Bahama Breeze, International Drive
Address8849 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-248-2499
Price$$$

It will be interesting to see if Darden keeps backing this Islands concept, which for some reason has never quite caught on with the dining public. For the most part, the food is good  and the restaurants are attractive and lively, often with entertainment. And they’re a favorite outdoor dining destination for locals.

As for the food, my companion out-ordered me with tortilla soup and a ropa Joe sandwich. The soup had layer upon layer of textures and tastes, with pliant avocado cubes, chicken and strips of tortillas.

The sandwich was, as the name might suggest, a version of the classic ropa vieja specialty of shredded beef served on a Cuban roll. Lots of well-seasoned meat, some cheese, peppers and onions livened it up.

For my starter course, I chose a special of ahi tuna ceviche, which featured tiny cubes of tuna dressed with citrus juices served atop a platform supported by watercress. The watercress was more annoying than helpful. It was wadded onto the plate in long stems, and every time I tried to fork a little watercress with some tuna, a long vine would trail behind.

For my entree, I had another special of... Read more

Copacabana Cuban Cafe
Address249 W. State Road 436
CityAltamonte Springs
Phone321-203-2226
Price$
Scott's Review
Copacabana, a Cuban cafe from Mount Dora, has opened a second location in Altamonte Springs. It's a bright and spiffy spot with friendly service and decent food.... Read more
Fig's Prime
Address1188 Commerce Park Drive
CityAltamonte Springs
Phone407-960-1300
Price$$$
Scott's Review
This could be a charming upscale steakhouse once they start paying attention to details.... Read more
Kohinoor
AddressThe Village Shoppes
249 W. State Road 436
CityAltamonte Springs
Phone407-788-6004
Price$$$

Named for one of the Crown Jewels, Kohinoor is indeed a gem. The lamb korma was wonderful. The yellow sauce was smooth and creamy and coated the tender bite-sized chunks of lamb. It was great spooned over a mound of fluffy basmati rice.

The vegetable biryani, a rice dish, was chock-full of such veggies as broccoli, cauliflower and green peas, plus some cashews and raisins. It was an ample and filling vegetarian alternative.

The naan, a thick, slightly leavened bread, was delicious.

The dining room is showing some signs of age and could use some updating, but the staff remains as friendly as ever.

... Read more
Metro Diner
Address985 N. State Road 434
CityAltamonte Springs
Phone407-917-8997
Price$$
Scott's Review
I wonder if there is a time during the day, any day of the week, when Metro Diner isn’t overflowing. When I visited after 1 p.m. on a weekday recently, there were multiple groups of people, both inside and out, waiting for tables to open. Such, apparently, is the power of a popular television show like Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network. I’m not sure the Jacksonville restaurant’s reputation would have preceded it to its new location in Altamonte Springs without host Guy Fieri’s raves. Not that the raves are not deserved. The food is impressive and sincere, and the atmosphere leaves no question about the diner designation.... Read more
Nonno's Italian Restaurant
Address1140 Altamonte Drive
CityAltamonte Springs
Phone407-260-8900
Price$$
Scott's Review
The LaCommare family is back in business, this time with son Leo at the stove, but mom and dad Marie and Stefano are always on hand. ... Read more
Santiago's Bodega Altamonte Springs
Address1185 Spring Centre South Blvd
CityAltamonte Springs
Phone407-960-2605
Price$$
Scott's Review
An Altamonte version of the popular Mills 50 restaurant, except bigger and with better parking!... Read more
Seasons 52
Address7700 Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-354-5212
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Second location at 463 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs (in front of Altamonte Mall); 407-767-1252. Darden’s latest concept works on a number of levels, thanks to the hard work of manager George Miliotes, executive chef Clifford Pleau and their talented staffs.

The original conceit of the restaurant was that something somewhere was coming into season every week of the year. The kitchen has sort of gotten away from following that too closely, but continues to offer entrees with lots of flavor but fewer calories. Forget about the food being healthfully prepared, you won’t notice a difference when you taste the grilled pork with polenta or the filet mignon. If you start feeling too goody-goody, go crazy and order all the mini desserts. The wine list here – which includes a large number of by-the-glass selections - is especially impressive.

Despite coming from the same company that brought you the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, Seasons 52 is more upscale and casually elegant -- there is even a piano player in the bar area many evenings. And just to drive home the point that adults are the target audience, Seasons 52 keeps no highchairs or booster seats on ... Read more

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