28 new Orlando restaurants you need to try in 2017

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28 new Orlando restaurants you need to try in 2017
Photo via Rob Bartlett

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click to enlarge 28 new Orlando restaurants you need to try in 2017
Photo via Rob Bartlett

Luke's Kitchen + Bar

What: Brandon McGlamery's bustling new Maitland boîte on the old Steak & Ale site had locals salivating in anticipation, and opening hasn't stemmed the flow one bit. Like McGlamery's other offspring, Luma on Park and Prato, Luke's sources seasonally and responsibly, but the approachable menu of "classic American cuisine" gets imaginative with dishes like snapper ceviche, rotisserie chicken and prime rib.
When: Open now
Where: 640 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-674-2400, facebook.com/eatatlukes
click to enlarge 28 new Orlando restaurants you need to try in 2017
Photo via Rob Bartlett

Maestro Cucina Napoletana

What: Local restaurateur Rosario Spagnolo (TerraMia Ristorante, TerraMia Brick Oven Pizza & Trattoria) paired up with fellow Neapolitan Antonio Martino to bring proper Neapolitan-style pizza to the good folks of Park Avenue. While the dazzling Ferrari-red Marra Forni oven is clearly visible from the open kitchen, don't let it blind you into forgetting to sample some classic fare of the Campania region.
When: Open now
Where: 528 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-335-4548, maestrocucinanapoletana.com

Market to Table Cuisine

What: When alFresco moved out of the historic Roper Building, the good folks of Winter Garden didn't have to wait long for a worthy replacement to move in. Chef Ryan Freelove, who had two stints under Scott Hunnell at Victoria & Albert's, wowed them at farmers' markets with his bone broths, compound butters and soups, and he'll undoubtedly wow them on Plant Street with his seasonal menu of modern American fare.
When: Open now
Where: 146 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-395-9871, market2table.com

Mesa 21

What: After all the construction delays, we're still taking a "good things come to those who wait" attitude towards this lakeside resto promising "the most authentic Mexican food in America." We know tortillas will be handmade on-site, and trompo tacos like al pastor and sirloin will be shaved off a vertical spit. More reason to believe: Costras will be offered, as will a tequila menu "second to none."
When: Opening February March 2017
Where: 1414 N. Orange Ave., mesa21.com

Meza Mediterranean Grill

What: Nazih Sebaali, owner of the venerable and now-closed Café Annie, is bringing his vaunted falafel and Lebanese staples to Baldwin Park. The fine dining kebab joint with full bar will sit next door to Seito – one of the best Japanese/sushi spots in town – so here's hoping some of Seito's brilliance rubs off on the new kid in the neighborhood.
When: Opening April 2017
Where: 1776 Jake St., mezaorlando.com


What: Kissimmee gets a taste of the California-based Neapolitan pizza chain, but don't roll your eyes just yet. The two handmade ovens from Naples blister pizzas out in 90 seconds; the Marra Forni "Vittoria" flywheel slices prosciutto with extreme precision; and the stunning Victoria Arduino "Athena" espresso machine pumps out the perfect cup of coffee. Don't let the "chain" appellation chafe.
When: Open now
Where: 720 Centerview Blvd., Kissimmee, 407-201-3824, mymidici.com

Nonno's Ristorante Italiano

What: Clearly local restaurateur Stefano LaCommare didn't take very nicely to retirement. The respected chef ditched his golf clubs in favor of an apron, choosing to help son Leonardo open this new seafood-focused Sicilian joint in Altamonte. I suppose you can take the man out of the restaurant, but you can't take the restaurant out of the man.
When: Open now
Where: 1140 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, 407-260-8900, nonnositalianrestaurant.com

Omelet Bar

What: Founded by University of Central Florida alum Tarek Kanso, this breakfast joint near the UCF campus allows patrons to build their own omelets, frittatas, waffles and pancakes, or pick from a sizable selection of faves. A "flight" of chicken & waffles has got to be a first. If brekkie ain't your thing, lunch items like burgers, salads and sandwiches are offered, including a host of smaller-portion dishes called "munchkins."
When: Open now
Where: 11250 Strategy Blvd., 407-704-1597, omeletbar.com
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