|Address||8081 Turkey Lake Road|
When people talk about chain restaurants in a negative way, I think they’re talking about chains like O’Charley’s. The restaurant, one of more than 230 across the country, opened recently in the center directly behind the Whole Foods store at the corner of Sand Lake Road and Turkey Lake Road. It’s the first Central Florida O’Charley’s from the Nashville-based company. If they’re all like this one, let’s hope it’s the last. This is the sort of place that has a scent of beef juices constantly in the air, the kind of restaurant where the laminated menu with colorful photos of the dishes can still be stained. The sort of place where the servers can be perky and blissfully clueless to their incompetence.... Read more
|Address||5101 E. Colonial Drive|
As the name implies (the Taproom part, anyway), craft beers are a forte -- 40 are featured on tap -- and the extensive list will undoubtedly be a draw to those looking for unusual brews to try. Not sure I’m game for the one called Creme Brulee, but it seems as though Stone Ruination IPA might go with the theme of the place.
What’s surprising is the roster of food, which is more ambitious than you might expect. Burgers are the mainstay and they are offered in a variety of combinations with sometimes logical and sometimes confounding names. Most are done quite well (which is not to say well done, if that's not how you want it, although my burger was a tad overcooked).
I chose the Hog Wild, which featured a beef burger topped with chopped pork, because, really, the best garnish for meat is more meat. It also had bacon, which is a bonus. Caramelized onions, onion rings and cheddar cheese, all served on a fairly fresh brioche bun, completed the burger.... Read more
|Address||7339 W. Sand Lake Road|
An upscale seafood (Ocean) and steak (Prime) supper club (live music) in the vein of The Oceanaire Seafood Room. The main dining room features warm wood walls with huge five-foot portholes that look through to the lounge area. (The dining room has its own bar for more intimate imbibing, a nice touch.) Touches of blue neon and a soft glow from drumlike light fixtures offer romantic notes, and white tablecloths and candles with frosted shades add a touch of elegance.
A “surf n turf” appetizer had lovely sea scallops and boneless short ribs plopped together in a smallish bowl with way too mashed potatoes. Good scallops, good ribs, bad presentation.
Onion soup was distinguished by a near lack of broth under heavy cheese; she-crab soup had a slight astringency and was not nearly as rich as it should have been.
Service was professional and thorough, and once the kitchen makes the right improvements, Ocean Prime will be a good choice.
9101 International Drive
The promise of a good seafood restaurant has sailed into Central Florida aboard The Oceanaire. The Oceanaire Seafood Room is meant to take you back in time, with its interior that suggests a 1930s ocean liner.
Sample some of the fresh fish selections after you enjoy the crab cake appetizer. On one visit, my companion had the wahoo, or ono, a mild fish similar to the mackerel. On another visit, there was a monkfish from Georges Bank. It had the characteristic texture that mimics lobster meat but was a thick steak cut with the center cord intact. Not the prettiest presentation, but quite good.
It’s a bit pricey, but quality is worth paying for.
The Oceanaire brand was recently purchased by the Landry's Seafood organization, but so far it seems the quality is being maintained.... Read more
|Address||6000 W. Osceola Parkway|
|Address||113 S. Palmetto Ave.|
|Address||3400 Edgewater Drive|