Restaurant Row

You must check out Big Fin Seafood Kitchen this year during Magical Dining Month if you want a delicious meal for a great value.  Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, voted “Best Seafood Restaurant in Orlando“,  offers global, fresh seafood, steaks and pasta, on Sand Lake Road.  This is their 9th year participating in Magical Dining Month.

What is Magical Dining Month?

  • 3 courses – Appetizer, Entrèe, and Dessert
  • Price: $35 per person plus tax & gratuity
  • Over 100 + participating restaurants
  • Beginning August 24 through September 30
  • Through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal will benefit Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
    Click here to view menu and make reservations

Choice of Appetizer

½ Dozen Freshly Shucked Raw Oysters – can be served raw (1st pic) or steamed (2nd pic)

Caesar Salad – Romaine, Parmesan cheese, garlic croutons

Cup of the Soup of the Day – Manhattan Clam Chowder

Choice of Entrèe

Shrimp Orleans – blackened shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, crawfish Parmesan grits with a Cajun cream sauce

Broiled Main Lobster Tail – served with garlic mashed potatoes and French style green beans

Filet Mignon – served with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus

Big Fin Trio – deep fried popcorn shrimp, bay scallops and catfish served with French fries and coleslaw

Upgrade: Add a 3 oz broiled lobster tail to any entree +$12

Choice of Dessert

“Apple Pie” Bread Pudding – braised cinnamon apples, salted caramel sauce, crumb topping, vanilla ice cream

Ooey Gooey – a gooey-layered pie cake topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and raspberry (ask your server for today’s flavor)

Key Lime Pie – a Florida favorite topped with whipped cream & a lime slice

Thank you Visit Orlando for hosting us and thank you Big Fin Seafood Kitchen for the amazing dinner and service!

Big Fin Seafood Kitchen
8046 Via Dellagio Way Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 615-8888

We would like to introduce you to Stop and Sip The Rosé Fridays at Ocean Prime Orlando where guests can enjoy half price glasses of Veuve Clicquot Rosé and $1 oysters from 5-7pm every Friday in the summer, in addition to their daily happy hour menu.  Stop and Sip The Rosé Fridays ends on Friday, August 31, 2018.

Ocean Prime is an award-winning modern American restaurant and lounge from renowned restauranteur Cameron Mitchell, with 14 locations across the country.  The service we received at Ocean prime Orlando was truly exceptional.  Ocean Prime is an ideal place to socialize, talk business, celebrate and indulge.

Miner Rose, Domaine Chandon Rosé, Veuve Clicquot Rosé, Notorious Pink Rose

All four Rosés are offered at a special price during their daily happy hour menu from 5-7pm.  On Fridays, the Vueve Clicquot Rosé is offered at a special discount of 50% off from 5-7pm.

Happy hour every day from 5-7pm.  Enjoy $5 off small plates and sushi offerings.

Oysters On The Half Shell

Prime Roll – Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, Scallion, Beef Carpaccio

Dynamite Roll – Tempura Shrimp, Spicy Mayo, Sesame Seeds

Prime Sliders – Bacon, Bleu Cheese, Sundried Tomato

Lamb Lollipops – Teriyaki Marinated, Sweet and Spicy Glaze

Fish Tacos – Corn Tortilla, Avocado, Pickled Cabbage

General Manager Michael Kopoian, very outgoing and passionate man.

Executive Chef Jeremy Mattson.  Chef Jeremy has won several honors including Ruth’s Chris Hospitality Group’s “Executive Chef of The Year”.

Great media dine with these lovely ladies!

A talented musician playing some tunes

Be sure to check out Ocean Prime Orlando soon for Stop and Sip the Rosé Fridays!

(Source credit: Ocean Prime Orlando)

Ocean Prime
7339 W Sand Lake Rd, 400, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 781-4880

Pork Ramen – Bean sprouts, menma, mayu, beni shoga, hard boiled egg, tonkotsu broth, scallion

We were invited to Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi to check out their new Unlimited Izakaya Lunch, available every Sunday from 11am – 2:30pm.  Reservations are required – call (407) 370-3359 to reserve your spot.

Adults: $39.00
Children (5-12): $19
Under 5: FREE

All-You-Can-Drink Mimosa, Cucumber Infused Bloody Mary, Saké Sangria: $15 per person

Virgin Sangria

Hand Roll & Nigiri Sushi Station – Your choice of: Tuna, Yellowtail, Salmon, White Fish

Steam Bun & Carving Station

White Fish Bun – Japanese tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato

Roasted Garlic Herb Strip Loin – Shiso pesto and Japanese horseradish

Gyoza – Pork dumplings, la-yu soy vinegar

Japanese Slider – Beef burger on fresh baked bun, shies, fried shallots, cabbage, tomato, honey wasabi mayo

Chicken Katsudon – Egg, onions, carrot, scallion, togarashi

Crispy Shrimp – Candied walnuts, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic yuzu mousseline

Takoyaki (Octopus Fritters) – Octopus, Japanese mayo, takoyaki sauce, aonori, bonito flakes, beni shoga

Curry Rice – Pork, carrots, potato

Robata Grilled Vegetables – Corn, turnips, baby carrots

Tuna, White Fish, Salmon

Build Your Own Poké

Dessert-of-the-day – Brownie Cake and Passion Fruit Tart

Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi
7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-3359

The Impossible Burger – Famous Impossible Burger Patty, Lettuce, Onions, Tomatoes, HK Style, Black&Bleu Style, Buffalo Style.  Omit cheese to make it 100% vegan.

