Orlando

Continued (page 2 of 8)

ADAIR'S
2625 Edgewater Dr.
Tel: 407-423-0081
adairsrestaurant.com

Once a printing plant, Adair's building is getting ink once again, this time from local gourmet wags as an upscale Southern-inspired charmer. Rehabbed with gleaming hardwood floors, a covered patio, and ceiling fans gently slapping the breeze, its menu is grounded in Charleston traditions, but leans toward the nouveau. Adair's affectionate concoctions include herb-infused johnnycake, Vidalia-onion cream soup, and redeye velouté served with grits and sweet-potato gnocchi.

CAFÉ TU TU TANGO
8625 International Dr.
Tel: 407-248-2222
cafetututango.com

Within easy reach of the theme parks, Tu Tu Tango doubles as a gallery (and working atelier) for local artists. Artwork on the walls is for sale and often painted on the premises. The extensive tapas-style menu is largely American, with upscale pizzas, meat skewers, and some witty starters, including "scallop BLT soup" and deep-fried "gator bites." Kick off married life with a free tarot or palm reading from a staff psychic who wanders the aisles.

CALIFORNIA GRILL
Disney's Contemporary Resort
4600 N. World Dr.
Lake Buena Vista
Tel: 407-939-3463
disneyworld.com

California Grill attracts a lively crowd of special-occasion diners who park themselves beside its picture windows and gaze down upon Cinderella's Castle. The decor is woefully dated to the early '90s, but the lively open-air kitchen pumps out some showpiece dishes, including Hudson Valley foie gras with brioche French toast, chilled Gulf shrimp-and-pineapple soup, and grilled pork tenderloin with creamy goat-cheese polenta. Service halts while guests enjoy the Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks display to a piped-in sound track from the restaurant's twin outdoor verandas. Book three months in advance.

EMERIL'S TCHOUP CHOP
Universal Orlando's Royal Pacific Resort
6300 Hollywood Way
Tel: 407-503-2467
emerils.com

Snuggled in the courtyard of Universal Orlando's Polynesian-themed hotel, Tchoup Chop's celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, oversees a kitchen serving Hawaiian creations with quiet complexity and grace. A signature dish is the "clay pot," combining the fish of the day with yellow Thai curry-lobster cream, stir-fry shrimp, and fire-roasted sweet-corn rice. The sole dining room is a high-ceilinged chamber with a central granite-lined pedestal pool, yet things never get too noisy. The walls, drenched by David Rockwell in rich orange and cobalt glass, are more a nod to Orlando's hyperreal ethic than an omen of a supersweetened meal.

PRIMO
JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
4040 Central Florida Pkwy.
Tel: 407-393-4444
grandelakes.com

James Beard award–winning chef Melissa Kelly is one of the few female marquee chefs among Orlando's mostly man-handled establishments. Her organic Southern Italian eatery marks a departure from Orlando's relentlessly razzle-dazzle dining settings. Couples enjoy a sexy, candlelit room with intimate seating and breathtaking pool views—a welcome respite from the weary shuffle of a long day of theme parks. Kelly's menu is thoughtful, displaying her passion for using fresh, locally grown ingredients (from a garden on the premises) and recipes passed down from her Italian grandparents. Don't miss the wonderful desserts.

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