Restaurant Listings
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RA Sushi
AddressPointe Orlando
9101 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-454-5600
Price$$
Scott's Review
The two initials in the name RA Sushi don't seem to stand for anything. Instead, apparently, they're to be pronounced like the state of most of the fish that is served in sushi: raw. It's a stretch, but it's the only explanation I can come up with for the sushi bar and restaurant that opened recently at Pointe Orlando. RA got its start in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1997 and over the next few years added some more locations in the Phoenix area. Then, in 2002, Benihana Inc. snatched up the company and has since been slowly adding locations outside of the Valley of the Sun. The Orlando location is the fourth in Florida. I was invited recently along with a guest to sample some of RA's raw goods. What struck us both about the various rolls that we sampled was that each was distinct. Too many times sushi bars prepare their rolls with interchangeable dressings and garnishes. They tend to look the same, even if the ingredients within the rolls are different. Each of RA's rolls was unique. A signature item is the Viva Las Vegas roll (shown at top) — the name alone should give the sushi traditionalists a shudder. It featured kanikama crab (read: surimi) and cream cheese rolled in seawe... Read more
Ragazzi's Pizza and Restaurant
Address3201 Edgewater Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-999-9973
Price$$
Scott's Review
Good pizzas have been coming out of the oven at this address for years, but only recently as Ragazzi's. The crust -- so important to a proper pizza -- was just thick enough to hold the weight of the toppings, which were considerable. Besides pizza, Ragazzi's does some pretty delicious Italian specialties, as well. I loved the meatball appetizer, which really could have served as an entree all on its own. Not only were the meat orbs well formed and firm, they also were simmered in a red sauce that was thick and tomatoey and worth spooning on its own. also had the eggplant parmigiana, a nicely done slice of eggplant dipped in egg wash and dusted with flour, fried to a golden crisp and then topped with melted mozzarella. Even better: it included a side dish of pasta with more of that wonderful marinara.... Read more
Raglan Road
Address1640 Buena Vista Drive
Disney Springs
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-938-0300
Price$$$
Scott's Review

You’ll find traditional music, familiar ales and even genuine fittings from old bars in Ireland, but the food is an updated version of Irish classics, some a bit highfalutin.

For example, we started our dinner with a seared scallop on a mint and pea puree. Just saying the words mint and pea puree will get you thrown out of most pubs in Dublin. But it was tasty, as was the potato and asparagus soup, lighter and smoother than you'd expect.

The next course was shepherd's pie, but as I said before, things aren't done in a traditional way at Raglan Road, and this was certainly the oddest shepherd's pie I've seen. Here, the ground meat mixed with gravy was dolloped onto a large spoon with a little mashed potatoes piped on top. It was a little more than one should shove into one's mouth all at once, but there wasn't quite enough to reallly get a feel for the flavor.

Whatever you have for dinner be sure to have the bread pudding for dessert. And the house band, which performs nightly, will make you want to get up and dance without moving your arms.

... Read more
Rainforest Cafe
Address1800 Buena Vista Drive
Disney Springs
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-827-8500
Price$$$
Other location at Disney's Animal Kingdom. For a hint about the food, take a look at the slogan: A Wild Place To Shop and Eat. Notice that shopping gets top billing? The food is mediocre here at best. The Animal Kingdom Rainforest Cafe is similar to the Downtown Disney one, except AK's is immense. No, it's a little bigger than immense. It seats about 575 in what is essentially one large room, the ceiling of which is covered with fake limbs and leaves to make you think you're in a real rain forest, albeit one made of silk. As if the fake plants overhead weren't enough, each table has a fake orchid in a vase.... Read more
Rasa Asian Street Food
Address7730 E. Sand Lake Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-0402
Price$$
Scott's Review
Specializing in the popular small-plate street fare trend, Rasa does well with Malaysian dishes, especially the Curry Laksha.... Read more
Ravello
Address10100 Dream Tree Blvd
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-313-7777
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The Four Seasons Resort's three-mealer has an impersonal and cold decor, and the food is only marginal (deep-fried veal Milanese?). Other than that...... Read more
Ravenous Pig
Address565 W. Fairbanks Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-628-2333
Price$$$
Scott's Review

The Ravenous Pig calls itself “an American gastropub,” gastropub being a British term for a pub that serves more than a basic bar menu. This wonderful restaurant goes way beyond that. Chef/owners James and Julie Petrakis met while attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and they obviously learned a lot while there. The menu changes regularly, but everything is worth trying. The Pig’s burger was the winner of Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide’s first Burger War!

Beyond burgers, try the pork belly if it's available, and the steak frites is one of my favorites. As with those served with the award-winning burger, these fries have a spritz of truffle oil. From the pub menu during a lunch visit, I chose lobster tacos, lamb mezze and pork ribs. The tacos were wonderful, three crispy shells with lightly fried chunks of lobster and crunchy hot peppers. The mezze had lamb ribs, tender and aromatic, and lamb meatballs. The pork ribs were one of the few disappointments. They had precious little meat, and what was there was soggy and mealy.

Roasted cod was another good entrée. A beautifully white fillet, flaky and cooked just so, was served with a pure... Read more

Red Wing Restaurant
Address12500 State Road 33
CityGroveland
Phone352-429-2997
Price$$
Scott's Review

If you’re looking for “old Florida,” you can’t get much older than Red Wing Restaurant. For over 60 years the stone building, which at one time was a private home, has served as a meeting place for Lake County growers, farmers, truckers and others. It’s the sort of place where you might find a boothful of grimy construction workers next to a table with a family with children and not far away a couple on a date.

But you will find some obscure menu items. It isn’t often that you see Buffalo fried frog legs. Even less frequently will you hear me say they were really good. The appetizer featured three haunches, each with plenty of meat, deep-fried and tossed with a hot sauce, a la Buffalo wings, except there was more meat on the legs than you’ll ever find on a chicken wing.

And if fried frog legs don’t appeal to you, or even if they do, you might want to try the fried dill pickles. Why this delicacy is seen so seldom I don’t know. But usually they’re served as dill chips. Here they’re long spears with enough surface area to hold the light batters and even substance to give a good, salty crunch.

Fried green tomatoes had a crisp breading with firm fruit inside.... Read more

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