Fine Dining in Orlando

 

The Table Orlando
The Table orlando has a single large marble-topped table with 22 seats around and exudes a dinner-party atmosphere.

 

We’re just back from a few days in Orlando, where we got to explore some top-notch restaurants that are true hidden gems. For families exploring the city’s many theme parks, leave the kids with a sitter and set out for some grown-up fine dining at these two restaurants.

K Restaurant

K Restaurant
K Restaurant, a good pick for anniversaries, offers haute cuisine in a homey environment that includes a backyard.

Based in a former private home, the cozy K Restaurant has a lovely backyard garden for small receptions or al fresco dining—but stay off the greenery, as that’s where owner and Chef Kevin Fonzo grows many of the restaurant’s vegetables and herbs. (We hear the produce is usually used the same day it is picked.) When the weather agrees, the garden can be used for cocktail receptions, chef tables, wine tastings and private events.  

Inside, the restaurant’s layout has maintained much of the former residence’s floor plan, giving the space a very homey vibe. Only a few tables fit in each room, so privacy is largely assured. (This is a good pick for anniversaries, we say.) 

We stopped by for a quick glass of wine and a sampling of some dishes, and were particularly impressed by the fois gras waffles and the bone marrow with a roast onion marmalade. When we go back, we plan to try the lobster beignets. 

The Table Orlando

K Restaurant is intimate, but The Table Orlando, in the city’s Restaurant Row, is downright tiny. It gets its name from the central feature in the dining room: A single large marble-topped table surrounded by 22 seats. And those seats are hard to reserve: The restaurant is only open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays, and is frequently sold out for weeks (if not months) in advance. On other evenings, the space is available for private bookings, so be sure to consider it when planning a family reunion. (As there is only the one table, this may not be the best pick for those looking for a private dining experience but the dinner-party atmosphere is great for making new friends.)

Owner Tyler Brassil’s philosophy is very simple: He has partnered with local farmers and purveyors and lets them do whatever they do best. When their products and produce are ready, they bring it to the restaurant’s door. And every day, Head Chef Loren Falsone looks over the ingredients and dreams up a tasting menu with what’s available. Wines are selected to go with each course, and by 5.30 a.m., the day’s menu is set and printed on elegant parchment paper (and sealed with a proper wax emblem). The doors open at 7 p.m., and the evening begins with wine and hors d’oeuvres before everyone sits down for the five-course meal. Because the farmers never deliver the same ingredients on the same days, each day’s menu is unique and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

The homemade pasta
The homemade pasta is particularly impressive.

Many of the dishes are only a few bites, so while some guests may be full by the end, all five courses are quite manageable. While there is no guarantee that any of the dishes we tried will be available again, we were especially impressed by the homemade pasta in a rich ragout. The local cheeses came with artisanal honey, and dinner was topped off with fresh cookies and a sugared mint leaf. 

Good to know: Diners with dietary restrictions can call ahead and make sure the proprietor is aware of what cannot be on a plate. Also good to know: Tax and gratuity is included in the $120 price per person, making the experience much more relaxing.

It is also worth noting that Orlando finally has its own Zagat’s guide, a testament to the city’s ever-increasing fine-dining scene.

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