|Address||4120 S. Orange Ave.|
8101 World Center Drive (CR 536 at CR 535)
|Address||Italy Pavilion, Epcot|
1510 Avenue of the Stars
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
|Address||Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa|
Walt Disney World
Quite simply one of the best restaurants in the Southeast, headed by talented chef Scott Hunnel, winner of the 2008 Sante magazine Culinary Professional of the Year award. This is haute cuisine, and dinner here is a delight. The menu changes frequently but is prix fixe with multiple choices. This may be the last restaurant in Florida to require gentlemen to wear jackets. (Also, children under 10 are not permitted in the dining room -- yes, this is a Disney restaurant.)
V&A recently received its 10th AAA five-diamond rating, that guidebook's highest honor. Only 52 of the 60,000 North American restaurants rated by AAA achieves five-diamond status. Only two other Florida restaurants - l'Escalier and the Restaurant at the Four Seasons, both in Palm Beach -- have the top honor.
For a truly special treat try to snag the chef's table. It's a mulitple course feast (I lost count at 15) that can easily last four and a half hours.
A new offering -- a third option -- is the Queen Victoria Room, features tableside service from a menu separate from the dining room but priced the same as the chef's table, $200 per person plus $95 for the optional wine pairings. A b... Read more
|Address||1500 Alafaya Trail|
|Address||7581 University Blvd.|
|Address||1224 E. Colonial Drive|
he menu is less extensive than many of those you’d find in the neighboring restaurants, some of which have over a hundred options. But like those other restaurants, several of the items on the menu are variations of the same dish. For example, of the seven dishes listed under the heading “House Specials,” five were essentially the same dish with a different lead protein. All had fried shrimp, deep-fried shrimp-and-pork cake wrapped in bean curd skin, shredded pork skin, and grilled shrimp. You could get that with grilled pork, chicken, grilled beef, grilled “ribs of the beef,” or grilled rib.
I chose the latter, which turned out to be a pork chop. And a good one at that, slightly charred but moist inside. The shrimp-and-pork cake was especially tasty with the fried bean curd skin. And the platter was filled out with a large mound of white fluffy rice plus some lettuce, sculptured carrot slices, cucumber and a ring of jalapeno. There was also a dish of sweet and sour vinaigrette to pour over the rice. It was all very good and very filling, even if the two grilled shrimp were, well, shrimpy.
|Address||7533 W. Sand Lake Road|
It would be almost enough to go here to sit at the bar, sip a glass of wine and eat strips of bacon while listening to live jazz. (Instead of salty peanuts they put rashers of crispy bacon on the bar here.)
On my first visit to Vines I dined in the main room. I sampled the onion soup, a hearty bowl of beefy broth topped with stringy cheese. For my entree I had the braised beef short rib, oh-so-tender meat that had long given up the bone, served with polenta infused with blue cheese and Brussels sprouts roasted with bacon. (They love bacon in this joint.)
On another visit, I decided to make a feast of a couple of appetizers while sitting at the bar. I selected the steak tartare and seared day boat scallops. The tartare looked as though it were a burger patty ready for the grill. It was surrounded by the usual accouterments, capers, onions, as well as hot sauce drizzled on the plate and a pile of salt. It was topped with a raw quail egg, cracked open and still in the shell. The bartender/server asked if I had ever had the tartare there before and I allowed as to how I had not. She made the suggestion that I blend everything together, the hot sauce and salt included... Read more