Spotlight: Orlando's Top New Restaurants For The New Year
Before we go on to 2016, let’s look back on the best of last year.
Top New Restaurants of 2015
Urbain 40: Excellent cuisine from chef Jean-Stephane Poinard in an atmosphere that is classically French at the Dellagio Plaza on Restaurant Row.
Tabla Indian Chinese Thai: Not so much new as it is a revitalization, presenting a new menu in a much more stylish atmosphere.
North Quarter Tavern: They may not tell you, but chef Matt Wall and crew make almost everything served in this pub from scratch.
Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar: A bit of the Big Easy in an odd North Quarter space.
Tapa Toro: A fun tapas concept from the Taverna Opa folks.
Osprey Tavern: Can it be that Baldwin Park finally has a decent restaurant?
The Whiskey: Surprisingly good food, including a killer burger, at the Restaurant Rower.
Other Notable Openings:
MOOR — Terrific rebranding of a Gaylord Palms venue.
Parkview — New ownership of Eola Wine Company location with a stepped up menu to go with the terrific wine list.
Market on South — Earnest vegan food from a culinary consortium.
Smiling Bison Sanford — Now with real napkins!
Bistro Le Coq Au Vin Dr. Phillips: A Restaurant Row outpost for one of Orlando’s longtime favorites.
Morimoto Asia: A huge and beautiful new restaurant from the Patina Group at Disney Springs.
Slate: An American bistro that is starting to find its way.
DeVine Wine & Grill: Something unchainy for the Oviedo crowd.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House: Big, very big.
Urban Tide: Really just a renaming for the former Napa at the renamed Hyatt Regency Orlando (Peabody Orlando).
Metro Diner: Food Network favorite from Jacksonville takes Altamonte Springs by storm.
Daya: Upscale plant-based cusine.
Swine & Sons Provisions: A grab-and-go sort of place from the Cask & Larder folks.
And what am I looking forward to 2016?
Norman’s 1921 — Norman Van Aken’s newest will open in Mount Dora.
STK — Next big restaurant slated for Disney Springs.
Flying Fish Cafe — Closing this month and then reopening late summer with a new interior.
Dovecote — Clayton Miller, James and Julie Petrakis, and Gene Zimmerman team up for what may be downtown Orlando’s most promising new restaurant.
Canvas — American eatery in restaurant-starved Lake Nona.
Cask & Larder OIA — The Petrakises open an outpost at Orlando International Airport.