407-230-4837
Price$
Scott's Review

From the couple who brought you the wonderful Chef's Table at the Edgewater, this space - just in the next room - offers a more tapas-like menu with a New Orleans glint. Grilled pork belly, fried chicken livers, boudain balls are all good choices. Service is first-rate.

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