Eatin’ In Orlando 2

February 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM Leave a comment

Last year, prior to a trip to Orlando, we did a lot of research to find good food in the land of corporate meals. You can’t go a block without stumbling into a chain serving lackluster [fill-in the blank.] After a little work, we learned about K Restaurant and Wine Bar. It was everything we hoped for and when Jeff’s work again called him back to the area, we both knew immediately that another trip to K was imminent. We are happy to report; our second meal was just as good as the first. This is a first-rate place.

Jeff started with a beet and goat cheese salad, followed by a perfect duck breast with confit risotto and topped with red cabbage. It just does not get much better than this! Michele traveled that day, so she forwent a salad and jumped right into a perfectly seared salmon alongside potatoes. As we remembered, all was excellent.

In our research this year, we came across what sounded like the new “king” in town. The Ravenous Pig has garnered some impressive reviews and customer comments. The next day, we drove to Winter Park to see for ourselves. Reservations for Tuesday at 6:00PM were not available! The host suggested that the bar area was typically not filled and it served the same menu. Taking a chance we arrived at a bustling business, the bar tables already filled! No fear however, outdoor dining was available and six seats at the chef’s counter were also open. We of course took our seats at the counter and spent the next two hours ogling the parade of goodies coming from the kitchen. The only thing bad about the seat was our inability to choose just one to eat! Eventually, we did and there is good reason for this place to be filled. Food could not have been better.

Michele ordered the rock shrimp Tacos appetizer as her main course. She unfortunately had a large lunch. She desperately wanted to also try the Farmer Salad, as it looked wonderful exiting the kitchen, but knew much of the food would go to waste. Despite her being full, the tacos disappeared instantly. The shrimp was plump and tasty and balanced nicely with the cabbage, avocado and cilantro filling. Jeff had worked all day without a bite, so he was just the opposite, ready to eat! He ordered the Shrimp and Grits appetizer and it was remarkable. The shrimp were perfect and the chorizo oil gave it a touch of heat. He combined this dish with some excellent Biscuits laced with Gruyere cheese and served with sea salt butter. These are a must, if you go.

For his main entrée, Jeff ordered the stuffed Quail. A beautiful blend of fennel sausage and a mixed soffrito topped the tiny birds that in-turn sat over a bed of polenta. It was perfect. Michele shared in the S’more Tart dessert. The marshmallow top was fired a beautiful brown and the bottom, crunchy graham crackers. A delightful cocoa ice cream sat to the side. This was a wonderful end to the meal.

After Michele left town, Jeff took two business associates to a well regarded Cuban restaurant, Padrino’s. Jeff had an excellent Black Bean Soup and tasty slow cooked pork, Lechon Asado, although the yucca side was less successful. Another person had tempting ham Croquetas and a Cuban sandwich he pronounced very good. The third person was less than happy with his House Salad and grilled pork chops. They appeared blanched and looked as tasteless as he claimed. If you decide to go here, order carefully, the wait staff was of little value in assisting in the selection.

Orlando is the home of the magic kingdom and more corporate food per square mile than most places in America. This just means that discerning palates must work a bit harder to find good food. In the long run, the effort is well worth it.

K Restaurant (There appears to be something wrong with their website, kwinebar.com)1710 Edgewater Drive Orlando, FL 32804 407-872-2332

http://theravenouspig.com/1234 N Orange Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 407-628-2333

http://www.padrinosbistro.com/home.htm13583 Village Park Drive Orlando, FL 32837 407-251-5107

Entry filed under: Eatin' Out of Town. Tags: , , , , , .

SOHO Kitchen & Bar Cowell & Hubbard

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