Copper Canyon Grill
Address9101 International Drive
Pointe Orlando
CityOrlando
Phone407-363-3933
Price$$
Scott's Review

I also don't quite get the Copper Canyon bit. If it is meant to be a theme, it's pretty subtle.

Still, I have to say that a lot of the food I had here was pretty good. I still don't think the rotisserie chicken is anything special, even though the restaurant considers it to be its forte, but I had plenty of other things that I considered quite tasty.

And it's not that there was anything wrong with the chicken, which is good, because besides being available as a stand-alone item, it is included in several other dishes.

I sampled the rotisserie chicken as part of a combination the menu annoyingly lists as cluck-n-oink. The bird was paired with pork ribs. If you don't know which is which, ask a 4-year-old to give you a refresher course on "Old McDonald's Farm."

It may also be mentioned here that the chicken is sometimes paired with steak, thereby known as cluck-n-moo, and at times the chicken is left out of the equation, and the ribs and steak are offered together. You'll be expected to order the moink.

I ordered the chicken and ribs. "You mean the cluck-n-oink?" asked the server. No, I told her, the chicken and ribs.

T... Read more

Cuba Libre
AddressPointe Orlando
9101 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-226-1600
Price$$$
Scott's Review

It's big and splashy, but early indications are that more effort was put into the ambience than into the food, which is under the direction of James Beard Award-winning chef Guillermo Pernot. It would seem the vibrant flavors of Cuban cuisine have been dumbed down for the tourist trade. Even the drinks are disappointing. It's bad enough that they can't seem to make a decent mojito, but you'd think they could at least have a stellar Cuba Libre.

We started with a salad of watercress with crumbles of Cabrales, the tangy blue cheese of Spain. Fresh, but indistinguished.

A fish course followed comprised of sea bass a la plancha a Chino-Cubano. Yes, a Chinese version of a Cuban dish, complete with fried rice and a sesame sauce. I found it rather strange, although the quality of the fish was good.

The meat course had grilled skirt steak on a sugar cane skewer paired with roast pork stuffed mofongo -- not an ingredient in the bunch that I don't love. Yet it was all almost flavorless, without any seasoning. It looks like this will be another Latin restaurant that's afraid of offending the delicate palates of tourists. That's a shame.

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Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House
Address9150 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-351-5074
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House has come into the area in a big way, with an emphasis on the big. The new restaurant on International Drive is huge. Of course, the main event here is meat -- big, expensive hunks of it, nicely broiled and juicy.... Read more
Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse
Address6115 Westwood Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-226-2662
Price$$
Scott's Review
Even though this is a restaurant out of New York, don't confuse it with the legendary Manhattan steakhouse. Not that you would once you stepped inside this casual yet boisterous place. The signature item here is the same-named cut of meat.

I must say it was an impressive looking steak, a beautiful 24-ouncer that had been cooked perfectly to the requested medium-rare. And with the exception of the first bite, which was all gristle, the meat was quite tender, and at $19.99 for such a large steak, it seemed to be quite a deal.

So would it have been too much to ask that the steak have some flavor? It had none. It was ultimately just a big slab of meat that could substantially fill an empty stomach without offering much in the way of enjoyment. It was served with a side of penne with a passable red sauce.

Unfortunately, management seems to think that anyone coming in through the door is a tourist. They're not treated poorly, they're just not treated as though they're coming back again. There are dozens of places on International Drive that are better than Delmonico's.

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Emeril’s Orlando
AddressUniversal CityWalk
CityOrlando
Phone407-224-2424
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

Don’t expect to see celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse here. Not that he doesn’t visit, but when he does, he pretty much stays in the kitchen. The food can be very good, but the quality can also be spotty. It’s a very noisy restaurant, too, so it’s not a good choice for a romantic meal. But if you can, choose a spot at the bar for your meal, it’s more entertaining. The menu changes frequently, but if Lagasse’s oyster stew is on the menu, order as big a bowl as you can.

Or have the Maine lobster cheesecake, a savory cake of cream cheese, eggs and lobster chunks served with a lobster saffron emulsion. As delicious as it was inventive.

The barbecue shrimp were a favorite of mine when I dined at his New Orleans restaurant. They're good here, too, with medium-size shrimp sloshed with a sweetly hot barbecue sauce.

Banana cream pie was the best of the desserts I sampled, but then I'm a sucker for banana cream pie. J.K's chocolate Grand Marnier souffle was OK, but quite small.

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Everglades
Address9840 International Drive
Rosen Centre Hotel
CityOrlando
Phone407-996-9840
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

One of the area’s most under appreciated restaurants, Everglades continues to offer high-quality fare. The Alligator Bay chowder is a terrific starter soup, and the swordfish is a southern inspiration

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Fiorenzo
Address9801 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-345-4570
Price$$$
Scott's Review
When the Peabody Orlando sold its International Drive hotel to the Hyatt Regency folks and moved out, they took the iconic ducks with them. They also took the Capriccio Grill Italian Steakhouse, or at least the name. Capriccio, it turned out, was a trademarked brand held by the Memphis-based Peabody. So now it's Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse, and for all intents and purposes the restaurant is exactly the same as the previous, presale incarnation. Except in my estimation it has gotten better. The chef, Jimmy Stafford, released a new menu last week that still emphasizes the steakhouse aspect but also features some Italian classics as well as other Mediterranean specialties and a few creative twists. My recent dinner there was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The start was with a platter of antipasti that included Jamon Iberico, shaved from the shank from the carving station in the open kitchen, and wonderful bresaola and wild boar salami. The jamon was marvelous, the marbled fat just melted in the mouth and left a sweet and nutty aftertaste, and the bresaola had a lovely aroma. I also sampled the paccheri nero, which just might have been my favorite thing of the e... Read more
Fogo De Chao
Address8282 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-370-0711
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Fogo de Chao means fire of the ground, and although you’ll want to pronounce the last word in the name chow, it’s actually pronounced shoun. Chow fits better because, like all other churrascarias, it’s all about the food and lots -- LOTS -- of it.
 
 

The experience begins with the salad bar, a designation that really doesn’t do justice to the array of foods splayed out. The salad bar sits in the center of the main dining room beneath massive rings of light fixtures that looks as thought they’re fashioned out of alabaster (they’re not). Physically, the bar is gorgeous: granite counter with a thick glass top that serves as the inelegantly named sneeze guard. Atop it are two colorful sprays of decorative flowers. Glass platters sit atop crushed ice and hold such things as artichoke bottoms, salami, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, hearts of palm, thick stalks of asparagus, smoked salmon, aged Manchego and Parmesan cheeses, breads, and, since it is a salad bar after all, numerous greens and accoutrements.
 
Novices make the mistake of filling up on the salad bar goodies, and it is an easy thing to do when everything is so attractive, not to... Read more