VOTE FOR THE BEST OF ORLANDO® 2021 NOW THROUGH AUG. 1!

REINVENTING THE SPORTS BAR 


If you think that any restaurant bearing the name of a sports legend has to be adorned with flat-screen TVs that only show ESPN and serve only heaping plates of chili cheese fries: think again. Dan Marino’s newly refurbished Tavern on the Lake is one classy joint with some killer comestibles.

Whoever designed the two signature martinis should be given a medal. The Rose Petal martini ($10) is a sweet-smelling bouquet of vodka, rosewater and Cointreau with a lingering lychee flavor. The sweet and fiery Thai chili martini ($10) is edgier. Using mango juice as its base, the cocktail comes in a glass sporting quite a bit of hot chili powder around the rim.

While the beverages are sure to please the complex palate, be careful what you order for dinner. Some plates are true touchdowns, like the Tavern mac and cheese ($8.25), a home-style serving of the classic dressed up with earthy white-truffle oil and smoky applewood bacon crumbles. However, some dishes still need honing. The quail appetizer ($12.25) displayed an overwhelming amount of elements on one plate: grilled quail (a little overdone and dry for my taste) atop haricots verts, crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, pine nuts, butternut squash and a cumbersome oven-roasted half Gala apple (unseeded) that had little integrity and even less flavor. The unremarkable dessert menu proffers only unimaginative key lime pie, crème brûlée and molten lava cake. Snooze.

Tavern on the Lake is located in the shopping district of MetroWest, but if you don’t drive a luxury vehicle, don’t feel embarrassed. The clientele, mostly men in their 40s, could use some young, hipster Volvo-driving blood to spruce up the place a little. But the combination of the modern décor, warm service, and cool ambience could make Dan Marino’s newest permutation a welcome addition to Orlando fine dining.

(Dan Marino’s Tavern on the Lake, 6996 Piazza Grande Ave., 407-293-6233; www.danmarinosorlando.com)

dining@orlandoweekly.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of On The Side, On The Side

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 21, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation