Does anyone have any updated recommendations for places to eat in Orlando, either in or outside Disney World? The postings here are fairly old and may be out of date. We will be there with our family, including one 6 year old, the end of this month.
Since no one else responded to this post, I'll respond myself. We did get to one of the places on the old list, Atlantic Sea Food. It was very good, not fancy, but worth the visit.
We had a "special dinner" at Emeril's Orlando. While not up to the experience we had at the original in New Orleans a few years ago, it was excellent.
Although the food in Disney world itself usually gets a knock, we had some OK experiences. It is a liitle expensive, but convenient. Lunch at Tusker Inn in Animal Kingdom was very good, even with the fast food format. Other fast food was not bad either. A special tip is to check out the hard to find "small country" food booths in Millenium Village in Epcot( Way in the back, you may have to ask for directions!). Cape May Resort buffet is rated as the best place to eat in Disney World by many critics. I admit I am not a buffet fan, but others in our party really liked it. The unlimited clams, mussels, shrimp and the half decent tuna and mahi-mahi saved it for me.
I'll be gald to answer any specific questions anyone has.
I'm just back from a sojourn in O-Town and can report that Pebbles is still first-rate. I think this is the best all-round food buy in Orlando. For tourists, the most convenient location is the branch in the Crossroads Shopping Center near Disney (I-4 Exit 25). There is also a downtown branch on Church Street, near Church St Station, one in Winter Park, and one farther north in Longwood, just west of I-4 (sorry, can't remember the exit).
On I-Drive near Kirkman (just across I-4 from Universal Orlando) I hung out at two Indian restaurants. My old standby is Passage To India which is still good but not as reasonable as it once was. Also, to cope with the foreign tourists for whom tipping just doesn't compute, they now add an automatic tip. Nearby is Far Pavilion, almost as good, somewhat less expensive. I'm not an Indian food expert (I still think Jackson Diner is GREAT!), but both have an Indo-Pak clientel which I find reassuring.
Meet Me at Pichy's, the Cuban place that everybody used to rave about, is apparently out of business. When I schlepped out to it, it had been replaced by another (okay) Cuban eatery.
At Universal's CityWalk, I also like the Latin Quarter. Their crepas rellenas dessert is fabulous! Also, NBA City has pretty good food. In Islands of Adventure you will find Mythos, the best restauarant in any theme park anywhere. Trendy new-American cuisine at reasonable prices.
The Delfino Riviera restaurant at Portofino Bay Hotel is a splurge that used to be great but the chef has changed and I didn't get a chance to check out the new menu.
re: Kelly Monaghan
This is a little after the fact, but I have recently sampled the work of the new Delfino Riviera chef, Massimo Fedozzi.
The food is good, very good in fact, but not up to the standards of the original IMHO. It struck me as rather old fashioned haute cuisine, what "fine dining" used to be before it got all tarted up with odd ingredient and flavor pairings and theatrical presentations. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that but I guess I learned by my recent visit that I have been seduced by the flashier style that prevails these days.
There are four places at Universal Orlando to get fancy cooking: Emeril's, Mythos, Delfino Riviera, and the new Sunset Grill in the Hard Rock Hotel (for dinner only; lunch is fairly standard). (Five, if you include Latin Quarter.) I'd rank them as follows:
2. Sunset Grill
4. Delfino Riviera
Those rankings take price into consideration. If price is no object then Emeril's and Sunset Grill might change places.
Still, I'd recommend Delfino Riviera for a special romantic night out. They have a strolling singer/guitarist. Hokey but nice. And you can have dessert served on the terrace overlooking the piazza, which is a stunning recreation of the real Porotfino in Liguria.