Steak

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If I had to choose one restaurant to eat at every day for the rest of my life it would be: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House.  My first visit was a five-star experience with top-notch service and high-quality food in an astonishing environment.  The whole experience felt divine, like I was dining in Heaven, a place I did not deserve to be at, but I was there.

To clear up any confusion, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House has one location in Orlando, FL.  They are no longer operating in their original location off Lee Road and have relocated in 2015 to their newest location on International Drive, directly across from Pointe Orlando.   They also recently released their biggest menu relaunch so now is the perfect time for all my readers to check out their newest location and experience their unforgettable food and impeccable service for yourselves.  Below are a few pictures from my breathtaking experience at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House from when I was invited to taste their newest menu additions prepared by Executive Chef Greg Thompson.  I hope you enjoy my post!

By The Glass (BTG) Wine Additions
• La Marca Prosecco
• Taittinger Brut Champagne
• Pierre Sparr Cremant Rosé Brut
• Scott Family Estate “Dijon Clone” Chardonnay
• Cakebread Napa Valley Chardonnay
• Castello Banfi “San Angelo” Pinot Grigio
• Benziger Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
• Love Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
• Del Frisco’s Private Reserve Cabernet
• Luke Wahluke Slope, WA Cabernet
• Scattered Peaks “DFDE Exclusive” Cabernet
• Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot
• Ben Marco Malbec
• Hahn “SLH” Santa Barbara Pinot Noir
• Gothic “Nevermore” Pinot Noir
• Enroute “Les Pommiers” by Far Niente Pinot Noir
• Volpaia Chianti Classico
• Campo Viejo “Reserva” Rioja
• Axios 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Sapphire Bramble – Bombay Sapphire | Domaine de Canton | Lemon | Blackberry | Basil | San Pellegrino Limonata

Old Fashioned Forty-Six – Maker’s Mark 46 | Earl Grey Tea Syrup | Earl Grey Bitters

Cocktail Additions
• Añejo Old Fashioned
• Bacon & Barrel
• Blood Orange Manhattan
• Elixir
• Harvest Manhattan
• Honey Comb Spritz
• Old Fashioned Forty-Six
• Plum Rosé
• Sapphire Bramble
• Sidecar a là Poire
• Traditional Negroni

Chilled Alaskan King Crab Legs, Iced Jumbo Shrimp, Chilled Crab Claws, & Hand-Selected Moonstone Oyster from Point Judith Pond, Rhode Island

Charred Octopus – Gigante Beans, Tomatoes, Olives, Capers, Lemon & Cold-Pressed Olive Oil

King Salmon – Simply Prepared Fresh Fish Finished With Himalayan Sea Salt – High In Omega-3 Fatty Acid,  Healthy And Delicious!

45 Day Dry Aged Double Bone Prime Ribeye “The Double Eagle” – 16 oz.

45 Day Dry Aged Prime Ribeye – 16 oz.

14 Day Dry Aged Colorado Prime Lamb – 16 oz.

From left to right:
• 45 Day Dry Aged Prime Ribeye
• Brussels Sprouts – Smoked Bacon, Caramelized Onions & Lemon Butter
• Grilled Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
• 14 Day Dry Aged Colorado Prime Lamb
• Spaghetti Squash Gratin – Parmesan Cream & Roasted Pistachio
• Uptown Del’s Potatoe – Melted Fontina, Chives & Shaved Truffle
• 45 Day Dry Aged Double Bone Prime Ribeye “The Double Eagle”

Butter Cake – Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Fresh Whipped Cream & Caramel Sauce

Warm Banana Bread Pudding – Caramel Sauce & Vanilla Ice Cream (Award-winning!)

Lemon Cake – Six Layers, Lemon Buttercream Icing & Lemon Glaze

Chocolate Mousse – Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge & Miniature Chocolate Cookies

Menu Additions
• 45 Day Dry Aged Double Bone Prime Ribeye “The Double Eagle”
• 45 Day Dry Aged Prime Ribeye
• 45 Day Dry Aged Prime Strip
• 14 Day Dry Aged Colorado Prime Lamb
• Charred Octopus
• Chilled Shrimp Tasting
• Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras
• Seared Rare Wagyu Beef Carpaccio
• Creamed Corn with Blistered Shishito Peppers
• Grilled Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
• Spaghetti Squash Gratin
• Uptown Del’s Potato
• Simply Prepared Halibut
• Simply Prepared Salmon
• Simply Prepared Scallops
• Jalapeño-Bacon Burger (Texas stores only)
• Chocolate Mousse

The Veranda Room upstairs can be reserved for a cocktail event or any special event –  you name it, the sky is the limit.


Be sure to check out the new location and menu at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House soon!

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
9150 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 351-5074
http://delfriscos.com

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MAKE YOUR EVENT UNFORGETTABLE
CUSTOM MENUS – STAFFING – EVENT RENTALS – BAR AND BEVERAGE

We were excited to be the first food blogger to be invited to check out the Cocktail Catering facility to learn more about what their catering company is all about and also enjoy a nice lunch prepared by the talented Chef Sharon.  I enjoyed everything that she prepared for us!  Really wish I had more of Chef Sharon’s steak in my life!

Appetizer – Strawberry and walnut salad
Entrée – Sirloin, Cilantro Lime Rice, Corn

Dessert – Brownie, chocolate chip cookie, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, strawberries

Food tastings are available to clients.  If you are not satisfied with your initial food tasting, you just tell them what you want to change, they will tweak it, and you come back for a second tasting.  Tastings are free.

Cocktails Catering is a “Best of Orlando” catering company for 2017 and many previous years.  They are a scratch kitchen that prepares countless dishes from Caribbean food to Indian food and everything in between.   They also take pride in their delicious signature cocktails and appetizers.  They service in Orlando, Tampa, & St. Augustine area.  From their award winning catering to their event rentals, they can help you with every detail for any event.

Linen appointments are available to help you paint a picture of your event and get your ideas flowing.  You are more than welcome to bring your own decor to your linen appointment to help visualize your table setup.  Rosetta fabrics and table runners are also available.

From galas, corporate events, quinceañeras – they do all types of events so they have a variety of plates to choose from.

Decorated television panels that play a slideshow during your event


Glamorous cake by Sprinkles Custom Cakes

They are currently running an offer of $20 off any service if you leave an initial review on Google, Wedding Wire, or The Knot and $5 off for any review after that.  They also have a booking incentive of a FREE sangaria station for your next event.

Be sure to check out Cocktails Catering soon for any of your upcoming events!

Cocktails Catering
9640 Boggy Creek Rd. #5
Orlando, FL 32824
(407) 446-2878
www.cocktailscatering.com

Summer time fun has officially started for many and STK: Orlando is supplying all the flavor to the fun!

STK: Orlando is located in the heart of the revamped Disney Spring’s surrounded by dozens of shops that will work up an appetite or help you work off a big brunch.

We started our “Sunday Funday” with some signature drinks 

On the left we have the Cucumber Stiletto: ketel one citroen, st. germain, muddled cucumber, mint.  Beautifully crafted cocktail that’s light and refreshing. On the right, is a brunch inspired cocktail the Frose: Chilled sparking Rose with a scoop of raspberry sorbet.  A lighthearted drink that gives you a celebratory sensation.

The Hangover Ceviche: Shrimp – mussels – crab – octopus – jalapeños house made clamato. 
Hair of the dog:
Don Julio Silver Tequila $8 / Vidal Mezcal $8 / Belvedere Vodka $8
We were recommended the Vidal Mezcal for the smoky flavors in the liquor that would aid in provoking flavors out of the dish. However, I found the Mezcal in the ceviche a little overpowering and boozy leaving the palate with little flavors to enjoy.

But! The Cinnamon Monkey Bread was a delight! It was fluffy and doughy with the perfect amount of cream cheese icing.

Fried Chicken & Funnel Cake: sriracha honey – lime – burnt onion powdered sugar
A carnival twist on a classic brunch item with a nice touch of spice.

Dry-Aged Delmonico: boneless ribeye – with generous marbling decadent & tender.  We topped the steak off with some truffle butter as well. The steak was done wonderfully and how we had asked for it to be prepared, while not being over seasoned or over cooked.

