November 12th, 2011

AHA.11: An Orlando Eating Tour

As at previous major cardiology meetings, CardioExchange has fellows from around the country blogging about their experiences at the Scientific Sessions at the AHA. Revathi Balakrishnan, first-year fellow at NYU; Eiman Jahangir, third-year fellow from Vanderbilt; Amit Shah, second-year fellow at Emory; and John Ryan, third-year fellow at University of Chicago will be sharing us with their first-hand experiences at “the grandfather of all the major meetings.” To kick things off, John Ryan provides us with his now traditional restaurant guide on the eve of the AHA. Check back often to learn about the biggest buzz in Orlando.

They said it could not be done. Orlando is known for a lot of things, most famously theme parks and shuttle launches. However, when it comes to cuisine, O-town is not as renowned as other convention cities such as Chicago or New Orleans. Fortunately for CardioExchange readers who are going to Florida this week, I have been to enough conferences in Orlando to provide a restaurant guide. I’ve come up with a mixture of high-end steakhouses and local spots, as well as a coffee house serving gator and “choffee” 20 miles east that is well worth the trip. So, here is our culinary guide to Orlando. Reservations recommended, and don’t forget to tell them that CardioExchange sent you!


Victoria and Albert’s
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Walt Disney World, 4401 Grand Floridian, Orlando, 407-939-3862

This high-end romantic restaurant serves fine cuisine ( typically American and British) with wine pairings. The menu is prepared fresh every day, and the price reflects the attention to detail. The Victoria Room is as romantic as it gets — but also very expensive.


Chatham’s Place Restaurant
7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd. , Orlando, 407-345-2992

Chef Tony and Maitre d’ Maurice, and the entire staff are a cut above, as is the shrimp and pasta puttanesca. The manicotti is also worth trying. For a main course, the Corvina is very tasty and well prepared- but you cannot go wrong with whatever you order here.


Padrino’s Cuban Bistro
13586 Village Park Dr. (GPS use: S. John Young Pkwy), Suite 304, Orlando, 407-251-5107

This Cuban restaurant in the Hunter’s Creek neighborhood has a famous bread pudding, as well as stellar open-faced gyros.


Seasons 52
Plaza Venezia, 7700 W. Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, 407-354-5212

This restaurant hosts a fresh grill and wine bar.  Request a table on the patio overlooking the lake. Highlights include the mahimahi, fresh cobia, and the excellent flat bread appetizers.


Mall of Millenia, Orlando,  407-345-8788

Outstanding American cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Notable items include shrimp & fruit salad, cioppino, and buttermilk chicken sliders.


Dragonfly Robata Grill and Sushi Lounge
7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407-370-3359

For your sushi needs, enjoy outstanding sushi, sashimi, and robatayaki served tapas style. There is also a full saké bar in a relaxed lounge atmosphere.  Try their signature dragonfly foll.


Old School Coffee Stop
26205 E Colonial Dr (next door to Jungle Adventures, Highway 50), Christmas, 407- 568-4005

Located 20 miles east of Orlando, this bistro requires a special trip, but is well worth it. They sell gator (bites and sauteed), East-Coast, Wild Shrimp, choice chicken and great bread pudding ever. They even serve “choffee.” They are open only from Thursday to Sunday from noon to 10 pm. Oh, and everything is served and prepared in an old school bus!


KRES Chophouse
17 W. Church St. (Orange Ave.), Orlando, 407-447-7950
Classic steakhouse with steak tartare prepared tableside, but the oysters and mushroom risotto are just as good for those avoiding steak.


Jiko –The Cooking Place
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World Resort, 2901 Osceola Pkwy. Lake Buena Vista,  407-939-3463
Jiko is pretty neat- African cuisine is the highlight of this unusual Disney restaurant. Highlights include grilled shrimp curry with citrus-coconut basmati rice, or herb-crusted potato with pepper-dusted chicken


Brunch suggestions

Peach Valley Café
5072 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando, 407-522-6201

The walnut salad with salmon is well worth trying, as is the California omelet, which comes with potatoes, artichokes, and a homemade biscuit.


Ethos Vegan Kitchen
(407) 228-3898 Ivanhoe Village 1235 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804

This vegan restaurant successfully creates a unique brunch experience with a tasty breakfast burrito


La Coquina
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort 1 Grand Cypress Blvd., Orlando, 407-239-3853

A great spread for Sunday brunch. The restaurant also has an intimate chef’s table where on Saturday evenings you can watch the chefs create honey-glazed lamb, Chilean sea bass, and Hawaiian tuna tartare.


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