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Showing posts with label Seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seafood. Show all posts

Hook & Reel


7480 W Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32818
(407) 801-5223
View Website Here


Hook & Reel is the newest tenant in what was once a Logan's Roadhouse on West Colonial Drive. The full name is Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar, and that's exactly what you will find once inside. 

The Orlando location was the second in Florida, and two more are coming soon to south and south west Florida.

The story of how the first Hook & Reel Restaurant was opened in Lanham, Maryland in 2013, by founder Miller goes as follows... Miller fancied himself as a gastronome and “foodie” extensively, exploring the food culture of many regions of this and other countries. One of his food explorations in 2008, centered around the vibrantly, flavorful and spicy cuisine of Louisiana.

He so enjoyed the Southern flavor profile, and spin on French Seafood, that he found himself often cooking many of the specialties he first had in New Orleans, for his friends and family.

Miller decided that he would open his first restaurant so everyone could come and enjoy the “Cajun Experience” that his friends and family enjoyed so much. His pledge to all is that each Hook & Reel will only use the finest and freshest seafood, coupled with fresh garlic, lemon pepper, herbs and spices, and chili powder.

All ingredients combine for a one of a kind aroma and finger licking experience that makes people want to come back over and over again. 

Complimentary Shrimp and Hook & Reel Seasoned homemade potato chips come with every meal, and as bizarre as it sounds, were quite tasty.

Hush Puppies may seem like a simple thing, but the ones served up here were almost perfection, with perfect texture and bite, and a side of drawn butter for dipping.

We really enjoyed the Steamed Oysters topped with heaping portions of fresh crushed garlic and butter.

The Calamari served up at Hook & Reel was outstanding. Super light, but yet Crispy batter and the Calamari itself was some of the most tender I've had.

A Reel Mule and a Cajun Wow Cocktail...an old fashioned with bourbon, amaretto, lemon juice and Bitters.

The Fried Flounder was amazing, the batter here is very light, but crispy with great flavor. The fries were also really good.

While all of the food at Hook & Reel is really good, this is their specialty.. The Seafood Boil Bags. They come to your table in a big puffed up bag full of steam and whatever ingredients, sauce or flavor that you choose, then it is all shaken up and served. You can eat it out of the bag, or just pour it on the table. Keeping it in the bag is best, because you retain all the juices. You can do combos, with a variety of seafood, sausage, potatoes, corn, etc, and a variety of sauces and heat levels. We chose a combo of snow crab legs, shrimp, potatoes and corn with the Hook & Reel special blend sauce, and it was fantastic.

A view inside of the restaurant. It is very casual and friendly, they even offer you bibs and gloves to keep the mess at a minimum. 

The Bar.

Hook & Reel is a rapidly growing casual family dining restaurant chain, with new locations opening at a brisk pace, we really enjoyed our visit and will return soon.

They have a wide variety of different choices. You can select your choices of meat, seafood, vegetables and what you’ll get is a culinary creation that will make you feel like you’re down in New Orleans, and the service is exceptional here too.
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Dexter's Lake Mary


Colonial Town Park
1145 Townpark Ave.
Suite 1201
Lake Mary, FL 32746
407-805-3090
View Website Here

Founded by Dexter Richardson and John Hoffmeister, Dexter's is a local and established contemporary restaurant where you can enjoy great food and live entertainment.

The executive chef of the Lake Mary location, Rich Kutza, has mastered creating and preparing dishes that are not only fresh, but locally sourced. Guests can enjoy the wine from the unique, extensive collection by the glass or bottle or choose one of the crafted cocktails from the full bar. Dexter's is known for excellent food and service including an award winning Sunday brunch with bottomless mimosas.

From a simple build-your-own sandwich to a carefully prepared entree, everything is made fresh. Choose from the main menu or from the daily cafe menu that features seasonal ingredients. The cafe menu and wine lists change so often that you'll always find something new and different to enjoy.

Originally there was four separate Dexter’s locations, all headed up by the same group, but they have in fact been sold and split up between as many as three buyers.

Scott Joseph, the acclaimed original Orlando food critic was first with the information, stating that “Greg Peters, the founder of Graffiti Junktion will take over the Thornton Park and Winter Park Locations”.

“Jeff Hofmeister who was an original partner with Dexter Richardson and Adrian Mann in all four locations has sold the Lake Mary location to Hospitality Investment Partners, and ownership of the Windermere location has gone to Tom and Holly Ziupsnys, who also own a restaurant called Dulcetto in Championsgate”.


We started with an Appetizer of Fried Calamari, which ended up being very disappointing, because the calamari itself was very tender and not chewy at all, but it lacked breading and seasoning, and it was a shame really.


The cocktails we had were very good, on the left is a traditional Old Fashioned made with With My Crew Blended Scotch Whiskey, and a Holland Mule made with Nolets Gin...but a Mule not in a Mule Copper Cup is no Bueno!

We did enjoy the Dex-Mex Chicken Egg Rolls that feature Blackened chicken, fire-roasted corn salsa, black beans, sweet onions, peppers and pepper jack cheese all rolled in a crispy Won-ton and served with an avocado ranch dipping sauce.


Kutza's Dockside Catch with Blackened Mahi, Key West tartar, lettuce, tomato, and onion ring on a butter toasted Brioche bun, served with Kickin’ Old Bay Chips was really good, but this would have been much better served as a dish and not a sandwich. The bun got very soggy in only a few minutes and crumbled. The Mahi Mahi was delicious but needed to stand on its own and not be on a sandwich bun.


Did someone say Truffle Fries? The housemaid truffle fries at Dexter’s are tossed in a Parmesan scallion coating and were crispy and delicious.

The Spicy Shrimp Provencal is made with pan seared shrimp seasoned with curry, fresh garlic and sweet chili, tossed with Capellini Pasta, tomato chunks and green onions. This can be ordered mild, medium or hot. Of course we got HOT, with a side of extra red pepper and it was pretty darn good.

The Bar at Dexter’s Lake Mary is where all the action is at. This place was packed the whole time we were there, and it was a pretty happening place.

Overall, the food here is hit or miss here, some things can be really good, others, not so much, but they have an avid bar scene that seems to attract all the locals. I remember the famous tortilla pie that put Dexter’s on the map, but it was absent on our menu. 

Dexter’s is open on Monday to Wednesday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, Thursday to Saturday they are open from 11:00 am to 1:30 am, and Sunday they open at 10:30 am for brunch and close at 10:00 pm.

Dexter's Lake Mary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen Presents "Feast of the Seven Fishes" for Christmas Eve


1234 N. Orange Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 543-3474
View Website Here

Taking its inspiration from classic Florida fish camps and offering coastal cuisine in an inland setting, Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen specializes in sustainably sourced seafood from the Sunshine State’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar is a contemporary version of a classic fish camp, serving fresh Florida seafood prepared in a southern style and served in a casual, family friendly environment. With Winter Park being located almost directly between Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, they are in the perfect place to receive daily shipments from the state’s top sustainable seafood purveyors.

The menu is pretty set, but they do have occasional menu additions that explore delicious fish and seafood sustainably sourced from waters further afield, that is served with generous helpings of laid back Southern hospitality.

One such menu addition worth exploring is the return of the second annual Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Monday, December 24th.

The food will be served at a communal table and shared among 50 guests with wine pairings and dessert to finish it off.

The evening begins with a warm reception with a sampling of snacks that include Octopus Ceviche, Baked Clams Casino and Shrimp Mac & Cheese paired with Gratien & Meyer, Rose Champagne, Cremant de Loire, Brut, France.


Baked Clams Casino.

After reception diners will move on to family style sharing platters that start with savory flavors with Whiskey Shrimp and then Seafood Nachos paired with Blue Rock, Baby Blue Blanc, Sonoma Coast, 2017.

Whiskey Shrimp with Wild-Caught Key West Pink Shrimp with Jack Daniels Cream Sauce on Sourdough.

Seafood Nachos topped with Blue Crab & Crawfish over House-Made Wontons.

The Fried portion of the dinner is next with a whole fried Hog Fish and a whole fried genuine American Red Snapper with smothered tomatoes & okra and french fries paired with Bravium, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, 2015.

The whole fried Hog Fish was incredible.

Bravium, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, 2015.

For intermezzo, or a break between everything guests will be served Gulf Oyster Shooters featuring Tito’s Vodka.

After all of the shareable plates are served, each guest will get an individual plate of Cioppino, a pasta dish made with Clams, Shrimp, Scallops, Grouper and Tomato Broth over Linguine. Cioppino is an Italian American Fisherman's Stew. This is paired with Bertani, Valpolicella Ripasso, Veneto, Italy, 2014.

The Cioppino was just phenomenal. The Chef and Kitchen staff said it's all about the broth for this dish to be just right, and it takes perfect execution.

For dessert, Mike’s Famous Carrot Cake and a Seven Layer Chocolate Cake is served with Graham's 20-Year Tawny Port.

I don’t know what Mike puts in his “Famous” Carrot Cake, but it is hands down one of the best carrot cakes I've ever had.

The Seven Layer Chocolate Cake was very good as well. Very rich, moist and delicious.

Tickets are $69 per person (plus tax + gratuity) and can be reserved by calling (407) 543-3474. The Feast begins at 6:30 pm, and is available for the first 50 guests.

In the giving spirit of the holidays, Reel Fish will be donating 10% of all the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner proceeds to the Coastal Conservation Association.
*Menu and wines subject to change based on availability*

Savor a coastal dining experience for the holidays that features comforting, chef-crafted classics with inventive recipes and unique gourmet fish sourced directly from local Southern waters all at a price that is very affordable
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Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato v>
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Grills Lakeside Orlando

4315 N Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 291-8881
View Website Here


We have always been fans of Grills. The Original Location in Port Canaveral is pretty hard to beat, with great seafood, and a view that’s even better. 

The Melbourne location is pretty good also, as it sits right on the river, so we were very excited to hear about a Grills Lakeside in Orlando.

With fifteen years in the charter and commercial fishing business, one of the most commonly asked questions has been: “Where is a good seafood restaurant?” Responding to the question was always difficult and often resulted in “showing off” some backyard grilled fish. The response from even those who said they “don’t like fish” was phenomenal, and the idea for Grills was born.

The finest quality local fish prepared using the healthiest and most delicious process available, marinating and grilling. After years of consideration and experimentation, Grills was built on the water’s edge of Sunrise Marina and opened in 1997.

Although they do serve coconut shrimp that is fried, you will be hard pressed to find anything else on the menu here that is fried. Grills is all about the Blackened or Grilled style of cooking for all of their seafood offerings. Grills serves up wings, steaks, pastas and chicken and steak kabobs as well, for all of you landlubbers out there.

We were very impressed overall with Grills Lakeside Orlando, as they have a great design and setup at this new location, it’s so good, that for a moment we almost thought we were in Port Canaveral. Inside is very spacious and they have a cool bar with an actual airboat hanging from the ceiling.

The outside deck area is also very spacious, with lots of seating and an additional outside bar. I wouldn't be surprised if this location of Grills becomes a hot spot during the spring and summer months with such a great outside setup overlooking Lake Fairview.


A few slices of Garlic and Parmesan Cheese Bread to get our evening started with a side of marinara sauce.

A pair of Grand Hurricanes with Bacardi Rum, Grand Marnier, pineapple juice, orange juice and Grenadine topped off with dark rum. You can get these in regular glasses, or these take home plastic cups like we did.

We really enjoyed the Tsunami Shrimp. These are large crispy fried shrimp drenched in a spicy Asian sauce with wasabi and ginger. Really great flavors, and just as good as the original location.

The grilled fish of the day special was fresh caught Tile fish, which is a very mild fish that is flaky and full of flavor. We opted to have it blackened and served with Tahiti Taters and steamed Island Veggies...all of it was really good.

We were craving some crab legs, so we got a half pound order of Snow Crab Clusters as a side option with the tile fish.

The Coconut Shrimp Dinner with Coconut Sticky Rice and steamed Island Veggies is always a go to dish...so good and tasty.

A newer item on the menu is the Tahitian Tuna Poke with seared tuna served on a bed of coconut sticky rice and topped with a blend of Asian sauces served with a side of seaweed salad.

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Well, the fried cheesecake looked and sounded good, but it was kind of bland and nothing to write home about. I think Grills gets all the dessert stuff pre-made, but I don't ever really go to Grills for desserts.

The size of Grills Seafood Deck Orlando is pretty impressive with high ceilings, plenty of room inside and even more space outside on the Swamp Deck. They have an additional bar out here as well with views of the lake, and plenty more seating that is not covered.

Grills is open from Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm and Friday & Saturday 11 am to 11 pm. They plan on having Lakeside Breakfast in the near future.

We really enjoyed the new edition of Grills, and the food here is just as good as it is in Port Canaveral or Melbourne(I’ve been to both multiple times). They have live music on various nights, and as I said earlier, I predict this place becoming a new hot-spot especially during the spring and summer months.

Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Something Fishy

2107 E Semoran Blvd.
Apopka, FL 32703
(407) 703-4850
View Website Here


Recently, I had an opportunity to check out Apopka’s adored, family-friendly, seafood restaurant called “Something Fishy”.

Something Fishy has been in the Apopka area for over two years now, but I don’t get over to that side of town very often, so they were not on my radar, but that may change.

We really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere here, but the most important thing of this “mom & pop restaurant is just that… It’s about as mom and pop as you can get with a great family running the business and cooking the food, after one visit, you'll feel like family.

Chef and Owner Terence Phillips and his wife of 24 years Patrice Phillips hold down the fort at Something Fishy. Terence fulfilled his lifelong dream of opening Something Fishy, which is as he says “A reflection of the Phillips family gatherings and celebrations”

The 1500 square foot restaurant is a fast-casual concept where you order your food, take a seat, and it is brought out to you, or you can order your food to go as well. Inside there are tables and chairs with influences of South Hampton, Long Island for the decor. It’s not a huge space, but it works for them for right now. On Saturdays, seating may be limited, as lines can be going out the door, so it’s first come first serve here.

Something Fishy specializes in seafood that’s grilled, pan-seared or fried, served in a variety of selections from delicious fish tacos to crab cakes. The evolving menu, crafted by Chef Terence features starters, salads, build your own fishy bowls and classic seafood entrees with a fusion of new age, fresh flavors and innovation served straight from “Chef T’s” kitchen. 


We started our evening off with a selection of fried deliciousness that featured a sampling of fried cauliflower, calamari rings and tentacles and sweet corn hushpuppies. The fried cauliflower is a newer addition to the menu.

The Lump Crab Cake was really good with no fillers and a drizzle of cilantro aioli mayo with a side of Wasabi Slaw. We did a have a sample size portion, so the full order is a bit larger than pictured, but It’s a really good crab cake you can get as meal all by itself.

These Salmon Tacos with black bean and corn salsa and Wasabi slaw were pretty tasty also. I'm not the biggest fan of salmon, unless its raw for sushi or sashimi purposes, but these had a good flavor. You can get your tacos with any fish they offer at Something Fishy also. 

This was a very interesting Fish Sandwich made with Swai..an Asian catfish that is very tasty with a mild flavor. Chef T told me they use Swai for the consistency of the flavor and texture, and after tasting it, I can see why. The batter was perfect also.

These Jumbo Blackened Shrimp have a great flavor and are pretty damn jumbo!

I was really impressed with the Unicorn Fish…It was my first time ever having Unicorn Fish...and yes it's a real thing, and yes it was very good, especially blackened. 

One of the newer concepts to Something Fishy is called “Something Sweet” an in house bakery program, that is still being tweaked, but on our visit we had this lovely and delicious Lemon Cake that was a slice of heaven and a great way to end our visit.

In addition to introducing “Something Sweet”, Something Fishy is also implementing more catering and business lunches To Go programs.

“We could not be more excited to celebrate the second year of Something Fishy,” says Terence and Patrice Phillips. We are beyond grateful for the love, encouragement and support from family and friends and the community who have embraced us in our first year, and we look forward to welcoming even more Central Florida fish lovers into the Something Fishy family this year and for many more years to come.”

Stop by Something Fishy in Apopka and say hello! Terence and Patricia will make you feel like family from the moment you walk in with open arms, and the food is great too.
Something Fishy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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