We were invited to Hot Krust on Sand Lake Road (near Whole Foods) to taste their new vegan panini.  “The Impossible Burger” panini was my favorite! It tasted so much like real beef that I had to double check with the friendly owner, Khabeer, if it was really meat-free.

“The Impossible Burger” panini with baked tater tots.  No fryers are used at Hot Krust.

Behind the screens picture captured by my mom.

Roasted Beet & Chickpea Burger – Roasted Beet and Chickpea patty, Vegan Garlic Mayo, Pineapples, Homemade Mano Chutney, Onions, Spinach

The sweet potato waffle fries are always baked, never fried.

The gelato panini it not vegan but it was so cool to see one of my food pictures blown up!

Be sure to check out Hot Krust soon for some delicious vegan paninis!

Hot Krust
8015 Turkey Lake Rd #200, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 355-7768

From April 10 – June 16, guests at BRAVO Cucina Italiana will have the opportunity to pick one appetizer and two of BRAVO’s classic Italian dishes and receive a half portion of each.  What a great way to taste two entrees at an affordable price!

Lunch is $14.99 and dinner is $17.99.

Choose one appetizer:
Soup of the Day
Italian Wedding Soup
Lobster Bisque (add $1)
BRAVO Chopped Salad
Casar Classic
Insalata Della Casa

Choose two entrees:
1/2 Pasta Woozie: Grilled chicken, fettuccine, alfredo, spinach
1/2 Pasta BRAVO: Grilled chicken, mushrooms, rigatoni, roasted red pepper cream
1/2 Chicken Parmesan: Pomodoro, mozzarella, herb linguine
1/2 Shrimp Fra Diavolo: Spicy tomato cream sauce, campanelle pasta, shrimp
1/2 Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese: BRAVO’s signature meat sauce, alfredo, ricotta, mozzarella

BRAVO will also offer a seasonal Warm Berry Cake and drink specials including the Strawberry Fizz, Strawberry Mango Cosmo and Strawberry Basil Smash.

* At select locations.  Available Sunday – Thursday only.  Promotion ends June 16, 2018.

In addition, BRAVO will offer a spring gift card promotion perfect as a gift for moms, dads and grads!  For every $100 in gift cards purchased, guests will receive a free $25 bonus card.

Keep scrolling to view pictures from our recent media dine of when got to taste their current spring promotion.  BRAVO is a beautiful restaurant with good food and a very nice staff, especially Victor who took care of us.

Complimentary bread and herb oil

Calamari Fritti – creamy horseradish, marinara

Crispy Shrimp Napoli – green onions, charred tomato Napoli sauce

Lobster Bisque with sherry, diced shrimp

BRAVO Chopped Salad – chopped greens, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, olives, feta, red wine vinaigrette

Left to right: Pasta Woozie: Grilled chicken, fettuccine, alfredo, spinach
Pasta BRAVO: Grilled chicken, mushrooms, rigatoni, roasted red pepper cream

Left to right: Chicken Parmesan: Pomodoro, mozzarella, herb linguine
Shrimp Fra Diavolo: Spicy tomato cream sauce, campanelle pasta, shrimp

(Seasonal) Warm Berry Cake

Open kitchen that you can walk up to and watch chefs prepare your meal

Beautiful outdoor seating

Be sure to stop by BRAVO soon to check out their affordable spring menu promotion before it ends on June 16, it is worth it!
(Source credit: BRAVO Cucina Italiana)

BRAVO Cucina Italiana on Sand Lake’s Restaurant Row
7924 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 351-5880

Double cut grinned pork chop – Charleston SC double corn grits, pork belly collards, fried super sweet onions

We were invited to a media dinner at a nice speakeasy on Sand Lake Road called Pharmacy Orlando,  a prohibition-chic haunt with a hidden door featuring craft cocktails, New American plates & pizza.

It took me a few minutes of wandering aimlessly around and asking a few locals where the speakeasy’s hidden entrance was located but I found it and it was totally worth the hunt.  Pharmacy Orlando is located on the first floor of a multilevel shopping/business complex, near Regions bank, behind secret elevator doors.  The inside is dim with an intimate ambiance and relaxing vibe.  The food (“medicine”) was delicious and the staff was knowledgable and attentive.

Classic cheese fondue – 100 year old sourdough crostini, spicy pickled green beans

Margharita – sciue-sciue tomato, green h2ouse purple micro basil

Half pound Cape Canaveral garlic & butter rock shrimp (this was my favorite appetizer!  In this picture we had already eaten half of our order)

Tomato & prosciutto bruschetta with burrata cheese & farm poached egg

Greenh2ouse romaine & kale green goddess caesar – house smoked bottarga, local tomato confit, parmigiana reggiano

Florida fresh tang fried chickens with lime, scallions & sesame

Meatball grandé with Nana’s spicy sauce and fried cheese polenta

Pharmacy Mac & Cheese – wild mushrooms, poached farm egg, 3 cheeses

Cape Canaveral roasted whole vermillion snapper – (delicious medium bodied white fish) Peruvian chimichurri, fried plantains, lime

Be sure to check out Pharmacy Orlando soon to pick up your medication and elixirs!

Pharmacy Orlando
8060 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 985-2972

We were invited to media dine at Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar nestled in Restaurant Row on Sand Lake Rd.  My favorite part of our lunch was the fresh guacamole that is made tableside and served with seasoned “Rocco’s chips”.  They are the best chips and guac that I have ever had in Orlando.  I highly recommend them!

Surf & Turf – marinated grilled steak, chorizo, sweet potatoes, chicken and shrimp in a roasted garlic verde sauce.  Served sizzling in a traditional lava rock molcajete with our tortillas, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, guacamole, sour cream

Dining with a view

Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundae – vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, buñuelo, whipped cream, honey salted peanuts

Be sure to check out Rocco’s Taco’s soon for some of the freshest Mexican food in town!

Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar
7468 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 226-0550

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Seasons 52 – as its name aptly suggests – is a restaurant concept that changes its menu along with the seasons. It’s owned by the Darden Restaurant group and so with the headquarters here in Orlando, the Sand Lake location (they are located on Restaurant Row – though it might be more accurate to call it Darden Row nowadays?) gets to have first dibs when it comes to being the test kitchen for new dishes.

The summer menu is full of fresh corn and watermelon flavors.

Here are our Favorite Bites from Seasons 52’s New Summer 2017 menu:



bacon, leeks (230 cal)

panko crust (230 cal)

shaved red onion, feta, lemon vinaigrette (190 cal)

crispy bacon, caramelized onion, Parmesan (410 cal)

cave-aged Gruyère, cheddar, trio of roasted mushrooms, truffle zest, panko crust (350 cal)

black rice, kohlrabi slaw, sesame-peanut vinaigrette (530 cal)

sauté of vegetables, Yukon mash, roasted garlic butter (670 cal)

pecan crust, toasted meringue (290 cal)
vanilla bean mousse, whipped cream, honey-glazed pecan (370 cal)

Other new dishes for the summer at Seasons 52:

· Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Figs: Fresh seasonal figs have a distinctly smooth skin and sweet, chewy texture that pairs beautifully with rich gorgonzola, topped with a 15-year aged balsamic.

· Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Board: Sweet, Vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes pair perfectly with creamy burrata and prosciutto and topped with 15-year aged balsamic.

· Heirloom & Watermelon Salad: This color-rich dish combines the best summer produce flavors and textures: Sweet watermelon cubes resting on bright heirloom tomatoes, paired with shaved red onion, creamy feta and a pop of lemon vinaigrette.

· Chilean Sea Bass: This guest favorite entrée is roasted and drizzled in an Asian glaze, the Chilean Sea Bass is served with organic black rice, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, and micro wasabi. Fun fact: Black Rice packs more antioxidants than blueberries.

· Copper River Salmon: Coming Soon! Sourced from the glacial rivers of Alaska’s famous Copper River, these fresh salmon are considered among the most flavorful and sought after fish in the world. Copper River Salmon will only be available for a short time, and every year our guests count down to the start of wild Alaska season when this rich, distinctly bright red salmon hits the menu paired with seasonal sweet corn risotto, toybox tomatoes and snap peas.

· Michigan Cherry Crème Brulee Mini Indulgence: Known as the Cherry Capital, Traverse City, MI, is considered the heartland of sweet cherries in the United States, and every summer visitors flock to taste the distinctly dark, sweet fruit. For a seasonal twist on a classic dessert, try our Michigan Cherry Crème Brulee Mini Indulgence, with classic vanilla bean infused custard over an intense compote of some of the best cherries from Traverse City and throughout Michigan.


There are two locations in Orlando:

Seasons 52

7700 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

463 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701


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Seito Sushi Sand Lake hosted its first-ever craft beer dinner in collaboration with Red Cypress Brewery and Tasty Chomps got to attend!

Located in Orlando’s Restaurant Row, Seito Sushi has been serving a variety of classic Japanese fare and Asian inspired dishes over the past ten years. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with hand-selected pieces of art, creating a modern atmosphere that is also reflected in the cuisine at Seito Sushi.

Seito Sushi Sand Lake Executive Chef Seng Inthisack and Red Cypress Head Brewer Garrett Ward developed a six-course pairing menu for the evening. Red Cypress is a Winter Springs-based brewery with a focus on brewing consistent beers, while staying true to the Florida brand.

Everything about the dinner was spectacular and unique. The house cured and smoked fish from the first-course instantly set the mood for a great dinner. Paired with Red Cypress’ Fruit de la Terre Saison, which is made with Florida orange peel as a local ingredient. The beer pairings for each dish created the perfect balance as the entrees progressed to heavier plates.

