529 N Alafaya Tri
Orlando, FL 32828
Waterford Lakes, East Orlando
I recently spent some time in Orlando, well really Oviedo, which is now known as ” East Orlando” So my children, suggested we go here for dinner, they have dined here before, and I respect their choices. Here is the concept; a chain restaurant that is a winery? When you walk in you are greeted by one of the many staffers with a tasting portion of the wine of the month. You are given a brief rundown on the wine, grapes, best time to drink, and meal paring, you are also told you can’t buy this wine by the bottle unless you join the club but can drink it by the glass with your evening meal. I am already turned off.
Nice marketing, you must walk through the gift shop to enter the restaurant and the same when you leave. After a few glasses of wine I’ll buy just about anything, well not a shoe wine bottle holders, but I digress.
We were seated promptly, clean crisp table cloths, muted lighting, candles, semi classy feel, very inviting. Our server arrived with the usual greeting “have you dined with us before” blah, blah, blah. We mulled over the wine list and each selected our choice. There is a cask of the month wine that you are encouraged to try so we did indulge ourselves. It was a light red, flavorful but not enough body for me.
A nice change of pace, a warm pretzel bread and soft butter was offered and it was wonderful. I have become very fond of pretzel bread especially when it is good and this was.
The menu was robust and priced from moderate to high so you really can enjoy a fine meal within your budget. The normal soup, salad, fish, chicken, beef and pasta and flat bread selection. One nice feature, a wine with the cask number is listed with each dish, so I one were interested in pairing it’s a no brainer. I trust them to do their job with the wine.
I started with chopped wedge, crumbled Blue Cheese, cherry tomatoes, and bacon.
This was massive and had I been smart stopped there. This salad was delightful, just the correct amount of acid vs. sweet. We also ordered the Crab and Lobster Bisque, presentation was spot on. The soup had a smooth creaminess, with just a hint of sherry. I coveted the dish the moment I sampled it.
For entrees my companions selected Soy Ginger Salmon, with Wasabi Mashed and Asian Slaw, a Blackened Ahi Tuna accompanied by Wasabi Sauce, Cilantro Citrus Rice and Asian Slaw, I opted for the Country Rigatoni; all of these dishes were well worth the trip.
The seafood dishes were top notch, but I thought my pasta was the best of the three.
We shared a Caramel Toasted Ice Cream Sandwich and a Cream Brulee, but passed on the delightful choices of chocolate and wine paring that is available. The Brulee, well I am not a fan, this dessert must be on every menu in the country, but the Ice Cream Sandwich, was well work every calorie.
Once the meal was over and we were realxed, the big push to join the club arrived in the form of a brochure and our server doing his very best to go for the sale. He struck out. I liked the restaurant, would recommend it to my friends, certainly will go back when in the are, but would have to announce going in; don’t try and sell me.
Categories: American Food