Looking for a different dining experience in the “convention center area”? Say no more. These 10 spots have garnered enthusiastic reviews, and many are located in Pointe Orlando (watch for addresses starting with “9101 I-Drive”). It might be a good idea to call ahead for hours and reservation info.
Bahama Breeze Island Grille
Try the jerk chicken pasta, baby back ribs or seafood paella. Legendary cocktails include the Bahamas and the Zombie. 8849 I-Drive; (407) 248-2499.
B.B. King’s Blues Club
For great music and food, this is the place. Try the “Famous Lip-Smacking Ribs” or the chicken, seafood or bourbon-glazed rib-eye dinners. This is where the Expo welcome party will be on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 9101 I-Drive, #2230; (407) 370-4550.
Café Tu Tu Tango:
Tastes from around the world, including cajun chicken egg rolls and dynamite shrimp. The bottomless bloody mary bar is a hit. 8625 I-Drive, (407) 248-2222.
Copper Canyon Grill
Local produce, everything made from scratch, healthy fare — this place prides itself on such things. Diners rave about the crab cakes and generous helpings, not to mention the innovative cocktails. 9101 I-Drive, #1220; (407) 363-3933.
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Try Mama Amelia’s Empanadas or Levanta Muerto Seafood Soup (shrimp, scallops, crab, mussels); vast rum bar. 9101 I-Drive, #1004; (407) 226-1600.
Funky Monkey Wine Co.
Steak, seafood, bistro burgers, wines, of course, and more. 9101 I-Drive, #1208; (407) 418-9463.
Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant
Traditional Kyoto cuisine here, including sushi, tempura, sukiyaki, shabu shabu and Japanese-style steaks. You’ll also find dishes with just about any kind of seafood you can think of, including shrimp, squid, octopus, eel, salmon and raw sea urchin; sake galore. 8255 I-Drive, #136; (407) 363-7200.
If the idea of sipping vodkas and exotic drinks in a bar carved out of tons of ice with the thermostat set at a brisk 27 degrees sounds like fun, this is your kind of place. Not to worry — coats and fresh gloves are provided. After literally chilling out here, head over to the venue’s Fire Lounge to warm up and continue partying and dancing to the DJ’s tunes. Icebar cover charge, $20; Fire Lounge, free. 8967 I-Drive; (407) 426-7555.
Oceanaire Seafood Room
Fresh seafood flown in daily from around the world has folks exclaiming over dishes here, such as the scallops, crab legs and cakes, and swordfish steak. Voted one of the best seafood restaurants in the nation by several publications. Check out the oyster bar. 9101 I-Drive, #1002; (407) 363-4801.
Greek cuisine and entertainment, including belly dancers, is de rigueur here. Seafood, lamb chops, Tzatziki and dolmades; 20+ Greek wines and a full liquor bar. 9101 I-Drive, #2240; (407) 351-8660.