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.

... Read more
Buca Di Beppo
Address1351 S. Orlando Ave.
CityMaitland
Phone407-622-7663
Price$$$

Additional location: Florida Mall, 8001 S. Oragne Blossom Trail, Orlando; 407-859-7844. This national chain was recently purchased by Orlando resident (and Planet Hollywood founder) Robert Earl, who is remaking the restaurant into a fun place for the family to dine. The menu has undergone a redo as well, with an eye toward freshness. For example, all sauces are made daily at each location. That's pretty impressive.

Portions are humongous, so have a little and save the rest for your next three meals.


... Read more
Enzian's Eden Bar
Address1300 S. Orlando Ave.
CityMaitland
Phone407-629-0054
Price$$
Scott's Review

A recent addition to the area's only art movie house, Eden is an outdoor venue next to the theater. The menu is an odd mix but features some Austrian specialties. If you're up for a splurge, ask for a shot of pre-Prohibition bourbon.

... Read more
Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
Address400 S. Orlando Ave.
CityMaitland
Phone407-960-5533
Price$$
Scott's Review
The chef owner of the restaurant is Francesco Aiello (I love it -- a name that’s two-thirds vowels!), a native of Palermo, Sicily. He is not new to Central Florida kitchens; he’s been cooking here since 1998, most recently at Terra Mia in Lake Mary. The menu isn’t dissimilar from other Italian menus in the area, but the execution of the dishes certainly sets it apart. I especially liked Aiello’s pizza. The platform of the crust was thin, but the edges had poofed up from the 700-degree wood-burning oven. The toppings on the carne pizza -- pepperoni, sausage and ham -- were plentiful, as was the cheese and sauce. And yet the pie retained a certain crispness in the crust. I ate each bite with a slight bit of awe. If you’re among those who lament being unable to find good pizza in Orlando, you must try the one here.... Read more
Grande Cafe
Address600 N. Lake Destiny Drive
Sheraton Orlando North
CityMaitland
Phone407-660-9000
Price$$$
Scott's Review
It's necessary for a hotel like the Sheraton Orlando North to offer a restaurant for its guests, and this property has had a number of restaurants over the year (most notable was an Irish pub that did a pretty good job). This latest effort is one that locals will want to try, too, especially for the special of prime rib, a 16-ounce tender slab of meat for $14.95, quite a bargain. Be sure to try the empanadas, too.... Read more
Luke's Kitchen and Bar
Address640 S. Orlando Avenue
CityMaitland
Phone407-674-2400
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The newest project from the Luma on Park and Prato team is meant to be "classic American"; never mind the ceviches and French onion soup. ... Read more
Teak Neighborhood Grill
Address901 S. Orlando Ave.
CityMaitland
Phone407-335-4835
Price$
Scott's Review
The Maitland location is a new outpost for the popular MetroWest burgermonger. And make no mistake: burgers are the forte here.... Read more