Manuels on the 28th and Harvey's Bistro, CLOSED! :(
- winechic Feb 16, 2009 12:25 PM
Just heard that the last meals were served this past Valentine's day. Here is the Orlando Sentinel article.
I will miss the Golden Lobster Bisque and the amazing view of Manuels.
That is VERY sad! :( We only went once while on vaca in Orlando back in '05, but I remember that meal very fondly. In fact, I wrote about it recently here on CH as one of my favorite meals of all time...and recommended it to out-of-towners visiting Orlando. The views from Manuel's are stunning to say the least and the food was a match. What a shame!
manuels was for special occasions and VERY pricey. My 10th aniversary dinner was $350.00! In a depression there aren't too many people willing to pay that kinda money.
I heard harveys was the same food only half the price.
They are also in a bank bldg. What does a bank do to raise cash? A: raise the rent!
Our dinner was much less expensive than yours--we had the prix-fixe menu plus wine pairings. Current (or I should say most recent) prices listed are $60 for the meal + $20 for the pairings, then tip...so that's almost half the price of your dinners.
It was excellent. I know times are tough and I get it--it's just too bad. It's a gorgeous spot for a nice night out.
Sad to see a independently owned restaurant with a talented chef leave Orlando. Tough city to sell this food. Very few high end restaurants will thrive in the this city, the downtown yuppies and hippies are going vegan (LoL), the Dr.Phillips, Windermere, Lake Mary people are holding their cash, everyone is else is just BROKE! Orlando is the home of the Ten Cent Millionaire. Overall, hate to see Manuels go.
I read a few articles (SJ's included) said that the rent was trying being renegotiated, and could not be. This would mean not only that rent may be going up, or staying the same, but that a double space holder was trying to control the rent costs (to the point of a deal breaker and closing both venues) which may indicate that business may not be what it could be, to justify the rent being charged. Not surprising while consumers are tightening their belts.
Hubby and I enjoyed the Manuel's prix fixe, a bargain at $60 per head, extra $20 per head for paired wines. 3 courses and you could enjoy the amazing Lobster Bisque as a 1st course option accompanied by the best view in the Central FL area.
While you could get Lobster bisque on Harvey's menu, it was missing the substantial lobster medallions sprinkled with cilantro oil (or whatever that yummy green oil was) and the fab presentation table side of Manuel's. (The lobster meat was fanned out in a low bowl, dressed with a bit of the green oil. The bisque arrived in a separate stainless pitcher/pot and was poured over the lobster table side by the server making things just a bit more special.)
Harvey's had plenty of distinct offerings on their menu- an amazing pot roast sandwich, black bean soup, mushroom and brie app, and various entree's that were not available on the Manuel's menu.
In addition to the various differences in the menu, the serivice was quite different, while excellent in both venues. Manuel's was the standard that 4 and 5 star venues across the country were striving for. Harvey's was much more laid back, though the service was always attentive, congenial and wonderful.
It is a shame that we won't be enjoying either place in the near future. Heather McPherson posted many of the recipes to favorite dishes on her blog this week. Happily, Heather just added the Pebble's Nutty Cheesy salad, which remains a family favorite years and years after Pebble's closed.
The way things are going, we are going to end up here in the Orlando area with only a so-so collection of chain restaurantsl Harvey's tried it in Lake Mary and could not make it.
Even the chains are disappearing. Bennigan's, Steak and Ale, Shells on and on. Was surprised to see that a new Indian-Pak restaurant opened today on 434 Chaat.Will give it a try. Also was presently surprised at the quite new Mexican place on 436, Emiliano Z's. Better than average and they certainly must have courage. The same location has seen Chucks - Shells - Steak in the City all fold. You can still find some smaller places to get a decent meal. But it takes diligence.
We went to Manuel's only a few times, but I'm soooo going to miss Harvey's. :( I loved the butternut squash ravioli, and they had some of the best table bread in town.