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Feb 28, 2011 01:10 PM

Please recommend me a semi-formal, good, Italian or Chinese restaurant in Orlando

Hi, I am planning a dinner for a visitor coming to town and have been requested we go someplace either Italian or Chinese. As common as these two cuisines are, they're not the types of restaurants I usually go to for dinner. I know of a good dim-sum restaurant up on Colonial but that wasn't the ambiance I was hoping for. If possible I'd like to avoid chains although I may have to go with that (PF Changs perhaps?).

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Chinese forget it - the good ones are all informal. Italian there are many options - what part of town are you looking?

    4 Replies
    1. re: YosemiteSam

      Apparently, anywhere in town is fine, but if possible near Doctor Philips or Hunters Creek. I came to a similar conclusion regarding Chinese , but have had Timpano and Brio recommended to me for Italian.

      BTW, we had a good time at Dragonfly last week with the group. We're thinking of hitting up one of the Peruvian restaurants in town for March. Hope you can make it.

        1. re: tginjapan

          I know nothing about Hunter's Creek, but Sandwich Sister always has good recommendations for that area.

          I'm not sure if your request for semi-formal is for atmosphere or as a proxy for price. In my opinion the best Italian in Orlando currently is at La Luce at the Hilton Bonnet Creek near Downtown Disney. It's not cheap, but as it is at a Disney hotel it necessarily has a semi-formal atmosphere without compromising on the food. Please note it is not "family style" Italian but more Italian by way of Napa with fresh ingredients - excellent pastas and mains.

          If you are looking in Dr Phillips and for semi-formal I'd recommend either Bravo! for a small chain but solid food and good service or for a family group and simple solid traditional Italian from a local family run place we go to Cariera's Cucina Italiana. Maggiano's is near there too but I'm not a fan.

          Other options if you want a drive are Antonio's La Fiamma, Juliana's Tuscan Kitchen or Rocco's

          You may hear recommendations for Christini's, Anotonio's Sand Lake, Primo, Cala Bella or Fiorella's. but those are all quite pricey.

          1. re: YosemiteSam

            Thanks Sam!

            Hunter's creek has Mikado Sushi - my favorite place for sushi - not sure if he's up for that since they already went to dragonfly.

            Also There is Padrino's which is good Cuban.

            Want some authentic Venezuelan food, or Colombian food there is Fortuna Bakery and Orlando Snack Cafe. Very small places but great food.

            All of these are in Hunters Creek.

            Orlando Snack Cafe
            3708 Town Center Blvd, Orlando, FL 32837

            Mikado Sushi
            13586 Village Park Dr, Orlando, FL 32837

      1. If you end up downtown and the weather is nice, I recommend Gargi's on Lake Ivanhoe. The food is good, the feel is old school and the veranda that overlooks the lake is a great atmosphere for a meal around dusk.

        1. It isn't in the area you stated, but I think Rocco's in Winter Park is amazing.