Good eats in Orlando
we will be staying at the Hyatt Regency near the convention center later next week. Please pass on recs for that area. Thank you!
Roy's Orlando is pretty awesome. Higher end and a bit costly but amazing. http://www.roysrestaurant.com/
New Punjabi Indian has pretty amazing Indian food: http://www.newpunjabindian.com/
China Jade Mongolian Grill: I'm not really a buffet person, but this buffet is pretty amazing.
What type (& price range) of food are you looking for?
Oh yes, Ravenous Pig is delicious! It's in my top 10 favorite Orlando restaurants. :)
Four Rivers (both locations) are known for their BBQ. ( http://4rsmokehouse.com/)
My favorite sushi place is Amura - it's one of the best I've been to in the US (IMHO)... but sushi is one of those things that seems highly personal. :) There are a few locations now - http://amura.com/
Bosphorous is great (as mentioned by Sandwich_Sister), but it's specifically Turkish, not Mediterranean (which would also include Greek food, etc.) They also have a couple of locations - one of them is near Ravenous Pig. http://bosphorousrestaurant.com/
Cafe Tu Tu Tango is ok for tapas. There's also a very popular place in downtown Orlando called Ceviche. Even better though is a place in Winter Park named El Bodegon - it's very quiet, low key and their croquettes are especially good. It's a pretty small family run place - http://bodegonrestaurant.com/
I can't say that I've found any Italian places that knock my socks off and I've tried most of them. They're basically just American Italian food. The ones that are "authentic" are closer to being authentic but just aren't that good.
To echo Sandwich_Sister - I've heard amazing things about "Cask and Larder" (from reliable resources) but haven't made it to either yet.
@Sandwich_Sister - we seem to frequent the same restaurants. I wonder if we've seen each other in passing! LOL
On the Italian topic -- when I look for authentic, I look for authentic and pick accordingly. I can't speak to any in Orlando. However, when I am there and want "Italian" -- I look for high quality food and service, a lot of flavor, taste, etc. -- and an overall very good experience.
Two on my list are -- Christini's and Il Mulino. Both have given me all of the above. I've had many dishes at Christini's, and while you might not find them exactly, per se, on a menu in Italy, to me that is not a bad thing -- unless you are strictly looking for authentic. Christini's gives me what I am looking for. That said, while very little IMO compares to Il Mulino in NYC -- I like the Orlando "trattoria" version. The same applies -- it fills what I want.
Thanks again for the excellent information.
I have not been -- but I know many people who have gone and I would deem them to be reliable. Now, my tastes, likes, dislikes, etc. may not be the same as theirs, but that's a different issue.
My one friend is a chef/owner and he's always been straight up, straightforward, and always gives me his honest opinion of a place -- and I've heard him rave about places, envious, etc. The most common comment -- complaint -- that I've heard about Prato is that it is overpriced. Now, that could be a relative term, but they could be under-delivering vis a vis the price. It's always a question of price/value, what you pay and what you feel you receive.
I've heard it's small, but more that it is "tight" as in cramped in, and can be noisy; and that they seem to focus on a lot of pizza. Can't speak to that. However, I've had some people I know tell me they like it.
I don't think I'll have the chance to go as I want to go to Il Mulino one night, but depending on my mood, maybe I'll stop in for a bite (for a pizza, maybe).
You are correct it is Turkish. I know that location used to be Anatolia which was Turkish as well but somewhere I had seen it listed as Mediterranean and had thought they had tweaked their menu. My mistake, I stand corrected.
I had a not so great experience the last time I went to Amura. Maybe it was an off day. I know a lot of people who love it. but I've been hesitant to recommend it again until I go back.
I agree Cafe Tu Tu Tango can be hit and miss on some of their dishes but if staying close to the International Drive Area its a good fun time that is not a chain.
If going to the Winter Park area there is Prato for Italian Food. I've never been their but again I have a few friends one who has Italian family love the place. Have you been?
We could have seen each other in passing. However I'm not always out an about. My recent move back to Downtown Orlando from the sticks has been interesting. Been going to a lot of places I've not had a chance to.
I'll second (third, fourth, whatever) Ravenous Pig, 4 Rivers, and Bosphorous -- definitely three of my Top Five Orlando restaurants.
Tu Tu Tango is a solid choice in the I-Drive area for sure. I've now tried Cask and Larder once for dinner and once for Sunday brunch. Both times it was good but not great, and kind of pricey. I think I'll stick to the Pig in the future.
For Italian, my new favorite is Wolfie's Pizzamia on Orange Avenue, a few doors down from its sister restaurant White Wolf Café:
They make everything in house, including all their cured meats (and they have a lot!) and their pasta. Everything we've tried there has been incredible, and I highly recommend it. Wolfie's has also made my Top Five.
Assuming you want to stay relatively close to the convention center here are a few ideas:
Nagoya or Dragonfly for Sushi
Peperoncino - Italian
Saffron, Memories of India, New Punjab and Aarshirward - Indian
Bosphorous (Dr. Phillips location) - Mediterranean
Hot Krust Panini Kitchen - quick lunch, delicious paninis
Cafe Tu Tu Tango, fun atmosphere, fusion tapas
I had a great trip. The conference was great and the weather was cold. One morning I walked out onto my terrace at the hotel -- and it was 34 degrees. So what, I was inside all day anyway, LOL. People were cancelling their scheduled golf days. Another morning it was in the high 30's.
It was supposed to rain all week but it didn't. The sun was out a few days. It was in the 60's a few afternoons. Cool and chilly, but I was more than OK with that.
Hope you have a great trip/conference.