Local Food Finds for Magical Dining Month
Between now and September 30, some of Central Florida’s favorite restaurants will celebrate Magical Dining Month by offering three-course menus for $30. In honor of our Fall Issue, aka The Hotel Issue, below are a few of our favorite hotel restaurants who are including locally-grown or raised foods on their Magical Dining Month menus.
The chefs at La Luce by Donna Scala at Hilton Orlando are serious about finding the freshest ingredients, and that means local sources whenever possible. The organic lettuce on their insalata misti offered on the Magical Dining Month Menu is locally grown, as is the centerpiece of a fantastic entree: a roasted half-chicken from Tanglewood Farms, served with grilled Zellwood corn polenta and red-pepper butter.
The deep blu seafood grille at neighboring Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek also uses a salad to highlight local produce, in this case baby heirloom tomatoes. Chef Cory York rounds out this offering with fresh mozzarella, smoked pork belly, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Another hotel restaurant devoted to “local when possible” is Napa at the Peabody, and their Magical Dining Month menu reflects that dedication. Both appetizer choices lean heavily on local sources: fire-roasted Waterkist Farms heirloom tomatoes shine in the soup, and orange-braised Heart of Christmas beets take pride of place in the salad along with Winter Park Dairy bleu cheese. For the main course, the cioppino is swimming with Florida calamari, lump crab, rock shrimp, and mahi-mahi.
Regulars at Primo by Melissa Kelly at JW Marriott, Grande Lakes know that the produce on their menu may well come from the garden outside the kitchen door. That’s the case with the farmer salad, in which Primo lettuce is festooned with a poached egg from nearby Lake Meadow Naturals and house-cured bacon. Local pork is also inside the house-made tortellini, and a local free-range guinea hen shares space on the menu with pan-seared local grouper.
With a variety of hotel packages available via the Magical Dining Month website, it’s easy to turn your destination dining experience into a truly savory stay-cation.