Dapper Duck
Address28 S. Orange Ave
CityOrlando
Phone407-286-0256
Price$$
Scott's Review
One of Orlando's many -- MANY -- bars, but one of the few that pays attention to the quality of food it serves.... Read more
DoveCote
Address390 N. Orange Avenue
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-1700
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Much has already been said about the impressive pedigrees of the partners in the venture. They include executive chef Clay Miller, whose resume includes stints at the estimable French Laundry and who was the opening executive chef and pastry chef at Norman’s at the Ritz Carlton; and Gene Zimmerman, owner of the downtown craft cocktail lounge The Courtesy, who oversees the front of the house operations for DoveCote, including its beverage program. The two of them are the co-owners, but Ravenous Pig’s James and Julie Petrakis are involved as advisers and investors. But one of the most impressive things about the new restaurant is the space itself. It has undergone a transformation that is, well, transformative. Occupying a corner of the imposing Bank of America building, the restaurant space has held many tenants over the years, all of which kept the same basic decor dominated by the cold, gray sandstone walls. That look and feel is fine for the bank across the lobby but hardly made for a comfortable dining atmosphere. The attached review has been updated.... Read more
Ember
Address42 W. Central Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-849-5200
Price$$
Scott's Review

This is more of a bar with food than a restaurant that serves a good drink. But it has a terrific outdoor space (larger and more comfortable than the indoor area) that is drawing a college-aged crowd on balmy nights.

t's mostly noshables, and there isn't anything over $13 -- in fact, most items are under $10. The menu, which was developed by the chef at Kres, although the two restaurants are owned by different entities, features soups and salads; flatbreads (to compete with Urban Flats, I suppose); pastas for the people who must have their carbs; and sliders and folds, the former being tiny burgers and the latter being wrap sandwiches. I chose the choice burger, which got me three of the little gut bombs, as we used to call the White Castle sliders. They were dense patties on Lilliputian sized buns, served with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and a small sweet pickle. The burgers were topped with cheese and they were pretty good.

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Eola General
Address522 E. Amelia Street
CityOrlando
Phone407-723-8496
Price$
Scott's Review
Eola General is a combination of a market, or general store, if you will, and a cafe, though neither is done to category fulfillment. The market does have some staples — I noticed some milk and butter in one of the refrigerated cases creating a wall across from the sandwich counter (over which hang upside down bouquets of flowers, for some reason). But I don’t think shoppers would be able to do all of their everyday marketing here. Not sure there’s enough on the prepared foods side to eat here every day, either. The menu is a modicum of items, mainly sandwiches.... Read more
Eola Wine Company
Address430 E. Central Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-481-9100
Price$$

It is unique among the downtown businesses – it’s a quiet place with a classy feel that puts the emphasis on good wine. It’s a terrific meeting space or neighborhood hangout without the manic music or big crowds you might find in some the neighboring restaurants and bars. It’s just what downtown needed.

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F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen
Address2420 Curry Ford Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-751-5697
Price$$
Though open only four weeks when first reviewed, F&DWIK already has a comfortable homeyness about it. The inside dining area is still too small — about 32 seats — for a profitable business model. But the outdoor patio has been expanded, covered and will eventually have a companion bar to the one inside.... Read more
Graffiti Junktion
Address700 E. Washington St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-426-9503
Price$
Scott's Review
The original Graffiti Junktion has moved a couple of blocks east to the corner of Summerlin Avenue. Graffiti Junktion, if the name doesn’t already give it away, goes more for a grunge aura, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, it seems kind of appropriate. The decor relies heavily on the graffiti part (must have been easy to decorate -- just leave a few cans of spray paint out overnight and when you come back in the morning, voila!). Its subname is an American Burger Bar, so red, white and blue figure into the scheme. I had the burger called the Lone Star, a big thick patty, cooked close to the requested medium-rare, topped with thick rashers of bacon and cheddar cheese and slathered with barbecue sauce. It had crispy lettuce, tomato and pickles on a fresh bun. And it was accompanied by a generous portion of slender, spiced fries. Good burger.
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Greek Corner
Address1600 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-228-0303
Price$$

It’s Greek, and it’s on the corner; you can’t get more succinct that that. But no corners are cut on the quality. All your Greek favorites are here, served in a small, unassuming space.

I supped on the melitzanosalat, a dip made with roasted eggplant, and followed with a bowl of tangy avgolemeno, the chicken soup thickened with a lemony egg sauce. For my main course I had the moussaka, a big brick of seasoned beef, eggplant and potatoes topped with a fluffy bechamel. Substantial and delicious.

If it’s a warm day – it’s Florida, the odds are in your favor – sit on the patio, across the street from Lake Ivanhoe.

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