We spent a few days in Orlando and had a chance to dine at Norman's. We each had the tasting menu with wine pairings. For us this was an introduction to a whole new world. She started with the stuffed shrimp and I had the Conch chowder. Both were fantabulous and considering that I had no idea what a conch was previously we were off to a promising start. Next we split the "Down Island French Toast". We've had a lot of Foie and consider ourselves discriminating but this was outstanding. On Brioche with a passion fruit caramel the seared Foie was one of the better we've ever had. The seafood course was next. SO had a Key West Yellowtail with citrus butter sauce that was quite nice paired with a very nice Chablis. I had a Grouper that was not originally on the menu so I got a glass of Pinot Noir by mistake(that I got to keep). The grouper had a sauce that had some heat and my first bite was not promising but I soldiered on and grew to really like it. The final course was a ribeye for SO and was underwhelming due to low fat content. I had the Pork Neuvo Latino. INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! The red wine reduction was intense. Truly one of the more revelatory meals we've had in awhile. Finished with a cheese course that was quite nice and each had a chocolate souffle that was very nice. All in all a wonderful experience and hope to dine at Norman's again. And service was perfect.
Awesome. I haven't been there in quite some time but always reccommend it. I'm glad to hear it sounds just as great as the time I went.
It is nice to hear a good review - this place was hot when it opened but it is a little out of the way and tends to be forgotten and mostly frequented by tourists or business travelers. I guess the reason I avoid it is that Norman Van Aiken started a trend of mixing tropical flavors and fruit etc with savory dishes (Floribbean I belive its called) that has benn abused by countless hacks in this state (especially in South Florida) to the point that when I read your descriptions I think of the sickly sweet crap that has been foisted on me over the years by poor imitators.
I need to find time to get back to Norman's and remember what the true "Caribbean Cowboys" are capable of....
oh gosh I'm glad I've never experienced the hacks. There is a subtlety, balance, and a make or break boldness with Florribean that Norman has mastered.
One too many touches, something a tad over worked and it's ruined. I've got to get back there, I haven't been there since I got married, and I would love my husband to try it.