It’s still six weeks away, but Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month has announced the list of participating restaurants, and those venues are now accepting reservations. MagDinMo, which historically was confined to the days of the ninth month of the calendar, will run from Aug. 24 through Sept. 30.
During Magical Dining Month, restaurants that have paid a fee to be part of the program offer special three-course menus priced at $35. Often — but not always — these menus give you a taste of what the restaurants have on their regular menus at a significant savings.
Something new this year is that several restaurants have agreed to offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items, because the epidemic of faux Celiac disease continues. Big Fin Seafood Kitchen is among the list of restaurants offering one or more of the special diet options.
Still missing as an option: Choosing an appetizer, soup or salad, and an entree as the three courses and eschewing dessert. Maybe next year?
And it isn’t new, but this year you won’t see Emeril Lagasse’s face hanging out of the MagDinMo’s website banner. This is the first time in many years that Lagasse has no restaurants in Central Florida. Both Emeril’s Orlando and Emeril’s Tchoup Chop were regular participants.
But, more than 100 restaurants are on this year’s list, including 19 first-timers. On that list you’ll find our friends at Maria & Enzo’s and the Tap Room at Dubsdread.
As in years past, one dollar from every MagDinMo meal sold will go to children’s charities. This year, the program will help children affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities, though donations to Best Buddies and The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. I wonder if American Express is matching the donations through its sponsorship. That sure would be a nice thing to do, Amex.
I’ll be looking over the list and doing my math and will make some recommendations in the coming weeks. In the meantime, give the list a look and start making your plans.