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Help me choose from these Orlando Restaurants

Over the past several months I have been traveling down to Orlando and have gotten the chance to eat at many of the great restaurants. I have another trip planned soon, and have my eye on the following restaurants:

1. Emeril's Tchoup chop - i will most likely be staying at the Royal Pacific, so this seems natural
2. Seasons 52
3. Dux in the Peabody
4. Chatham Place

I'll most likely be able to eat at 2 of these places, which ones should it be? Or, if there are any other good suggestions out there i'd love to hear them, just no restaurants on disney properties (except for downtown disney) and none of the places i've already been, which are:

Le Coq Au Vin
The Ravenous Pig
Capital Grill
Charley's Steakhouse


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  1. Hmmm....Tchoup Chop seems spotty to me, but when it's good, it's really good.

    Season's 52 is good, but not mind blowing, and I haven't eaten at the other two.

    My preference is Luma on Park in Winter Park, or Manuel's on the 28th in downtown Orlando. I don't make it down to I-drive or Restaurant Row very often....

    1. do not go to wolfgangs, the quality there is less then Emerils in my opinion

      1. You've already hit Orlando's best. Your new list is Tier 2. Not even sure which to pick for you. Maybe add Luma and try that? Christini's? Nonna Enoteca?

        1. Try Cedars on Sand Lake Road for middle eastern. Open for lunch and dinner.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sambg

            Thanks for all of the input. I do agree with you Cheryl that the food at wolfgangs is definitely below Emeril's. I've heard about Luma so i think i may try to check that out as well.

          2. Seasons 52 has a great concept, very fresh, but I've heard from many that the microwave is used often there. Emeril's normally has great service and decent food. I haven't been to the other two, but Manual's on the 28th=AMAZING!! It's downtown in the Bank of America Building. Also Cerviche is really great right now. It's a traditional tapas bar downtown. For sushi try Mikado.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jen_sis_crx_02

              I definitely do not recommend Manuel's on the 28th. It used to be amazing but has seriously slipped in their food quality. We dined there in December and it was awful--every single item we ordered was disappointing. This is one restaurant that is past it's prime.

              I will agree though that the atmosphere on the 28th floor is amazing.

              1. re: mish

                That's odd, I last had dinner there in November and it was very good. The flavors popped and they mixed flavors and textures in interesting ways. I also think their service staff is quite possibly the best in the city. I don't tend to give fine dining restaurants much leeway in their food and service, but perhaps you were there on an off night.

                I would sooner send someone to Manuel's than say, Tchoup Chop because I've had numerous sub-par experiences there, rather than just one.

                1. re: jazzy77

                  I have to agree with 'Mish' on this one. I have hit Manuel's 3 times over past year and each time it came up significantly short. There menu hasn't changed in as long as I can remember including some dishes I ate in the late 80's. I believe if the would freshen up their menu, quit serving the bread on that slab of marble like they've been doing forever and add some more choices than the same stale, beef, chicken, lamb choices that everyone else offers they would be "that special destination" restaurant. I mean you can't beat the view, but you gotta at least freshen up the menu. I use to be a loyal client but no more, my last 3 visits were not of my choosing and I won't personally choose it when I have a choice given so many other better options in this city.

                  1. re: jazzy77

                    I haven't been there in years, but I hear that Greg Ritchie is there now. He was chef-owner of Roy's for seven years. So maybe Manuel's has gotten better.

              2. I love Emeril's Tchoup Choup. I've heard good things about Dux. I think I'm the only person in Orlando who does not like Seasons 52 (well, DH doesn't either). We have just never been impressed.

                The Oceanaire at Pointe Orlando has good fish, not as good as Roy's but very good. Also for good fish, try Beluga in Winter Park. Also in Winter Park, Park Plaza Gardens or Hot Olives is nice for patio dining.

                Cafe Tu Tu Tango at Pointe Orlando is fun and good, as is Samba Room on Sand Lake Road.

                In town, Midnight Blue in Thornton Park is one of my favorites.

                1. I have to chime in and give Chathams a major shout out. This is actually the first time I've seen it mentioned here on Chow, and it is by far one of my favorites of Orlando. Not that I go often; it is very expensive. But if you're looking for traditional and upscale, I'd highly recommend it. The food is amazing and the wine list impressive.
                  Last time I was there:
                  Seafood Trio for an app
                  Filet Au Poivre for entree
                  Banana Pudding for dessert. (And I'm not just talking Banana Pudding, I'm talking probably one of the best desserts I've ever had.)

                  Don't be put of by the location, it's in a weird kind of office park. I think it's the most underrated restaurants in Orlando!

                  And for your second choice, definitely hit up Tchoup Chop. Get the Salmon with the GInger Beurre Blanc and sticky rice!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: katygirl

                    I'm glad to hear something good about Chatham, it has been recommended to me a few times and the menu looks right up my alley, but I was concerned that no one else on here had mentioned it.

                  2. Amura is Orlando's best sushi place by far!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jaime0428

                      Respectfully disagree. Ichiban is much better, and the best is at Zen at the Omni Resort.

                    2. As stated Tchoup Chop is great when good...Worthe the try, IMO.

                      You have Charley's and Capitale Grill on your list but I'd prefrer The Palm (at the Hard Rock) or Del Frisco's...

                      One you don't have onthe list that I LOVE is Todd English's Bluezoo. It is awesome.