Orlando, moderately priced.
I will be in Orlando next week and was looking for a moderately priced restaurant (Entrees under $20) for a group of 8. It is a varied group, so a diverse menu that would suit picky and adventurous eaters would be appreciated. Also if it isn't asking too much it would be nice if it had a decent atmosphere as well.
On our list for the remainder of the week is:
- The Ravenous Pig
- Seasons 52
- Blackwater BBQ
- Shari Sushi
So any other options are appreciated! Thanks!
I can't recommend The Ravenous Pig highly enough, after going there again recently. A few entrees are priced over $20, but most of the really exciting things on their menu are in the $10-$20 range.
I find Seasons 52 terribly bland, boring, and overpriced so I would advise against it, but it seems like other Orlando Chowhounds love the place. Then again, I love Fuddruckers (burger joint) and Sonny's Real Pit Barbecue.
Do you like Vietnamese food? Orlando has amazing Vietnamese restaurants, all located in the "Mills-50" neighborhood (Colonial Drive and Mills Avenue, east of downtown and I-4), and none of them are expensive. Lac Viet has the best ambience and one of the more diverse menus, so I'd have to recommend it over the others.
Bikkuri Sushi is my favorite sushi place in town, also located in the Mills-50 area on Colonial and Hampton. It is kind of a funky place with a wide variety of ultra-fresh sushi and other Japanese specialties, and is much more affordable than the trendy, upscale Wazzabi in Winter Park. Never been to Shari, though.
Based on your requests for good food and a decent atmosphere, The Ravenous Pig, Seasons 52 and Shari Sushi all fit your requirements. They're all pushing your price range but just a bit. Blackwater BBQ is just a picnic-tables type of barbecue joint so I don't think that would be a good choice for you. I wasn't impressed with the food at Napasorn the one time I went. the Vietnamese restaurants mentioned above are indeed great but they're generally dumpy looking and they won't appeal to picky eaters. The Pig is your best bet, I think, although as Lou said many items will be out of your price range. The place has an amazing burger, though, that's about $12.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I actually lived in Orlando for quite a while and will be spending the week down there after memorial day, so the above restaurants listed were on my list already, but I wanted an extra couple additions to fill out the list.
Any recommendations for a nice place to take some friends of ours out for their anniversary? Would like the keep the entrees in the $35 range, nice atmosphere, great cocktail craft and of most importantly the food must be great.
re: Matt H
That's an extremely expensive night out by my standards, but I'll name my favorite two "high roller" restaurants anyway: Del Frisco's steakhouse in Winter Park (Lee Road and I-4) and Texas de Brazil rodizo restaurant on the north end of International Drive. Both are going to be a little more than $35; dinner at TdB is $45 or so, and you can run anywhere from $20 to $50 per person at Del Frisco's. Both are top notch, though.
For Seafood Bonefish Grill is very good(not to be confused with Fishbones). I know it is a chain, but their crab cakes and fresh fish selections are consistantly excelent. Either the Longwood or Sand Lake Rd. location are both good. Also, if you like your seafood fried, it is hard to beat Boston's Fish House on Aloma Ave. It can be a long wait but well worth it.
For Vietnamese, I highly recommend Vihn's on Colonial near Mills. I have been to all the Vietnamese restaurants in the area many times and Vihn's is consistently the best food and a very nice atmosphere. Try the house special fish, while it is most likely just tilapia, the sauce and topping of bell peppers, onions and pork strips is awesome. Their grilled pork is also very good.
For fine dining I have to say that K's Wine Bar and Restaurant in College Park is amazing. My wife and I ate there recentl;y for our anniversary and the food and service were fantastic! Le Coq Au Vin is very good, but the food can be hit or miss. The cassoulet is very good, but I have had duck that was very salty and some sides that were just cookie cutter.
I have to agree with Voodoo Lou, Seasons 52 is mediocre at best. If you are in that Sand Lake Road area, Roy's is a much better choice. While it is a bit loud, the food is decent asian fusion, if slightly over-priced.
This is interesting. My physician is originally from Vietnam. I asked, in his opinion which is the best Vietnamese restaurant in the Orlando area.? He did not hesitate to recommend Vinh. We have gone there many times and it is always first rate.
BTW We have tried Bonefish in Longwood several times. The food was acceptable, but the service to put it mildly was an absolute disgrace. (Every time); Unless they wise up, they won;t be around much longer.
I've been eating at Vinh's for many years and would also recommend it. I was cured a long time ago of the habit of equating ambiance with food quality.
Whether it's Orlando or Osaka, you'll never get the best food a city has to offer if you're worried about places that looks "dumpy".
Thank you all again for the recommendations, I will report back once I return to Boston.
One last request though. My last night in Orlando is Saturday and I am meeting a couple friends for dinner, but now that the Magic and Cavs are playing Saturday night are there any options of an establishment that serves great food and has TV's? We are not looking for a "Sports Bar" or Chain either.