They have a website in case you havent seen it. I can't offer a recommendation as I have not eaten here. I was very interested in eating here in December but with so many choices I just didnt get around to it! Next time for sure The Latin Quarter
What: Nuevo Latino cuisine
Where: Next to Jimmy BuffettÃ¢ÂÂs
Price Range: $$ - $$$$
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (kitchen closes earlier)
This ambitious restaurant/nightclub salutes one of the newer ethnic groups to get stirred into the cultural menudo that is the United States Ã¢ÂÂ the natives of the 21 Spanish-speaking nations that lie south of the border. It does this most notably through its Ã¢ÂÂNuevo LatinoÃ¢ÂÂ (or Ã¢ÂÂnew LatinÃ¢ÂÂ) cuisine. If youÃ¢ÂÂre thinking of Tex-Mex cliches with their heavy leaden sauces, think again. The Nuevo Latino style draws its inspiration from traditional recipes but reinterprets them in very modern fashion, placing the emphasis on simple fresh ingredients expertly prepared. It also exults in flamboyant presentations that make this food as fun to look at as it is to eat.
The large, two-level space with its arching blue walls creates the illusion of a sultry tropical night in the ruins of an ancient city. The first-floor stage is flanked by two massive Aztec gods and backed by what surely must be the Andes. Upstairs, a balcony seating area looks down on the spacious dance floor in front of the stage.
The food here is very good indeed, making the Latin Quarter second only to EmerilÃ¢ÂÂs (below) in CityWalkÃ¢ÂÂs gourmet food sweepstakes. It is an excellent choice for a big, blowout meal. Just make sure to pack a hearty appetite.
The menu is huge and varied and filled with unfamiliar terms like Ã¢ÂÂboniatoÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂgarlic mojo.Ã¢ÂÂ Fortunately, thereÃ¢ÂÂs a glossary to explain it all. Among the appetizers ($6 to $14), the crab meat layered with fried plantain strips is a real winner. The pork tamal on a bed of black bean puree is also quite tasty. The salads ($7.50 to $13) are also delicious and make an excellent lunch choice. Try the chicken breast or the grilled Chilean salmon over greens.
The desserts ($5 to $6) include a sort of key lime pie minus the crust, served amusingly in a large martini glass. But the real winner is the Crepas Rellenas, two crepes filled with a vanilla cream, bathed in a dark rum sauce, garnished with strawberries and banana slices and set off by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. ItÃ¢ÂÂs worth visiting the Latin Quarter just to luxuriate in this splendiferous creation.
Portions are generous and the flavors intense. A standard three-course meal will have you groaning in distended pleasure. Plan accordingly. A full meal, without drinks, can easily top $40. Prices are slightly higher at dinner. To ease the strain on the family pocketbook, a kidsÃ¢ÂÂ menu featuring $6 meals is also offered. The Latin Quarter adds a 17% gratuity to all checks.
Drinkers have their choice of a lengthy menu of specialty drinks that salute each of the 21 Latin American countries in turn. Mixed drink enthusiasts could do worse than set a goal to sample them all. For the less adventuresome, beer is also served and it makes an excellent accompaniment to most of the dishes served. A small wine list is offered.
In the evening, tables are cleared from the dance floor and the focus turns from food to entertainment, with an emphasis on dancing and audience involvement. If youÃ¢ÂÂd like to delve a little deeper into Latin culture, check to see if the Latin Quarter is offering dancing lessons during your visit. This is a great opportunity to learn to mambo, tango, cha-cha or merengue. These Ã¢ÂÂhappy hourÃ¢ÂÂ sessions usually take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and are free. Also offered from time to time are cooking demonstrations.
The musical menu is almost as extensive as the dinner menu. Typically, they kick things off with a solo horn player. Then the Latin Quarter Dance Troupe takes the stage with a tightly choreographed (and oh so sexy) floor show. The musical mix includes a 13-piece orchestra playing dance music from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Even if you are too shy to try out the steps you learned during happy hour, youÃ¢ÂÂll have fun watching those who grew up with these dance steps strutting their stuff, for the music quickly fills the dance floor. You also may catch a mariachi quintet or strolling duos and trios that work the tables and take requests. Just one word of warning: the sound level can be painful, but that seems to be the current fashion in el Mundo Latino.
The entertainment usually starts around 8:30 p.m. The cover varies from $3 to $10 depending on the scheduled entertainment and the day of the week. The Latin Quarter even has its own web site. YouÃ¢ÂÂll find it at www.thelatinquarter.com..
Author of "Universal Studios Escape: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure" and
"The Other Orlando: What To Do When You've Done Disney & Universal"Ã¢ÂÂ¡
Thank you for posting the review. I was able to make reservation and I'm quite excited about going. My husband has been longing for Brazilian food for a long time. Hopefully he'll find something to his liking. He is already eyeing the Paella like dish.
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