Home Uncategorized Joseph Hayes’ Best in Dining

Joseph Hayes’ Best in Dining

by TheOviedoVoice
Our eating critic selects his favorites for 2010 in 25 classes that vary from Indian to Italian, barbecue to burgers, seafood to sandwiches to schnitzel. (And wait until you see
his choose for pizza!)

Greatest Restaurant


When Primo opened in 2003, I took a younger cousin from England for his first wonderful eating journey, and I obtained to look at his face as he skilled a chew of completely ready lobster. I really feel as he did each time I eat at government chef Melissa Kelly’s ode to seasonal components. Chef de delicacies Juan Martinez (proper) is the most recent implementer of Kelly’s culinary imaginative and prescient when she’s in one in all her different eating places, and he does it proud. Primo is the sort of restaurant the place you fantasize about consuming the meals once more. When you’re consuming it. JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, 4040 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, 407-393-4444; grandelakes.com/Primo-78.html


Winter Park Fish Firm

One other within the sequence of small native eating places so standard it’s nearly unimaginable to get in, WPFC can be simple to hate for that motive alone. Till you do get a seat, and dig right into a bowl of outrageously good seafood stew, or a platter of cod so completely fried that the reminiscence of fast-food fish can be endlessly wiped out of your mind. 761 Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-6112; winterparkfish.com


4Rivers Smokehouse

For a course of that most likely took place by chance, barbecue is mighty difficult. Hickory, applewood or mesquite, dry rub or moist grilled, North Carolina vinegar sauce or Georgia peach? Beef eaters in east Texas don’t like Tennessee pork, and no one understands Kentucky mutton. However everyone likes the brisket, rooster and pulled pork that comes out of John Rivers’ kitchen. The road is lengthy, however the meals is value ready for. 2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-474-8377; 4rbbq.com


La Luce

Restaurateur Donna Scala understands that meals, particularly Italian meals, is meant to be enjoyable. So whereas the service at La Luce is of Hilton caliber, the playful menu toys with our too, too critical expectations. The place else amidst expertly hand-made rustic pasta and wine-braised quick ribs would you discover a bianca pizza with figs and Gorgonzola dolce cheese, or butterscotch pudding (above) made with actual Scotch? Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, 407-597-3600; laluceorlando.com


Nagoya Sushi

Within the Asian restaurant growth of the previous decade, the main target has been on uncooked fish and more and more inflated rolls with a dozen components or extra, to the purpose the place sushi , a slightly small a part of Japanese delicacies, has turn into all the pieces. Not at Nagoya. Proprietor Jenny Tay Lu, her husband, Danny, and his brother Calvin follow the very wonderful artwork of the itamai-san with creative and delectable sushi. However they don’t neglect what’s known as kitchen meals: delicate and savory soups, broiled seafood and light-weight and crispy tempura. Each eating places have racks on the entrance door the place regulars hold their chopsticks, and there are plenty of chopsticks. 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando 407-248-8558; 5661 Crimson Bug Lake Highway, Winter Springs, 407-478-3388; nagoyasushi.com


Jiko—the Cooking Place

A style of Africa in a restaurant scene that each one however ignores African delicacies. Jiko fuses Berber, South African, Moroccan and sub-Saharan flavors into dishes not like something you’ve had earlier than. Vanilla tea and pork, salmon served with scorching pepper, lemon goat cheese on grilled asparagus; it’s sufficient to make you understand there’s a complete world on the market. 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Lake Buena Vista; 407-939-3463. disneyworld.disney.go.com


Kohinoor Indian Restaurant

The abundance of Indian eating places on Worldwide Drive could appeal to the vacationer crowds, however my favourite on this class is farther north. Kohinoor, named after the fabled 105 carat diamond, is a jewel of a restaurant, palatable sufficient for informal lunch buffet diners—a terrific worth, by the best way. It’s additionally uncompromisingly genuine, from blazing scorching lamb vindaloo to candy and cardamon-spiced gulab jamun dessert. The well-seasoned tandoor clay oven seems splendid marinated rooster, aromatic and deep crimson from spices, and naan, roti and paratha that could be the ancestors of all breads. 249 W. State Highway 436, Altamonte Springs, 407-788-6004; kohinoorindianrestaurant.com

