While Orlando will always be known for its amusement parks aka Walt Disney World & Universal Orlando, pristine golf courses, and Florida oranges. Orlando’s emerging culinary scene, including craft beer and cocktail scene, neighborhood restaurants, and award-wining chefs are putting Orlando on the gastronomic radar.
From haute cuisine to happy hour bites, and everything in between, here are the hottest restaurants in O-town this summer.
An American Brassiere & Lounge – Urbain 40
An award-winning veteran of the culinary arena, including a four-time James Beard Foundation nominee and Chef of the Year by Houston’s My Table Magazine, Chef Tim Keating might just be the second best thing that happened to Urbain 40. The first, needless to say is Chef Keating’s revitalized menu and delectable delights.
After cooking for legends such as Political Dignitaries – Former presidents Bush & Clinton; Rock Stars – James Taylor, Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel, and Celebrity Chefs – Martha Stewart, Julia Child, & Emeril to name a few, Chef Tim Keating is shining his brilliance on Urbain 40 and we humble folks of CFL are the blessed beneficiaries.
A showstopper that literally rocked all our senses, Crispy Jonah Crab Cakes with savory slaw, verde sauce, and piquant mango pepper coulis is not only a work of art, it’s no filler, pure indulgent sweet crab, easily earns the finest crab cakes award in CFL.
Chef Keating is not only a stalwart of French haute-cuisine, his culinary prowess encompasses serious Italian skills too. From the seriously sinful, finger-licking umami-rich rendition of Pasta Bolognese with fresh pappardelle, slow braised beef, veal, & heritage pork ragout, arugula, & Parmigiano Reggiano to the Trofie di Abruzzo swaggering duck confit, duck sausage, Ligurian pasta dumpling, with rapini and Alba mushrooms, Urbain 40 is so much more than just an American brassiere.
Adding fusion cuisine to it’s repertoire, the Ginger Teriyaki Char Crusted Yellowfin Tuna Filet in a lite carrot-coconut lemongrass curry butter emulsion was not only cooked to pink perfection, the flavors danced like a seamless session of Tai chi.
The recently revamped menu also incorporates notable emphasis on sweet finales from marvelous macarons to divine desserts created with paramount importance to high quality ingredients and pristine and playful presentations.
Strap on your seat belts friends, from the moment you step afoot into Urbain 40, Chef Keating and his talented team whisks you away on a global epicurean escapade, one plate at a time, where you are limited only by your own imagination.
Urbain 40: 8000 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819. P: (407) 872-2640
Canvas Restaurant & Restaurant
A relatively new comer, Canvas is already making it’s mark, with thoughtfully curated new American cuisine influenced by Florida’s Southern and Latin American roots. Elevating Lake Nona’s culinary real estate is Chef Bryan Thoman, a Florida Culinary School alumni, whose dauntless palate coupled with keen insight of Central Florida’s culinary landscape, has swiftly raised Canvas Restaurant as the neighborhood gem.
Bask in Florida’s sunshine with an expansive out door patio shimmering with string lights, while noshing on fusion fare such as: Sherry based Octopus, Habanero Glazed Chicken Wings, Vegetarian Bianco Flatbread adorned with roasted garlic, Cast Iron Seared Scallops with Quinoa, Bbq lovers Burger with short rib, brisket, & pulled pork.
Walk over the wild side with Korean style Egg and Steak Salad with house made kimchi, and more plate-licking options, including seasonally inspired cocktails and dainty desserts.
Canvas Restaurant: 13615 Sachs Avenue, Orlando, FL 32827. P: (407) 313-7800
Seasons 52 Grill & Wine Bar
Synonymous with under 500 calorie menus and mini indulgence desserts, Seasons 52’s lynchpin embraces seasonally-inspired beverage and dining choices and an exhaustive wine list featuring 52 wines by the glass.
The happiest of happy hour swanking small plates such as Duck Wing Lollipops, Shrimp Scampi Skillet, Caramelized Grilled Sea Scallops, all under 300 calories with a price tag of $5, and $8 hand crafted cocktails to match; dangerously close to becoming a habit, albeit a delicious one!!
Knowledgeable and friendly staff, flawless presentation, thoughtful flavors, and attention to detail are one of the many reasons to fall in love all over again with Seasons 52 conveniently located in Dr. Philips restaurant row and Altamonte Springs.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Orlando
Looking to spice up your weekday evenings? Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando has just the antidote for you. Party in paradise with Caribbean Canaveral featuring live entertainment, bottomless Planter’s punch, wine, beer, and a sweeping spread of Caribbean dishes, including mojo roasted suckling pig, ropa vieja, jerk chicken, grilled snapper, pinto bean and shrimp salad, Caribbean rum cake and guava flan.
Eat Local + Drink Local = Be Local!!
Sustainably sourced grapes from Washington State’s Lake Chelan AVA, whole cluster macerated, hand-pressed using 100% vegan and gluten-free production methods, Snowbird’s Rose shines in the glass with softly scented red fruits (strawberries, cherries), layered with lavender and white pepper, held together with crisp acidity and lingering finish.
Varietal Composition: 32% Syrah, 32% Mourvedere, 36% Grenache. Chef Jamie recommends having a bowl of Ahi Tuna Poke or some sizzling lamb bbq on the grill to savor the seductive notes of Snowbird Rose.
There has never been a better time to explore Orlando’s burgeoning food and libations scene. These talented chefs are creating exquisite bites that rival the best in Florida, if not the country. By supporting local chefs and restaurants, you boost the local economy, literally building your community one plate at a time.
Loving these drool-worthy photographs? Contact The Primlani Kitchen to discuss your food photography options.
Until next time, have a delicious day!!