Magical Dining Month, Venue Eleven (Benihana)

The plan was to have a teppanyaki dinner with my friend and her mother at Benihana. Her mother was not familiar with the type of dining, but we were. Last year, my friend and I went to the same location for Magical Dining and enjoyed it. As my friend saw the menu, she was surprised to see it was not the same as last year, when we had steak and lobster. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Eleven (Benihana)”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Ten (Fig’s Prime)

Friday evening in Altamonte Springs. Happy hour and Magical Dining. Fig’s Prime seemed like the place to be. I had plans to meet my friend and her mother for dinner. My friend seems to be stuck on only getting filet mignon and she is a big seafood fan, so, as I was already interested in going there when I presented the list of places for Magical Dining, she was all for it. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Ten (Fig’s Prime)”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Nine (RusTeak)

The goal was to go to Magical Dining before going to Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). The original plan was set because my friend’s wife was not interested in going to RusTeak, but my friend and I were. As she does not attend HHN, this was a perfect time to get some food and then hit the park. The actuality was just going to dinner since HHN was closed due to a large corporation renting the park for the evening. After eating the meal, it was better that it worked that way. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Nine (RusTeak)”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Eight (David’s Club)

Magical Dining Month, Venue Eight (David’s Club)
10oz NY strip

I must start by mentioning there are apparently two David’s Clubs in Orlando. One off of I-Drive and the other in Champion’s Gate. I was not aware, and when I made our reservations for Magical Dining, I seemed to confuse them. With that said, the day before I was asked by Open Table to confirm my reservation, as opposed to the restaurant directly compared to the few that asked about it. At the last minute, two members of the party of six canceled and there was a person swap. I changed the reservation to reflect this. One of my dinner companions suggested meeting at a friend’s that was closer than either of us and go from there in one vehicle. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Eight (David’s Club)”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Seven (Letterpress)

Magical Dining Month, Venue Seven (Letterpress)
Top view of pork chop with bacon-onion marmalade

Driving through the non-Disney owned resort area on property at Walt Disney World, my couple friends and I were not sure where this place was until we got there. Located on the first floor of the Hilton (lobby is on the third), Letterpress initially looks like a throwback to the mid-century, although I would even say one step further back than The Contemporary. Their color scheme is white and avocado and filled with details of letters, including books, Scrabble pieces, and typewriters. But I was there for the food. Another Magical Dining meal. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Seven (Letterpress)”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Six (The Oceanaire Seafood Room)

Monday night, at Pointe Orlando, is not the most crowded of times. I planned my next Magical Dining adventure for the Oceanairre and wasn’t really sure where they were. After parking at the garage, took my ticket with me, and walking to the furthest side of the plaza, I entered a darkly lit restaurant with a jazz cover of The Police’s Message in a Bottle blasting. I was happily greeted at the reception desk. Arriving prior to my dinner companion for the evening and knowing she was running late, I accepted the invitation to be seated without her. On the way to the table, I was welcomed by two other people near the door. The place was dead. My reservation was for 6:45 p.m. and there were no other diners there. I asked if that was usual and was told that a few people were there earlier, but they are mainly busy on weekends. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Six (The Oceanaire Seafood Room)”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Five (Texas de Brazil)/Meat Fest 2018

For the past several years, my friends and I have gathered to go to a Brazilian steakhouse to celebrate Meat Fest. We have varied the venue, as there are several in town. Starting before we went to Magical Dining venues, we changed it to this time of year and found it easier to kill two birds this way. Ironically, we chose this location because someone, who did not show, wanted to go there. Either way, it was fun and filling, and then I was sick the next day. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Five (Texas de Brazil)/Meat Fest 2018”

Magical Dining Explained

Magical Dining Explained
Ooie Gooie from Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, 2016

Over the last many years, I have participated in the Magical Dining experience, now an Orlando dining staple. I think when I started going it was a $30 Prix fixed menu at several locations across town. Currently, it is at $35, and the price, when it has increased was about $1 per meal. It served two purposes. First as a means to introduce people to venues in the Orlando area that they might not usually go that are on the fine dining, or at least more expensive, end of the spectrum. The second purpose is to contribute to a charity that seems to change yearly. When I started, I was not aware of the charity change. Continue reading “Magical Dining Explained”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Four (Vines Grille & Wine Bar)

Magical Dining Month, Venue Four (Vines Grille & Wine Bar)

Saturday night in Orlando, in the touristy part of town is usually an awful travel time. Other than seeing a lot of police presence on the way home, it wasn’t that bad. This Labor Day was unusually quiet on the roads for me. I got to my destination, Vines Grille and Wine Bar, with a little time to spare for my reservation. Like another venue, I was contacted earlier in the day; this time via text. I planned a night for Magical Dining with my friends, a married couple and another friend. Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Four (Vines Grille & Wine Bar)”

Magical Dining Month, Venue Three (The Grill)

The evening started with me going to my friends’ house and having them drive to our Magical Dining meal for the evening. We were coming from Altamonte, and I expected it to take a very long time, being a Friday and the beginning of Labor Day weekend. Instead, it was a fast ride, and we arrived earlier than our reservation. Tucked away in the back off I-Drive, just around the corner from 528 and the Orange County Convention Center resides this quaint golf clubhouse dining room, The Grill, which is part of Marriott’s Grande Vista. One of the first thing I noted, other than the soup of the day Continue reading “Magical Dining Month, Venue Three (The Grill)”