In Its Prime
Everyone knew Timpano’s was gone. But what was taking its place?! The stand-alone restaurant had one of the most ideal locations on Restaurant Row in Dr. Phillips, with excellent visibility from busy Sand Lake Road. Not that I was a huge Timpano’s lover and super sad to see it go, but I was incredibly curious about what would be taking its place.
Oh my goodness Eddie V’s Prime Seafood! A huge fan of the Orlando-based Darden restaurant group, as soon as this gem opened it topped my “new places to eat in Orlando” list, thereby earning a decently high spot on my Things to Do in Orlando list.
Jessica and I compared dates in our Erin Condren Life Planners, selected an evening, and made a reservation online through the ridiculously easy OpenTable.com.
Parking in Plaza Venezia sucks. Hands-down, totally sucks, there’s nothing fun about it. Luckily, Eddie V’s has complimentary valet. Which, of course, isn’t really complimentary because you should please tip, but still, beats walking half a mile in heels from the Barnes & Noble parking lot, which is probably where you’ll find the closest available spot.
Like I said, you’re walking in heels. I debated what to wear, but eventually went with a not-too-dressy dress and heels, and I’m so glad I did. Eddie V’s is definitely fine dining, and — just being honest — you probably don’t want to wear jeans and/or a T-shirt and/or sandals and/or you get the picture. Everyone is dressed fairly nice, with numerous tables appearing to be business dinners or convention attendees, and of course lots of couples.
The interior is gorgeous. Very open and specious, but with seating designed such that almost every table has at least one booth side, and pretty much everyone gets a great view of the dining room. Except our table of course, so Jess and I had to sit on the same side, which I think always looks awkward when it’s just two people, but come on, no one wanted to give up the phenomenal people watching!
Our server Stella was great. She was incredibly knowledgeable and gave great suggestions as she walked us through the menu. She was very attentive, even though she was obviously busy with a 10 top. Meanwhile, I think at least three other employees touched our table and checked on us, with drinks constantly being refilled and dirty dishes being cleaned away. Even the manager came over just to say hello. And no one there had any idea who we were or that I would be writing about my experience, so I truly believe the service there is always just that amazing.
We ordered a little of everything — a few appetizers, steak, a couple sides, a glass of wine and dessert, which, OK, you caught me, was another glass of wine. The food was excellent, with the pot stickers and crab fried rice receiving the highest marks. Fabulous. My filet was good, and cooked a perfect medium-rare.
Our food was delicious! Especially those pot stickers (bottom right).
The table next to us ordered various seafood entrees, and I noticed they all loved their food, as well. (By “noticed,” I mean I 100% eavesdropped while they commented on their food.) They also had some pretty delicious-looking martinis.
Overall, dinner was a wonderful experience, and I would without a doubt go back. The outdoor patio was incredible, and I’m hoping next time I visit it’s warm enough to eat out there. (Figures, right?! The night we want to have an elegant meal overlooking the lake it’s about 36 degrees.)
After dinner, we visited the V Lounge, aka the very nice bar. Earlier, the tables in the restaurant were mostly empty, but the bar was absolutely packed. After dinner, the restaurant was fairly full and the bar was still ridiculously packed. Of course we needed to see what all the fuss was about.
Again, the service from the bartenders was incredibly impressive. I had one last dessert (glass of red wine) while we enjoyed the live music and social atmosphere of the lounge. It’s definitely a perfect fit for Restaurant Row. If you’re lucky enough to find a chair or table, snag it, because I promise it won’t be available long. Even on a random Wednesday night at 9 p.m.
If you enjoy fine dining, I highly recommend Eddie V’s, even if just for the service. And then of course the food is also very good. Oh, and the bathrooms! Watch that space between the mirror and basin for the sink. It’s completely open and looking into another bathroom. Eek! Don’t peek. ;)