Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month

It's September and in Orlando that means it is Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month. For those of you who don't know, Magical Dining Month is a month-long program where participating restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinners at the exceptional value of $33 per person. One dollar from each meal sold will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Florida. (That's straight from their website) Bottom line, it's a chance to eat at typically more expensive restaurants at a cheaper price! I first learned about MDM two years ago, at that time it was only $30/per person/per meal and G and I went to Charley's Steakhouse. This year we decided to go to Ocean Prime. I had only eaten here once before and it was for a work function and the food was amazingly good. I've been dying to go back but at around $50/meal (assuming you get a soup or salad or appetizer and a meal) it's pretty pricey to go for just any reason. Ironically, the MDM menu for Ocean Prime had the same items on it that I had at my work luncheon (plus additional choices) which is probably why I picked this place over the other restaurants on the list. 

Off the MDM prix fixe menu, I chose: 

  • Ocean Prime House Salad (Romaine, Spinach, Granny Smith Apples, Goat Cheese, Walnuts, Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette)  

This salad was absolutely delish! It was perfectly dressed and all the flavors of the ingredients mixed so well together. I ate every last bite of it!
  • 6oz Filet Mignon with Creamy whipped potatoes, cabernet jus 
    • Regular menu Price: $30 (estimated since the menu doesn't have a 6oz filet and the sides are al la carte - I estimated the per oz value based on the 8oz filet and assumed a side of potatoes would feed approximately 3 people) 

I ordered my filet medium, as I do whenever I get steak/filet. When I took my first bite, I thought it was a little more on the medium rare side, which would have been OK for me. Then I cut into the filet a little more, and in my opinion I thought it was closer to rare than medium-rare. Now, I'm not a steak connoisseur or anything, and don't eat at these fancier type restaurants often so when I summoned the waiter back over he asked if it wasn't cooked enough for me, and I said no, and he said he forgot to mention this was "traditional steakhouse" medium. I never knew there was a difference. Needless to say, I sent it back, cooked a little more, and it was great the 2nd time around. The potatoes were nice and creamy and the cabernet jus that was atop the steak just made them taste even better!

Not much to say about this, other than ahhhmazing! So yummy!

So for $33 I received an approximate $50 meal! Score! 

Now G on the other hand didn't order off the MDM menu. He doesn't eat soup or salad (and neither of us ever order dessert, but since it came with the deal, I of course got it!) so it doesn't really make sense for him to order off the menu unless the main course is more expensive then $33. He said he wasn't in the mood for steak tonight so he ordered the Teriyaki Salmon with Shiitake Sticky Rice, Soy Butter Sauce. He said it was great! I'm not a huge Salmon fan, but I did try it and it did have a good flavor. Oh yea, and they had some of the best table bread I've ever had! G and I polished off the entire loaf!

On Saturday Night, we went to Kobe's Steakhouse and I had forgotten they too were participating in MDM so when I saw the sign I had to check it out. We go to Kobe's kind of regularly (if you like hibachi/teppanyaki Japanese food, Kobe's is the place to go). Both of our phones had died so I don't have any pictures (and didn't know I was going to blog about it either, so did't plan accordingly)

Off the MDM prix fixe menu, I chose: 

  • Shrimp Appetizer (Jumbo shrimp & mushrooms skillfully prepared by your chef at the Teppanyaki table)
    • Regular Menu Price: $8
  • Land and Sea Entree (Experience the best of both worlds with our 4 oz. filet mignon served with garlic red potatoes & lobster tail accompanied with sauteed mushrooms)
    • Regular Menu Price: $37
  • Fried Ice Cream (well I actually chose the Japanese Chocolate Cake, but they had ran out -- and it looked SO delicious so I was semi disappointed until I tried the Fried Ice Cream - wow it was ahhhmazing!) 
    • Regular Menu Price: $5.95 (not 100% sure on this, but I'm sure it's around $6)
I normally just get the steak and shrimp combo with shrimp appetizer if it's on the summer special for $1.99 (which it currently is not), which would normally come to around $23-$25 (can't remember the exact price). So for $33 I received an approximate $50 meal! At Kobe's your meal also comes with clear onion soup, garden salad with ginger dressing, fried rices and noddles! And as always, Kobe's NEVER disappoints  The food is always plentiful (clearly, look how much you get) and yummy!! 

We normally only do one MDM meal, it was only by chance we did 2 as we would have dined at Kobe's regardless. Can't wait until next September, maybe we'll try a place neither one of us have been before! I obviously TOTALLY blew my diet over the last few days but so worth it! ahhhhmazing is also my word of the week apparently. I've been saying it over and over lol

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