|Address||3806 Curry Ford Road|
|Address||5621 Old Winter Garden Road|
Ask any longtime Central Floridian to name a favorite dive restaurant and Lee & Rick’s is likely to be the reply. There are no pretenses, no airs. You come here for oysters and beer, ample amounts of both. Order anything else and you’re on your own.... Read more
|Address||France Pavilion, Epcot|
Walt Disney World
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
Most of the visitors to the signature restaurant in Epcot's France pavilion (Bistro de Paris, a smaller eatery, is upstairs) are oblivious to the fact that one of its owners is not only one of the most famous chefs in the world but is arguably its first celebrity chef.
Ironically, his name is not on the restaurant, Les Chefs de France. Even more ironic is that Paul Bocuse became famous because, in 1965, he was the first chef to put his name on his restaurant outside Lyons.
Before that, chefs were no more than hired kitchen help. Restaurants were owned by the maitre ‘d or the hotels where they were located.
So it could be said there would be no celebrity chefs, no show kitchens, no such thing as “Top Chef” and no one would give a flip what Gordon Ramsay had to say if Paul Bocuse hadn’t done what he did 44 years ago.
On a recent visit my guest and I started with two classics: cassoulette d’escargots de Bourgogne au beurre persille (translation: snails) and assiette campagnarde, an assortment of pates and charcuteries. The half-dozen snails were baked in a small casserole, each in its own impression, with garlic butter and parsely. They were firm but... Read more
|Address||951 Market Promenade Ave.|
The owners of Liam Fitzpatrick’s went to great lengths to create an authentic atmosphere. It’s a little larger than most of the pubs you’ll encounter in Hibernia but most of the details are there, from the bar to the fireplace nook to the raised dining area. The only authentic touch that is missing is the beer-sodden, well-worn carpeting that seems to be in every pub, and for that I thank the owners of Liam Fitzpatrick’s.
There is authenticity in the menu, as well, and I wish the proprietors had the confidence to stick with them. It sends a wrong message, I think, when the server immediately recommends the nachos and announces the kitchen does a really good quesadilla.
The kitchen does a very nice beer-battered fish, whether enjoyed as little bite-sized nuggets as an appetizer or as part of the iconic fish and chips. The batter was nicely done, a thick jacket on chunks of grouper. A simple tartar or malt vinegar would have been appropriate; I’m not sure why a Key West remoulade was offered as a dipping sauce.
I also liked the Scotch egg, which had a perfectly hard-boiled egg inside a thick coating of spicy sausage. If the sausage didn’t have enough heat, a ... Read more
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
|Address||4721 E. Colonial Drive|
This is the oldest restaurant in Central Florida, in operation since 1947. It remains a favorite of locals, though it’s somewhat of a mystery to some. Maybe it’s the diner-like attitude of the servers, or the family-style décor. But it’s probably that the steaks are consistently good, if not great, and they still come with a side of pasta. Note: closed Sundays following Father's Day until October.... Read more
|Address||9741 S. Orange Blossom Trail|