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Resort Hotels: Renaissance Orlando - Tradewinds


What: Casual American food
Where: Off the lobby on the ground floor
Price Range: $$ - $$$$
Hours: Daily, 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Reservations: Not required, but strongly suggested; extension 2770

This is the resort’s most formal dining venue, but it stops well short of the “fine dining” cliches. “Ordinary food done extraordinarily well” is the way they like to put it, and by and large they deliver. There are no exotic preparations or over the top presentations and there is an emphasis on organic ingredients. The typical entree consists of a few main ingredients straightforwardly presented on a long rectangular plate. The menu is divided into Small, Medium, and Large Plates.

TThe Small Plates are starters, soups, and salads and include such standards as shrimp toast, onion soup, Caesar salads, and a tomato mozzarella platter with heirloom tomatoes. There are just a few Medium Plates, which are dinner alternatives like burgers and sandwiches. The bulk of the menu consists of the Large Plates.

These entrees are well divided among meat, poultry, and seafood items, with all the beef coming from the organic Harris Ranch in California. There is Florida grouper, and seared yellow tail snapper along with churrasco skirt steak, baby back ribs and a pasta selection. In short, something for everyone. Desserts have their own menu, presented at meal’s end. Like the entrees, they are familiar choices done with a certain flair.

The wine list is mercifully short and, if you are picking up the tab, mercifully moderate in price, with most bottles in the $28 to $35 range. The choices are overwhelmingly from California and from familiar mid-market vineyards, with only the occasional interloper from Australia or Italy.

Like the food, the decor is modestly understated — nice enough to be special, yet casual enough to be not in the least intimidating. The entrance decoration suggests a Caribbean beach hideaway.

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