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Eat Local Week in Orlando THIS WEEK (1/25-1/31/2010)

winechic Jan 26, 2010 10:54 AM

I'm eating at McCoy's tonight with some friends, I will post feedback. In the meantime, wanted to be sure the board knew about this great event showcasing local Central Florida food suppliers and growers. An impressive list of participants and menus, I'm including a full list of restaurants with links to menu's, when available.

Sentinel Calendar mention:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/restaurants/os-thedish-slow-food-week-orlando_3-20100121,0,7721426.column

Full write up on the event by Scott Joseph:
http://tinyurl.com/yge2afs

Eat Local Week in Orlando list of restaurants and links to menus:
http://www.slowfoodorlando.org/partic...

I hope this becomes an annual event! Please post feedback and to adopt the Magical Dining format we used, please post a grade.

Food quality grade

Value grade
(I'm not sure how applicable this will be, as certain menu items are specific to this special week long event, but it should be interesting to see if supporting the local market has an effect on price, etc.

)

Look forward to hearing about your meals!

Cheers!

  1. winechic Jan 26, 2010 06:20 PM

    McCoy’s Bar and Grill, Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

    [A ] Food quality grade
    [B-] Value grade (Would have been an A-, but the Airport parking, $10 for 3 hours, downgraded the overall value. No validation, pricey since we all met there and service was slow. )

    Our party enjoyed a lovely meal, the group of 6 was evenly split with the menu. The food was prepared beautifully and a great deal for the menu price. The shrimp was fresh and tender, cooked perfectly and the tarragon citrus aioli was flavorful but not at all overpowering to the delicate shrimp, enjoyed by all. The pork belly was quite meaty and a nice presentation with the soft poached egg on a large garlic crostini, with dressed frisse, enjoyed by all.

    The Tilapia was very fresh, cooked very well and served over a bed of julienned zucchini. The Tomato Ragout was very intensely flavored, delicious! The crab dressing was mild and tasty, but lost against the zesty ragout- overall a great dish, though. The pork chop was thick cut and served on the bone, Frenched nicely. Served on a bed of sauteed spinach, a carmelized crust on the chop gave way to tender and juicy meat. Raves all around.

    The dessert was originally to be the Sunshine Bleu cheese with Winter Park honey. Sadly, the supplier was somehow affected and could not deliver the product. Instead, we received the Florida Orange Creme Brulee with Fresh FL strawberries and whipped cream. Divine. The vanilla bean speckled custard was enhanced with orange essence, not sweetness. Nice contrast to the appropriately hard sugar crust. In speaking after, we could not pick a favorite course, as everything was top notch and enjoyed by all.

    If you go, park on terminal B, 4th floor parking. (Go to the 3rd level topside parking and look for "Hyatt Self Park" by the ramp which will have you parking 4th floor *terminal side*, across from the main airport parking garage.)

    Back to parking, since our group incurred $60 worth of parking charges, this is worth mentioning. It would have been nice to receive 1/2 off parking, etc. Our group ordered several bottles of wine with dinner, the fact that parking could have been another bottle of wine, is pretty significant and a detractor for locals heading down to this venue. Hemisphere's (another great place!) offers free valet, so something should be worked out, esp. to draw locals in for special "events".

    Full Eat Local Menu for McCoy’s Bar and Grill, Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

    Executive Chef David Didzunas
    Three-Course Prix Fixe Menu – $30 per person (dinner only)

    Starter:
    Bacon and Egg
    Palmetto Creek Farms Pork Belly and Poached Lake Meadow Naturals Egg
    Local Greens, Citrus Vinaigrette
    or
    Cape Canaveral Royal Red Shrimp Cocktail, Tarragon-Citrus Aioli

    Entrée:
    Palmetto Creek Farms Center Cut Pork Chop with Orange-Honey Glaze
    Local Seasonal Vegetables of The Day
    or
    St. Johns River Tilapia Stuffed with Florida Crab Meat, Fresh Tomato Ragout
    Local Seasonal Vegetables of The Day

    Finale:
    Florida Orange Creme Brulee

    Pics below: both apps and both entree's.

     
     
     
     
    1 Reply
    1. re: winechic
      honduranterror Jan 28, 2010 12:21 PM

      [A ] Food quality grade
      [A-] Value grade ($30, it would have been an A if there was better ambiance)

      I was able to eat at the Plantation House this Monday and I was pleasantly surprised. They have a very straightforward and simple menu (which happens to be a mantra for me). The ambiance is definitely lacking but it's worth a trip for this menu. Make sure to make reservations prior.
      This is their menu

      Salad:
      Heart of Christmas Farms Heirloom Lettuces
      Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Balsamic Glaze

      Duet Entrée:
      Deep Creek Ranch Flat Iron Steak and Cape Canaveral Wild Royal Red Shrimp
      Root Vegetable and Potato Gratin
      Organic & Locally Grown Herb Butter
      Sunrise Bakery Breads

      Dessert:
      Indian River Grapefruit “Creamsicle”
      Grapefruit Sponge Cake, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream,
      Grapefruit Granita, and Mint
      Austin’s Roasted Organic and Fair Trade Coffee

      Their salad was simple and divine. The Flat iron Steak was seared to perfection; flavorful and dense. The highlight of the entree was definitely the Royal Red shrimp! Sweet, tender and cooked just right. Royal Reds are very delicate and therefore trickier to cook at the right temperature for the right texture. I was surprised it was marinated an herb butter sauce because it wasn't very prevalent. When I tried the gratin, I definitely tasted the potato but it took me a little longer to figure out the other root vegetable... it was parsnips which made the gratin mildly sweet with a crisp bite (delicious!).
      Dessert was my favorite course. The chef, Mary Menzer, did an incredible balancing the bitterness and sweetness of the grapefruit. The Granita was refreshing and the ice cream was not overly sweet.
      I can only drink few coffees dark, because very few can hold their own, and this was one of those coffees.

      Overall; great experience!

    2. winechic Jan 28, 2010 09:12 PM

      Harmoni Market (College park Location)

      [A ] Food quality grade
      [B+] Value grade

      I enjoy Harmoni, over the years I've been there for Brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner. All have been great, today was no exception.

      Lunch was $12.5 for a 2 course meal. My friend and I ordered the same thing, the Harmoni House-Made Mediterranean Chili (using Local Produce & Florida Fish) and the Rockin’ Goat Flatbread – Cape Canaveral Rock Shrimp, Harmoni Tomato Ragu, Goat Cheese, Arugula

      I didn't know what to expect going into the chili, but it was really tasty. Our server did a great job of describing the dish, so we were prepared for the jalapeno kick. The chili was made with a thick and spicy broth filled with tons of veggies and a nice amount of Mahi and rock shrimp. Really a very tasty combo, but did pack a kick with the added jalapeno garnish. (If you aren't into food with a kick, might want to forgo the Jalapeno) The toasted pita were a nice accompaniment.

      I've had Rockin’ Goat Flatbread for dinner and have always enjoyed the goaty goodness to contrast with the tomato ragu, the tender rock shimp and peppery greens. Today's flatbread was yummy, but had an extra heavy base of the zesty tomato ragu which may have been the difference. Didn't get much of the goat cheese flavor and the shrimp seemed a bit sparse, but that could be the difference between the lunch and dinner flatbread. We both enjoyed it and were quite full upon completing the meal. Service was excellent and very prompt.

      I hope they consider adding that chili to the menu, it's really great.

      Harmoni Market (College Park)

      Two-Course Lunch ~ $12.5
      Starter:
      Harmoni House-Made Mediterranean Chili (using Local Produce & Florida Fish)
      or
      Choice of Harmoni Salsa or Harmoni Roasted Red Pepper Hummus & Aladdin Bakery’s Toasted Pita Crisps

      Main:
      Truffle Egg Salad Sandwich – Lake Meadow Farms All-Natural Heritage Eggs, Celery, Onion, Cornichon, Whole Grain Mustard
      or
      Caprese Flatbread – Harmoni House-made Mozzarella, Rest Haven Farms Ripe Tomato, House-Made Basil Pesto, Olde Hearth Bakery’s Flatbread
      or
      Rockin’ Goat Flatbread – Cape Canaveral Rock Shrimp, Harmoni Tomato Ragu, Goat Cheese, Arugula

      1 Reply
      1. re: winechic
        honduranterror Jan 30, 2010 06:12 AM

        I think I might eat there tomorrow night. Very excited!

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