Tuesday, February 23, 2010
First of all, let me apologize for my absence! I've been vacationing in the Orlando, Florida area this past week, and had an absolutely wonderful time. Perfect weather and wonderful company! My husband and I actually went with my parents, because while this was a vacation for me and my mom; my husband, dad and brother were there for business.
Not only did we have a lot of fun roaming around Disney and being kids again, we ate at some really spectacular places! Here were our favorites, and if you ever find yourself in the Orlando area I definitely suggest checking some (or all!) of these out!
Raglan Road Irish Pub - this was the first place we ate, and it was a wonderful way to start our trip. This restaurant is in Downtown Disney, which is certainly easy to get to. The atmosphere is great and so is the entertainment. Halfway through our dinner a live band started playing traditional Irish music, and an Irish dancer showed us a dance. The service was great and so was the food. We all really enjoyed this place.
The Samba Room - We actually ate here for a dinner put on by someone my dad does business with. So I can only comment on how the party was, but it was just amazing. I think we were all the most impressed with this restaurant. The atmosphere was wonderful, the staff was friendly and courteous, and the food was to die for good. From the hand passed appetizers, to the amazing Lobster tail and Filet Mignon for dinner, to the delicious little cheesecake pops for dessert, we were just so impressed with this meal from start to finish. It also overlooked a beautiful pond, so it really had a beautiful view even though we were in Orlando.
Funky Monkey Wine Company- My mom and I decided this would be a great place for dinner just by going into the restaurant in the afternoon. Royal purple graces the tables and chairs, with trendy lighting decorating the ceiling. I loved how ecclectic and different this restaurant was, as there aren't many (ok, any) restaurants like this where I'm from. We all shared some Sushi which was great, and everyone really enjoyed their main course. And this goes without saying, but the wine selection was just wonderful.
Maggiano's Little Italy - This restaurant was close to our hotel, so we always saw people buzzing in and out...which is a good sign! So one night we tried it and were so glad we did! We thought the food was just great and the menu offered all of your traditional Italian favorites, along with some wonderful additions. I had the with White Wine Cream Sauce, Smoked Ham & Asiago Cheese and it was just fabulous (and on my list of meals I need to try and re-create!)
Bahama Breeze - we actually never ate dinner here, but my mom and I had a few lunches here because it was right next door to our hotel. I thought it was great for lunch...there were a lot of options and they all fit the "Caribbean theme." I also loved their selection of tropical drinks...there were many to choose from!
Don Pablo's - If you're looking for a casual tex-mex restaurant, this is it! We were all exhausted after walking around Disney all day, and no one was hungry after lunch. Until 8pm, when we decided that we were hungry again! But no one felt like getting ready for dinner and we hadn't made reservations anywhere, and this was in walking distance of our hotel. While the atmosphere isn't the best, this is still a fun tex-mex restaurant where you can order a pitcher of margaritas and a burrito and have a fun and filling dinner!
Les Chefs De France - This restaurant is actually in "Paris" in Epcot. My family and I have been dining here since we've been coming to Florida...so 20 years. :) We don't come every year but but when we do come we always make sure to hit this restaurant. First of all, we can get Escargots here which we all know is my favorite food of all time. And besides the escargots, there are a lot of great Parisean choices for lunch or dinner. The wait staff is always fun to talk to as well, since most (if not all) are from France and love to talk about their travels.
California Grill - This restaurant is located at the Contemporary Resort in Disney and was highly recommended by my good friend Julie. We got a reservation for the last night of our trip, and were SO glad that we did. First of all, I have to say that even if you're not staying in Disney, the contemporary resort is very easy to get to. You can just follow the signs and drive right up to the hotel. Also, try and get reservations during the fireworks over Cinderella's castle. I made reservations two weeks before our trip and every night we were in Florida, except for the last night, was booked solid for a table during the fireworks. So take that as a warning - make reservations early! We got to the Contemporary resort a bit early and our table was already ready. We sat down, ordered our drinks and sushi, and then went outside to an observation deck where we watched the beautiful and amazing fireworks to music. And I'm sorry, no fireworks can ever beat Disney fireworks. They are amazing. When we came back to our table, our delicious sushi was waiting for us. Not was the food just wonderful, I honestly can't say enough about our waitress and the other wait staff. They were just wonderfully friendly and SO knowledgeable. Our waitress knew everything about the menu...from what wines went best with what food, everything about the sushi and of course the main course and dessert selections. We really had a wonderful experience here and were all so glad to have gone.