Today’s Orlando Magical Dining Month recommendation is a twofer: Both of the upscale restaurants at the elegant Rosen Shingle Creek are participating in the September event with three-course $30 menus. And both Cala Bella and A Land Remembered are places where the regular menu features entrees well above the price.
Cala Bella is a tony Italian (as opposed to an Italian Tony) in a rather cavernous space off the hotel’s main lobby. It’s huge arches and barreled ceiling give one the idea of a wine cavern.
Each time I’ve dined here, the service and food have been exceptional. The MagDngMo menu features a first-course choice of roasted eggplant flan or corn bisque. The entree is either marinated lamb stew or pan-seared scallops, followe by dessert or saffron orange creme brulee.
A Land Remembered, named for the book by Floridian Patrick D. Smith, is part of the resort’s golf clubhouse, just a few steps from the hotel’s main lobby. (Usually — not always — there is a separate valet parker for the clubhouse.
The decor of A Land Remembered, if I recall correctly, is sufficiently masculine, as most steakhouses are wont to be. The Magical menu here has a choice of a salad or barbecue duck flatbread, and a choice from among three entrees: shrimp and bay scallop scampi; barbecued glazed half chicken; or black and bleu petite filet mignon. (It’s a steakhouse — do I have to tell you my recommendation?)
For dessert there’s warm bread pudding or, apparently, nothing.
It would be hard to choose between Cala Bella and A Land Remembered. Maybe the best solution is to dine at one, get a room at the resort, spend the day by the pool or on the links, then dine at the other one the next night. Sounds good to me.
Cala Bella and A Land Remembered are at Shingle Rosen Creek, 9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando. The phone number is 407-996-3663. Be sure to call ahead — the restaurants tend to change schedule depending on the occupancy of the hotel — and ask for the Orlando Magical Dining Month menu when you are first seated.
Check the official Web site of Orlando Magical Dining Month for more information about these and other restaurants.