I enjoyed going back recently to Urban Tide, the very good seafood centric restaurant at Hyatt Regency Orlando. The reason for the visit was ostensibly to sample one of the dishes that will be served at this year’s Heart of Florida United Way’s Chefs Gala, which is earlier than usual, Feb. 4.
But I also wanted the chance to see how the restaurant was doing these days because the hotel has rejoined the SJO family. And you all know my policy.
I can’t tell you that Urban Tide is as good as it was in the past. I think it has gotten even better.
The food that chef Jared Gross served on my visit was top notch.
My meal started, as most meals here do, with the cheese biscuits, served with a sort of pimento spread for extra cheesiness.
The starter course was a three-fer, and included a crab cake on a stick, a seared scallop, and pastrami salmon, a collection of food usually referred to as dinner. All were good, but the favorite among them was the salmon. Essentially, the salmon had been cured in the same way that a brisket would be for a delicatessen. The thin slices were rolled into a blooming rose presentation and sprinkled with bits of crumbled pumpernickel. Very creative.
And I was delighted to learn later that that is the selection that Gross will be offering at the Chef’s Gala. So when you arrive at the Chef’s Gala at Epcot’s World Showplace, head directly to Urban Tide’s station for something really tasty. (More details on Chef’s Gala here.)
Next came the 48 Hour Pork Belly, with Brussels sprouts hash and candied hazelnuts, Even though it’s listed on the menu under the Snack heading, it was a huge hunk of pig stomach. I think it got its name because if you eat the whole thing you won’t be hungry for two days.
The fish course was Scottish Loch Duarte Salmon “Oscar,” which had beautiful and perfectly cooked fillet sitting on a pillow of boniato mash and topped with a sunny-side up fried egg. Delicious, and visually stunning.
I finished with the Fig Mascarpone, which had lemon-scented mascarpone in a delicate layer cake topped by a honeycomb and dotted with Drunken Fig Jam and pomegranate seeds. Quite a delightful evening.
I know that many locals refuse to visit this part of town, but trust me, you’re missing out on one of the area’s finest.
Urban Tide is at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, 9801 International Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch Monday through Friday and for breakfast and dinner daily. The restaurant will validate your valet parking, so take advantage of that fine service (one of the better valet crews in town). The phone number is 407-345-4570.