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Crimson Tavern

7499 Augusta National Dr.
Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 851-9000

Just a mile from the Orlando International Airport, you will find the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside. I’ve stayed at this hotel before, and it's a wonderful place for tourists and locals alike. I have also eaten at the hotels main restaurant Crimson Tavern on a few occasions. 

Crimson Tavern focuses on locally sourced cuisine with an impressive array of delights for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is redefining what hotel dining is all about. The property's management is comprised of a group of die-hard "foodies" and as a result, Crimson Tavern embodies what is on the cutting edge of the modern food movement: Farm-to-Table cuisine. 

Farm to Table has also gotten quite controversial recently as Laura Reiley, the food critic at the Tampa Bay Times wrote an article worthy of a Pulitzer Prize titled Farm to Fable. In the series of articles, Laura goes in depth to report and investigate how the average restaurant consumer is being lied to about where Tampa Bay area restaurants were sourcing their food from. You can bet this happens in Orlando and all over the country as well.

It's really a staggering article and worth a read if you love food like I do. Here is the link : Farm To Fable

I bring up the article from the times, because Crimson Tavern is one of the few restaurants that I know of, that you can see with your own eyes where they source food from. The restaurant has its own 2,500 square foot Chef's Garden and the culinary team works hard to develop partnerships with many of Orlando's best purveyors to source the finest ingredients available in the region. 


It isn’t too often that many of the items which appear on a diner’s plate come from just a few hundred feet away. In the restaurant’s own chef’s garden, diners are invited to take a stroll through the nearby 2,500 square foot area and see what is ready to be harvested and will soon end up on the menu or quite possibly, on their plate that very evening.

Executive Chef Anthony Hull also pulls from his own roots back in England and resurrects many old school cooking techniques including pickling, jamming, and preserving to prepare much of what diners see on the menu. Chef Hull, truly strives to define the “farm to table” culinary movement with a philosophy that includes a strong connection to the surrounding farms and artisans. They also invite the local farm community to grow for them, which helps these farms to sustain a way of life.

I was recently invited to a special Milk & Honey dinner where we sat outside in the chef’s garden. The theme of course was food and drinks made with or using milk and honey infused products in the ingredients.


Our first beer pairing was the Swamp Head ‘Wild Night Honey Cream Ale.” That honey you see next to the beer is from While the Sun Shines Apiary in Central Florida and is about as fresh and delicious as honey can be.

The Swamp head went really well with the first course of Charred House Ricotta with garden greens, preserved lemon and crispy garbanzo.

Our second course was a dish of local seafood that featured jumbo shrimp, fresh fish and crispy frog legs in a coconut curry sauce with cauliflower. This dish was paired with a Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc.

For our third course we had a rather special treat of a homemade ‘Fwaffle” which is a waffle made with Foie Gras served with crispy chicken skin sausage and honey braised shallots with a house vinegar gastrique.

The “Fwaffle” was paired with Ten Ten Havakon Milk Stout that gave a nice amount of sweet and bitter to compliment the meal.

In an effort to showcase how Chef Hull and his team recycle and reuse food in a variety of interesting ways, we were treated to house baked bread with a candle made of rendered lamb fat. As the candle burns, it creates quite a flavorful dip for the bread.

Our fourth course was a dish of milk fed lamb “Pot au Feu” with bunching onions, potatoes and heritage carrots. This was perhaps some of the most flavorful and tender lamb I have ever tasted. We were served “Sir Adrian’s Mead” for our drink...which is a house made alcoholic beverage made with fermented honey and various spices….and is very potent.

For a palate cleanser before our final course, we enjoyed Hibiscus Tea picked right from the garden.

Our fifth and final course for the evening was a fabulous Warm Olive Oil cake with house spun whey ice cream, smoked honey and strawberry.


Additionally, Chef Hull and his team looked closely at ways in which they could not just recycle, but reuse food scraps from the kitchen and came up with the following efforts, which are now in place:

-Coffee grounds are recycled and used as a natural pest deterrent in the Chef’s Garden


-Scraps from the roasted beets are used to make the beet cured salmon appetizer.

-When fish are cleaned in the restaurant, the skins are boiled and pureed into cat food for the two rescue cats that live in the garden and keep the squirrels and snakes away.

-The kitchen dehydrates onion peelings to make onion powder, and mushroom stems for powder to add to the house-made steak seasoning for additional umami flavor.

-When there is an abundance of fresh herbs from the Chef’s Garden, they are dried to save and use at a later date.

-If there is an excess of any items harvested that cannot be used fresh, they are pickled and preserved.

-Beef fat is rendered and put into the Béarnaise sauce. The hotel is also experimenting with making beef fat candles, which can be served to guests who can dip bread in the fat as it melts.

-All bacon fat from breakfast is saved and used for braising greens, re-fried beans, and enriching the house-made barbecue sauces.

-The restaurant menus are printed on 100% recycled paper, and when damaged or reprinted, old menus are cut up and used as underliners in the restaurant.

-Used soap from guest rooms is given to a company called Clean the World who purifies it and reforms it into bars which are then sent to Third World countries.

From communal tables to private dining rooms and microbrews to wine flights, Crimson Tavern has the perfect evening for you. Regional charcuterie, international cheese plates and many other seasonal specialties all have a place on the menu. 


If you want a restaurant that is casual and friendly and offers locally sourced ingredients with an honest farm-to-table mentality that you can see up close and personal… stop by and say hello to Chef Hull and his team at Crimson Tavern.

The restaurant can fit 80 people, the private dining room can seat up to 16, and semi-private dining on the upper deck is up to 30 guests. Lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner is from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Crimson Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Christner's Hosts 5-Course Grgich Hills Estate Wine Dinner

729 Lee Rd.
Orlando, FL 32810
(407) 645-4443

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster is hosting an interactive wine pairing dinner featuring wines from Grgich Hils Estate on Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. 

Guests are invited to join Christner’s Sommelier, Dan Colgan, along with Frank Markovich of Grgich Hills Estate for an evening of fine wines and delicious dishes from Christner’s menu in one of Christner’s private dining rooms.

For $130 per person (tax and gratuity included) guests will partake of five courses, each expertly paired with fine Grgich Hills Estate wines. Grgich Hills Estate, an award winning vineyard and winery located in Napa Valley, is dedicated to natural winegrowing and sustainability, farming each of its five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides to handcraft its elegant wine portfolio.

The evening will begin with introductions by Dan Colgan, followed by five courses featuring:

-Reception: Grgich Hills Estate Fumé Blanc

-First Course: Crab Stuffed Shrimp paired with Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay.

-Second Course: Seared Ahi Tuna and Caesar Salad paired paired with Grgich Hills Estate Merlot.

-Main Course: USDA Prime New York Strip, Chateau Potatoes, Sautéed Mushrooms, and Broccoli Au Gratin paired with Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.


-Dessert: Chocolate Mousse paired with Grgich Hills Estate Red Zinfandel

For reservations, please call 407-645-4443


Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Ryan's Pizza

4 Harrison St.
Cocoa, FL 32922
321-634-5555


Ryan’s Pizza & Pub is a family owned and operated pizza restaurant located in the heart of Cocoa Village, FL. Since its inception in 2006, Ryan’s has grown to be the best and largest Irish pizzeria in Brevard County.

While the family restaurant has become famous for pizza, they also make fresh salads, subs and wings and offer a draft selection of fourteen different beers, including Guinness.

Ryan's used to be located at 405 Delannoy Avenue in the corner of Cocoa Village that the family pizzeria occupied for almost a decade. While the pies they served up were good, the space was tiny and cramped, so they have moved into a new two story location just up the street at 4 Harrison Street with views of the Indian River and Riverside Park in the newly renovated Parkside Place complex.


With Ryan's now in place, the transformation of Parkside Place is complete. What was once an empty space, is now a stylish and colorful block of businesses that includes Village Cycle Shoppe, Bobbi's at Parkside boutique, Village Idiot Pub, Daddy Ultra Runs running store and Grimaldi's Candies.

The new Ryan's almost doubles its seating, going from 150 to 287. Downstairs features brick muted greens and reds. Brick archways mark entries to the spacious kitchen and bar area. Picture windows across the front of the restaurant frame views of the park across the street. The design of the custom bar embraces the past with an Old World-feel of the original location.

The downstairs bar area includes reclaimed Brevard Hotel doors and wood-look floors to add warmth and texture but easy maintenance," she said. The Brevard Hotel, once a riverside landmark, was torn down in the 1990s. On the second floor there's a covered bar area, plus expansive seating on a shaded deck, all with panoramic views of the river.


Garlic Parmesan Waffle Fries are an excellent starter at Ryan’s. These waffle fries are covered in garlic butter, fresh chopped garlic, and Parmesan cheese. At $5.99 they were a good deal and more than enough for three people to share.

Pizza has always been the focal point at Ryan’s, and this one was just as good as I remember at the old location. We went big..real big as in a 24” pie. We opted for the Ryan’s Special with pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, beef, onions, green pepper, mushroom and black olive on a crispy, fresh crust with house-made sauce. We did leave olives off of one side for one of our guests. 

Since I’m in Brevard quite often, as I have family there, I am glad to see the further development of Downtown Cocoa and the whole area in general. The section where Ryan’s is at is quite a welcome addition with great eats, drinks and views of the river and the park. If you find yourself on the space coast any time, do yourself a favor and stop in at Ryan’s. 

Ryan's Village Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Morimoto Asia - Beer Dinner with Crooked Can Brewery


1600 Buena Vista Dr.
Orlando FL. 32830
(407) 939-6686
View Website Here


If you have been keeping up with all things Disney, more specifically the rebranded Disney Springs, you have heard about the complete redesign and all of the new restaurants that are open, with more scheduled to open soon.

Morimoto Asia is one of those new restaurants that is located at The Landing at Disney Springs, which is an entertainment and dining retail district. With an overhaul and rebranding of this portion of the resort, Disney Springs is aiming to present a fresh and new face to the Magic Kingdom that is sure to be an extraordinary experience.

Morimoto Asia is the first collaboration with Patina Restaurant Group and Chef Masaharu Morimoto and the Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian restaurant. Morimoto Asia offers an entirely new experience for guests, led by the creativity of Chef Morimoto, already one of the most inventive forces in Asian cuisine. The Patina Restaurant Group was built on the belief that culinary excellence is an art form, and that a superb visit to a cultural venue should be matched with equally inspired cuisine. This is a dynamic collaboration that has resulted in a restaurant that looks wonderful and delivers on the promise of culinary excellence.

Morimoto Asia is full of eye catching chandeliers, glass light sculptures and unique exhibition kitchens that showcase traditions like Peking duck carving and dim sum. Inside the 36-foot tall, two story layout of Morimoto you will find lounges, private dining spaces, and an exhibition glass encased kitchen that allows guests a behind the scenes glimpse of the culinary action. The second level sushi bar and lounge have a separate entrance.





The menu at Morimoto is described as Pan-Asian and was inspired and created by Chef Masaharu Morimoto, a Japanese chef, best known as an Iron Chef on the Japanese TV cooking show Iron Chef and its spinoff Iron Chef America. He is also known for his unique style of presenting food.

Pan Asian food combines a little bit of everything from various Asian cultures, so at Morimoto Asia, you can find spectacular Chinese style spare ribs, Korean BBQ Kalbi short ribs, Vietnamese style Pho, Pad Thai cooked in the traditional Thai style, and of course lots of Japanese food with a large variety of sushi and sashimi.

Although Chef Morimoto has a wonderful selection of Sake and various other craft cocktails, beer goes with just about everything. As part of a special beer dinner pairing I was invited to, we were treated to a pairing from one of my favorite new brewers, Crooked Can Brewing Co. Crooked Can Brewery is an upstart craft brewery based in Winter Garden that is creating a cultural following with unique craft brews and excellent taste.


Our first course was the Spring Collection of Shellfish Ceviche that featured Alaskan king crab, Washington state mirugai (saltwater clam), Maine Uni (sea urchin), Salmon roe, and bean thread noodles. This was a very unique dish with all kinds of textures from the various ingredients that all worked really well together for a great starter.

The beer paired with the first course was Crooked Can’s seasonal Cherry Blossom Kolsch that will only be made for Morimoto Asia, and for a limited time. Very crisp and mild with excellent flavors and drinkability.

The second course was a Duo of Duck with Morimoto Peking Duck wrapped in flour pancakes, hoisin miso, apricot chili and scallions. The duck was accompanied with a consomme soup of daikon, carrots and foie gras. The duck was nice and crispy inside and full of flavor and the soup was a wonderful addition.

The second course was paired with Crooked Can’s Bock Humbug, which is a Dopplebock, or double bock which makes it a darker and maltier beer but slightly sweet with an ABV of 6.9%.

For our third course, we had a Trio of Chicken Satays with chicken skins, boneless chicken wings and chicken thigh with yuzo-kosho (a fermented chili and yuzu peel seasoning), Himalayan salt, spicy garlic glaze,peanut sauce and cilantro. All of the chicken was delicious and paired perfectly with Crooked Can’s Mc Swagger Amber Ale.

Our fourth course was Domestic Wagyu Sirloin “Ishiyaki” that is grilled tableside in a ceramic fire pot with a hefty cooking stone. This dish was served with kimchi fried rice cake, fresh wasabi and a smoked soy for dipping. Wagyu of any type is usually pretty good, and the one at Morimoto did not disappoint, and it was a fun experience to cook it yourself. This was paired with Crooked Can’s Stout beer that was very dark and full bodied.

Our fifth course, or the dessert course was Taiyaki, which is a Japanese style fish shaped pancake stuffed with sweet azuki beans. This was served with a matcha green tea gelato. I did bite the fish’s head off before I took a picture, but I couldn't resist trying the fun to eat dessert. Paired together with the gelato, this was a great ending to our food journey for the evening.

The dessert was paired with perhaps my favorite Crooked Can beer of all time… Cloudchaser. Crooked Can produces this wheat beer in the true Hefeweizen fashion that leaves it unfiltered and cloudy. The beer has unique flavors of banana and cloves with an often dry and tart edge, some spiciness, bubblegum and notes of apples with little hop bitterness, and a moderate level of alcohol.

Although I had these on a separate visit to Morimoto Asia, It's worth noting the Morimoto Spare Ribs with cilantro and hoisin sweet chili glaze are probably some of the best you will find in Orlando. I don't say that lightly either..they are addictive and darn good.

Disney Springs is still being built up and undergoing a lot of change, but there are quite a few restaurants open already, and it's worth a trip to go visit… especially Morimoto Asia. The restaurant is beautiful inside and out with a two story dining space and they even have an upstairs outside section with a fun tabletop shuffleboard. The menu is fun and inviting and even the pickiest of eaters should be able to find something to eat.

Crooked Can is making its way into a lot of establishments lately, but the best way to get some is to go visit them directly at 426 W Plant St, Winter Garden, Florida 34787. They keep a steady rotation of current and seasonal brews on tap for consumption. They do Brewery tours on Sundays that max out at 12 people, so it's best to call ahead and plan a time at (407) 395-9520. You can find out more here: http://www.crookedcan.com

Morimoto Asia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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