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Aug 6, 2009 08:23 AM

Orlando (Downtownish): Two nights of excellent dinners?

Orlando 'hounds,

I'm looking for two excellent dinners in the downtown orlando area. Although a bit of a trip is fine for one meal-say Winter Park.

I'll be with vegetarians who eat fish. One or both dinners should be something special, as they'll be celebrating their aniversary.

I've done some searching and would love some feedback on:
Napasorn Thai
Chef's Table
White Wolf (for dessert?)
Looks like Graze is closed?

What am I missing?

Any recs on the best choices/what to avoid/best dishes?

Thanks all!

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  1. Staying downtown I would go to Hue (Thorton Park actually, but close enough). Then I'd go to Ravenous Pig in Winter Park for the other dinner.

    Chef's Table it a bit further away, but if you're willing to make that drive, I've only heard great things about it (only beer/wine though).

    1. Ceviche is great for Tapas and atmohsphere...But you have to like spanish type food and lots of garlic...Order the papas bravatos - potatoes in a garlic aoili - BEST thing on the menu.

      White Wolf is great for a medium priced fresh meal - love their desserts...They have really good salads and flatbread, but not sure if this is what you are looking for for a elegant night out - but still a good choice if you are looking for more low key.

      I have not eaten at the others, but also agree with Hue for contemporary style restaurnat - great filet, adn Ravenouse Pig for a boisterous tapas style but not Spanish food items gastro pub.

      I would also recommend Kres downtown for steak, Citrus for contemporary, Shin or Shari for sushi both in the downtown areas and a more upscale atmosphere.

      5 Replies
      1. re: tampa eater

        Hmmm, I'd go in another direction. I agree that if you're willing to go to Winter Park The Ravenous Pig is a good choice. So is Luma on Park. Downtown, Hue and Kres have great atmospheres but the chefs rotate regularly so the food can be inconsistent. I'm hearing mostly good things about The Black Olive, which is stylish and new. I'll let those who've been there chip with their opinions. Graze is gone. White Wolf Cafe has a great atmosphere but I have always found the food to be awful. Ceviche's fun and upbeat; the food's okay, not amazing. Chef's Table is a great place to go but it's quite far from downtown. Shari Sushi in Thornton Park has great Asian food and a chic decor. Funky Monkey is pretty good. If you're willing to go to Orlando's College Park neighborhood, Nonna has terrific Italian in a cozy old house. Or maybe hop down I-4 for a dinner at Vine's, which is superb.

        1. re: Rona Gindin

          I agree with Rona on Kres and Luma. The food is too inconsistent. I would go to Ceviche for the atmosphere, plus lots of choices for your veg friends. I have only had one dish at black olive when i ate at the bar and it was very good. I would say those two are good bets and right in the heart of down town

          1. re: Rona Gindin

            I forgot about Black Olive. Yea, I would go there over Hue actually.

            And in Winter Park, RP or Luma are great choices (my 2 favorite restaurants in Orlando actually).

            1. re: Rona Gindin

              free parking validation at black olive too i believe

              1. re: pdpredtide

                yes they validate parking, they are also offering a great deal before 7 pm, a 'cinema' menu, 20 bucks - three courses and they have a excellent singer on thur - sat. The Ravenous Pig is serving some incredible food right now (been three times in the last 10 days). Funky Monkey has been good as well.

                I ate at Napasorn Thai for the first time a couple of weeks ago, had the nightly special, stringbeans with chicken a some other vegs in a curry sauce. I thought it was average. The service and atmosphere were very good.

          2. For an anniversary, ditto on the Winter Park recs. Overall nicer than downtown, and strolling Park Avenue before or after dinner is much nicer than strolling Orange Avenue.

            Chef's Table is fabulous and intimate, but it's 30 minutes away in Winter Garden (different from Winter Park).

            1. Ceviche is fun and good, but I'll offer one more vote for the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                I can't help but wonder: Does a restaurant named Ravenous Pig have good vegetarian fare?

                1. re: leslieolson

                  Sure does. The Pig gets fresh fish in every day and bases the menu around it. Some days it doesn't even have a pork entree. The menu changes every day here's a sample:

              2. HUE one night and SHARI the next. They're right next door to each other. Both are amazing.