It’s here! Well, it’s almost here. Tomorrow it will be here, but I won’t be, so I’m telling you today — it’s here!
It’s Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month. It lasts, you won’t be surprised to learn, a whole month, from the first of September to 30th. Whether or not it’s magical is your call. Frankly, I think that’s a word that’s as overused as awesome.
But each year, Magical Dining Month, or MagDinMo, as it’s called by just about no one, anywhere, offers an awesome opportunity to dine in some terrific local restaurants for a really good deal.
Here’s the way it works. The folks at VO have gathered together a plethora of good eateries who have agreed to offer a special Magical Dining Month menu of three courses for $30. In most cases, you get an appetizer or salad, an entree and a dessert, and usually there are two or three choices in each category. You make your choice, eat your meal, pay your 30 bucks (plus tax and gratuity), and go on your merry way. And of that $30, one dollar of it will go to a charity. This year the Month of Magical Dining benefits Edgewood Children’s Ranch.
Here’s a link to the official Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month website, where you can get a look at the roster of restaurants. But before you go choosing willy nilly (that’s not a restaurant), you’re going to want to do some research.
Scan through the list of participating restaurants and click on the name to get a look at the menu. (Thank you, Visit Orlando web designers, for not making each menu an individual PDF download this year.)
Now, once you get a look at the MagDinMo offering, go to the restaurant’s own website and look up its menu. If the restaurant prints its prices on its online menu (and, restaurant owners, you really should print the prices on your online menus), you can compare the regular cost of the meal to the $30 prix fixe. In most cases you’re going to find you’re getting a pretty good deal. Every now and then, it’s only a matter of a couple of bucks. But even then, if it’s a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, why not? Especially knowing that a buck of the meal will go to a good cause.
Here are some of the restaurants I’ve been eyeing, and some I think you should eye:
Johnnie’s Hideaway — It’s been a while since I’ve been, and this is a good excuse to go back.
Timpano — I want to see if anything has changed since the new owners took it over.
Rocco’s Italian Grille — I keep telling you this is one of the best Italian restaurants in town; use this as an excuse to go see for yourself.
Le Coq Au Vin — another one I haven’t been to for awhile.
K — Try it for a bargain.
The Venetian Room (reopens on the 7th) — One of the chicest in town. Most entrees alone are in the upper $30s.
I’ll also use the deal as an opportunity to go back and visit some old favorites, too.
What about you? Which ones are you planning to try?