The restaurant occupies an old house, built circa 1921, across the street from the Modernism Museum in the quaint downtown. In partnership with the museum and Main Street Leasing, which is listed as the “presenter” of the museum, 1921 becomes part of the artistic complex that also includes the museum’s shop (every museum has to have a shop), which shares an adjoining patio with the restaurant.
142 E. 4th Ave.
301 E. Pine St.
This is a second location for a restaurant called 310 Park South, which was named for its address on Park Avenue in Winter Park. But 310 Lakeside is not at 310 Lakeside, it’s at 301 Pine. Very confusing. The food here is mostly straightforward — steaks, pastas, salads. And most of it is done well enough. The lake on whose side the restaurant sits (actually, it’s across the street) is Eola.
310 Park Ave. S.
Now in its second decade in the address that is also its name, this Park Avenue casual restaurant recently expanded into the space next door (yes, they had permission). They also opened a second location on Central Boulevard across from Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. Oddly, that one is called 310 Lakeside, even though that is not its address. Oh, well, there’s only one Saks on Fifth Avenue, too.
The key to its longevity is something of a mystery to me, although I suspect that most of its fans like that its food, though nothing special, is reliable. I guess there’s something to be said for that. And to last more than 11 years in Central Florida, a restaurant has to be doing something right. Right?
Lake Buena Vista
Television was and is a big part of Hollywood, and its popularity led to the advent of TV dinners. The original concept of this full-service restaurant called for meals to be served in TV dinner trays, but planners worried that some people might not take the food seriously. Instead, patrons sit at plastic-laminate tables while sitcom- styled “moms” serve such fare as meatloaf and chicken pot pie. Accompanying the classic cuisine are clips of classic comedies on black-and-white TV sets. Each little kitschy kitchenette has its own television playing scenes from The Honeymooners, Make Room for Daddy, I Love Lucy, Topper and other favorites. The sitcom skits replay every 20 minutes or so, which seems appropriate for reruns. Food is better than your basic Swanson’s.
903 S. Mills Ave.
A real neighborhoody kind of gathering place with beer and wine and (mostly) sandwiches. Almost all seating is outdoors.
1015 State Road 436
Charming cafe with above average food.
1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista
The menu, under the direction of chef Venoy Rogers III, offers an array of choices, including Small Bites that that would suit a group that wanted to share a meal tapas style, and Provisions that offer more substantial meals. (The Small Bites Tour gets you three appetizers for just $25.) Both categories have varied selections but most of them proudly proclaim local ingredients: Canaveral shrimp, Florida corn, Kissimmee mushrooms and such. The location might give some people pause, but this is some of the best food in town.
7335 W. Sand Lake Road
Boisterous sports bar out of South Florida with good food, especially the burger. Vibrant happy hour.
55 W. Church St.
The restaurant recently moved to a better, more visible location. But it left some of its creativity and artisanalism behind. The food is good but safe.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Lake Buena Vista
Artist Point is a large dining room with a ceiling that soars three or four floors. The decor matches the timber lodge feel of the hotel and features a two-story painting of the American Northwest. Huge cast-iron chandeliers comprising smaller lanterns cast a milky glow. Large windows offer a view of the hotel’s courtyard, where water falls over big boulders on its way to the lake (apparently through the swimming pool). And every hour on the hour a geyser faithfully erupts in the distance.As fancy as lodge dining gets. Start with the Northwest salmon sampler
or the smoked tomato and basil soup. The trout is terrific and so is
the pork chop. For dessert, choose the apple tart or the bread pudding
— it’s a toss-up.