For nearly three decades, Scott Joseph has covered Orlando’s dining scene as the restaurant critic for the Orlando Sentinel and now behind the popular food blog, scottjosephorlando.com. In the ‘90s, he was the one to coin Sand Lake Road “Restaurant Row,” which is known nationally today as a dining destination. Scott has reviewed literally thousands of restaurants in Orlando, and we guess has popped a few Tums as well. we are not a wine-producing region. Back in 2009, New York City got its fourth master sommelier. My response to that said ‘congratulations you just got caught up with Orlando.’ We already had four in 2008.
This is something that’s been happening over the last couple of decades worldwide in major cities. The hotel restaurant used to be very utilitarian, for people who didn’t want to venture out of the hotel for breakfast, lunch and dinner and who didn’t have the resources to find anything else. People started becoming more aware of their food. If they were meeting clients, they wanted a nicer atmosphere, to impress them with a better bottle of wine. Hotel restaurants have stepped up their game. We see that on International Drive. A lot of the best restaurants there are in the hotels. Definitely the chef’s table at [Disney's] Victoria & Albert’s because I don’t think there’s any place more special than that. It’s not a dinner for the faint of heart. You get there around 6 and you don’t leave until 10:30. It’s a marathon.