Steak Home

The Capital Grille

Steak homes have come a great distance from the Mad Males days of smoked-filled rooms, enormous hunks of meat and unrestrained ldl cholesterol. The Capital Grille takes the outdated steak-centric idea and provides consideration to element, together with service and presentation which might be impeccable. Highlights embody seafood sourced that day, tomatoes so ripe they burst in your mouth, and beef dry-aged in a temperature-and-humidity-controlled room the place artistically marbled steaks blossom into their tender and flavor-concentrated finest. 9101 Worldwide Drive, Orlando, 407-370-4392; thecapitalgrille.com

Candy Treats

The Dessert Woman Café

It’s been my solemn duty to eat many a dessert in my profession (it’s a grimy job …), however even 12 years after I first tasted baker-owner Patti Schmidt’s sugary creations, the Dessert Woman nonetheless takes the cake. And what muffins they’re! She has artistic endeavors just like the domed and Amaretto-soaked Tuscan zuccotto, her traditional mile-high carrot cake, and a Neapolitan cake stuffed with three flavors of mousse. It doesn’t say so on the menu, however Schmidt invented these attractive mini-desserts at Seasons 52 as nicely, so the Woman is aware of her stuff. The Dessert Woman Café, 4900 S. Kirkman Highway, Orlando, 407-822-8881; 120 W. Church St., Orlando, 407-999-5696; dessertlady.com


Scott Hunnel

Chicago native Hunnel has been chef de delicacies at Victoria & Albert’s, Central Florida’s solely AAA 5-Diamond restaurant, because the mid Nineties, and has been nominated a number of instances for a James Beard Basis award as finest Southern chef. That he’s by no means gained is a travesty. Hunnel holds culinary court docket at a regal station within the bustling V&A kitchen, surrounded by recent and infrequently unique components whereas his employees performs magic. And in contrast to obnoxious TV cooks we may title, this exec is a cheerful man with a ardour for meals—and the ability to maintain you throughout each one of many numerous plates that make up a four-hour meal. Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, 4401 Floridian Manner, Lake Buena Vista, 407-939-3862; victoria-alberts.com

Burger (tie)

The Faucet Room at Dubsdread

For a lot of informal diners, the Faucet Room is the one place on the town for burger. Nestled like a piney woods lodge on the entrance to Dubsdread Golf Course, the present incarnation of the clubhouse restaurant has been open since 2001. The Faucet Room’s burger is product of a half-pound of licensed Angus beef, flame-broiled and draped in Tillamook cheddar from Oregon. Replenish with the burger after which go burn it off over 18 holes on one of many few native programs that permit golfers do the unthinkable—stroll. 549 W. Par St., Orlando, 407-650-0100; taproomatdubsdread.com

The Ravenous Pig

Burger aficionados of the foodie selection (you realize who you’re) can hint the family tree of a burger again to its free-range natural roots, and nearly each one in all these fanatics on the town factors to The Ravenous Pig because the go-to location. This dish reveals off the “pub” roots of this gastropub: caramelized onions and buttermilk bleu layered on a agency brioche roll are simply enhancements for a thick, prime steak magnificence—extra boeuf Patricia than beef patty—served from a most discriminating kitchen. 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-2333; theravenouspig.com

Restaurant for Youngsters

Bikkuri Sushi Noodle and Grill

What we all know as sushi was invented, again within the 1800s, as quick meals, a fast lunch for working households. Whereas intelligent entrepreneurs have elevated fish and rice to connoisseur requirements, the eating room upstairs at Bikkuri (which suggests “shock”) is easy and quick for the entire household. Let the children select from boba tea (these fruit juice drinks stuffed with tapioca pearls), noodles or teriyaki rooster, and so they’ll be in child heaven. And sure, kids will eat sushi, particularly for those who begin them on the type made with cooked fish. 1919 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, 407-894-4494; bikkurisushi.com

