Each year in Orlando locals look forward to Orlando Dining Month where for just $33, they can enjoy a three-course gourmet meal from dozens of the most popular restaurants in Orlando. The good news is visitors to the area can partake as well. You won’t even have to leave the Walt Disney World envelope to participate as two of the newest restaurants at Disney Springs join the event this year – STK and Morimoto Asia (and don’t forget Todd English’s Bluezoo and Il Milio at the Swan and Dolphin Resort). The event runs from August 29 through October 2 and one dollar from every meal will be donated to a local charity.
A full list of all participating restaurants, menus and OpenTable reservations are available at OrlandoMagicalDining.com. Advanced Reservations are recommended. New restaurants to the program include:
- STK, a brand new upscale steakhouse with a high-energy atmosphere at Disney Springs.
- Morimoto Asia, by Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef America fame, offering pan-Asian flavors from across the continent.
- Urbain 40, glinting with 1940’s glamor and a continental menu crafted from largely local, seasonal ingredients.
- Cask & Larder, a local favorite featuring brewed-onsite beer, home-cured meats and pickled vegetables. Cask & Larder is the second restaurant created by five-time James Beard-nominated chefs James Petrakis and Julie Petrakis. (Note: The Petrakis are opening The Polite Pig at Disney Springs later this year.)
In its 11th year, Magical Dining Month gives both locals and visitors alike a chance to experience Orlando dining at its finest all over town – from options near the theme parks to hidden gems in Orlando’s local neighborhoods. Examples include:
- Convention Area – RA Sushi*, Itta Bena*, Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit*, Urban Tide (Hyatt Regency Orlando), The Capital Grille, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, A Land Remembered (Rosen Shingle Creek),
- Disney/Lake Buena Vista – Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse, deep blu seafood grille (Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort), NINE18 (The Villas at Grand Cypress), Todd English’s Bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin)
- Downtown – Shari Sushi Lounge*, Artisan’s Table, The Boheme, Citrus Restaurant, KASA Restaurant & Bar, Maxine’s on Shine
- Restaurant Row – SLATE*, Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, Christini’s Ristorante Italiano, Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Restaurant, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Ocean Prime
- Universal/CityWalk – Amatista Cookhouse* (Loews Sapphire Falls) , Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Island’s Dining Room (Loews Royal Pacific), The Kitchen (Hard Rock Hotel), Mama Della’s Ristorante (Loews Portofino Bay)
- Winter Park – Blu on the Avenue*, The Ravenous Pig, Luma on Park, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Chez Vincent, Hamilton’s Kitchen, Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Surrounding Areas – F&D Kitchen and Bar*, Osprey Tavern*, Kabooki Sushi*, Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Orlando and Lake Mary)
*First year in Magical Dining
Each year, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express, benefits a local cause chosen the year prior. This year, The Russell Home for Atypical Children is the recipient, and will be given $1 from every Magical Dining meal. The Russell Home is the first non-profit institution in the country to provide a home atmosphere with a family structure for special needs children and ‘child-like’ adults. In continuous operation for over 60 years without any government support, the home also provides 24 hours of free respite care and free day care for the local families with special needs dependents.
Last year, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining raised a record $160,735 for ELEVATE Orlando. The funds raised by Magical Dining enabled ELEVATE to expand its mentorship programs into Jones High School, equipping thousands of urban youth in Central Florida to graduate with a plan for their future.
Well foodies, do you see any restaurants on this list that you know you have to try?