First-Course: Smoke & Pickles – House cured and smoked fish with housemade Japanese pickles. Cape Canaveral Hog Snapper, Flounder, Faroe Island Salmon – paired with Fruit De La Terre, Saison
First-Course: Smoke & Pickles – House cured and smoked fish with housemade Japanese pickles. Cape Canaveral Hog Snapper, Flounder, Faroe Island Salmon – paired with Fruit De La Terre, Saison
Second-Course: Singaporean Style Florida Stone Crab with tomato-chili sauce and fried shallots – paired with Spook Hill Pale Ale, Pale Ale
Third-Course: Florida Spanish Mackerel Misozuke – paired with Deep Roots, Amber Ale
Fourth-Course: KFQ (Korean Fried Quail) – served with local grilled corn, salmon skin dust, furikake aioli – paired with Lazer Bullet, Brett Pale Ale
Fifth-Course: Jackman Farms Wagyu Oxtail – beef consommé, tonkotsu risotto, foie gras shavings – paired with Devil’s Chair IPA
Sixth-Course: Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Snap and Red Cypress Imperial Stout Ice Cream Sammies – paired with Robust Porter
Sixth-Course: Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Snap and Red Cypress Imperial Stout Ice Cream Sammies – paired with Robust Porter

Seito Sand Lake
Address: 8031 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 407-248-8888

Red Cypress Brewery
Address: 855 E. State Rd 434 Winter Springs, FL 32708
Phone: 407-542-0341

Urbain 40 American Brasserie and Lounge takes its diners on a trip back to all the nostalgic swank and sophistication of the 1940s big band era with a classic yet seasonally changing American and European continental menu. It’s become one of my favorite new restaurants in Orlando!


Mr. Rashid Choufani
Mr. Rashid Choufani

Urbain 40’s owner-operator Jaafar Choufani, an executive for parent company Boulevard Restaurants, teamed up with his father, famed restaurateur and former Bocuse d’Or judge Rashid Choufani, to run the brasserie. Mr. Rashid Choufani also leads the restaurant operations at Walt Disney World’s Morocco pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.


A faithful devotee of the slow-food movement, Executive Chef Jean-Stephane Poinard sources the freshest ingredients locally when possible, from vegetables and herbs to meats and fish, to transform continental and American classics into original creations, bringing his interpretations of French favorites with a decidedly American, and often Southern twist.


A French classic, the luxurious Billi-Bi Soup, is an elegant saffron cream broth of Prince Edward Island mussels “beignet” given a Southern touch here at Urbain 40 with smoked paprika oil.

For dessert, there is a bit of a sweet dilemma as the bevy of goods created by pastry chef Amanda McFall all sound so enticing that it’s hard to choose just one.

Urbain 40 is both enchanting and charming in its comforting food and intimate ambiance.

Keep an eye out for the full review on Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine in the coming month.

Saffron Cream, Prince Edward Island Mussels Beignet, Smoked Paprika Oil

Cast Iron Skillet Roasted, Drawn Butter, Lemon, House-made Baguette

Chef’s selection of Cured Meat, Cheese, Pork Terrine, Onion Confit Marmalade, Cornichons

Caramelized Onion, House-Smoked Maple Bacon, Shallot Confit

Roasted Garlic Confit, Gruyere, Asiago, Fig Reduction

Brown Butter, Cauliflower Potato Purée, Fennel, Lemon Confit

Garlic and Royal Trumpet Chips, Goat Cheese Sphere

Slow-roasted Beef and Pork, House-made Pappardelle Pasta, Grana Padano

Raspberry Macaroons, Chocolate and Pistachio Pops, Chocolate Truffles

Pastry Chef Amanda McFall and Executive Chef Jean-Stephane Picard of Urbane 40
Pastry Chef Amanda McFall and Executive Chef Jean-Stephane Picard of Urbane 40





Urbain 40 American Brasserie and Lounge
8000 Via Dellagio Way
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 872-2640

Pharmacy is now opening their doors to guests on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-2pm to introduce their new brunch menu. Diners have their choice of any entrée and cocktail for $25.

Read further below for the Press Release info:

The owners are putting their unique spin on well-known brunch favorites. Guests are greeted with a complimentary assortment of freshly fried chocolate and spiced glazed donuts for the table to enjoy.

The menu offers a range of fresh entrées, cocktails, and sides.

Diners have their choice of any entrée and cocktail for $25.

Entrées range from buttermilk and chive waffles made with farm fresh eggs and salmon cured in-house to mushroom cream mac and cheese alongside smoked brown sugar cured bacon.

IMG_0821-2 copy

A variety of cocktails are also available such as the Bloody Michelada garnished with cheese, olive and prosciutto, or their spin on a traditional mimosa known as the Buck’s Fizz featuring Marcel Martin Cremate Brut, Orange Juice and their in-house grenadine.

Pharmacy isn’t just known for its trendy speakeasy environment, but for their menu filled with local and organic foods.

The restaurant’s chef, who was featured in Food & Wine Magazine’s Top 10 Chefs in the Country along with the owners all bring their talents to the table to create unconventional dishes and cocktails.

While guests can always expect delicious and unique dishes, the menu selection changes seasonally.

Here are 6 Delightful Dishes from Pharmacy’s New Weekend Brunch Menu

1. Buttermilk & Chive Waffles

2. Pulled Pork Hash Eggs Benedict

3. Cinnamon Buns

4. Chocolate and Spice Glazed Donuts

5. Pharmacy Mac & Cheese with Double Corn Grits and Brown Sugar Cured Bacon

6. Rose Champagne

Photos via care of The Pharmacy

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Steaks on Orlando’s Restaurant Row (Sand Lake Road) has partnered with Moët to offer signature sparkling cocktails, champagnes and sparkling wines to accompany weekly tributes to musical icons, as part of its Sparkling Sounds of Summer program.

We were invited recently for a media preview of the offerings and were blown away by the quality of the food and ambiance of Eddie V’s.

Live jazz lounge at Eddie Vs Orlando

From July 21 through August 30, 2015, Eddie V’s invites guests to enjoy six brand-new sparkling cocktails for $10 each, along with an array of champagnes and sparkling wines available by the glass or bottle.

Additionally, Eddie V’s will be debuting a Chef’s Teaser Menu featuring five new petite culinary creations, each for just $5, including:

Tartare of Scottish SalmonTartare of Scottish Salmon – Red Chile, Sweet onion, Capers, Olives With Toasted Baguettes

Steak Tataki Steak Tataki – Seared Beef Tenderloin, Soba Shiitake Mushrooms, With light soy broth

SONY DSCGruyère Potato Fritters- Baked potato, gruyère cheese, scallions in lightly crisped pastry dough

Oysters Fondue Oysters Fondue – Broiled oysters With spinach and artichoke fondue, panko crumbs


SONY DSC Crispy Shrimp Kataifi – Gulf shrimp in Kataifi Crust with Red Chile Jelly

Eddie V’s musicians will dedicate a portion of their live sets to honor the music and genre of one iconic performer. Played nightly in the restaurant’s V Lounge, performances will feature songs from jazz, blues and R&B greats, including Ray Charles, Harry Connick, Jr., Stevie Wonder and Michael Bublé.

SONY DSC The Tokyo Margarita – Casamigos Blanco, nagomi yuzu, fresh lime, agave and the Coco – Cîroc Coconut, Malbu Banana, pineapple, lime, mango

The six new sparkling cocktails include 24 Karat, Chandon Citrus Sparkler, Cuban Nights, Summer Blush Bubbly, The Coco and Tokyo Margarita. A number of champagnes and sparkling wines will also be served throughout the entire summer event.

Eddie V’s has a lot of swagger and swank – down from the sleek and modern bar and decor to the black bow tied waiters decked in all white suits. All a wonderful way to spend a summer evening with live music, reasonably priced small plates, and delicious sparkling cocktails.


Click to add a blog post for Eddie V's Prime Seafood on Zomato

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Omakase – which means “trust the chef” or “chef’s choice” is a common practice at Japanese restaurants where diners leave it up to the chef to make their best, freshest dishes of the day. Often applied to sushi in the catch of the day.

Dragonfly’s chef de cuisine David Song  recently released his Summer Seasonal Omakase menu, $45 for 4 dishes and $65 for 4 dishes plus one quickfire order – 4 pieces of composed nigiri with special chef toppings.

The menu includes:

The Summer Chilled Ramen – a refreshing cool ramen with English cucumber, daikon, heirloom tomatoes, pickled shisito peppers, snow crab, and a sesame vinegar soy dressing – the vinegar soy dressing gave the dish a nice tartness / acidity, but the noodles could use some work overall.


Robata Bronzino – grilled on their robata grill, the bronzino fish fillet is dressed with a ginger scallion pesto and dancing bonito flakes with a citrus soy drizzle


Natsu Sushi Roll – a festive Katsu shrimp roll stuffed with goat cheese, cucumber, fresh jalapeños, avocado, snow crab, and topped with a salsa of red onions, mango, tomato, and pepper relish


The Quickfire plate – 4 nigiri with special chef toppings including salmon roe, pickled cucumbers, and guacamole and bacon…the nigiri were all quite delicious, though I would ease back on the guacamole and bacon topping as the fish is overpowered by the guac.


Dessert – Matcha Cake – a green tea cake with Azuki bean mousse, blueberry sake preserve, and fresh blueberries


I really enjoyed the robata grilled bronzino, but thought the sushi rolls had a bit too much going on – so much so that the flavors were hard to distinguish from each other. I hope the kitchen can improve on these points, but overall – quite enjoyable.

Other new sushi rolls now available to order at Dragonfly include:

Shogun Roll – Snow Crab, cucumber, cabbage, jalapeño, avocado, topped with torched tuna, fried enoki mushrooms, and a tangy, wet mornay sauce.


Satori Roll – Snow crab delight, scallion, green and red bell pepper, cilantro, avocado, yellowtail, garlic chips, and a jalapeño garlic sauce.


Here is the menu:

061215 MCO Omakase Summer-page-001

The dishes are paired with light and refreshing Asian inspired summer special cocktails such as the Shochu Wanna Pomegranate?, A Shade of Blackberry, Hot Kagoshima Daze, and the Sake Sangria.


Summer reprint 6-6-15-page-001 MCO Extra Food Menu 072215-page-001

Click to add a blog post for Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi on Zomato

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I was invited to Dragonfly last week to try out a few items that are featured in the Robata Grill section of the menu.

Robata method for cooking has been growing popular exponentially, however, Orlando is still new to style. To put it simply, Robata (short for Robatayaki) is a Japanese grilling style  that roughly translates to ” fireside-cooking”.

What’s amazing about Dragonfly’s Robata grill is that they import specialize coal from Japan, the Bincho-tan. Which is a white coal with the raw material being oak, this emits less carbon and is able to retain 1000 degrees in heat for a long time.

With such an unique grill, the seasoning for the meats and vegetables are really simple- a little salt, a little pepper, and some tare/teriyaki glaze. This allows the true flavors of the grill items to really be enhanced.

DSC01052Chicken thigh (6)

Chicken usually just taste like…..chicken….unless being thrown into a ton of spices and dipped in gallons of sauce. However, this skewered chicken thigh had natural sweetness that’s been drawn out by the light dash of salt, and incredibly tender. I was thoroughly impressed by the chef’s ability to time it on such a high heat grill.

A Shade of Blackberry (10)
Hatsumago Kimoto Sake, Blackberry gastrique, and ginger syrup.
A sweet summer drink, refreshing, light, with a little tang of ginger that pairs so beautifully with the chicken.


Tontoro (7)

Pork cheeks, with a side of sesame oil and salt. You’ve probably had the korean barbeque pork belly- well, this is the spruced up version of it. It has a pleasant texture, soft, but there’s a bit of crunch towards the end bite.

Hot Kagoshima Daze (10)
kaikouzu Kurikogane Shochu, fig-infused bourbon, lillet blanc, togarashi syrup.
My guest really enjoyed this drink. The strong bourbon flavors, with a little bit of spice towards the end. Perfect to cut through the pork fat.


Corn (5)

Sweet corn. Reminds me of the Mexican corn on the cob (elote) that you find from street vendors. Grilled, with spicy seasoning, sharp parmesan cheese, and cilantro.

Shochu Mojito (10)

I was a baby and couldn’t handle the taste of bourbon so they brought me a mojito instead. This muddled-cherries mojito gave a little twist to the classic mojito, a little tangier but you still get the sweet and refreshing notes.


Enoki Mushrooms (6)

Stringy white mushrooms, with subtle flavors so the bacon adds a nice touch.


Whole grilled Branzino

European sea bass, with a ginger scallion pesto on top. The entire fish is grilled and glazed in yuzu butter. Light, savory, and juicy…. we couldn’t stop eating it.

DSC01086The result.

We ended with a summer special dessert- matcha pound cake with blueberry jam.

A a little Q&A with one of the grill masters, Jeff :

How long did it take you get used to the Robata Grill?
It took me a month in training.

What would you say is the most challenging thing about the Robato grill?
Timing, because the grill is so hot it can overcook easily.

What’s the biggest difference from a regular grill and the Robata Grill?
The coal, the special bincho-tan coal really makes a difference.

Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi

7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-3359

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One of the newest, and I’d have to say one of my favorite, Indian restaurants in town – American Gymkhana – has announced that it will close after this April. It’s sad news for the space that once held Raga and Antonio’s before it. It’s a tough location, to be sure. With time, and maybe a different space, it would have done well. And that may still happen – if everything falls in place.

A few months ago, I stopped by for brunch and found it to be delightful – from lobster poached eggs benedicts to the bombay style wraps stuffed with tandoori chicken. Chef Aarthi Sampath did a wonderful job in the kitchen, who started at a culinary internship with Junoon, a Michelin-starred Indian concept in Manhattan, New York.

Meanwhile mixologist Hemant Pathak, who has been featured in GQ Magazine and ELLE Magazine, tended the craft cocktails menu to great acclaim.

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Chef Aarthi Sampath

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House Kale Salad

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Juhu Beach Lobster Benny – tandoori lobster / roasted corn / masala poached egg / pao bread

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The Mumbai Franki, a wrap stuffed with chicken, red onions, sweet peppers, garlic aioli and flaky paratha.

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Official statement follows:

From: Rajesh Bhardwaj
Re: American Gymkhana Closing Announcement
Date: Thursday, April 9, 2015

“Since the opening of American Gymkhana, a modern-Indian restaurant and cocktail lounge in 2014, the concept has flourished and has been well-received by the Central Florida community. Our team takes great pride in what we have built, so it is with regret to announce that due to operational and brand discrepancies with local partners involved, American Gymkhana will no longer be open for business after April 2015 in its current location. The decision to withdraw our concept and restaurant group from this project was made after considerate deliberation regarding our brand standards. We look forward to pursuing new ventures in the future within the growing food and beverage community in Orlando.”

“Please note this closing will not impact or influence our other restaurants operating outside of Florida. Again, we thank all guests, organizations, journalists, and specifically, the residents of Central Florida for allowing for us serve the community and be part of a growing food culture.”

– RB Hospitality Group

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Sparkling atmosphere and sounds of live jazz fill the air and set the tone for an elegant dining experience at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.


Eddie V’s is a new swanky upscale restaurant on Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row with an emphasis on prime seafood creations, USDA prime beef and chops, and fresh oyster bar selections. The 8,000-square-foot space was formerly occupied by Timpano Italian Chophouse and bought out by Darden Restaurants. The space was torn down and rebuilt to create a sophisticated environment with sweeping lakefront views in the main dining room and a open patio area featuring a “living wall” of colorful plants.

Restaurant concepts owned by Darden include Bahamas Breeze, Capital Grill, LongHorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Seasons 52. Eddie V’s represent a big part of Darden’s future as the company emphasizes niche chains with more sophisticated designs and will be the seventh Orlando-based Darden concept in Central Florida.

Fresh seafood is flown in daily while sourcing the very best product so that the Chefs can focus on simple elegant presentation with strong flavors.

Steak and Lobster Tartare samples in the V Lounge
Market Oysters and Chilled Gulf Shrimp – cocktail style with atomic horseradish and spicy mustard
Point Judith Calamari: Kung pao style with roasted cashews and crisp noodles
16 oz USDA Prime New York Strip Au Poivre: cracked black peppercorn cognac sauce
Crab Fried Rice with Scallions and Mushrooms (Side Dish)
Alaskan Halibut: Sauteéd with sweet corn, morels, edamame and smoked pork shank
Bananas Foster: Warm banana butter cake flambéed with 151 liquor and pecan ice cream

Eddie V’s is an exquisite addition to Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row with outstanding food and staff. The restaurant can accommodate big parties that seek large private spaces for any special occasion. Seafood or steak? Both of the main entrées I tried were equally delicious and filled with sensational flavors but I enjoyed the freshness of the Alaskan Halibut more. The Bananas Foster was phenomenal and the perfect way to end the meal. Definitely worth a try if you have not visited yet – let us know what you think!

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Address: 7488 West Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 355-3011

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I was invited to attend a dinner recently at The Table, the newly-opened creation of husband and wife team Chefs Tyler Brassil and Loren Falsone. Located on the far west side of the Dellagio plaza on Sand Lake Road, near the Regions Bank, it is a bit easy to miss. Beneath the large “Taste & See Catering” sign,you might be able to make out the words “The Table” printed ever so lightly on the door.

You may have heard about it through the grape vine: The Table is unique in Orlando as it is a restaurant that solely features 22 seats together around one beautiful, magnificent table for Friday and Saturday nights only. The menu is prix fixe at $100 per person, tax and gratuity included, consisting of hors d’oeuvre and five courses with wine pairings.

There is a certain feeling when you enter The Table, like you just walked into someone’s living room for a secret foodie dinner party. The dining room, designed by Chef Tyler Brassil himself, resembles much like a modern home decked out with a large painting of a foggy bridge passage hanging on one wall, a large mirror and candles on another, and a beautiful hanging chandelier in the center over the large, black dining Table. On one corner of the room is the bar area where mixologist and partner Dominick Tardugno tended to the wine and champagne for the evening.

The crowd on this night is diverse, ranging from young professionals to families going out for a birthday, an elderly couple celebrating an anniversary. You are seated next to strangers who grow to become good company throughout the evening. It’s interesting to see people of different backgrounds come together in a common bond, for the shared love of food, as a community around The Table.


Chef Loren Falsone, explaining the freshness of ingredients, like this lobster, at The Table

The menu here is local, sustainable, and seasonal New American cuisine. Chef Loren Falsone, featured as one of the Top Ten New Chefs in 2000 by Food and Wine Magazine and also a former executive chef at Seasons 52, explained that the ingredients all come fresh from local farms and local fishermen who bring whatever they caught that day and the kitchen then uses these items to makes their dishes for the meal. As of January 2012, there have yet to be one meal served twice the same way yet at The Table.

Each course is presented by Chef Tyler Brassil, a winner of the Top 10 Bertolli Sous Chef Awards, or by his wife Chef Loren Falsone and the drinks are explained by Mr. Tardugno. Service, just like the food here, is exemplary.

The Table after all was conceived after Tyler and Loren, who still teach classes at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school here in Orlando, began an experiment in inviting friends over to their home for dinner. The dinners grew and grew, eventually overfilling their home and selling out. That’s when they decided to get a bigger place, and hence the Table was born.

You can really feel their passion for food flowing into The Table. It calls to you, to sit, to relax, and to enjoy the epicurean journey with them.

The experience begins at 7:00 pm with the bites at the bar and end around 11:00pm. Reservations are a must. The Table is also available for private parties or corporate events on other evenings.

The Table
8060 Via Dellagio Way, Suite 106 (across from Regions Bank)
Orlando, FL 32819
Reservations are required


Photos of the Table Orlando



 Russian caviar , smoked salmon, creme cheese



Hummus octopus amuse bouche served in Asian soup spoons


Fois gras with kumquat and relish


Local Three Boy Farm Greens and Three Baby Salads
made with black beans, pickled red cabbage, purple Peruvian potato, and herbaceous shallot vinaigrette with a Domaine Gullarman 2009 Colombard Ugni-Blanc


Lobster and local head on shrimp with chanterelle, royal trumpet, yellowfoot mushrooms, calamarata, fava beans paired with a glass of The Scholium Project 2008.



Aged Local Wagu Beef with Three Boys first red peppers algro dolce, and mashed celeriac
with Domaine Du Grapillon D’or 2009 Gigondas



The Table’s Cheese Course with Asiago, Truffle Tremor, Aged Gouda, Bellavitano, Empire apple butter, paired with Capital de Roari 2008 Amerone from Italy


Freshly squeezed Blood orange curd merengue tarts with chocolate ganache with Rudera 2008 Noble Late Harvest from South Africa



The Table Orlando on Urbanspoon

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Saffron is a relatively new Indian restaurant that opened in the “Restaurant Row” district in Orlando along Sand Lake Road. The decor and interior, a decidedly modern feel, is warm and sophisticated with dark wood and bright walls. The prices are very reasonable, ranging from $7.95 and up for lunch combinations. Our server was very accommodating, checking often on how our meal is going and making sure our red glasses are full with water.


I chose the lamb xacutti lunch special ($9) which came with naan bread, basmati rice, samosa, lentil soup, spices, and gulab jamun, an Indian dessert ball. The items all came in a white tray a la bento lunch box.


The lamb xacutti is a dish that comes from the Indian coastal state of Goa, known for its beautiful beaches and coconut trees. The xacutti is a savory, rich curry like dish with grated coconut, tender chunks of lamb and notes of blended spices in a creamy sauce. The sauce was light and delicious and went well with the charred tandoori clay oven baked naan bread and basmati rice.

Lamb Xacutti lunch special 

My dining partner ordered the chicken tikka masala ($8.75), a similarly delicious creamy tomato based curry with chunks of chicken.

Chicken Tikka Masala lunch special

The gulab jamun dessert is made of a doughy, homemade cheese-based balls dipped in honey syrup and flavored with rose water. It’s a popular Indian dessert dish and served hot here at Saffron.

Gulab Jamun, Indian dessert ball

The atmosphere is very comfortable and not too stuffy like some other restaurants on restaurant row can be, which I found to be quite enjoyable. One of my new favorite Indian restaurants, I will be sure to return to try some of their other dishes.

Saffron Orlando
(407) 674-8899
7724 West Sand Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32819

Saffron Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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The first time I went to Dragonfly was during their grand opening night over a year ago. Upon arriving at their restaurant (in the Vellagio plaza on Orlando’s Restaurant row (Sand Lake Boulevard / Dr Phillips area), I immediately thought I had just entered a swanky night club: large sweeping white curtains surrounded the restaurant and inside, dark reds and dim lighting set a urban, modern feel. The place was packed with well dressed young professionals and the air was filled with a DJ’s loud dance music, making it hard to hear yourself think or even order anything. (Apparently Joey Fatone, Orlando’s hometown boy and of NSYNC boy band fame, hosted a charity event that night in conjunction with the grand opening.)

It was pretty chaotic to be honest and my partner and I thought it would be best to come back another night when they were more settled in.

Recently, I had the opportunity to come back to Dragonfly for a dinner with a group of my friends and brothers who decided to have their annual end of the year dinner there.

This time was much better. The servers were attentive and aware. There wasn’t any over bearing loud music. Dragonfly was in harmony, the feeling of a cool and confident modern lounge.

Dragonfly calls itself a modern Izayaka which “a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks”. They are popular, casual places for after-work drinking, often with grilled foods on the side that you eat with the drinks.

I thought it was a tad pricey for my budget especially considering the amount of food that you get with the price tag. I ordered the Crispy U-10 Shrimp with yuzu-garlic mousseline & candied walnuts and garnished with scallions, toasted sesame seeds & jalapeños. But for $15, which although tasted quite wonderful, did not seem to warrant the price of $5 per shrimp.

I also ordered the dragonfly roll which came with tuna, albacore & wrapped with grouper and baked with spicy sauce then topped with scallions & finished with eel sauce. It is one of the more popular rolls here, but I thought the roll lacked flavor and had too much rice. Rice to fish ratio is very important to me when ordering sushi.

I would give Dragonfly another try but sadly I was unimpressed with their offerings on this evening. The place looks beautiful on the outside but when you look in, you find there is much lacking in terms of cuisine. I would like to go back to try their robata grill however as that is pretty unique here in Orlando.

Dragonfly Robata Grill · Sushi · Lounge on Urbanspoon

Pricey, pricey…
Crispy U-10 Shrimp (3) ($15)
Sashimi on ice! Chef’s choice


Benefit roll for Japan relief


Ramen Noodles with pork belly & braised short ribs. $10


King Crab Hot Pot with kimchi, bean sprouts & ramen noodles 
with firm tofu & white miso finished with chrysanthemum leaves. $16


Dragonfly roll


Surf and turf roll

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