Upscale Mexican

Agave Azul

With its South Seaside décor and hip background music, this place may very well be mistaken for simply one other fake Mexican bar-hopping hangout. However the sight—and style—of avocado-laden guacamole fresco in an overflowing volcanic stone mortar, adopted by hand-ground masa corn tacos, will let you know that that is no Taco Bore. Additionally strive the rooster drenched in recent mole so darkish with Mexican chocolate that it absorbs mild. 4750 S. Kirkman Highway, Orlando, 407-704-6930; agaveazulorlando.com


No person

Name me a snob. My requirements for pizza vary from the greasy, cheese laden wedges you’ll discover on the streets of New York Metropolis to rustic, cracker-thin ovoids topped with recent mozzarella di bufala cooked in a blistering scorching oven in Naples. And in 15 years of looking out right here, I haven’t discovered something that even comes shut.


Chez Vincent

This Hannibal Sq. eatery epitomizes French delicacies within the type of proprietor/chef Vincent Gagliano (proper), who actually constructed the restaurant together with his naked arms and retains it going with a ardour that’s la définition du fashion français. You might set his cozy brasserie down on Boulevard du Montparnasse with out elevating a Frenchman’s eyebrow. A meal right here will be wealthy, and a few would possibly take into account it costly, however that is traditional French cooking. Butter, cream and impeccable approach are value each penny. 533 W. New England Ave., Winter Park 407-599-2929; chezvincent.com


Nelore Brazilian Steakhouse

Within the early days of Brazilian colonization, gaucho cowboys would drive nice herds of cattle throughout the grassy pampas, and spend lengthy night hours roasting spits of meat over open fires. From these roots the fashionable churrascaria (grilled meat home) was born, the place skewer-wielding waiters known as passadores (the phrase actually means somebody thrusting a sword) wander the room with an countless assortment of pork, lamb, sausage and 7 completely different cuts of beef. Primal protein hunters and lovers of fragrant grilled meats want go no additional than Nelore; vegetarians ought to avert their eyes and transfer alongside. 115 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park 407-645-1112; nelorechurrascaria.com


OLV Café’s smoked duck confit

OLV missed my sandwich roundup in our March concern by just a few weeks, however it will have garnered excessive marks based mostly on this canard-filled delight. I’m haunted by the tastes and textures of smoked duck thigh paired with creamy Boursin cheese, served with crisp and tart Granny Smith apples, drizzled with balsamic syrup discount and offered on a crusty ciabatta roll. 25 W. Crystal Lake St., Orlando, 407-722-5060; olvcafe.com

Small Restaurant

Chef’s Desk on the Edgewater

Chef’s Desk is small (9 tables), sort of onerous to seek out (on the again finish of the Edgewater Lodge in outdated Winter Backyard), and a few would possibly say dear. It’s also on the forefront of a brand new wave of fascinating, chef-run Central Florida eating places which will simply get us observed by the remainder of the nation. Kevin Tarter (pictured together with his spouse, Laurie) takes his expertise within the kitchens of Victoria & Albert’s and New Orleans legend Arnaud’s and creates an area that defines the phrases intimate and superior. 99 W. Plant St., Winter Backyard 407-230-4837;



Seasons 52

They’re popping up in every single place (it’s a chain, in any case), so how can they probably be this good? Sometime we could understand that what Darden known as its “idea kitchen” was the opening volley in a sport of regionally sourced, seasonable eating that everybody appears to be becoming a member of. Till then, reward for Seasons 52’s splendid, ever-changing, never-boring meals must be sufficient. 7700 Sand Lake Highway, Orlando 407-354-5212; 463 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs 407-767-1252; seasons52.com

Vegetarian (tie)

Informal chew: Infusion Tea

If a lightweight snack and a poetry studying, artwork present or farmers market is what you crave, Infusion is the natural, regionally sourced, meticulously assembled, drop-by-for-afternoon-tea winner. 1600 Edgewater Drive, Orlando 407 999-5255; infusionorlando.com

