Crooked Bayou (50 E. Central Blvd., 407/839-5852, 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Mon.–Fri., noon–2 a.m. Sat., main courses from $8) is actually more of a bar than a restaurant, but the New Orleans–style fare, including po’boys, jambalaya, and gumbo, is consistently impressive; don’t miss their tater tots and fried pickles.
The early ’90s decor and vibe at Dexter’s (808 E. Washington St., 407/648-2777, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun., main courses from $10) makes it feel like the wine bar from an episode of Friends. The menu is anything but stuck in the past, with plenty of inventive Asian-inspired seafood dishes, decadent appetizers like watermelon carpaccio, and steaks and pasta as well as an extensive wine list.
Kres Chophouse (17 W. Church St., 407/447-7950, 11:30 a.m.–midnight Mon.–Fri., 5 p.m.–midnight Sat., main courses from $20) is situated smack-dab among the bars and clubs of Church Street, but the atmosphere here celebrates an entirely different sort of decadence. The Kobe beef, chateaubriand, and lobster tails are served in a sumptuous modern environment, with prices to match.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition