Orlando Weekly Restaurant Week
April 28-May 7, 2011
Break out your must-try list and get ready to do some crossing off: Orlando Weekly's Restaurant Week is back for a fifth year. This year the "week" stretches out into 10 days, running from Thursday, April 28, until Saturday, May 7. (Thrifty sons and daughters, take your mom out a day early and save some scratch.)
Participating restaurants - 30 of them, as of press time - offer three-course prix fixe lunch and/or dinner menus at $10, $15, $25 or $35. Plenty of local faves are back, like K Restaurant, Crave and Wall Street Cantina; new this year are Fleming's Steakhouse, Cuba de Cuba Cuban Bistro, Spencer's for Steaks and Chops, Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, the Wine Room and too many more to list here. Outstanding values include a $10 lunch at both McCormick & Schmick's and Winter Park's new Boathouse, two places that I haven't hit yet: one because it's so new, the other because it's so expensive. At these prices, neither is a good excuse.
Lest you fear the fixed price gives chefs an excuse to go on cruise control, peruse (or slobber over) the menus at orlando restaurantweek.com. For $35 - a price you won't see from them any other time of the year - I have my eye on Oceanaire Seafood Room's shrimp-and-cheddar grits, followed by the blue-cheese-butter filet mignon, topped off with a tin roof sundae. Or maybe, from Paxia's $25 dinner menu, a Mexican soda and some ha' sikil pak (Mayan pumpkin-seed dip), a plate of cochinita pibil and cotija mashed potatoes, capped with cappuccino and flan? So many choices, so little time.
Visit Orlando Weekly's Salivation Army blog for my Restaurant Week Top 10 picks.