HOME > Chowhound > Florida >


Orlando - good and different near the Peabody?

Going to Orlando for a night...done the Christini's thing. Done the Moonfish thing. Done the Jungle Jim's thing LOL and done Kress Chop House and a really great Thai place I can't remember the name of recently. Looking for something funky, interesting and GOOD. But not feeling the whole "jacket required/preferred" thing. Price doesn't matter, but we'll be at the Peabody and don't want to drive too far. Any recommendations-where would YOU go? One requirement-not Chinese food. And could you let us know what the dress is? THANKS.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm wondering what the deal is with Pointe Orlando -- I haven't been since they renovated, and it's right up the street from where you're staying. Web site says they have a Maggiano's, The Grape Wine Bar, Capital Grille (probably too fancy for what you're looking for) and a Tommy Bahama Tropical Cafe (the sound of which makes me suspicious). Anyway, Maggiano's sounds interesting, anybody been?


    1. Thanks for replying!

      The Capital Grille is a somewhat casual restaurant here in South Tampa. Not fancy at all (people wear shorts, jeans, you name it.) Is it jacket preferred in Orlando? My sister works at the one in Miami and it's somewhat casual there too. =) We usually go there and eat the at the bar. Our Maggiano's isn't that great in Tampa. Is it a chain there or maybe an independent restaurant with the same name? I'd prefer something that's not a chain-and that we don't have here in Tampa (we have Grape too and I do like it!) We don't mind putting on something nice, just didn't feel like doing the whole jacket/tie thing if that makes sense. Thanks again and sorry for not being a bit more clear in my first post!

      1. You might like Seasons 52. Seasonal fresh dining with top quality ingredients. I have personally never had a bad meal and it is business casual. It is on Sand Lake very near Chrsitini's opposite side of the road. Maggiano's here is same as in Tampa, as is Capital Grill although Tampa Capital is in a nicer space IMO. Cafe Tu Tu Tango gets great recs on this board and is a small plates/Tapas thing. You also could buzz over to Texas De Brazil for a Churasscaria experience with nice digs, great meats and salad bar. Business casual at all these above reccomendations Just a few for you to chew on!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: theflytyr

          Just an fyi, since you said you'd prefer no chains...Seasons 52 is a chain. The one in Orlando was the prototype for the franchise. The food is good; but their gimmick is that nothing served is more than 450 calories.

        2. I enjoy the Cafe Tu Tu Tango back home in Miami. =) That's a good back up option! Thanks for the recommendations. I'm going to check into Seasons 52! Less than three miles from the hotel! Can't beat that! Sounds really interesting. Thanks again!

          1. For casual and good in that area,,try Fish Bones. Open oak fire for cooking steak and seafood.
            Bahama Breeze isn't bad either for a chain!

            1 Reply
            1. re: mountdorahound

              Just an FYI on Fish Bones (Sand Lake Rd./I-drive in Orlando). My husband hadn't been there in about 10 - 15 years, but remembered it being one of the best meals of his life...

              We had an extremely disappointing experience earlier this week. The service staff was friendly and the atmosphere was a typical casual seafood restaurant. We started with the Tuna Bites and they turned out to be the pieces they trim off the tuna steaks, dusted in spices and deep fried. They were served with a hollandaise sauce. Ugh…

              My husband ordered the “Sushi-grade Ahi Tuna” seared rare with steamed vegetables. It was hard to cut due to the …I forget what it’s called…running through it. The vegetables were not seasoned at all. I ordered the fresh catch of grilled Grouper. The fish was not seasoned at all and so overcooked it was inedible. I had two bites and the server never inquired to see if there was a problem or even asked how my meal was. I didn’t say anything until we got the bill and noticed that the grouper was $39.95. There wasn’t a price on the menu, but I wasn’t ordering lobster out of season or Kobe beef, so how bad could it be? When my husband told the server our thoughts about the meal it took 10 minutes to get a managers approval to reduce it to $19.00. I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant as it was very overpriced for the quality of food served.

            2. I know that Moonfish does an oak fired grill for steak and seafood, but didn't know that Fishbones had one as well. Either would suit your purposes in addition to most of the other suggested spots.

              I'm very big on Capital Grille, but you can do that at home. Actually, Tommy Bahama Cafe is very upscale and nice, in a casual sort of way. I recommend it.

              You also have Dux in the Peabody, which is quite nice, with a brand new chef and there's Cala bella in the new Shingle Creek hotel that are both elegant and a little bit dressy.

              Do get a reservation at Seasons and pretty much any of these places. It's a necessity this time of year.

              Maggiano's is OK, for what it is, but not in the same league as most of the suggested options so far.


              1. Thanks, everyone. We ended up at Seasons 52. I didn't know it's a chain, but at least we don't have it here in Tampa and there isn't one back home in Miami that I'm aware of. We did get a reservation for 7:30pm in advance through Open Table. Well, when I had reserved the table it showed 7pm reservations being available, so I called to see if we could switch. Within hours, the place was fully booked. And yes, it is busy. So Bob is right, get a reservation even on a weeknight.

                LOL WOW if nothing we ate was over 450 calories then they really have some talented people. The food was very good. The only complaint was our server wasn't so great and we were seated at a booth which was connected to the bar area (they have a wall separating it, but with "windows" in this wall) so we could hear the conversations of the very loud and vulgar college kids next to us.

                They told us they had just put out the Spring menu last night. We started with the Edamame, Broiled Crab & Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms and the Mussels. All very, very good.

                I had the Pork Tenderloin Medallions and my boyfriend had the Jumbo Shrimp Stuffed with Lump Crab with angel hair pasta. Very good. I did like his better than mine, but I was branching out. I don't do pork tenderloin too often.

                For dessert I had one of the individual red velvet cake servings. It was divine. Todd (he does have a name LOL) had the raspberry sorbet with fresh berries. Light, crisp and fresh.

                After dinner we went over to the bar and enjoyed a glass of wine. The piano player was quite good and the volume was just perfect-he was not too loud at all.

                Thanks for that recommendation. I will also certainly try Fish Bones next time we're that way.

                A note on the Tommy Bahama cafe'. I've been to the one in Maui and it was fine. There is also one in Sarasota, so maybe we should try it. Todd is a walking Tommy Bahama ad-it practically comprises his entire wardrobe. He'd be right at home!

                1. Glad you enjoyed Seasons 52. Hopefully they will get one in Tampa for you. I enjoy the seasonal changing menu and your ability to stay on your diet while enjoying great food. The Venison on their winter menu is outstandingly prepared IMO

                  1. Thanks again, theflytyr.

                    A note on the Peabody. I hadn't been there for years. It's quite dated. Didn't see the Dux restaurant, but probably won't go back to the Peabody again to stay.

                    1. Just thought I'd add a note as we were at Seasons 52 tonight. It was very good. I had the sea scallops with the fennel risotto. It was excellent - although the asparagus which accompanied the dish was very "crisp" - in fact somewhat tough. My husband had the jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab and it was excellent. We started with the flatbread with artichokes and goat cheese - delish!! Desserts - I tried 2 - key lime, and sugar-free chocolate mouse - both yummy. It did not seem that busy - although we had an 8:15 reservation, we arrived early and were seated by 7:30. Overall a very nice ambience iwith good food and the bill was not a killer either!!

                      1. I'm looking for a great Italian restaurant in Orlando. Has anyone been to Timpano Italian Chop House?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: CTEdie

                          yes, many times. It is not an Italian restaurant, it is a steak place with New Jersey Italian sides.

                          You might want to start a new thread with this question. be sure to say Orlando in the subject