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Formal Dinner in Orlando???

I’m looking for a few suggestions on where to take my wife out for a more formal/nice dinner in Orlando. Somewhere that you wouldn't take kids or wear jeans??? We typically go to Norman's for this type of night out but I wanted to get your suggestions. Had looked into V&A out at Disney but we haven't had the best luck with Disney restaurants.

Help me out Chowhounders!

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  1. ummm u have to wear dinner attire at V&A ...they wont even let u in if you're in jeans and flip flops..
    afaik they barely even let kids in...they have to be over 10 iirc
    it is a 5 star place...and yes disney has some of those type places...

    i have had some very very good dinners at disney...
    my wife and i have also enjoyed Texas de Brazil....
    the flying fish...(disney)
    cafe tu tu tango has been mentioned on CH a lot...but i havent been yet...its on my list (idrive)

    are u looking for specific cuisine also?

    and if u search CH Yosemite Sam has at least 4 dining guides for the orlando/disney area..
    they would have some good ideas as well....
    like these..

    1. Enzo's is great, as well as Spice, Hue, Amura's, Antonio la Fiama's upstairs, and Le Coq au Vin to start, and if you feel adventurous I suggest Cafe 118 in Winter Park. Raw, vegan fare.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bonesplosion

        Appreciate the feedback. Hadn’t thought of Enzo’s!

        Guess I should give some more info on what I’m looking for. Price, location (as long as it’s in the Orlando area) and cuisine aren’t a factor. Just looking for other suggestions similar to Normans at the Ritz, Enzo’s, Luma etc. While we love Rav Pig, Tu Tu Tango, Funky Monkey and many other places around town I'm looking for something thats just a little more formal.

        We also just went to Napa in the Peabody hotel which was very good. Appreciate all the help!

        1. re: bnbbiz

          I was going to suggest Napa.

          I agree with you RP, Tu Tu Tango and Funky Monkey are not very formal although very good.

          I haven't been to Enzo's either but that sounds like a good idea.

          the other idea I had was The Bull and Bear at Waldorf - They have their menu online - http://www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com/...

      2. Chatham's Place on Restaurant Row - great special occasion place, pretty formal and great great service. Small but well-edited menu with fantastic daily specials. Nothing to look at from the outside but really charming inside

        Another option is Chef's Table in Old Winter Garden - not quite as formal but a nice experience and the short drive there will make the whole experience seem more out-of-the-ordinary

        Chatham's Place Restaurant
        7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

        Chef's Table
        99 W Plant St, Winter Garden, FL 34787

        2 Replies
        1. re: YosemiteSam

          Any other nice/formal places in Orlando that I'm just missing? Considering Chatham's Place and Enzo's...Oceans Prime, Oceanaire and Roys have also been suggested.

          Thanks for all the help!

          1. re: bnbbiz

            I find Oceanaire and Roy's all to be a little "corporate" - kind of like going to Ruth's Chris, Capital Grill or Morton's - not the best vibe for a special occasion IMO unless you like eating around business people and conventioneers

            Venetian Room is another good option, as is Primo. You might also consider Boheme downtown. Times like this make me miss Manuel's on the 28th and Maison et Jardin

        2. Capital Grille, The Venitian, Primo. Just a few more spots to consider.

          Capital Grille
          9101 International Dr Ste 1000, Orlando, FL 32819

          1. Christini's or Chatham's Place Christini's is sort of a hang out for the Isleworth crowd but they like it because it is private in atmosphere with no fans gawking. Both are in the Bay Hill area but away from the industrial restaurants on Sand Lake. (Morton's, Ruth's)

            We had Thanksgiving at Napa last year and found it elegant and excellent. I was looking for an elegant thanksgiving and not some pig out affair and they were spot on.

            Chatham's Place Restaurant
            7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

            1. Were you not able to get in to V&A? I think it would be a great option. I'm just not clear what you mean be bad luck - tough time getting in, or past bad experiences?

              Other Disney options that might fit the bill are Jiko or Artist Point. If you go a little later (8pm or so) the younger kids are usually off to bed.

              My husband and I just celebrated our anniversary at Bistro de Paris in Epcot. I don't think I would recommend it over the above options, though the atmosphere was lovely. Food was quite good but not worth it unless you have an annual pass.

              Good luck!


              1. I would really suggest V & A it is not like any other Disney restaurant and I have been to most of
                them. Christini's in Dr Phillips is very nice small and very intimate the food is great. Chatham Place is also good. None of these restaurant are like any others in Orlando the service and food is the best. A little pricey but well worth it.

                Chatham Place
                1788 Chatham Place Dr, Orlando, FL 32801

                1. I certainly agree with the opinions of Disney food, however V and A, is making a serious attempt to be at least a bit different. They now limit bringing children to an upscale dinner. Have received a lot of flack claiming that Disney is for kids and how could you etc etc. Well after spending 300 bucks for a pretty good meal you sometimes can expect not to be bothered constantly by a four your old. BTW, I do agree with most selections mentioned here. Norman's I would consider the top of the line. Since Enzo passed away some say the place is not the same. Some people like The Bohemian - about the only upscale place in downtown Orlando. There always are some surprises. I hurriedly pass a restaurant on 17-92 in Debary.
                  I thought it was a coffee shop in a new building. What a surprise, The place Vienna Cafe and Restaurant. About half way between DeBary and the river bridge , on the east side. Elegant place with great food and very knowledgeable servors.