Notes on Magical Dining: Soco Thornton Park

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Soco magdine sign

As I mentioned the other day, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining restaurant promotion that was to end on Sept. 30 has been extended a week, through Oct. 7. The extension was ostensibly to make up for lost momentum – and revenue – from the threat of hurricane Dorian.

So quick, before Humberto becomes a thing, get out and dine magically some more.

One restaurant you may want to consider is Soco in downtown’s Thornton Park.

I stopped in to try chef Greg Richie’s Magical Dining menu and enjoyed what I tasted.

Soco magdine fritters

I started with the appetizer of Key West and Sweet Corn Fritters, made with a bit of piquant pimento cheese and sitting in a small puddle of mornay sauce, topped with a crispy bit of chicharron.

I was tempted to get the Chicken-fried Cauliflower Steak, which has been one of my favorites since Soco opened five years ago (and is a good choice for those who prefer a vegetarian option as it contains neither chicken nor steak).

Soco magdine filet

Instead, I chose the Herb Marinated “Bistro Filet,” an artisan cut of beef from the teres major muscle. It was beautifully grilled to a perfect medium rare, cut into coins dominoed on the plate and drizzled with a bit of reduction sauce. It was accompanied by a wonderful succotash fashioned out of blistered vegetables (the Southern to the bistro filet’s contemporary) with roasted potatoes. The meat was topped with a sort of chimichurri made with collard greens for another nice Southern touch.

Soco magdine peach

Soco magdine pudding

For dessert I liked the cool freshness of the Biscuit “Shortcake,” with fresh sliced peaches and a vanilla chantilly. But I also had a taste of the S’mores Bread Pudding, served with Graham cracker brittle and chocolate sauce, which should satisfy those who prefer something a bit sweeter.

Soco is offering something extra with its Magical Dining menu this year, an optional wine pairing with each course for $20. That’s a terrific bargain – along with the $35 for the three-courses – and it makes the dinner all that more enjoyable.

Soco is at 629 E. Central Blvd., Orlando. It’s open for dinner daily, but remember the Magical Dining menu is available only through Oct. 7. The phone number is 407-849-1800. Here is a link to Soco’s website and this link will take you to Soco’s listing at Magical Dining.