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Spice Modern Steakhouse - Central FL

winechic Feb 4, 2008 09:21 AM

I have eaten at the Spice on Park Ave, (Winter Park) for lunch and dinner and have always had great food. I ate at the Lake Mary location last week with friends and was less than impressed.

Lobster Bisque tasted somewhat fishy and a bit like flour (A Roux that had not been cooked long enough?) and while it had a nice chunk of lobster, the bisque was pretty bland....the fishy and the flour being the only prevalent tastes. : ( The Winter Park location bisque has always been great!!

I also ordered the Guiness Fried Oysters, which were (sadly) not served warm. They were nice sized oysters but didn't taste of Guiness and were served with a sauce that tasted like hoisin sauce. I might have to try it again at Winter Park to see how they come out.

The rest of the party was happy with their chicken and steak entrees, the Rosemary Chicken looked the best. My friend commented the filet was *very* petite for the price.

Not many people were at the Lake Mary location during prime dining hours on a Thursday.

Has anyone tried the new Downtown location yet?

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  1. katygirl Feb 4, 2008 03:32 PM

    I went to the Lake Eola location about a month or so ago and did not post anything here or on my blog out of respect for a student I had that was working there.
    But since you ask.....
    It was a giant waste of money. First off, our server, while completely adorable, had no knowledge of the wine list or the menu. We didn't even get our wine until after we had finished our salads. (Turns out they did not have the first THREE bottles we tried to order) The service was very unorganized and poorly timed.
    For some reason I broke the cardinal rule that evening ( I know, this was my fault, but I was on a budget) and got the Rosemary stuffed chicken that was, well, average at best.
    Our dessert (some sort of orange creamsicle cake) was dried out and crusty...I'm guessing it may have been either a carryover or preplated.
    With the other fantastic restaurants in the area I'll probably never go there again...

    (I have heard though that they are looking into a new concept to go into a location on Church St.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: katygirl
      winechic Feb 5, 2008 09:25 AM

      OK, the cake they brought out for my friends Birthday that we were there celebrating was dried out. I mean, DRY.

      Our Lake Mary server didn't know anything about wine, just handed us the bar menu and was pushing a spiced mojito.

      Thanks for the feedback, I'll continue to miss that downtown location.

      1. re: winechic
        m
        mish Feb 6, 2008 05:51 PM

        I live in Lake Mary and dined at their spice location once. Everyone in our party was VERY disappointed. I don't remember all the specifics, but I remember leaving and thinking I would never go back again. Most people I know that live here in Lake Mary have had bad experiences as well and most will never go back. I went to their back patio for drinks one night and was even disappointed with that--they charged $15.00 per martini and they certainly weren't good enough to warrant that price tag!

        The shame of it is that they closed Manny's to open the Lake Mary Spice (according to Bob Mervine a while back). I loved Manny's & had a fantastic meal there every time I went. I'm not sure why they didn't just move Manny's to the Spice location??!!

        1. re: mish
          winechic Feb 9, 2008 06:51 PM

          Bummer on the martini. I've been a fan of Harvey's Bistro (Manny's place) and will continue to enjoy the downtown location. They have a great Lobster Bisque, BTW.

          I think the biggest problem for "Lake Mary" Spice et. al...aside from location (not close enough to Heathrow or Lake Mary, too far from Longwood and not in Sanford...is that those numerous restaurant spaces (including outside bars and seating) are HUGE for the area.

          Yes, they built the complex at the front of the boom and now the neighborhoods that should be completed by now, are stuck in phase 1 or 2 and gas is hovering a $3.00 a gallon, so people do not want to drive further than they have to. In any case, there is a bunch of restaurant space on both side of the road....and not so many diners.

          Fishbones had some people on their back patio, but they weren't crowded either on a prime dining out night.

          1. re: winechic
            m
            mish Feb 11, 2008 03:32 PM

            That's because the food at fishhbones is not-so-great. My husband and I will only go there for drinks now because we've just been disappointed too many times. The atmosphere is nice--especially the back patio. Most our friends will only go there for drinks or appetizers too--it's just not worth the $$. When they first opened you couldn't get a seat in the place for weeks...now you can pretty much walk-in whenever you like.

            I have to say that there's just not many stand-outs here in Lake Mary. The restaurants in Colonial Town Park & Park Place are good--but not great by any means. I think they have a great location in Lake Mary but they just aren't good enough to keep people coming back for more. Colonial Town Park & Park Place are actually just around the corner from most of the huge neighborhoods....and most neighborhoods have been sold out for a while now so there's not much construction left to be done here in LM. It's the quality of food that's an issue here, IMO.

            If I want a good meal--I head to winter park or downtown. I wish I didn't have to, though.

    2. l
      LI Girl Feb 11, 2008 07:22 PM

      Disappointing news... I've eaten at Spice WP several times and enjoyed it - especially the bisque! The downtown location is convenient for me, but I guess I'll stick with WP for consistency.

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