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Jan 18, 2007 01:42 AM

Valentines Day in Orlando

I'm a local who's done many of the well known restaurants around town and I'm looking for some Valentines Day ideas that might be newer or a little less known. Any thoughts from other locals?

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  1. I've already made my reservation at Ulysses Prime Steakhouse in Cocoa Village, the newest restaurant for Alex Litras, the owner of Cafe Margaux. I've heard noithing but great things about the place, Scott Joseph of the Orlando Sentinel called it one of the best restaurants in Central Florida, and I can't wait to try it out myself. Might want to think about making a night of it and booking a hotel room in Cocoa Beach, Cocoa Village is about an hour drive from rlando.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, but I've got a 2 year old and won't be able to stay overnight on a weeknight. Preferably looking for something closer to Orlando

      6 Replies
      1. re: southpaw37

        Eating out on St. Valentines Day and expecting a good meal and service can be compared to a decision to get drunk for the first time on New Year's Eve.

        It won't happen, and you will regret it in the morning. Restaurants on these peak days (Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, Easter, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving) process customers like McDonald's makes burgers. Quick and cheap.

        If absolutely required to go out, reserve early -- you are already too late -- lower your expectations considerably and pick something simple.

        Google "romantic, restaurants, Orlando" and pick the one in your price/cuisine/geographical category.

        I could list ten, but I'd send you to Chez Vincent in Winter Park -- if you absolutely insist (see qualifiers above).


        1. re: Bob Mervine

          I tend to agree with you -- and as an alternative we might not actually go out on V-day, but maybe the weekend before. Would still be interested in some good eats off the beaten path. My wife doesn't dig on french food too much - I think she's weird but still gotta keep all parties happy :-) Any other suggestions?

          1. re: southpaw37

            Let's see. Fondue is romantic with all the sauces and the dipping and the feeding each other. Melting Pot does a pretty good job and I happen to like Colorado Fondue Co. in Casselberry.

            If she can dig Asian, Napasorn downtown has a primarily Thai menu in a very nice, French-feeling setting -- not fluorescents and formica. Food and service are always good.

            Manuel's on the 28th atop the Bank of America building offers a sweet view and intimate setting. Expensive and probably already booked, but that could work, if the view is important.

            I'm also tempted to say Christini's, Italian on Sand Lake Road. But it's more expensive and you'd have to go on an alternate night as I know they are booked. Piano player, rose for the lady, etc. All the touches.

            For the money, you might enjoy Chatham's Place, just down the road on Dr. Philips Blvd. Mediterranean and intimate.

            Bravissimo on Shine Street downtown, italian, neighborhood place, also quite nice and suitably romantic.

            Top of the line, food and price wise, would be Norman's at the Ritz-Carlton. As much as I love Victoria & Albert's, I give Norman's the romantic edge . . .

            Several on Park Avenue are quite nice. Chef Justin's has great food and a sort of garden-like setting in the main room. Luma on Park is very contemporary, wonderful contemporary food as well. Also, a new steak house called Spice was quite nice on the evening I dined there with a date.


            1. re: Bob Mervine

              All great suggestions. The only problem is that I've done almost all of those. Bravissimo is a personal favorite. I'd love to find another place like it with outstanding food, great price, and laid back atmosphere. The closest I've seen is Journeys in Longwood. Great concept, fantastic service, and the chef is very passionate and talented. If you haven't been there give it a try - they change the menu daily.
              That quaint little out of the way place with great food is what I'm looking for. Any hidden gems you know about?

              1. re: southpaw37

                How about K Restaurant. Food is excellent, small restaurant with big city feel. As for Romance....that is up to you and your definition of Romance. I personally think it is romantic.

                1. re: southpaw37

                  Perhaps Rocco's on 17-92 just north of Fairbanks in the old Trastevere location is one you haven't tried.

                  You won't recognize the place if you have been there before. Completely remodeled and very sophisticated without giving up the warth of the brick and wood.

                  Multi-regional Italian food, good wine list. High level of service. I like this place a lot.


        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Ha, having a two year old and having a romantic dinner.....i remember those days! :)

            How far "out of the way" can you go? Sanford, Mount Dora?

            There's Da Vinci in Sanford, Goblin Market in Mount Dora.....

            1. Luma gets my vote. I think the food is wonderful.