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Best restaurant in the Orlando area?

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  • scot Jan 27, 2011 09:52 AM
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If you had to choose one place in the orlando area (within 30 minutes), where would it be? Cost not being an issue and no pre-conceived food preferences.

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  1. For me, overall it's the Ravenous Pig. That said, I like casual gastropub food the best. For a formal top end 5 Diamond experience I go with Victoria & Alberts.

    Now anxiously awaiting the "Ravenous Pig is over-hyped" or "It used to be great, but now it's gone downhill" crew...

    6 Replies
    1. re: YosemiteSam

      Seconded. The Ravenous Pig is my favorite restaurant in Orlando, and the first place I'd bring a date (were I still dating), out of town visitors, people I was trying to impress, or anyone else. I've never had anything less than a mind-blowingly amazing meal there.

      It's a little more expensive than casual dining chains like Cheesecake Factory, but definitely a bargain compared to "fine dining" restaurants, and probably more fun with better food.

      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

        Put me in the Ravenous Pig corner as well. Passionate about what they serve. Primo would be second on the list.

      2. re: YosemiteSam

        I've had great meals and blah meals at RP, but when they're great, they're great.

        1. re: askdrtodd

          Everyone i talk to says the venitian room at cabre royal is the bomb and totally under rated. This resturaunt always wins the awards and has critics raving nationwide for formal elegance, service, and food. I never hear anyone talk about it here so if you have been there recently,,chime in!

          1. re: mountdorahound

            I ate there last year when we had a trade show in that hotel, I thought it was good but hardly worth the $. Good, simple, classic dishes, with apps in the $20 and entrees in the $40 range if I recall correctly. Not a ton of choices either if I'm not mistaken.

        2. re: YosemiteSam

          I agree completely with Yosemite Sam, on both RP and Victoria & Alberts.
          Don't be put off by V and A's Disney World location. There are no Mickey's in sight. This is one of the top restaurants in the South. Food, service, ambiance - all excellent, IMHO. Bring money.

        3. I put Luma on Park and Ravenous Pig at the top of my list in Orlando. Really can't go wrong with either place.

          As far as V&A's, while the ingredients and preparation are outstanding, for the money I just find the experience too gimicky and would rather spend my money elsewhere.

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          Luma on Park
          290 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

          1. I like Christini's -- always enjoy the food, drink and experience. Excellent all around.

            1. Victoria & Albert's, without a doubt, if money is no obstacle. Chef Scott does an unbelievable job, and we've never eaten anywhere that lived up to Victoria & Albert's, though Alinea in Chicago came really, really close.
              Second would also be the Ravenous Pig - we love this restaurant, though obviously it's not of the same caliber as V&A's, and one shouldn't expect it to be, especially for the price differential. They do an outstanding job with gastropub quality food.
              I have to say also that the ahi tuna at Roy's Hawaiian is one of the best things I've ever put into my mouth. It's been a few years since we've been there, but that particular dish was outstanding.
              If you want more detailed reviews of these (we've got a few V&A's reviews with photos attached), you can find them on our website: http://hpandaw.wordpress.com
              Cheers!
              Heather W

              6 Replies
              1. re: hmp2z

                Alinea came close? I've eaten at V&A's, and it was excellent (and priced accordingly), but putting it above the best restaurant in North America and the #6 in the world? (http://www.theworlds50best.com/awards...

                )

                I have reservations at Alinea in just under 3 weeks, I'll report back.

                1. re: askdrtodd

                  I don't necessarily put it above Alinea - they are just two so wildly different experiences that I put each as excellent in its category. If I had to rank two such disparate places, I would probably rank V&A's marginally higher, acknowledging that a lot of that has to do with sentimentality. For sheer, astonishingly good cuisine, that would be Alinea.
                  What I DO put V&A's above is both Per Se and the French Laundry, both restaurants that disappointed us. We really, really wanted to like Thomas Keller's fare, and while we liked it, liking doesn't come anywhere near making it worth the price tag. There was no "WOW" factor for us. Victoria & Albert's, for less money, had many more wows, though my caveat is that we eat in the kitchen, never in the main dining room.
                  Cheers!
                  Heather Wright

                  1. re: hmp2z

                    Do they do the whole character bit in the kitchen too, or are the servers only dressed like that in the main dining room.

                    I've only eaten in the dining room, but have also eaten at Per Se and don't think the two can be mentioned in the same breathe. So either the kitchen dining at V&A is that much better than the regular dining room, or we just have different opinions of what great food is. Agreed that the price is high, but I think the meal is incredible at Per Se.

                    1. re: hmp2z

                      Alinea- was amazing but wasn't worth the $. :(

                      Also a lot of my Orlando foodie buddies are raving about the Rusty Spoon as of late.

                  2. re: hmp2z

                    I also love both Ravenous Pig and Victoria & Albert's. But I'm underwhelmed by Roy's - good quality ingredients, but something doesn't gel for me in this place.

                    1. re: FloridaFoodie1

                      Roy's was once something special to my wife & I, it's gotten pretty corporate now though. Ten years ago it was our favorite restaurant, we even went straight to the original Roy's in Hawaii as soon as we got off the plane for our honeymoon. We went last week because we had a gift card and it's lost all the magic.

                  3. Right now I am picking Il Pescatore downtown Orlando. Haven't been to RP yet but Pescatore is the most amazing Italian food IMO.

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                    Il Pescatore
                    651 N Primrose Dr, Orlando, FL 32803