Most folks are familiar with the concept behind farm-to-table dining, but it’s not every day that diners get to enjoy ingredients grown practically outside a restaurant’s door. At Crimson Tavern at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside, the Chef’s Garden (pictured above) supplies fresh produce for Chef Anthony Hull’s creative gastropub menu all season long. In addition to the Chef’s Garden, which currently provides 20,000 pounds of produce per year, Chef Hull works with a number of local purveyors and artisans like Lake Meadow Naturals, Long & Scott Farms, and Pasture Prime.
While many menu items are inspired by the chef’s travels and his childhood in England — locally-made gelato makes up the layers of the very English dessert called the Knickerbocker Glory — dishes like the Canaveral shrimp and grits and the sweet corn fritters are pure Southern comfort. A feeling of graciousness and ease pervades the beautiful garden as well, and the chefs and servers are happy to take guests on a tour of the 2,500-foot space anytime. Those who prefer to spend their entire meal en plein air can reserve the garden for a special event complete with a customized menu by Chef Hull. A recent nose-to-tail dinner in the garden featured lamb in several delicious incarnations, including lamb meatballs, pickled lambs tongues, and crispy lamb belly with homemade ramen, local mushrooms and a pullet egg.
Crimson Tavern is located at 7499 Augusta National Drive and is open daily from 11am to midnight.