Sit-down: Udipi Café

It stands in a strip mall that has seen higher days, the place as soon as the fabled Clay Oven restaurant stood. Inside, the décor is spare, the lighting harsh. The meals is wonderful, an homage to the delicacies of Karnataka, the southern Indian state the place Udipi is the capital metropolis. Despite the fact that most dishes observe the precepts of the Jain faith (no root greens, garlic or onions, and no meat), the menu is alive with flavors, textures and colour. 1275 South U. S. Freeway 17-92, Longwood, 407-696-7775

Piece of Outdated Florida

Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar

It was known as Lee & Rick’s Half Shell Oyster Bar, however nothing is finished by half at this throwback to Florida’s previous. I used to be fortunate sufficient to be sitting on the battered concrete bar, tossing again candy Apalachicola oysters, on the restaurant’s fiftieth and sixtieth anniversaries, and I hope to be sitting on that very same revolving stool in 2020 for the seventieth. The room is as funky and no-nonsense as ever and the oyster provide is pristine and plentiful. 5621 Outdated Winter Backyard Highway, Orlando, 407-293-3587

Waiters Who Attempt the Hardest


At this student-run restaurant at Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts, you’re as prone to be served by an brisk younger lady, tattoos peeking out of her starched white sleeve, as you’re to have a affected person, middle-aged man bear in mind your order with out use of pad and pen. Whether or not starting their first culinary profession or taking a brand new course through the financial meltdown, the scholars on the faculty all take a flip standing tableside, quoting the day’s specials and filling water glasses. That all of them do it with attraction and enthusiasm is motive sufficient to go to; the nice meals is a bonus. 8511 Commodity Circle, Orlando, 407-313-8792; cooks.edu/orlando/restaurant.asp

City Hangout


9 years since HUE opened and it nonetheless serves well-executed meals in a busy and hip setting. (The concept that the title means Hip City Setting is, nicely, an city legend.) Frankly, the menu has waned and waxed over time, however that may be mentioned about nearly any restaurant. Nonetheless, when the place has a hit (pastas and fish are notably pleasing), it’s a killer. The well-thought-out and extremely standard outdoors sitting space is among the (very) few wherein I might truly take into account sitting curbside. It’s an apt place to eat for the attractive folks and, face it, you’re lovely, too. 629 E. Central Blvd. Orlando, 407-849-1800; huerestaurant.com.

Schnitzel (tie)

Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café

In terms of schnitzel, the crucial considerations embody pounding cutlets to a sure thinness, utilizing the correct quantity of breading, and discovering the right cooking temperature. One misstep can imply the distinction between a crisp, fulfilling traditional and soggy chicken-fried catastrophe. In my current tour of native German eating places, the excellent high quality of meals at Willow Tree stood out to date I had bother remembering the others.205 E. First St., Sanford, 407-321-2204; willowtreecafe.com

Chef Henry’s Cafe

Whatever the origins of schnitzel (some say it got here from Italy), the dish has turn into an Jap European treasure far outdoors of Germany. My Slavic roots proceed to steer me gratefully to the Hungarian and Bohemian delights served by Henry Brestowski and his household. 1831 W. State Highway 434, Longwood
407-331-4836; chef-henrys.com

Mixture of Wine Checklist and View

California Grill on the Up to date Lodge

Disney, with its deep pockets, can afford a world-class restaurant overlooking the Magic Kingdom, and a wine checklist that’s staggeringly inclusive. The views are a formidable mixture of synthetic fantasy and great expanses of untouched pure greenery. Sitting by the wall-length home windows with a range from the expansive and notably good wine checklist—a dozen Cabernets, 16 completely different Chardonnays simply to start out—is an effective way to finish any night. Time your eating to see the fireworks. 4600 N. World Drive, Orlando, 407-939-3463; disneyworld.disney.go.com/eating/california-grill

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