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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On January 15, 2016

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Restaurant Reviews

Mango’s Tropical Cafe

Mangos Orlando

Mango’s Tropical Cafe, the massive entertainment complex imported from the foreign country known as South Beach, has opened near the corner of Sand Lake Road and International Drive in the kingdom of Tourist World.

Everything about this place is big. If you’re familiar with the original Mango’s in Miami Beach, know that this one is about two and a half times larger. And it’s not just the space of the two-story building that’s outsized. So is the stage with twin stairways for performers to make lavish entrances. So are the headdresses that dancers wear during show numbers.

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Lucy Bleuz Cafe

Lucy Bleuz dining room

Sligh Boulevard is an interesting little pocket of quaint. Specifically, the stretch of Sligh that runs in front of the train station where for decades Amtrak trains have stopped for passengers to get on and off and more recently SunRail has started doing the same. If you sit and face the depot you could forget that downtown Orlando is mere blocks north, or that the massive campus of Orlando Health, with its massive monuments to an aging populace, loom just behind.

You can get that view of the station and this little glimpse of yesteryear by sitting at Lucy Bleuz Cafe. And, not incidentally, you can have an excellent meal, too.

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Restaurant News

Walt Disney World Introduces 2 New Sunday Brunch Options at Narcoossee’s and, Soon, California Grill

Narcoossees brunch

Walt Disney World Resort is hopping on the Sunday brunch bandwagon with two new offerings.

The first, at Narcoosee’s at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, has already started service. Narcoosee’s Waterfront Brunch is offered table d’hote style with a choice of an appetizer (onion soup, shrimp and grits, seafood charcuterie) and entree (Brioche French Toast, Lobster Eggs Benedict, Chicken and Waffles) and a trio of desserts.

Cost is $69 for adults, and in Disney World land one doesn’t have to reach puberty to be considered an adult — for guests age 3 to 9 the fee is $41. Adults may have a glass of Champagne, a mimosa or a Bloody Mary upon arrival but not those adults ages 10 to 20. Even though they’re paying full fare, their beverage will be a smoothie. And no, the adult beverages are not bottomless; if you want to tipple more you’ll have to pay more.

 

Per Se Per New York Times (and Me)

Per Se logoThe restaurant world is all abuzz today with the recent review in the New York Times of the much celebrated restaurant Per Se, published in the print edition and online here.

In his review, Times critic Pete Wells notes several instances over his several recent visits that were not consistent with a four-star restaurant, which was Per Se’s previous rating. Wells reduced it to two stars, a rating that, it should be noted, would be cause for celebration by hundreds of New York restaurants were they to be reviewed by the paper. 

But what amused me most about today’s review is that many of the itmes that Wells notes in his article are things I pointed out in my review of Per Se — in 2006. Even then, while New Yorkers were still panting breathlessly about the new restaurant from the owner of California’s French Laundry and falling all over themselves to get a reservation, I saw an emperor with no clothing. Yes, I thought it was very good, but it was not extraordinary. And the service, well… here, I’ll let you read it.

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