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Orlando Area Dining


ksnel
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We're thinking of going to Le Coq au Vin on our first night there (Wednesday).  What's the dress code there?  Do we need to bring nice clothes?

Also, would we need reservations for any other restaurants?  Because we'll be going to 3 different parks, it'll be hard to gauge what time we'll be leaving the parks those days.

Here is the web site:

http://www.lecoqauvinrestaurant.com/about_us.html

I would reserve if possible, even if you are calling as you are doing the parking lot stomp out of one of the theme parks. It never hurts.

Casual is fine. It's Florida.

Edit: I love that fried green tomatoes are on the menu. It makes me smile. The Fish House does a fried green tomato Napoleon with goat cheese. Very nice.

Edited by annecros (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I'm not sure which of the Orlando restaurant threads to bump, but since this one has 2007 in the title, I'll go with this one.

I plan to be in Orlando with a group of friends Labor Day weekend timeframe. We'll be staying very near Disney (but not in an actual Disney resort property). I'm not totally sure on the transportation situation, so I would prefer something nearby (or within) to the general Disney area.

I'm looking for fine dining. Reading through some of these threads on the Florida board, it seems that there may be slim pickings, especially in the Disney area. Some people are going to Vito's. I normally shy away from steak houses when I travel since we have tons of them in Dallas. But I am a little curious about the comment markk made about Vito's when he says

many people use the wording "we left in tears" to describe the experience; but if you go in forewarned and don't pay any attention to it, you can get a magnificent steak

What does that mean exactly?

I've also seen the suggestion for Texas de Brazil. But I'm not interested in that. Been there, done that. It's tasty and all, but again, we have many of those types of places in Dallas.

So, where does this leave me? Is Victoria's and Alberts the clear winner? Foodwise, it seems to be for me. Setting wise, it seems to be geared towards couples on honeymoons, anniversaries, etc. The decor may be a bit "old fashioned" for me for this meal, but I can look past that. Is there another Disney restaurant that is similair, but maybe a bit more modern in atmosphere? I know Disneyland in California has a really nice place at one of their hotels. Is there a comparable place in Orlando?

Going away from Disney, but nearby, what are the other options? I've seen suggestions for some of the Emeril places. I've dined at his Fish House in Vegas at the MGM Grand (chef's table with tasting menu), and it was really good.

Finding a place that isn't packed with typical tourist "riff-raff" may be a next to imposible order (and really, I'm a tourist too), but it would be preferable for the setting to be "refined".

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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But I am a little curious about the comment markk made about Vito's when he says
many people use the wording "we left in tears" to describe the experience; but if you go in forewarned and don't pay any attention to it, you can get a magnificent steak

What does that mean exactly?

Having just realized that that's I (you don't have to hit me over the head with a 46 oz. porterhouse), let me explain my comment.

I have been eating at Vito's (and Charley's Steakhouse, same owner) for years and years. They have some pretty terrific steaks, the main difference being that Vito's has the bone-in rib steak, several inches thick, which Charley's does not. (Also, Vito's puts "Italian Seasoning" on many of their steaks, which I think is better left off.) And, they both have the really hot wood fires that make for a delicious steak; I like mine "Pittsburghed", i.e. charred on the outside, and rare inside, which they do extrememly well.

But... the only thing that the servers at Vito's and Charley's care about is UPSELL - and until you have experienced it done in such a crass, shameless and rude fashion, you just can't imagine how it can turn a nice dinner into a horrifying experience. The steaks include a "house salad" which is pretty awful at Vitos, and they may or may not include a potato, I don't remember. But when you order your steak, the waiter asks how you want it cooked. That is the very last question you will hear that does not add money to your bill. At Vito's, the waiter will mention that it's a lousy salad, and then mumble something that sometimes is audible as an offer to "upgrade" you to a nicer salad, though the way it's done never suggests a surcharge. And anything else the waiter offers you carries an unspoken surcharge as well. If you resist them, they'll try to shove them down your throat. It would certainly seem that they are under strict orders to get you to spend a minimum of twice what you were going to, if not more.

I'm immune to it at this point. I just go and enjoy the steak, but they'll get pretty rude and obnoxious about it.

Some years ago I found an Orlando dining site where people were discussing the horrible experiences they'd had at Vito's, sadly, most of them having been special occasion dinners, and at least one couple told of treatment from the server so bad that, as they put it, "we left in tears".

So that's the full story of my comment. But they do make a great steak, and I have sent people there forewarned, and they have enjoyed their steaks and meals.

Have I answered your question?

As a rule, Emeril's restaurants are highly (highly) civilized, and the Florida restaurants are overseen by Chef Bernard (the fellow who Emeril took under his wing at Commander's Palace (oh so many years ago) and taught to cook, and he lends an extremely positive influence on the cooking and the experience. I haven't been to the Orlando location since their renovation, but I'd say that you'll probably get a very enjoyable dining experience there, which as you may have surmised, is a very unusual accomplishment in Orlando.

Edited by markk (log)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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As far as the more upscale Disney restaurants go, we've had our best meals at Flying Fish, at the Boardwalk. The menu is dominated by seafood, usually with a steak and maybe a veal or chicken entree', too. Here's a recent menu:

http://allearsnet.com/menu/menu_ff.htm

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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Hey, I lived and worked in orlando for the past 2 years and the restaurant scene is awful. Like most of you have said it is all about the Disney scene. And Emeril's??!! I mean come on. That is just pathetic manufactured hotel food trying to come out like fine dining. Pathetic.

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Hey, I lived and worked in orlando for the past 2 years and the restaurant scene is awful. Like most of you have said it is all about the Disney scene. And Emeril's??!! I mean come on. That is just pathetic manufactured hotel food trying to come out like fine dining. Pathetic.

Hey Gabe,

Where do you eat out, when you eat? My kids are older, so I don't spend much time in the Orlando area.

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3 adults are visiting at Cypress Harbor and visiting Disney World...we are looking for good reasonable, simple food...no gloppy sauces...fancy we can get in NYC...please help us...thanks in advance... :smile::biggrin:

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3 adults are visiting at Cypress Harbor and visiting Disney World...we are looking for good reasonable, simple food...no gloppy sauces...fancy we can get in NYC...please help us...thanks in advance... :smile:    :biggrin:

sorry..forgot to add that we are going in Jan 08.

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Will you have a car?  What kind of food?

congrats on those twins..whew!!

We will have a rental car and will be spending a week there and then a week in Naples...lots of the time in Orlando will be at Disney World, we think...we like good food...can be simple with no sauces and we try to eat low fat...not too spicy... :biggrin::smile:

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I was there for a conference last summer and stayed adjacent to Downtown Disney. Antonio's on Sand Lake Rd was the best meal we had. Didn't care for Emeril's place - don't recall the name of it.

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I was there for a conference last summer and stayed adjacent to Downtown Disney.  Antonio's on Sand Lake Rd was the best meal we had.  Didn't care for Emeril's place - don't recall the name of it.

thanks....will keep that name..we were not going to eat at Emeril's any way...I dont love his cooking...we live near NYC so we get to eat haute cuisine here...not really looking for that in Florida...all suggestions are welcome... :biggrin::smile:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll be in Orlando (at WDW for a conference) with ONE FREE NIGHT -- Friday, July 13.

I staying on WDW property (Caribbean Beach Resort) without a car. I would like to dine at a fine dining place (pref. French or Japanese, but (as you'll see below, not limited)) and cost is not an issue.

Thanks to eGulleteers who have gone before (gosh, I love eGullet!), I came up with the following short list of places:

* Le Coq Au Vin

* Primo

* Chez Vincent

* Cedars

* Ran-Getsu

* Victoria & Albert's

* Normans

At this moment, Victoria & Albert's is in the lead spot for where I will dine, mainly because I love French food (it's what I cook in the restaurant) and I can get there without a car using Disney's transportation (is that a correct assumption on my part?).

However, if one of the above list is a MUST-TRY, I can make it happen -- hop a cab or something....

I value the opinions of eG'ers, so look forward to reading what you have to say!

Edited by vogelap (log)

-drew

www.drewvogel.com

"Now I'll tell you what, there's never been a baby born, at least never one come into the Firehouse, who won't stop fussing if you stick a cherry in its face." -- Jack McDavid, Jack's Firehouse restaurant

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Of the places you listed - I've only dined at Ran Getsu. I've been in Japan - and can recommend it highly for Japanese food in the US. Think your choice may depend more on the kind of food you'd like to eat than the restaurant itself. Robyn

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Thank you for the reply, Robyn...

As it turns out, I may have the opportunity to dine at TWO places while there (one dinner and one lunch)... Thanks to call on my behalf by the Chef where I work, I am dining at Victoria & Albert's on Friday and will consider Ran Getsu for lunch on Saturday, if they're open.

Does anyone have comments about Victoria & Albert's? The latest review I've seen was from 2005.

