With local creative chefs seeking to please the palates of both visitors and residents alike, here’s a sample of Metro Orlando’s popular dining areas::
Winter Park and North
Winter Park Village, a vibrant outdoor shopping village, has a mix of shops, eateries, upscale chain stores and Regal Cinema’s 20-screen movie theater. Dining options include Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Mitchell’s Fish Market, P.F. Chang’s, Brio Tuscan Grille, The Cheesecake Factory and Fleming’s.
North of the Village is Maitland where you can listen to live jazz at Jazz Tastings while enjoying delicious wine and famous shrimp and grits. The restaurant was named in 2014 by USA Today as one of the 10 Best NightLife locations. Eden Bar at the Enzian serves a full lunch and dinner menu as well as a theater menu for hungry theater-goers. The trendsetting venue offers first-run independent features and special events, such as the nationally-recognized Florida Film Festival and is frequented by area artists, musicians, writers and celebs. Also in Maitland is Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria which serves authentic Italian cuisine by Chef Francesco Aiello.
Winter Park - Park Avenue
A mainstay on Park Avenue is Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant. Chef Richard Pannullo and his partner Michael Schwartz opened their restaurant on Park Avenue more than 20 years ago. “Everything we do here is freshly made, prepared to order,” said Chef Pannullo. “We buy top quality ingredients and give high quality service to our customers for reasonable prices.” Our Publisher frequents Pannullo’s for his favorite fresh veggie pizza.
Zagat-rated Chez Vincent serves traditional French cuisine and is owned by Chef Vincent Gagliano. One can walk through the restaurant into its sister restaurant/piano lounge, Hannibal’s on the Square, which serves casual French cuisine.
Thornton Park offers Shari Sushi where the restaurant became known for its high quality sushi and its Sushi Happy Hour. Other notable venues are Mingos, Dexter’s, CityFish, and Graffitti Junktion all offering luscious selections.
WinterParkAnnual.com CEO Anthony Dinova hosts more upscale and trendy events which are musts to attend says our Publisher. They include the annual Derby on Park, the Winter Park Wine and Dine and the Baldwin Park Sip. Orlando’s Godfather of fun, aka Mr. Bob Lee, CEO of LifeOrlando.com hosts his annual Purple Rain and always has an over-the-top Halloween bash.