Lazy days. Lazy hot days. Lazy, hot, humid days. The Orlando summer and perpetual motion machine that is life’s grindstone has had us topsy turvy of late and dragging on our Best Bites. We’re back and you know the drill; Every month, Orlando Eats highlights a sampling of top tastes in Central Florida; three random nibbles that delighted, surprised, or befuddled with their brilliance. In July we enjoyed what are surely two of the better fish dishes in the City of Orlando and a belly-smiler of a pasta dish at a Winter Park staple. And now, for your gentle consideration, we present our Best Bites at Orlando restaurants in June 2019.
Whole Striped Bass @ Taste of Chengdu ~ $49 Market Price
This was easily one of our best bites of July if not 2019 to date. It also wasn’t a striped bass. It was two striped bass. Absolutely melt in your mouth delicious with a heady broth buoyed by the piquancy and perfume of fresh green Sichuan peppercorn, the less encountered cousin of dried Sichuan red peppercorn (hua jiao) – this was just a rock star of a dish.
Taste of Chengdu
2030 W Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32804
Bacalhau com Batata à Murro @ Bem Bom ~ $30 Market Price
Strange to encounter two world beaters in the same month. This 12-ounce cod special at Audubon Park’s Bem Bom is one of the better fish dishes we’ve had in Central Florida. Topped with peppers, onions, and garlic it’s the straightforward type of plate typically only found on the Iberian. Important to note that it’s incomplete without the wonderful Portuguese bread served alongside for soaking up its bath of fruity olive oil.
For our entire review of Bem Bom, click here.
3101 Corrine Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
Squid Ink Mafaldine @ Prato ~ $9/$17
We have a complicated relationship with @pratowp – sometimes we wonder how we could ever live without it. At others? We just want to kick it in the ass and off its laurels. Regardless of where we are in the cycle, Prato always manages to sweet talk us back in the sack with a clever menu wrinkle or standout bite. For instance, its well executed exercise in subtlety and intro to something new; mafaldine or ruffled ribbon pasta.
Made with squid ink, it texturally (and visually) reminded us of wood ear mushroom. Although not on the same level as our two other Best Bites of July, when paired with shelled PEI mussels, blistered tomatoes and other groovy whatnots, and washed down with a wonderful white tempranillo, it had us sincerely wondering why we’re not at Prato more often. Pro tip – ask for a spoon.