We didn’t have much room for a hefty dessert so we went with Mini Ice Cream Cone Sampler. It was adorable and helped us cool down from Florida’s Heat.

Overall, STK:Orlando is a very chic and upbeat environment. The staff is also amazing and courteous!

Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Springs, 1580 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830
Phone: (407) 917-7440

 

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Offering prime steak, fresh seafood and top of the line hospitality, Del Frisco’s Orlando is an exceptional steakhouse, and one of the newest additions to the restaurants on International Drive.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House features an impressive, diverse wine list of more than 1,200 labels,  including a number of notable verticals from both old and new world producers.

With two floors that include two bars, four private dining rooms and a picturesque patio, Del Frisco’s Orlando boasts over 400 seats.

The restaurant’s price point is closer to probably better for those with an expense account or for a special occasion, but the dishes from the succulent lobster tails and lobster mac and cheese  to the juicy ribeye steaks. Leave room for dessert – the crispy on the caramelized outside, pillowy soft on the inside butter cake with butter pecan ice cream is really one of the best desserts in Orlando.

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Executive Chef Greg Thompson spoke with us recently about Del Frisco’s and his background in cooking.

He tells us, “Del Frisco’s commitment to quality, in everything we do makes us stand apart. From the staff to the ingredients and the restaurant standards we hold, we embrace this commitment to quality each day.”

What are some of the most popular items at Del Frisco’s here in Orlando?
The Crab Cake, for sure. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had! Also, of course the Bone In Filet!

How did you get your start in cooking? Where were you before Del Frisco’s?
I love to eat! I was always fascinated by the metamorphosis of ingredients into magnificent food; almost like alchemy. I am a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, and I worked in NYC for a long time before a stint in Charlotte, NC (both are great food towns). I have traveled around the world opening up steakhouses in locales like Beijing, Shanghai, and Mexico City as well as the lower 48 states and Canada.

What is your favorite childhood food to eat?
Ice cream! It’s still my favorite food, to this day.

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life from Del Frisco’s – what would that one thing be?
Definitely the Butter Cake!

What were some of your favorite eats while traveling the world?
The Chicken Thigh Sliders at Blue Frog in Shanghai, and also anything at Da Dong in Beijing! I also really love Tacos “al pastor” in Mexico City.

What is your favorite thing to eat at home after a long day?
A really good deli sandwich piled high with all the “fixings”

Take an inside look at Del Frisco’s:

Private Rooms available
Private Rooms available

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House baked bread
House baked bread
Classic Caeser Salad  - $9.5
Classic Caeser Salad – $9.5
Crab Cake with Cajun Lobster Sauce - $19
Crab Cake with Cajun Lobster Sauce – $19
Thick Cut Bacon Au Poivre Bourbon Molasses Glaze - $14.5
Thick Cut Bacon Au Poivre
Bourbon Molasses Glaze – $14.5

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Broiled Lobster Tail Carved tableside & served with drawn butter & lemon.
Broiled Lobster Tail
Carved tableside & served with drawn butter & lemon.
Bone-In Prime Ribeye 22 oz. - $59
Bone-In Prime Ribeye 22 oz. – $59

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Seared Chilean Sea Bass Crab Fried Rice & Black Bean Garlic Sauce - $44
Seared Chilean Sea Bass
Crab Fried Rice & Black Bean Garlic Sauce – $44
Lobster Macaroni & Cheese - $16.5
Lobster Macaroni & Cheese – $16.5
Buttercake Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Fresh Whipped Cream & Caramel Sauce - $12
Buttercake
Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Fresh Whipped Cream & Caramel Sauce – $12

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

and

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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.

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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.

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

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By Martin Balderama

Presented by Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster
Featuring Dick Waters of PALM RIDGE RESERVE &
Paul Twyford of WINTER PARK DISTILLING CO.

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, formerly Del Frisco’s, invited us to a unique private dinner with bourbon and whiskey pairings. A night marked with top of the line menu items, accented and enhanced with samples from two local distilleries Palm Ridge Reserve and Winter Park Distilling Company, and cocktails prepared by one of Christner’s top bartender and mixologist.

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The night kicked off with thinly sliced baked chips with creamy blue cheese and avocado dressing for dipping and paired samples of Palm Ridge’s Palm Ridge White Whiskey and Winter Park Distilling Company’s Bear Gully Classic Corn Whiskey. The thought of white whiskey may put off many but the smooth and surprisingly edgy flavor is definitely recommended. The oily chips paired with the white whiskey pairing was a wonderful starter private room event.

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As our group sipped and dipped, owners Dick and Marti Waters of Palm Ridge and Paul Tywood of Winter Park Distilling Company displayed their knowledge in bourbon and whiskey. They described the careful distilling process, gave us a brief impression of whiskey’s lush history spanning from Kentucky to Scotland, and illustrated how Central Florida of all places provided a great opportunity for such a distinct and unique spirit to be produced in.

Next up was a pair of stimulating dishes, lightly done sesame seared tuna and full classic lettuce wedge salad. The seared tuna came generously enclosed in nutty sesame seeds was rich yet remarkable in its flavor. One can describe the lettuce wedge, sprinkled with blue cheese crumbles and bits of bacon, as the perfect link to the tuna. Combined with the classic sweet and slightly bitter Sazerac, professionally mixed with Palm Ridge’s Palm Ridge Rye by Dan our bartender, made the course brilliant.

Continuing soon after was one of Christner’s favorite, the 16 oz USDA Prime Ribeye. The perfectly grilled and nicely seasoned steak came along with Broccoli Au Gratin & Chateau Potatoes side dishes. The ribeye arrived medium rare and the two dishes both hearty and enchanting. Dan then mixed versions of two traditional whiskey cocktails, a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned, while providing a brief history of the two. Each cocktail blended with the two local distilleries’ reserve whiskeys. The main course helped everyone in the room become both full and pleased.

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Dinner ended with Crème Brulee and coffee as desserts and a last pairing of the two distilleries’ bourbon whiskey. Not many may think that deserts and whiskey go together but one will be surprised in the taste of the sweet and smooth vanilla custard of the crème brulee mixed with bourbon’s equally charming spiciness. It is something to be experienced for sure.

The event was overall entertaining, informative, and wonderfully done. Filled with perfectly crafted cocktails, expertly prepared dishes, and memorable stories from hosts and guests alike.

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster’s intimate setting proves to be the ideal venue for such an occasion.

Let’s not forget the superb job that the two special guests did in presenting their two distilleries, Palm Ridge Reserve and Winter Park Distillery Co.

by Kris Doan

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The first course started off with baked potato slices with a side of avocado and bleu cheese dressings, which definitely prepped our stomachs for the numerous drinks we were to have that night, these chips were paired with Palm Ridge’s White Whiskey and Winter Park’s Bear Gully Classic Corn Whiskey. Though I most note I am still developing my “finer” or “grown up” palette in regards to liquor I must say that both samples were quite smooth and bold. It was then I realized that we were in for a memorable night with new experiences.

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Our potato slices were then followed by an appetizer, lettuce wedges topped with bacon, blue cheese, and the house dressing, which was very appetizing. Going with the lettuce wedge approach allowed to minimize the mess I typically make when it comes to salads. This salad was paired with a sazerac a drink that is made from whiskey and bitters as well as seared tuna which complimented the salad and drink quite well. The blue cheese within the salad mellowing out the bitter taste of our cocktail.

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For the main course we were given Christener’s USDA Prime Ribeye steaked, cooked to a perfect medium rare and fairly seasoned. This was coupled with Brocolli au Gratin and Chateau Potatoes all of which combined together kept our hunger satisfied with its hearty flavor. This course was paired with a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned, by which this point I was satisfied with the amount of drinks that I had, in my defense this night I wasn’t in the mood for drinks, however I still sampled all the drinks all of which were of the highest quality.

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The last course of the night was dessert to which we were given an amazing creme brule as well as coffee which was honestly a bad idea because I could not sleep that night. However the creme brule was amazing, creamy, with hints of vanilla, I must say I am not much of a dessert person, but the dish was amazing and though I was full by this point the dessert was gone in a matter of seconds.

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Overall the night was amazing, me being perhaps the youngest person in the room I must say that this was an experience that I will remember for days to come, I learned so much about the hard work and dedication that both Dick and Marty from Palm Ridge and Paul from Winter Park Distilling put into their products, putting out high quality products in the state of Florida to which one may describe them as pioneers within their craft in Florida.

I got the chance to meet amazing individuals who explained to me the trends in the industry as well as learn how to make various cocktails that I was not aware of.

It gave me an appreciation for finer liquor, and it will be a night that I will always remember.

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Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster Restaurant on Lee Road is Orlando’s quintessential steakhouse. Formerly Del Frisco’s, the restaurant is darkly lit with wood overtones and a decidedly clubby, intimate old school feel. Probably not many interior upgrades since the 1990s, but here it’s all about the classics: steaks.

The menu is emphasizes steak and lobster tail, with a salmon and a few shrimp and pasta dishes, plentiful sides like lobster mac and cheese and creamy spinach, soups, and salads. Lobster tail, luscious and fresh, carved tableside, is a luxurious add-on option to your steak. From prime ribeye to filet mignon and porterhouse cooked in butter, Christner’s has your carnal cravings covered.

On a recent visit, for a friend’s birthday, I ordered the Beef Wellington and was very impressed. Beef Wellington is a preparation of filet steak coated with pâté, a pate of butter, mushrooms and black pepper here at Christner’s, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked – flaky and delicious.

If you are lucky, you might find master magician Kostya Kimlat and his merry friends roaming the halls and entertaining guests with their craft.

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House baked bread

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A porterhouse – 20 oz. – with cold tail lobster tail

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Carved table side.

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A happy camper

SONY DSCNew York Strip Steak

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Beef Wellington – perfectly cooked

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Mr. Kostya Kimlat delighting the table guests

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster
christnersprimesteakandlobster.com/
729 Lee Road, Orlando, FL 32810, United States
(407) 645-4443

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Situated on the top two floors of the Hyatt Regency hotel at Orlando International Airport, Hemisphere has some of the most breathtaking dining views in all of Orlando. Down below, diners can watch as the major airlines taxi along the airport’s runways, preparing for their initial ascent into the airspace and onto their next destination.

Hemisphere specializes in steaks and seafood and even has an award winning wine list. At first approach, I immediately thought the space could use some re-modeling – much like the one its sister restaurant, McCoy’s, recently underwent in order to modernize and update. For now, the space and decor, though bright and airy, is still very reminiscent of a 1990s era hotel restaurant.

Hyatt hotels all around the world recently launched a new global food philosophy – “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” focused on sourcing and providing healthy food and beverage options for Hyatt guests and also good for the local communities in which they reside and good for the planet.

On a recent media preview visit to Hemisphere, under the care of Sous Chef Tournant Jonathan Zimmerly, we started off our dinner with the house specialty, a peppery, savory crawfish cream chowder which first made its appearance on the Hemisphere menu when it first opened. My dining partner and I also sampled the blue crab cake served in a corn chowder as well as an heirloom tomato, basil, mozzarella salad – both were good.

The star of the evening was the whole yellow tail snapper flash fried with a chili lime soy broth and cilantro jasmine rice. When they mean whole yellow tail snapper, they really mean the entire fish from head to tail fried. Although the jasmine rice was oddly salty, the fish was fun to eat especially over rice. It reminded me of an old family meal dish we would have growing up, picking off the fish with our chopsticks around the family dinner table.

My dish was seared scallops on top of a caramelized onion tart and served with roasted wild mushrooms and garlic cream. I enjoyed the scallops but wish the caramelized onion tart had been more flaky and crispy rather than soggy.

Overall, I would definitely try Hemisphere again, especially after their re-modeling is completed.

An old fashioned Italian waiter statue greets guests in the front of Hemisphere
An old fashioned Italian waiter statue greets guests in the front of Hemisphere
Gorgeous window views of the runways below at the Orlando International Airport
Gorgeous window views of the runways below at the Orlando International Airport
The decor is reminiscent of 1990s Hotel-chic
The decor is reminiscent of 1990s Hotel-chic
House baked bread at Hemisphere
House baked bread at Hemisphere
Blue Crab, sautéed crab cake, sweet corn chowder - $13
Blue Crab, sautéed crab cake, sweet corn chowder – $13
Heirloom Tomato, Local Organic Basil, Mozzarella, Organic EVOO, Balsamic, Key West Sea Salt - $9
Heirloom Tomato, Local Organic Basil, Mozzarella, Organic EVOO, Balsamic, Key West Sea Salt – $9
Hemisphere's Crawfish Chowder, House specialty  - $8
Hemisphere’s Crawfish Chowder, House specialty – $8
Amuse bouche - raspberry gelato
Amuse bouche – raspberry gelato
Whole Yellow Tail Snapper, flash fried, chili lime soy broth, Cilantro Jasmine rice - $34
Whole Yellow Tail Snapper, flash fried, chili lime soy broth, Cilantro Jasmine rice – $34
Scallops, fresh from New England, seared, caramelized onion tart, roasted wild mushrooms, garlic cream - $32
Scallops, fresh from New England, seared, caramelized onion tart, roasted wild mushrooms, garlic cream – $32

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Corn and Rice sides
Corn and Rice sides

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Hemisphere Steak & Seafood at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd, Orlando, Florida, USA, 32827
Tel: +1 407 825 1234 Fax: +1 407 856 1672 orlan-reservations@hyatt.com

Hemisphere Steak & Seafood on Urbanspoon

Father’s Day Pairing Guide

Don’t Forget The Wine!

Father’s Day is around the corner. If you haven’t picked out something special for good ol’ dad, don’t sweat it – we have a few recommendations to make this Father’s Day extra special. For those of you who were triumphant in braving the Orlando shops and malls to find that perfect gift, we’d like to remind you that no gift is complete without wine. If you got him chocolate – get him wine! If you’re taking him out to dinner – get him wine! Is he receiving a beautiful white dress shirt? Again, get that man some wine – STAT. To showcase which wines pair beautifully with our Father’s Day foodie picks, we interviewed wine expert, Roger Beery of Bacchus & Beery.

After surveying a total of 81 dads across the nation and figuring out what they really want for Father’s Day, Roger Beery and I discussed which wines pair exquisitely with these top picks.

Dark Chocolate

For the dad with the sweet tooth, we recommend dark chocolate from Peterbrooke Chocolatier on Park Avenue. Their Dark Chocolate will pair beautifully with a Cabernet Sauvignon. Why? Roger recommends this variety because the tannins in wine can accentuate the slight bitterness found in dark chocolate. He suggests pairing dark chocolate with a Vintage Port – it’ll put a smile on dad’s chocolate covered face.

peterbrooke

Photo Credit: Unique Michael

 

Marshmallows

For the classy dads out there, we recommend Wondermade’s Gold Champagne Marshmallows. What’s so special about these bites? They are capped with 24 karat gold! Roger recommends pairing these beauties with sparkling wine or champagne, as the bubbles will help to balance the gooey deliciousness of the gourmet marshmallow. He specifically suggests a brut style sparkler from J vineyards or Mumm Napa Valley. 

gold

Photo Credit: Wondermade 

 

Steak

Let’s face it. A hungry dad is not a happy dad. A majority of dads will order a steak on Father’s Day – a Porterhouse Steak to be exact. As agreed with Roger, a great steak calls for a great Cabernet Sauvignon. Why? Roger recommends this variety because the tannins and red fruit are made to pair with the juicy cut. He even recommends taking the extra step and ordering a unique small production Cabernet directly from the winery: Dunn Vineyards, Alpha Omega Winery, Corison Winery, or John Anthony Vineyards to impress. For local picks, he recommends Jordan Winery, Caymus Winery, and Shafer Vineyards, as they are consistent Cabernet standouts.

Steak

Photo Credit: Allen Brothers  

 

Shrimp & Grits 

Taking dad out for a nice lunch? We recommend the Shrimp & Grits at Marlow’s Tavern. Why? White Cheddar Grit Cake, Spinach, Roma Tomato, Shallot and Roast Tomato Beurre Blanc all combine together to create a flavorful experience. Roger recommends pairing this delicious dish with a dry rose’, as it is not your grandmother’s sweet white Zinfandel. Dry rose’s are crisp, refreshing and less sweeter. Pour dad a glass of manly rose’ of Pinor Noir such as Belle Glos or Copain.

Shrimp

Photo Credit: Unique Michael 

 

Blue Cheese

It’s okay to be cheesy this Father’s Day – just don’t forget the wine! Blue Cheese is a popular choice and is often given to dads who are cheese connoisseurs. They can be salty and pungent, making wine pairing tricky. Roger recommends pairing Blue Cheese with a sweet or dessert wine such as a Sauterne or Late Harvest Riesling. If your dad doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, Roger recommends Smith Madrone Dry Riesling (Napa) or Chateau Ste. Michelle. We also wholeheartedly recommend Michelle Riesling (Washington) for its hint of sweetness.

cheese

Photo Credit: Cornucopia Cheese 

 

 

 

About Roger Beery  

Roger and Donna Beery began writing Bacchus and Beery Wine Blog in 2009 as a way to express their mutual love of boutique wines, winemakers and wine country. What began as a little hobby has grown into one of the most widely read wine blogs. Today Bacchus and Beery focuses on wine travel, winemaker interviews and wine reviews. In the Fall of 2014 with their son, Conch, a winemaker in Sonoma, they will make their first wines for their new, yet to be named, wine label. As Roger said, “it’s time for the writer to get a little dirty in the winery.”

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It’s rare these days to experience something that truly fills you with wonder and awe, but magician Kostya Kimlat’s entertaining magic act at Christner’s does just that.

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Once a month on Saturday evenings at the legendary Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster (formerly Del Frisco’s), Mr. Kostya Kimlat and his friends perform during a four-course dinner magic show in a private parlor environment.

The Ukraine-born magician, based in Orlando, performs and teaches magic around the world and has been named the Orlando Magic’s “Official Magician.”

Kostya Kimlat, the Magical Entertainer
Kostya Kimlat, the Magical Entertainer

Christner’s is, of course, one of Orlando’s oldest and most esteemed steakhouses, built over the years with a dedication to fine dining and great service by the Christner family. Steaks here are prime-aged, corn-fed and are cut fresh to order.

Kostya Kimlat and his team of magicians blew me away by their artistry and skill during a recent 90-minute magic show presented between dinner courses. The final act, literally a spine tingling experience, left me speechless … you just have to see it to understand what I mean.

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The event takes place in a private parlor room towards the back of the restaurant, beginning with a plate of bread, house salad, and jumbo shrimp appetizer. Dinner entrees include a choice of 6oz Filet, 12oz Strip or 12oz Salmon with fresh grilled asparagus & chateau potatoes – some of the creamy, buttery, mashed potatoes in Orlando – followed by dessert and coffee or tea, with entertaining, and awe-inspiring magic performances between each course.

The dinner shows at Christner’s are usually once a month, the last Saturday of the month, $118.00 (Tax and tip included) per person, starting promptly at 7:00pm and lasting till about 9:30pm. For schedule and tickets, please visit MagicShowOrlando.com

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Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster on Urbanspoon

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For those not willing to shell out $100s of dollars every night of the week, steak lovers with a budget can rejoice with a more cost efficient (read cheap) option.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse offers a very reasonably priced happy hour with appetizers and drinks for $7 till 6:30PM, Mondays thru Fridays

Drinks

Classic Cosmo
Pomegranate Martini
Ruth’s Manhattan
Moscow Mule
Rocks Rita
select wine & beer

Appetizers/Dishes
USDA Prime Burger with Fries
Honey Soy Marinated Tenderloin Skewer Salad
Crab BLT with Zucchini Fries
Spruce PointTM Smoked Salmon, lemon creme fraiche, capers, herbed flatbread crisps
Steak Sandwich with Fries, sliced filet prepared with bearnaise sauce
Seared Ahi Tuna
Spicy Lobster, lightly fried and tossed in a cream sauce

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Rocks Rita

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Steak Sandwich with Fries, sliced filet prepared with bearnaise sauce

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USDA Prime Burger with Fries

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USDA Prime Burger with Fries

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USDA Prime Burger with Fries

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Honey Soy Marinated Tenderloin Skewer Sala

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Seared Ahi Tuna

Ruth's Chris Steak House on Urbanspoon

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Located in the historic Kress building (once housing the “five and dime” retail department store), Kres Chophouse is a swanky, classy restaurant and one of the best in the downtown Orlando area.

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Inside, the lighting is dim and tall red velvet backed booths line the walls like something out of a 1950s downtown night club lounge.

The place is nice for a fancy “romantic” date night out before hitting the clubs and lounges nearby in downtown Orlando. Service is good, not perfect, but fine.

In addition to the decor, the menu is also reminiscent of a classic gentleman’s steakhouse or club, with such mainstays as shrimp cocktail, filet Diane, and oysters Rockefeller.  The menu is pricey but the quality and ambiance warrants a high tab, I suppose.

For our appetizer, we chose the Mediterranean Seafood Cocktail, consisting of shrimp, octopus, squid, and other nicely chilled seafood items in a martini-glass like cup. It was nice, but not sufficiently memorable. What was memorable, however, were their steaks and namesake “chops”.

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I ordered the Kres Mixed Grill, a huge plate of garlic shrimp, tender filet mignon and double lamb chops, served with a side of asparagus and three cheese au gratin. The filet was fantastic as were the lamb chops, very tender and flavorful, perfectly cooked.

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Kres Chophouse’ Atlantic Cobia

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Banana Ice cream sundae dessert

 

Kres Chophouse on Urbanspoon

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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.

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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.

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Steak and Lobster Tartare samples in the V Lounge
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Market Oysters and Chilled Gulf Shrimp – cocktail style with atomic horseradish and spicy mustard
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Point Judith Calamari: Kung pao style with roasted cashews and crisp noodles
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16 oz USDA Prime New York Strip Au Poivre: cracked black peppercorn cognac sauce
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Crab Fried Rice with Scallions and Mushrooms (Side Dish)
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Alaskan Halibut: Sauteéd with sweet corn, morels, edamame and smoked pork shank
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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
Website: http://eddiev.com

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The Council Oak Steaks & Seafood restaurant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is actually the second iteration of the Council Oak restaurant, with the first being in Hollywood, Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

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The name “Council Oak” comes from the namesake oak tree on the Hollywood reservation where Seminole tribe leaders would once meet regularly to discuss tribal business. Today, you can still see community and business leaders – like the President of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel – meeting with business cohorts but instead of around a real oak tree, they are at the Council Oak restaurant, discussing business matters around plates of steaks and lobsters in a fine dining setting.

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After walking through hallways filled with the hypnotic music of singing slot machines, the first thing you notice when approaching Council Oak is its open air, fully loaded – magnificent – Butcher Shop.

The Butcher Shop at Council Oak proudly offers genuine USDA prime dry-aged beef cut daily on the premises for purchase to take home, with cuts ranging from NY strips, ribeyes and porterhouses, bone-in filet mignon, and lamb chops. You can watch with your mouth agape as the butcher weighs and cuts pounds and pounds of beef just feet away, ready to be cooked up and served.

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Inside the restaurant, there is a contemporary look and luxurious feel, much like what you would find at fine dining restaurants at high end hotels these days. Shades of burgundy, sienna and gold complement the existing traditional rich, warm wood decor and towards the back of the restaurant, a full view of the glass encased kitchen where the chefs and their line cooks fire the grills and ovens away, preparing the freshest and highest quality ingredients into works of art for guests.

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At Council Oak, their U.S.D.A. prime steaks are all dry-aged 21 to 28 days, cut to order from from inside their very own on-site butcher shop and their Alaskan King Crab legs are brought fresh directly from the Bering Sea. Their seafood is among the freshest that I’ve tasted, with a rich flavor of the sea.

On our recent trip to Hard Rock for a dinner, my dining companions and I sampled a litany of dishes, showcasing the depth and variety available at the Council Oak, ensuring a nice cross-section of the menu.

First off, bacon. Of course, the bacon here is cured and smoked in house and tastes much better than the breakfast variety. This is bacon for dinner, dressed up and ready for action.

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FRESH COUNCIL OAK BACON $10
Cured & Smoked In-House

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COUNCIL OAK RAW BAR SAMPLER
Alaskan King Crab legs, Maine Lobster, Jumbo Cocktail Shrimp, Oysters, Clams
This was one of the freshest seafood dishes I’ve tasted. Of course the oysters and clams are raw, but the taste was so very fresh, they might have been pulled out of the ocean just moments before from what I could tell. The lobster and king crab legs and shrimp were all similarly fantastic, prepared very well.

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LONG BONE COWBOY RIBEYE – 26 oz. $50 – One of the Council Oak’s signature dishes, the long bone cowboy ribeye is juicy and savory with light seasoning so you can taste the essence of the steak. They also engrave initials onto the bone for you if you like. I asked for “TASTY” for tasty “chops”.

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DRY AGED LAMB CHOPS $50 -Two Double-Cut Chops, Fresh Rosemary, Roasted Garlic – This dish was good, but would say that it was probably the least memorable of the evening. Fresh, and savory, but maybe missing something. The meat was very flavorful.

For dessert, one of the signature dishes is the light, airy, divine – souffle, ranging from traditional Grand Marnier, to Vanilla bean and chocolate, each with its own sauce to pour over.

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There is also a tasting menu going on at the moment at Council Oak, a new concept from the chef to showcase their chops, so to speak. It would change seasonally and would feature the freshest ingredients of the time with four courses for $99 per person.

AUTUMN’S PRIME PAIRINGS

A FOUR COURSE TASTING OF THE SEASON’S MOST EXCITING INGREDIENTS,
PERFECTLY PAIRED WITH WINES FROM THE CELLAR

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COUNCIL OAK PRIME SIRLOIN TARTARE
Poached Quail Egg, House-Made Melba

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PRIME SHORT RIB RISOTTO
Wild Autumn Mushrooms, Truffle, Reggiano

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PETITE WAGYU BEEF FILET
Mustard, Vidalia Onion Custard, Wilted Rainbow Chard, Bordelaise

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FIVE SPICED CHOCOLATE CREMEUX
Chocolate Soil, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Coffee Frappe

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Council Oak at The Hard Rock on Urbanspoon

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by Unique Michael

I was recently invited to experience Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar’s new menu, which showcases new dry-aged steaks, bold cuts, flavorful steak companions, and a diverse wine selection.

Shortly after arriving, I was greeted by the restaurant’s operating partner Irma Muns and Chef Partner Alec Cheak. Before sampling the new menu, I took note of the contemporary music playing (Artists like Mumford & Sons) and a few of the beautiful features of the interior, such as an open kitchen for guests to look into from their elegantly decorated table.

Before trying anything off of the new menu, I was informed of the two distinct preparation methods. According to Fleming’s, their steaks are either classically prepared, which means that they are expertly seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper, then broiled at 1,600 degrees or iron crusted and finished with butter and fresh parsley.

In the video provide below, Corporate Chef, Russell Skall, highlights an important Fleming’s philosophy by stating “Indulgence Made to Order is a philosophy; it’s an experience where care and craftsmanship add up to something exceptional.”

First, I sampled a juicy Pork Belly and Fennel Salad, which was accompanied with mandarin oranges. This was paired with a sweet French Chardonnay. The combination was refreshing, yet savory and well balanced.

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Next, I had the option of choosing between a Dry-Aged Ribeye or Dry Aged New York Strip, which was served with a steak companion of choice. I selected the New York Strip prepared using their iron-crusted method with the Truffled Poached Lobster as a side companion. It’s not hard to find an average steak but it can be difficult to find an exceptional one.

This was definitely one of the exceptional ones. Like Chef Russel Skall says in the video, the outside was seared perfectly and the inside was tender and full of flavor. The texture and flavors of the lobster and steak worked well together, but the béarnaise sauce was too rich for me.

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Here’s a list of the steak companions:

• Truffled Poached Lobster with béarnaise sauce and caviar
• Diablo Shrimp baked with a spiced barbeque butter sauce
• King Crab with Herb Butter simmered with fresh herbs and garlic and topped with caviar
• Flavor Trio with three steaks spreads: Gorgonzola and mascarpone brulée, Sweet onion bacon jam, and Cabernet mustard.

I also tried a slice of the Wet Aged Tomahawk Steak for two, which was tender and possibly the perfect selection for a date.

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Overall, the food and service was enjoyable. According to Irma Muns, all chefs and staff go through rigorous training on how Fleming’s prepares their steaks, so don’t be afraid to ask your server to elaborate on their new offerings or for a recommendation.

Last but not least, the restaurant gives every table a “Wine Pad,” which is a beautifully designed application for the iPad that showcases the Fleming’s 100 Wine List with tasting notes and suggested food pairings. The Fleming’s 100 includes classics and not-to-miss selections, but also cut wines and upcoming standouts. There is a wine for every budget; 30 of the wines are less than or equal to $10 per glass. The Wine Pad works well to remove the stigma surrounding the enjoyment of fine wines. Wine connoisseurs and those that are newer to wine will equally enjoy this interactive experience.

$50 giftcard giveaway to Fleming’s and bottle of Italian Wine

Enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card and a bottle of Italian wine, exclusively crafted for Fleming’s. Complete the two items below to enter! Must enter by Monday October 28, 2013 5pm EST to win.

1. Subscribe to our newsletter (you are already entered if you are already subscribed): Subscribe to the TastyChomps Newsletter here

2. Answer in the comments below: What would you order for $50 at Fleming’s?

3. Optional: “Like” this page on Facebook using the buttons on the left or bottom!

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Unique has over five years of experience in the communication industry and actively uses his Graphic Design, Business Development, Public Relations, and Marketing skills to support small businesses and local events. He is also the Director of Advertising for Tasty Chomps, Orlando’s Number 1 Food Blog. Unique is currently studying Communication with a focus in Writing & Rhetoric and Mass Communication at The University of Central Florida

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written by Cuong Le, TastyChomps South Florida Team

The first thing one notices as they enter Shula’s On The Beach is its amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean. The restaurant has an outside dining area for patrons to enjoy the South Florida breeze. The outside dining area also has a full bar if you just want to stop by to cool yourself down with a nice alcohol beverage after your stroll through the sand as well.

Tasty Chomps and associates were invited to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Miami Dolphin’s 1972 perfect season. As we sat down inside to prepare for the glorious meal to come, we were able to sample a special beverage created specifically for this occasion called the No Name Martini, named after the undefeated team made of team players that nobody knew. The martini was made of greygoose vodka, St. Germain sweet liqueur, freshly squeezed orange and lemon, and “home-made” secret foam. Usually I’m not a big fan of fruit cocktails, but this tasted like a refreshing citrus juice. The “home made” foam green foam had a slight hint of cucumber and celery. I couldn’t taste the alcohol, but don’t get me wrong, this drink is strong.

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After our beverages we were served a various selection of appetizers. First we sampled the Blackened Tenderloin Tips with Béarnaise Sauce and Shula’s BBQ Sauce. Those who prefer their steaks more on the medium well side would love these tenderloin tips. Many other places that have had this item usually overcook their tips, but Don Shula’s have definitely kept the tenderness to these tenderloin tips. The Shula’s BBQ sauce was a great blend of sweet and tangy, more on the sweet side though. The Béarnaise sauce was not the basic creamy hollandaise tasting, you can actually taste the different blends of spices (shallots, peppercorn, tarragon, etc.).

 

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After the tips, we had the Lobster Cocktail with Shula’s cocktail sauce and Béarnaise Sauce and lemon. This wasn’t a regular item on the menu, at least not yet, but it should be soon. The lobster came out at the perfect chilled temperature. The meat was sweet and firm confirming its freshness. Usually frozen lobster meat is bland and brittle.

 

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Finally we moved onto the main course; the steaks! I had the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye while my companion had the 8-ounce Filet Mignon. There are two primary differences between the Shula Cut and many of the other beef cuts at other restaurants. First, only 1% of all beef makes the Shula Cut. Second, their steaks are wet-aged, meaning they’re vacuum-sealed to make sure the cuts retain their moisture (as opposed to dry aging). The biggest difference in taste between Shula’s wet-age and dry age is that, when you cut into a Shula cut, it doesn’t automatically bleed out all the juices. Each bite definitely retains its juiciness and beefy flavor as opposed to dry age where there are stronger influences of the seasonings used in the cooking process.

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With our steaks we enjoyed the accompaniments of Shula’s Crab Mac and Cheese and Twice Backed Potato. The Crab Mac and Cheese was perfectly blended with the generous chunks of crab and melted cheese, instead of swimming in a cheese soup. It was topped with a toasted panko crust that made the entire dish delightfully creamy and seasoned. For the Twice Baked Potato, the twice-baking process makes the texture like a very firm mashed potato. It’s loaded with apple wood bacon and topped with melted cheese. This is definitely one decadent side dish.

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Shula’s On The Beach was an elegant dining experience. The food was spectacular and the environment was relaxing.

 

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A Look inside the Shula Restaurant

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Cuong with Mr. Shula

 

Shula's on the Beach on Urbanspoon

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This Christmas, Hilton Orlando’s Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops restaurant is hosting exclusive three course Christmas Day Dinner events. Chef Kevin Spencer (who recently joined Spencer’s as head chef from the Hilton’s David’s Club Bar and Grill) has created a menu featuring a 6oz center cut filet at Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops along with a special children’s offering. More information below:

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Christmas Dinner at Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops

Tue. December 25, 2012
Hours: 5:30pm-10pm
Price: $75.00 exclusive of tax and gratuity.

Live Music: Jeff , Solo Pianist from 5:30 pm-10 p.m.

Amuse – Champagne and oysters
Florida stone crab – Avocado, Tarragon Mustard, Blood Orange
Intermezzo – Lemon Ginger, Rose water, Basil
8oz Center cut filet – Royal Trumpet Mushroom, Sunchoke Risotto, Lobster Etouffee
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake – Coco Dirt, Grand Marnier Caviar, Orange Caramel

For reservations, visit
http://www.thehiltonorlando.com/our-hotel/hotel-events/index.cfm?eventId=EV_20121114112738338747#events

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Also,

New Year’s Eve at Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops

Mon. December 31, 2012
Hours: 5:30pm-10pm
Price: $75.00 exclusive of tax and gratuity.

Live Music: Jeff , Solo Pianist from 5:30 pm-10 p.m.

Amuse – Champagne and oysters
Florida stone crab – Avocado, Tarragon Mustard, Blood Orange
Intermezzo – Lemon Ginger, Rose water, Basil
8oz Center cut filet – Royal Trumpet Mushroom, Sunchoke Risotto, Lobster Etouffee
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake – Coco Dirt, Grand Marnier Caviar, Orange Caramel

For reservations, visit
http://www.thehiltonorlando.com/our-hotel/hotel-events/index.cfm?eventId=EV_20121114112938781803#events

 

Hilton Orlando at International Drive

6001 Destination Parkway, Orlando, FL 32819

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I was recently invited by the wonderful folks at the Hilton Orlando to sample a few items from their award winning menu (Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops was named Best Hotel Restaurant in the Orlando Sentinel’s Foodies Awards). They had recently added a few new items to the menu and wanted to share the news with the world.

Featuring USDA prime beef dry aged for 21 to 28 days, hand cut and seared to perfection. Spencer’s restaurant for Steaks & Chops at the Hilton Orlando, sophisticated and approachable, offers a memorable Orlando dining experience with handcrafted dishes, scratch made cocktails, and a distinctive destination wine list.

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Chilled Colossal Shrimp with a very unique tomato tartare , celery horseradish pesto

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Duck Confit with fig, watercress, aged sherry reduction

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Bouillabaisse – with Cedar Creek clams, lobster, shrimp, monk fish, rouille

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Spencer Cut – the signature 22oz USDA Prime Cowboy rib chop aged 21 days with King crab and Bernaise sauce accompaniment

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Spencer’s Hash Browns with bacon, cheddar

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Naughty Cake
Ganache Ribbon, Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream,
Spiced Pears, Warm Port Consommé

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One of the best servers in the business with some of the greatest service in town !

Spencer's for Steaks and Chops on Urbanspoon

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Located at Rialto at Sand Lake
7339 West Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 781-4880
General Manager: Michael Kopoian
Executive Chef: Jeremy Mattson

Dinner: Monday – Thursday 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Sunday 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Blu Lounge: 4:00 PM – Close

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Ocean Prime is a steakhouse and seafood restaurant concept owned by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants that currently consists of nine restaurants in eight states. Ocean Prime opened in Troy, Michigan in June 2008 and has locations in Columbus, Ohio (under the name Mitchell’s Ocean Club), Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta. The Orlando location opened in November of 2008.

Ocean Prime features wild and naturally harvested fish recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and steaks that include USDA Prime cuts, aged for maximum tenderness and flavor.

The restaurant features three private dining rooms available for reservations: The Prime 1 Room seats up to 18 guests and the Prime Room 2 seats up to 32 guests; both Prime Rooms may be combined to accommodate up to 50 guests. Ocean Prime Orlando also offers a beautiful, intimate private room called The Club Room, with seating for up to 12 guests.

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Executive Chef Jeremy Mattson
Garnering more than 17 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry including eight years as an executive chef, Jeremy Mattson raises the culinary bar as executive chef of Ocean Prime in Orlando, Fla. First inspired by his childhood world travels where he tasted fine foods and experienced diverse cultures, Mattson has always considered himself an epicure with a passion for hospitality. Much of his motivation comes from his community and his father, from who he regularly seeks culinary advice.

Mattson joined the Ocean Prime team in July 2011 after mastering his culinary skills through a wide range of positions within the Cameron Mitchell Restaurants family since 2003. With experience from line cook to executive chef, he has trained more than 25 sous chefs and was nominated for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ “Sous Chef of the Year” and Ruth’s Chris Hospitality Group’s “Executive Chef of the Year,” Mattson was also chosen for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants “Street Fighter” award for best local store marketing, and his previous restaurant was named “Best Seafood” by Hour magazine in Detroit, Mich., and by Weekly Jax in Jacksonville, Fla., under his astute leadership.

Originally from Lansing, Mich., Mattson currently resides in Orlando with his wife and three sons. In his leisure time, he enjoys being with his family, playing hockey, discovering new music and collecting vinyl records.

 

We were recently invited to Ocean Prime to try out a few items on their menu and had a wonderful time. Photos follow:

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Berries & Bubbles
Belvedere Citrus Vodka,
Marinated Blackberries, Housemade Sour,
Domaine Chandon Brut   14

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Cucumber Gimlet
Bombay Sapphire Gin, Muddled Fresh Cucumber,
Hand Squeezed Lime   13

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Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, Golden Oak Mushrooms 13

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“Surf n Turf,” Sea Scallops, Slow Braised Short Ribs 16

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Lobster Bisque 11
Sweet Corn Fritter

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Ahi Tuna Tartar, Avocado, Ginger Ponzu 16

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Ocean Prime House Salad, Romaine, Spinach, Granny Smith
Apples, Goat Cheese, Walnuts, Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette 11

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Sea Scallops, Parmesan Risotto, English Peas, Citrus Vinaigrette 33

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Petite Filet Mignon with Lobster Tail

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Creamed Spinach with Smoked Bacon 10

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Black Truffle Macaroni & Cheese 13

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Jalapeño Au Gratin, Sliced Potatoes, Aged Swiss 11

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Baked Alaska 11
Pound Cake w/ Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry Ice Cream,
Toasted Meringue & Fresh Raspberries

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie 9
Peanut Butter Mousse w/Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

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This past Thursday, March 15, Fogo de Chão (pronounced fo-go dèe shoun), the authentic Southern Brazilian steakhouse that’s been named one of Zagat’s top U.S. restaurants, opened in Orlando on International Drive just south of Sand Lake Road. I recently attended a preview dinner at the restaurant.

The name Fogo de Chao is Portuguese for “fire on the ground”, developed during a time when Brazilian cowboys gathered around a fire to roast the evening’s meal. It sits in the same location where restaurants Bogard’s and India Blue once were before they were razed for the construction of Fogo De Chao.

The restaurant’s dining experience is based on the centuries-old gaucho tradition known as churrasco, the art of roasting meats over an open charcoal fire. A prix fixe menu features 15 freshly grilled meats carved tableside from roasting skewers. Also featured are traditional Southern Brazilian side dishes on a sumptuous more than 30 item gourmet salad and sides bar.

The restaurant offers a 200-label wine list, for which it has received Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for the past eight years. Guests can also enjoy decadent desserts include the restaurant’s signature Papaya Cream, made with fresh papaya.

During my visit, I noticed that the acoustics of the building made it very difficult for me to carry on a conversation with my dining partner. Maybe it was all the caipirinhas that all the guests had enjoyed during the evening making everyone a little bit more rowdy than usual, but I don’t think that was the case. If you go, be prepared for a busy, exciting evening with a lot of noise. The place is sure to be bumpin’.

Upon entering Fogo De Chao (shaped on the outside oddly enough like a Native American teepee hut or a fire pit ?), there is a large bar/waiting area where you can order from their impressive selection of 200 wines or get that awesome and popular caiprinha, the national cocktail of Brazil.

At the center of the building is a long salad bar area that serves up not only your typical salad items but also proscuitto, smoked salmon, shitake mushrooms, salumi, manchego cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and more. Those of you who have been to Brazilian steakhouses before, like the nearby Texas De Brazil up the street, will know to be wary of the salad bar area and to tread lightly in its waters. The Gaucho meat parade will soon be marching to your table.

At your table you are given a circular disc, one side red meaning stop, the other green meaning go. Flip the green side up and soon the gauchos arrive with sticks of grilled PICANHA (Top Sirloin – Garlic or Traditional seasoned), FILET MIGNON, BEEF ANCHO (Ribeye), ALCATRA (Top Sirloin), FRALDINHA (Bottom Sirloin – one of my favorite cuts), COSTELA (Beef Ribs), CORDEIRO (Lamb – just wonderful here), FRANGO (Chicken), COSTELA DE PORCO (Pork Ribs), LOMBO (Pork Loin), or LINGUICA (Sausage). They arrive very quickly in rapid succession so just be ready for them as it might take you by surprise when they all arrive at once with all this meat in your face, like a kid in a meat candy store for sure. When you’ve had enough, just turn your disc over to red for them to stop.

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Rack of Lamb, full of wonderful flavor

Out of all the meats, I would have to say the bottom sirloin, lamb chops, and rack of lamb were my favorite, all very seasoned flavorfully and grilled to a nice temperature for enjoyment. The pork ribs were a bit dry and may have needed some more seasoning. Obviously there will be comparisons between Texas De Brazil and Fogo De Chao as they are both going to be Brazilian steakhouses on International Drive. Texas De Brazil is wonderful, ambiance and meats, and all, but Fogo De Chao’s meats were more memorable and had more flavor than Texas’. They both have a warm place in this meat eater’s heart for sure.

Fogo De Chao serves mashed potatoes and sweet bananas with their meats to cleanse the palate between cuts. They also have this nice fried polenta dish that reminded me of this yummy fried tofu that my mom would make at home, we ordered a few more rounds of the fried polenta for our table because we loved it so much. They also used this thin metallic plate especially made from Brazil that I at first thought was fancy plastic ware until my friend Pearleen of Megayummo told me no, it’s actually nice silverware from Brazil. Thank you Megayummo!

For dessert, my favorite would have to be the authentic Brazilian dish: papaya cream, made with fresh papaya and topped with a chassis/currant liqueur. Soft, delicate, delightful. The other desserts were great too but this one dessert stood out among the creme brulee, flan, and chocolate molten cake.

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Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar, and lime, with some mint thrown in for measure and crushed.

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Wine Room at Fogo De Chao

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Center Salad Bar

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Pork ribs, a bit dry and in need of a bit more seasoning

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Lamb chops at Fogo

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Fried Polenta cakes

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Fogo’s Signature Papaya Cream

Operation hours and prices are as follows:

Lunch
$26.50 (Salad Bar Only – $19.50)
Monday – Thursday: 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Friday: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

$35.50 (Salad Bar Only – $19.50)
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Dinner
$42.50 (Salad Bar Only – $19.50)
Monday – Thursday: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sunday: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Children five years of age and under enjoy complimentary dining. Children six to 10 years of age dine at half the prices listed above. Beverages, desserts, taxes and gratuity are additional.

Fogo do Chão Orlando is located at 8282 International Drive, a quarter mile south of Sand Lake Road and about a mile north of the Orange County Convention Center.

Fogo de Chão on Urbanspoon

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A Land Remembered, a classic “Florida” style steakhouse in Rosen Shingle Creek resort,
 is named after Patrick Smith’s rich novel featuring Florida’s historical moments and landscapes. I actually had no idea that the name for the restaurant was based on a book about the early days of Florida, but in my mind the name conjured up images of Florida’s wilderness, its ranching and cattle heritage, and of course, with cows come, delicious steaks. I had visited A Land Remembered once before during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month and was thoroughly impressed with the slightly hidden steakhouse – found through a covered walkway off to the left side of the grand Rosen Shingle Creek resort. I was recently invited to visit again to sample their cuisine and left solidifying my earlier good impressions with much to remember and linger on after.

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The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort is located on Universal Blvd just north of SR 528 and just a few blocks away from the Orange County Convention Center. A Land Remembered is not known much outside of the convention area as its location is inside (really, off to the side) of the hotel. Decked in dark woods and old Florida themes, A Land Remembered can be seen as a throwback to the old days of Central Florida’s cattle-raising history. The steaks here truly are superb.

Before we get to that, I must note that the restaurant is rated as an AAA Four Diamond restaurant, and the quality and service shows. The servers here on both occasions were attentive without being intrusive, and gracious without being too uptight. The recommendations for dinner were spot on and they made sure to check on us throughout the meal.

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Interestingly enough, the restaurant tries its best to feature classic “Florida” in many of its dishes such as the Gator Creek Stew, a hearty, though a bit too mild, chili dish made with “Gator Drool” beer, white beans, tomatos, cabbage, a touch of tabasco, tomato, and farm raised gator. The gator in this dish reminded me alot of ground turkey or ground beef, very mild tasting, I imagine so not to scare off any of the visiting tourists. The “Gator Drool” beer used in this dish and a few others on the menu is produced by a local Florida microbrewery from Melbourne exclusively for Rosen Hotels. The beer was inspired by Central Florida Hotelier  Mr. Harris Rosen upon encountering the “Moose Drool” beer during a trip to Vermont. I find it touching to see the level of detail that Mr. Rosen put into not only his Rosen hotel empire, but also into the intricacies of decor and even the ingredients served in his restaurants.

For appetizers, they served a pair of delicious crab cakes made with real lump crab from Maryland with a side of lemon as well as big and plump scallops from Prince Edward Island, bought, I was told, locally from Lombardi’s Seafood market in Winter Park.

A Land Remembered features Harris Ranch Black Angus Five Diamond Prime Beef, the same beef that’s served at the famed Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida. The taste is exquisite. I had the bone-in ribeye steak, a juicy, slightly-charred cut served perfectly at the desired medium rare. The meat was tender, flavorful, and altogether one of the best steaks I have had in Orlando.

For dessert, you are treated with the creations of Executive Pastry Chef David Ramirez, trained at Johnson and Wales University, winner of American Culinary Foundation competitions and who competed in the Coupe Du Monde de la Patisserie, the World Pastry Cup, in Lyon, France as captain of Team USA. He and his wife Nicole also operate David Ramirez Chocolates (http://davidramirezchocolates.com/) off of Orange Blossom Trail in South Orlando. Choices range from chocolate flourless cake to “Warm Pioneer Bread Pudding” to “A Land Remembered Key Lime Pie”.

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Keylime, creme brulee, banana pudding, chocolate mousse, NY cheesecake shooters in a horse-shoe

A Land Remembered is truly a hidden gem here in Orlando and is a classic “Florida” steakhouse with not only great service but also great, delicious flavors. It’s a great special occasion type of place for dinner, whether you are visiting Rosen Shingle Creek as part of a convention or golf outting, or out for a special night. Prices are pretty high as they are in the tourist district, but you can get a good deal by visiting Restaurant.com and getting one of their discounts there for A Land Remembered.

Valet parking is complimentary when dining at A Land Remembered. The restaurant offers a private dining room (up to 24 people) and relaxing lounge. Seating capacity: 110.

 

 

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Florida Alligator-shaped Butter! how cute and tasty.

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“Gator Creek Stew” – probably the least memorable dish on the menu, I think I would’ve liked more gator or sausage in it.

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Ahi Tuna
Served Rare, Lemon Myrtle Crust
Nappa & Swamp Cabbage Slaw
Chili Pepper Citrus Vinaigrette

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Boca Grande Crab Cake
Scallion Aioli & Red Chili Pepper Glaze

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A shot of the menu prices

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Bone-In Ribeye Steak, 20 oz of delicious, tender, slightly charred steak

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Slow Roasted Prime Rib
Fresh Horseradish & Au Jus
12 oz

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Baked Sweet Potato with Honey Butter, almost like a dessert side

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Chocolate Mousse Cake
12 oz. Portion of Chocolate Mousse Cake
Layered with Pecan Nougatine
Flourless Chocolate Cake and a
Milk Chocolate Cream Filling,
Topped with Raspberry Ganache & Fresh Fruit

A Land Remembered on Urbanspoon

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I was graciously invited by the establishment at The Capital Grille (headquartered here in Orlando) for a lovely evening of wine tasting, a special event going on all this month till September. Here is a sneak peak of what awaits:

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At The Capital Grille, located right off of International Drive in the Point Orlando complex, wine isn’t just a drink you order off the menu; it’s a celebrated affair. The waiters here at Capital Grille, under the tutelage of Master Sommelier George Milotes, are trained in the arts of wine pairings, giving great advice on whether that crisp, sweet, white wine complements that seafood appetizer that you may be having or if that red wine might go better with that steak tonight. The Master Sommelier Wine Tasting event, as described previously, is a great event worth any wine connoisseur or novice beginner’s time in trying out. For just a reasonable price you are able to sample over 10 specially selected wines from New Zealand, California, Italy and more over the course of the next few weeks.

Inside the Capital Grille you will notice that the decor and setting is very much American, very much what I would imagine a old boy’s club would feel like with vintage paintings and hunting assortments on the walls; the perfect place to go for a business or corporate outing I would surmise, with the relative closeness of the Orange County Convention Center nearby and all.

The meal begins with a special seafood appetizer prepared by the chef this evening, filled with luscious lumps of crab meat, lobster, and shrimp topped with a sweet corn salsa. This appetizer went very well with the lunetta prosecco of Italy, light and crisp and slightly sweet, a perfect start or end to any meal. The pan fried calamari with hot cherry peppers was a fiery spicy dish that would awake any taste bud.

Our waitress this evening is gracious and well educated (thanks to the Master Sommelier and the other staff here I am sure) on the various wine offerings this evening for the event as well as great choices for entrees and options and always checking up on us often to see how things are.

For the entrees, I chose the classic cut of a Delmonico dry aged steak seasoned and broiled to create a delicate porcini mushroom crust with a light drizzling of premium 12-year aged balsamic. It went very well with the assortment of red wines that accompanied the steak, my favorite being the Beringer Ranch merlot from California and the Wild Rock pinot noir from New Zealand, both excellent reds. My partner this evening enjoyed her bone-in koma crusted dry aged sirloin with caramelized shallot butter just as much. The bok choy lettuce and au gratin potato sides went very well with our steaks as well, possibly pushing us over the tipping point. But alas there is a final act.

The desserts ordered this evening were the trio of handcrafted ice creams with double chocolate and coconut cookies and the chocolate hazelnut cake, both decadent, sweet endings to a absolutely wonderful meal.

Special thanks go out to Heather Dratler, Randy Cook, and Shannon Niedenthal for making this happen, a wonderful team over there at the Capital Grille.

Pricing
$$$$

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At the Capital Grille, service is a pleasure

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Amazing seafood appetizer at The Capital Grille

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Its hot like fiyah, pan fried calamari at The Capital Grille

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The wine is divine

PhotobucketKona crusted Sirloin
PhotobucketDelmonico steak
PhotobucketTrio of Ice Cream
PhotobucketThe Chocolate Hazelnut
PhotobucketUntil we meet againThe Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

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Texas De Brazil Churrascaria- Orlando – International Drive




Texas de Brazil Churrascaria in Orlando has to be one of my favorite restaurants of all time. When I found out many years ago that churrascaria is basically a term in south America for “steak house”, I immediately set my sights on visiting Texas De Brazil. Situated just south of the newly renovated Prime Outlet mall on International Drive, Texas de Brazil offers you one of the most ridiculously copious amounts of delicious meat and food that the carnivore in us would ever wet dream about (and it’s pretty affordable too when you sign up for their e-mail list serv on line).

Inside, the decor is elegant with earthy tones and large mirrors adorning the walls, filled with loud touristy families as well as couples out on a date. At the front is a hotel-like welcome lobby where the hostess seats you as well as a bar on the left. There are also a few private rooms for large parties, one of which my party is seated on this night.

The occasion is a anniversary of sorts, celebrating the end of another eventful, memorable year with the brothers of Pi Delta Psi Fraternity Incorporated at the University of Central Florida.
What better place for a group of young men to relax than a meaty steak-filled all you can eat buffet where you don’t even have to get up for more?

In addition to their meats, there is actually a sizable salad and antipasta bar filled with various appetizing dishes such as tomatoes, spring greens, olives, salami, pasta, lobster bisque, even sushi. The items are quite delicious but you must remain focused. There is only so much space in your tummy, and if you want to get the most of your money, save it for the glorious meats that will be coming to the table shortly. Otherwise, pace yourself here at Orlando’s Texas De Brazil if you would like to just enjoy the food rather than go into a meat-induced coma at the end of the night.

Our waiters for this evening are attentive and prompt, quickly filling our drink glasses through the evening and also bringing out their amazing garlic mashed potato and sweet cinnamony fried banana sides that help wash the palate as you chomp down.

Sim, por favor – reads the green plastic disk meaning “yes please, bring it on”.
And the meat continues to come, and come, and come until you flip over the disk onto the red side signifying your surrender, signifying that you are indeed a weakling unable to man up to the onslaught of Brazilian meat cuts. Green = good to go, Red = stop please.

Surly men in blue button up shirts arrive one by one, rotating through the room in rapid succession, wielding their metal spears of fire-rotisserie roasted meaty delights.

There are so many meats I lose track: crispy shanks of lamb, tender garlic roasted chicken, bacon wrapped filet mignon, flank steak, Parmesan encrusted pork, on and on.

“Please grab my meat”, they ask, pointing to to the metal clip sitting next to your plate.
You have to help them grasp some of the cuts as they slice and carve through for your piece, and the little clip does just the trick.

Round and round they go, quickly and unending. “Chorizo sausage? Filet mignon? Sirloin steak?” the gauchos (South American cowboys) ask as they hoist the skewer racks of meat onto the table. This must have been what it was like in time of the wild wild west set in Brazil.

I know its a chain, and yes sometimes the meat is a bit too well done for my tastes, I enjoy it nonetheless for the sheer quantity and overall quality of the meats. You can also ask them to get you a more rare piece or more done depending on your tastes and they will happily get it for you when its ready.

Texas de Brazil also has a impressive dessert plate, with creme brulee, new york cheesecake, key lime pies, banana foster pie, and more.

Alas, after hours of eating, with our brains awash in meat sauce, we settle for defeat and raise the red flag. The meat stops flowing, and with our belt buckles loosened, we must head off to pay the fiddler.

Tasty Chomps Rating
5 out of 5 MEAT COMA INDUCING TASTY CHOMPS!!!!!
To sign up for their email list serv and get their amazing deals visit:
http://www.texasdebrazil.com

Texas De Brazil
www.texasdebrazil.com
5259 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819-9476
(407) 355-0355


Texas de Brazil on Urbanspoon


mr gaucho

chorizo sausage

flank steak

filet mignon

bacon wrapped filet mignon

garlic chicken

garlic chicken

lamb shank

shank of lamb

it is a movable feast

sirloin steak


The red flag of defeat


Dessert Tray at Texas De Brazil Orlando


texas de brazil’s banana foster cake


cheesecake

check, please

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