-drew

www.drewvogel.com

"Now I'll tell you what, there's never been a baby born, at least never one come into the Firehouse, who won't stop fussing if you stick a cherry in its face." -- Jack McDavid, Jack's Firehouse restaurant

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No comment on V&A, but I had a very pleasant dinner at Bistro de Paris in the France part of the Epcot world showcase last night. Nothing super-creative, just very solid classic French cuisine with solid classic French-American service. I had escargot and frog's legs for a starter, which were appropriately garlicky and buttery, and then arctic char "meuniere" with fava beans and tomatoes, egg pasta and a foie gras mousse for my main. I rather enjoyed the tastes of the Jonah crab ravioli, duck breast and seared scallops my companions shared, as well. I mean, for a French place in Orlando, I thought it was quite wonderful. But it's not creative, if that's what you're seeking--it's comforting.

One of my dinner companions is a WDW employee and eats on-property several times each week. He spoke very highly of V&A, saying that at five courses for $80 it represents a great value as well as great food. I do not know his palate well, but he has dined in some fantastic restaurants while travelling and I'd definitely be willing to give it a shot based on his advice.

Yes, you can get to V&As via Disney transit. You will probably need to take a bus from your resort to the travel and ticket center, and from there hop the monorail to the Grand Floridian resort. Allot plenty of time for this trip; the Grand Floridian is beautiful enough to be worth wandering around if you have time to kill before dinner. To eat at Bistro de Paris, you need Epcot admission.

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Thank you for your help, Rochelle... I appreciate it and am glad I can get to the restaurant from my resort via Disney transit! I'm not planning on going to Epcot this time, so I'll have to pass on Bistro de Paris. I have, however, added it to my tickler file for NEXT time!

-drew

www.drewvogel.com

"Now I'll tell you what, there's never been a baby born, at least never one come into the Firehouse, who won't stop fussing if you stick a cherry in its face." -- Jack McDavid, Jack's Firehouse restaurant

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my husband and I were at wdw in January this year, we liked raglan road in downtown disney, had a fun atmosphere and great (but not fancy) food.

Spam in my pantry at home.

Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

wierd al ~ spam

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my husband and I were at wdw in January this year, we liked raglan road in downtown disney, had a fun atmosphere and great (but not fancy) food.

You mustve gotten Raglan on a good night! Every time we've been, the food has been aweful.. soggy fish & chips, lamb shepherds pie with no trace of lamb flavor... meh =( Maybe it all depends on who's cooking?

If you get a chance to head to I-Drive... and like Japanese, I'd go to Rangetsu, it is a Japanese chain, and the location in Orlando is the only one outside of Japan. They are very proud to boast that they were voted #4 by Zagat of best Japanese in the US (Nobu is #3) - http://www.rangetsu.com/reputation.htm

Shabu shabu is a ton of fun for a group of adults. =) Very healthy as well.

Edited by LittleLea (log)
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my husband and I were at wdw in January this year, we liked raglan road in downtown disney, had a fun atmosphere and great (but not fancy) food.

You mustve gotten Raglan on a good night! Every time we've been, the food has been aweful.. soggy fish & chips, lamb shepherds pie with no trace of lamb flavor... meh =( Maybe it all depends on who's cooking?

If you get a chance to head to I-Drive... and like Japanese, I'd go to Rangetsu, it is a Japanese chain, and the location in Orlando is the only one outside of Japan. They are very proud to boast that they were voted #4 by Zagat of best Japanese in the US (Nobu is #3) - http://www.rangetsu.com/reputation.htm

Shabu shabu is a ton of fun for a group of adults. =) Very healthy as well.

thank you..any more suggestions? :smile::smile:

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I was in Orlando last February handling a trade show. After working my way through about half the menu, I sent our sales staff to Salt Island. Good chop-house stuff, with an open grill. The pork chops and fresh fish (ask) are better than the steaks, which nevertheless beat what you'll get in most Orlando restaurants. Don't bother with Maine Lobster or Dungeness crab, but you know that.

According to an Israeli colleague, there's decent Lebanese at Cedars, but I didn't try it myself.

We found a good Indian place; I'll see if I can dig up the name.

Finally, don't miss Bill Wong's Famous Super Buffet. According to recent reports, the food is not what it used to be, but the entertainment value (especially the actual buffet line) more than compensates for an average meal.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Christini's -- top notch in every respect.

From the before dinner martini's, to the wine, the food, after dinner drinks and dessert, and the service -- all around they were great experiences. I would certainly go back without any hesitation.

Check their website.

Eric

Edited by ELA (log)
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