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?
7335 W. Sand Lake Road
Boisterous sports bar out of South Florida with good food, especially the burger. Vibrant happy hour.
8849 International Drive
It will be interesting to see if Darden keeps backing this Islands concept, which for some reason has never quite caught on with the dining public. For the most part, the food is good and the restaurants are attractive and lively, often with entertainment. And they’re a favorite outdoor dining destination for locals.
As for the food, my companion out-ordered me with tortilla soup and a ropa Joe sandwich. The soup had layer upon layer of textures and tastes, with pliant avocado cubes, chicken and strips of tortillas.
The sandwich was, as the name might suggest, a version of the classic ropa vieja specialty of shredded beef served on a Cuban roll. Lots of well-seasoned meat, some cheese, peppers and onions livened it up.
For my starter course, I chose a special of ahi tuna ceviche, which featured tiny cubes of tuna dressed with citrus juices served atop a platform supported by watercress. The watercress was more annoying than helpful. It was wadded onto the plate in long stems, and every time I tried to fork a little watercress with some tuna, a long vine would trail behind.
For my entree, I had another special of triple tail, which sounds a lot more exotic than it is. Triple tail is a mild white fish, emphasis on the mild. In fact, it had no discernable flavor, although it was unquestionably fresh. But it was served on top of a bed of mashed sweet potatoes that were overly sweet. My rule of thumb is that the side dish should never have more flavor than the main dish.
1501 International Parkway
Located in the Marriott hotel in Lake Mary (which for some reason is called the Orlando Marriott), this three-mealer is known to many locals for its brunch. My experience was not a good one, with quality taking a back seat to quantity. It’s a bargain at $22.95 if all you want to do is stuff mediocre food in your face.
358 N. Park Ave.
Ownership changed several months ago, and after verifying that the kitchen had made all of the adjustments it was going to do, I decided to head back and check it out. I can report to you that Boca is virtually the same as it was when I first reviewed it in 2015.
325 S. Orange Ave.
The Boheme has grown into a more consistent fine dining experience but now is trying to position itself as more accessible. Try the Kessler calamari, a silly name for a delicious appetizer, and follow with the lamb duet or the Chilean sea bass. The kitchen also has a way with scallops.
A special treat about dinner here is that most nights there is entertainment in the rotunda just outside the dining room, and the music easily wafts in. If you arrive early, have a seat in the lounge, listen to the music, and enjoy the stories of the affable bartenders.
It should also be noted that the Boheme (and by the way it’s pronounced boh-HEEM and not like the name of the Puccini opera) also serves a very nice Sunday jazz brunch.
1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd.
If this had been the Cask & Larder that opened originally in Winter Park, it would still be there. (Sister restaurant Ravenous Pig moved into the Cask’s old home.)
This is a “Southern-inspired public house,” which means it features stylistic takes on Southern fare. The Larder in the name is a reference to a pantry.
The Cask refers to a beer barrel and is an indication that C&L brews its own beers. (All involved would prefer that you not call it a brewpub.) Good beer, too, plus a fully stocked liquor bar (with some fun cocktails, it should be mentioned).
Cask & Larder is in Terminal 2 of Orlando International Airport, so you can visit only if you’re flying out of that terminal.
151 Welbourne Ave. E.
It’s refreshing that Cocina 214 doesn’t claim to be authentic Mexican and try to hide its Tex-Mex roots. In fact, it’s right there in its name: the 214 is a reference to the area code of Dallas. (That’s not the city I think of when I think of Tex-Mex, but there you go.) I liked the huevos rancheros I had on a brunch visit, and the carnitas tacos were delicious on a dinner visit. I also like the big open atmosphere. It’s nice to have the Tex-Mex flavor on Park Avenue. (Or just off Park.)
1315 S. Orange Ave.
Part of the new Delaney, a boutique hotel, Delaney’s Tavern is more than a drinking spot. The food, under the direction of chef Anthony Albino, is innovative and expertly executed. The crab beignets and shrimp, scallops & grits (with purple grits) are favorites.