903 Mills Market
Address903 Mills Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-898-4392
Price$

A real neighborhoody kind of gathering place with beer and wine and (mostly) sandwiches, although the market does feature a nightly "blue plate" special that might range from meat loaf to pasta. Almost all seating is outdoors.

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Ace Cafe
Address100 W. Livingston Street
CityOrlando
Phone407-996-6686
Price$$
Scott's Review
Ostensibly an American version of a London eatery (not quite), Ace is dedicated to motorcycles, music and food. In that order.... Read more
Amura
Address950 Market Promenade Ave.
CityLake Mary
Phone407-936-6001
Price$$$

Amura continues to improve on a good thing with its latest location. Although it wants to be considered a chophouse, this is a sushi spot. If beef is what you want, the Kobe steak may be worth a really big splurge.

But for roughly the same price as the Kobe steak, my guests and I feasted on the Heathrow boat ($87.99), a small yacht decked out with sushi, sashimi and assorted hand rolls. Onboard were an Africa roll with yellowtail and tuna; crab Rangoon with real crab, smoked salmon and cream cheese; electric shock roll with tempura eel, avocado and cream cheese; rainbow roll with salmon and tuna; and nigirizushi nibbles of shrimp, salmon, snapper and tuna. All of the raw fish had a cool taste and a soft, buttery texture and every bit of it was delicious.

From among the kitchen foods, the Chilean sea bass with black bean sauce was a favorite. The fish was a large fillet with white flesh that broke off in big chunks. The sauce of tiny black beans provided subtle spiced notes.

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Anh Hong
Address1124 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-999-2656
Price$$
Scott's Review

Anh Hong, which I had removed from my list of recommended Vietnamese restaurants, is back on its game and back on the list. Have the fall rolls (unfried, with pork) for an appetizer and choose one of the pho soups or the rice noodle feasts.

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Artisan's Table
Address22 E. Pine St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-730-7499
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Artisan’s Table, fronted by chef Scott Copeland, may have the best chance of making a go of it at this difficult space, which despite being smack-dab in the center of downtown has a very low visibility. It’s an ambitious undertaking — it serves three meals a day — but the food from Copeland, who previously was executive chef at Antonio’s La Fiamma in Maitland and sous chef at College Park’s K restaurant, is excellent. There are just a few operational things that need to be worked out.... Read more
Avenue Gastrobar
Address13 S. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-839-5039
Price$$
Scott's Review
I’ll admit that I approached Avenue Gastrobar with the expectation that it would be like all the others -- glitzy on the surface with no substance in the kitchen. But my sampling of the menu convinced me that someone back there cares about what is coming out. A soup of the day, oddly named black bean soup, had all the characteristics of having been made in house. I say that it was oddly named because it wasn't a conventional black bean soup with turtle beans in a blackish broth. It did have the requisite Turks beans, but its broth was white and had a pleasant buttery note to it. A good soup but not the sort of thing you expect when you hear black bean soup. For my entree I chose the chicken pot pie, which featured chunks of breast meat and vegetables in a creamy white sauce (this time the sauce was exactly as anticipated). It was served in an oval casserole and was topped with an impossibly flaky poof of puffed pastry. It did not seem integral to the dish but rather like a lid that could be lifted off. Sort of looked like maybe the pot and the pie were baked separately and assembled for serving. Whatever, I liked it.... Read more
Banh Mi Nha Trang
Address1216 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-346-4549
Price$
Scott's Review
Banh mi basically means bread, and just like the Louisiana po’boy or just about any other sub sandwich you can name, the bread is the key element. It is essentially a mini baguette — the banh mi’s roots stem from the French colonization. I could describe to you what a perfect baguette for a banh mi would look and taste like, but instead, just go to Banh Mi Nha Trang and see for yourself. BMNT is a well-hidden little shop among the many other Vietnamese owned and focused businesses in in the Mills 50 district. The tiny storefront is tucked inside an alcove of about a dozen shops. The signage is not great — I walked past it twice while trying to find it. And once you’re inside, it doesn’t look much like a restaurant. It’s almost like a slapdash operation or a pop-up sandwich shop. Banh mi is all that the shop does, and when they’re this good there’s little reason for it to do anything else. What’s more, the sandwiches are all just $3.50. I challenge you to find a better sandwich of any type that is a better value in town.... Read more
Bem Bom Food Truck
Address3208 E. Colonial Dr
CityOrlando
Phone321-236-2660
Price$
Scott's Review
The name means good good, and it's that and more. The cuisine is Portuguese, and the standout items include a confit of duck taco with chopped crispy skin and orange dust.... Read more
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