Hemingway's
Address1 Grand Cypress Blvd.
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort
CityOrlando
Phone407-239-1234
Price$$$$

Though overpriced, the food is creative and sumptuous, presented in a professional manner in a relaxing atmosphere reminiscent of Key West. The restaurant, which stands apart from the main hotel, sits on top of the boulders that form the grotto for the resort's pool. The structure has the appearance of a fine Florida home, with wooden floors and ceiling fans. There are more windows than walls and some of them open out onto old-fashioned screened-in porches. The menu is dominated by seafood selections, including whole Florida yellow tail snapper and herb basted diver scallops. The high quality seafood and classy surroundings would make Papa proud.

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Hollywood Brown Derby
AddressDisney's Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World
CityOrlando
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

Fashioned after the original restaurant in Los Angeles, HBD is worthy of a better dressed crowd than the t-shirted masses from the theme park, but there's no getting around that. A must-have here is the Cobb salad, which was an invention of the owner of the original Derby.

I started my lunch with sweet Zellwood corn chowder, which also had bits of applewood smoked bacon. It was a large bowl -- whether it was worth nine bucks is up for debate -- and the kernels of corn still had a nice bit of crunch. I would have liked to have seen some more bacon, and the drizzle of ancho chili oil on the top, which resembled something like an oil slick, didn't add a lot, but overall it was a nice chowder.

The original Brown Derby is where the Cobb salad was invented. It was the creation of former Derby owner Bob Cobb (you’d think he’d go by Robert, wouldn’t you?), who whipped up the salad as a late-night snack for a Hollywood VIP back in the '30s. The story goes that there wasn’t much in the fridge the night the bigwig came in so Cobb just chopped up what he could find. It’s the chopping that defines a Cobb today. Here the Cobb has greens, turkey breast, egg, bacon, tomatoes, bl... Read more

House of Blues
Address1490 Buena Vista Drive
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-934-2583
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Its the House of Blues, a boisterous boite that celebrates the diversity and brotherhood of world culture and promotes racial and spiritual harmony through love, peace, truth, righteousness and non-violence. But despite a mission statement that makes it sound like the lunchroom at the United Nations, this is actually a themed restaurant that serves up rhythm, blues and soul and not so incidentally surprisingly good food, most of it rooted in a New Orleans style.

What's surprising about it is that everything is of good quality, prepared and presented with the sort of gourmet flair you'd expect from a fine dining establishment, not a place that is made to look like a juke joint.

Menu highlights include a smoked double-cut pork chop, etouffe and Cajun meat loaf. For appetizers, the Mississippi catfish bites are pretty tasty.

The bread pudding is a must. The Sunday gospel brunch, which features an all-you-can-eat buffet,  is an inspirational treat.

 

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Il Mulino New York Trattoria
AddressDisney World Swan
1200 Epcot Resort Blvd.
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-934-1299
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

If you know Il Mulino New York, you’re going to be surprised by Il Mulino New York Trattoria. You'll also be disappointed.

But if you've never been to the original -- and if you ever get the chance you really should go -- you'll find the food here pleasant enough.

The dentice and veal saltimbocca are good. So is the pasta fagioli.

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Jiko The Cooking Place
AddressDisney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Walt Disney World
CityKissimmee
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
Stylized African cuisine to go with the Animal Kingdom Lodge locale. The food is excellent and the wine cellar boasts the largest collection of South African wines outside of Africa. Jiko is worthy of being listed among the top tier restaurants at Walt Disney World.... Read more
Johnnie's Hideaway
Address12551 S. Kissimmee Vineland Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-827-1111
Price$$$
Scott's Review
It's a beautiful setting and a good dining option for people in the Disney area who don't want to dine on property. Johnnie's is part of the Talk of the Town restaurant group, which also owns Charley's Steak House, so besides seafood it does good meat.... Read more
Jungle Skipper Canteen
Address1180 Seven Seas Drive
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The newest full-service restaurant inside Magic Kingdom is themed on the Jungle River Cruise, which is known for its punacious river pilots. You can expect a lot of corn from the waiters here, too. Try the fish collar and shu mai.... Read more
Kimonos
AddressWalt Disney World Swan Resort
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-934-1609
Price$$$
Kimonos is a terrific choice for traditional sushi as well as more creative rolls. Don't overlook the sake list for something to wash the nigirizushi with.... Read more