Are you feeling magical? You should, because it’s September, and that means it’s Orlando Magical Dining Month all month long.
Magical Dining Month — or MagDngMo — is sponsored by VisitOrlando.com and the Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. If offers a chance to dine in some of the area’s best restaurants for a pittance of a price. This is a great opportunity to try a restaurant you’ve heard about and have been meaning to visit except for that pesky, oh, what do you call it? — oh, yeah, recession. In most cases the restaurants offer three courses, usually with one or two choices in each category, for either $20 or $30. Heck, at some of the restaurants you’d pay that much for valet parking.
Here’s how it works. Go to the official Web site and peruse the list of participating restaurants. You can even take a look at the menu each restaurant is offering so you’ll know if the table d’hote is something you’d like. It’s always a good idea to make a reservation.
Now, this is very important. When you arrive at the restaurant, tell the host that you’d like to see the Magical Dining Month menu. If you don’t, it may not be offered. And if you’ve studied the menu before leaving and know which courses you’d like, the special price may not be honored unless you order off the MagDngMo menu.
As for the list of restaurants, I see plenty I could recommend, and as the month goes along, I’ll do just that. I’m a bit bemused by the placement of some of the restaurants, however.
They’re listed in two categories: upscale dining ($30) and casual dining ($20). But in the upscale category, next to such worthy restaurants as Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton (see valet parking note above) and K Restaurant Wine Bar, you’ve got 310 Park South and Juliana’s Restaurant & Bar. Both very nice, but upscale?
And then in the casual list there’s the recently reviewed Highland Manor clumped in with Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co.
Whatever. Suffice to say that a three-course meal at Highland Manor for 20 bucks may be the deal of the month.
Or at least among some of the better deals. I hope you’ll get out and try something new, or revisit an old favorite. And you should know that even with the reasonable prices the restaurants will donate one dollar from each meal to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. By the way, prices do not include tax and gratuity.
For more information and to scope out the list of restaurants, visit the Orlando Magical Dining Month Web site.
(Oh, and I was just kidding — just a little — about the valet parking at the Ritz.)