K Restaurant Wine Bar gives locals and visitors a reason to smile

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k restaurant wine barAs you look through the list of restaurants participating in September’s Magical Dining Month, K Restaurant Wine Bar is one you should consider. Not only does it offer an opportunity to try one of Orlando’s best restaurants at a really good price, it’s also making some of chef/owner Kevin Fonzo’s best dishes part of the bargain.

I had the chance to visit K once again as guests of Orlando’s funnest couple, Kyle Post and Stacey Doornbos, the winners in the Orlando CVB’s 67 Days of Smiles campaign. Kyle and Stacey are finishing up their second week of experiencing all the fun they can stuff into 67 days. I sure hope they don’t run out of smiles. It sure wouldn’t be good if it turned out to be, say, 64 Days of Smiles and 72 Hours of Glum.

But something tells me neither Kyle nor Stacey knows from glum. The New Yorkers talked exuberantly about all the things they’ve done so far -- screaming their way through Gatorland, for instance -- and about how much they were looking forward to the things to come, even though they weren’t at all sure what some of those things would be.

I was happy to show them one of Orlando’s best restaurants. And, inadvertently, one of Orlando’s native smiles, waiter Rocky Mazza. Dinner at Rocky’s table has always been something of a wild ride. There should be a little sign at his station that reads, “You must be at least this tall to dine at this table.”

Rocky was a good tour guide for our dinner at K. Joining us was Jason Cochran, a New York writer for Walletpop.com and Orlando guide books. Jason saw the fried green tomatoes on the menu and had to have them. We decided to also order the fried chicken livers with caramelized onion sauce and barbecue shrimp and grits with tasso and cheddar grits.

The fried green tomatoes were wonderful, and a towering presentation of three tomatoes layered with crab and corn salad. The tomatoes were thick and firm and breaded just right. The barbecue shrimp were good, too, although there were only three in the dish so we had to fight over one. The chicken livers were, well, chicken livers.

For our main course we each decided independently to order the porcini dusted filet mignon. I had mentioned to my companions that it has always been one of my Fonzo favorites. It still is. The meat was thick and as tender as it could be, and cooked to the requested temperature. The bit of truffle oil was just right -- enough to give it distinction but not so much as to overpower.

For dessert we each ordered something different -- and Fonzo sent out a few extras to induce some more smiles out of Kyle and Stacey. We had the wonderful lava cake, a couple of pecan pies, chocolate chip ice cream and a perfect panna cotta.

And it should be mentioned that manager and wine steward Dan Francoforte made some excellent wine selections for us. The Dreyer Sonoma cabernet sauvignon was fruity perfection with the filet.
And get this: the fried green tomatoes, the filet mignon and the lava cake are all on K’s Magical Dining Month $30 menu. That’s one of the best deals of September and one you definitely should treat yourself to. And it was a nice touch that the MagDngMo menu was offered along with the regular menu when we were seated. That doesn’t happen at all the participating restaurants.

I was proud to be able to present one of Orlando finest restaurants to a table of New Yorkers. And I know that those ambassadors of glee Kyle and Stacey will tell their readers how much they enjoyed it, too.

Here’s a link to K’s Web site, and this will take you to the restaurant’s page at Orlando Magical Dining Month.

K Restaurant Wine Bar is at 2401 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. The phone number is 407-872-2332.

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