The 10 best reviewed Orlando restaurants of 2017, so far

It's been a busy first half of the year for new local restaurants, and Orlando Weekly's food critic, Faiyaz Kara, has reviewed a good portion of them. Here are a few of his favorite new spots in the Orlando area.

 

 

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Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen & Bar 
Steadily improving fish house in the former Ravenous Pig space has a lot going for it, notably the owner’s zeal to make the venture a success. Also successful: a bracing ceviche of shark, snapper and hogfish; panko-breaded roasted oysters; and a quartet of fried green tomatoes atop zesty roasted pepper vinaigrette. There’s plenty of fried goodness for the fish camp lover in you, and if the whole roasted yellowtail snapper is available, get it. Closed Mondays.  Click here to read the whole review 
1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-543-3474; $$$
Photo via Rob Bartlett

Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen & Bar

Steadily improving fish house in the former Ravenous Pig space has a lot going for it, notably the owner’s zeal to make the venture a success. Also successful: a bracing ceviche of shark, snapper and hogfish; panko-breaded roasted oysters; and a quartet of fried green tomatoes atop zesty roasted pepper vinaigrette. There’s plenty of fried goodness for the fish camp lover in you, and if the whole roasted yellowtail snapper is available, get it. Closed Mondays. Click here to read the whole review
1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-543-3474; $$$

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try the Gulf Coast Salad; tomatoes, onions, green beans, bacon,
avocado, hard-boiled egg, red onion, romaine lettuce and Florida shrimp, coarsely chopped with a vinaigrette dressing.  
Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try the Gulf Coast Salad; tomatoes, onions, green beans, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled egg, red onion, romaine lettuce and Florida shrimp, coarsely chopped with a vinaigrette dressing.

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Millenia 106 
A focused menu of local, seasonal fare peppered with Portuguese and Brazilian flavors allows journeyman chef Bruno Fonseca to showcase his personal style and brilliant technique. Dishes, for the most part, are creative yet approachable – be it a magnificent serving of simply grilled royal red shrimp with “punched” potatoes, or golden tile crested with fennel-citrus-blueberry salad served over farro verde. Duxelles are folded into the beef for added umami in the burger, and if you’re up for a fancified sharing plate, the tuna tartare with a grating of preserved lemon and cured yolk sided with Aleppo-peppered pork rinds over an avocado puree (whew) will do just fine. Closed Sundays and Mondays.  Click here to read the whole review 
4104 Millenia Blvd., 407-930-6206; $$
Photo via Rob Bartlett

Millenia 106

A focused menu of local, seasonal fare peppered with Portuguese and Brazilian flavors allows journeyman chef Bruno Fonseca to showcase his personal style and brilliant technique. Dishes, for the most part, are creative yet approachable – be it a magnificent serving of simply grilled royal red shrimp with “punched” potatoes, or golden tile crested with fennel-citrus-blueberry salad served over farro verde. Duxelles are folded into the beef for added umami in the burger, and if you’re up for a fancified sharing plate, the tuna tartare with a grating of preserved lemon and cured yolk sided with Aleppo-peppered pork rinds over an avocado puree (whew) will do just fine. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Click here to read the whole review
4104 Millenia Blvd., 407-930-6206; $$

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try the tuna tartare with Aleppo-peppered torresmo or Portuguese fried pork rinds.
Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try the tuna tartare with Aleppo-peppered torresmo or Portuguese fried pork rinds.

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Taste of Yucatan 
No-frills Mexican joint serves up a taste of Yucatán cuisine with a grand selection of tacos, salbutes (deep-fried tacos) and panuchos (salbutes stuffed with refried beans), as well as tortas, quesadillas and rice bowls. Fillings you’ll fancy: cochinita pibil, al pastor, barbacoa and vegetarian rajas poblanas. Closed Mondays.
Click here to read the whole review
1375 S. Semoran Blvd., 407-704-2248; $
Photo via Rob Bartlett

Taste of Yucatan

No-frills Mexican joint serves up a taste of Yucatán cuisine with a grand selection of tacos, salbutes (deep-fried tacos) and panuchos (salbutes stuffed with refried beans), as well as tortas, quesadillas and rice bowls. Fillings you’ll fancy: cochinita pibil, al pastor, barbacoa and vegetarian rajas poblanas. Closed Mondays. Click here to read the whole review
1375 S. Semoran Blvd., 407-704-2248; $

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try  the Cochinita pibil stuffed panucho, Spicy barbocoa filled salbute or a dry pollo adobado filled salbute. 
Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try the Cochinita pibil stuffed panucho, Spicy barbocoa filled salbute or a dry pollo adobado filled salbute.

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Maestro Cucina 
Rosario Spagnolo returns to Park Avenue in this joint venture with fellow Neapolitan Antonio Martino. What you get is an expected blend of authenticity and populist fare, and it’s a mix that doesn’t disappoint. Sure, better Neapolitan pizzas can be had elsewhere, but you won’t find a better space in which to enjoy a slice of pie, or antipasti, pasta con polpette or spezzatino di vitello. Open daily.  Click here to read the whole review
528 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-335-4548; $$
Photo via Rob Bartlett

Maestro Cucina

Rosario Spagnolo returns to Park Avenue in this joint venture with fellow Neapolitan Antonio Martino. What you get is an expected blend of authenticity and populist fare, and it’s a mix that doesn’t disappoint. Sure, better Neapolitan pizzas can be had elsewhere, but you won’t find a better space in which to enjoy a slice of pie, or antipasti, pasta con polpette or spezzatino di vitello. Open daily. Click here to read the whole review
528 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-335-4548; $$

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try the Insalata di Mare, a dish of mussels, clams, calamari, octopus, and shrimp prepared with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and lemon.
Photo via Rob Bartlett
Be sure to try the Insalata di Mare, a dish of mussels, clams, calamari, octopus, and shrimp prepared with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and lemon.

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Hunger Street 
The gourmet taco trend gains traction at Hunger Street Tacos, named after the famed Mexico City strip. Brisket, chorizo and chicken tinga tacos are twice-tortillaed in proper fashion. Vegan (sautéed hibiscus taco) and vegetarian options (squash blossom quesadilla; vegetable tinga) will please the meatless crowd. Desserts like chocoflan and Key lime pie with toasted meringue are more than just mere afterthoughts. Closed Sundays. 
Click here to read the whole review 
2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park,407-545-5998; $
Photo via Lindsey Thompson

Hunger Street

The gourmet taco trend gains traction at Hunger Street Tacos, named after the famed Mexico City strip. Brisket, chorizo and chicken tinga tacos are twice-tortillaed in proper fashion. Vegan (sautéed hibiscus taco) and vegetarian options (squash blossom quesadilla; vegetable tinga) will please the meatless crowd. Desserts like chocoflan and Key lime pie with toasted meringue are more than just mere afterthoughts. Closed Sundays. Click here to read the whole review
2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park,407-545-5998; $

Photo via Lindsey Thompson
Be sure to try the tinga tostada with chicken or vegetables.
Photo via Lindsey Thompson
Be sure to try the tinga tostada with chicken or vegetables.

Photo via Lindsey Thompson