Orlando good eats: Moon Fish on Restaurant Row

Only the Freshest Seafood from the Oceans of Planet Earth!
Only the Freshest Seafood from the Oceans of Planet Earth!

Mmmm... delicious seafood.

The setting: I headed out the other night to the area in Orlando with the most upscale restaurants per square foot: Sandlake Road, AKA Restaurant Row. Located just off Universal property, this strip of road is infamous for its great food. And Moon Fish is definitely included.

Owned by the conglomerate Talk of the Town, Moon Fish doesn't fail to be, well, the talk of the town. Swanky and hip without being snooty, this is exactly the atmosphere that works for a restaurant. The seating is comfortable, the music is trendy in that semi-trancy kind of way, and I literally felt like I was transported to a far away vacation spot while I was dining.

Exterior of Moon Fish

Happy Hour: One great highlight is the happy hour here. Monday through Saturday, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, you can enjoy half-priced sushi and yummy drink specials. When a friend invited me out to partake in the jolly hour, I was a bit hesitant, because this deal is only good in the bar and lounge. And when we arrived, the bar was full. But the huge lounge? With the comfy booths? Near empty. We enjoyed a half price Volcano Roll and a few glasses of $6 Conundrum wine. The sushi was fantastic, savory and rich and a great way to get our appetites going for a full meal. The brand of wine is one of my favorites, made from five major grape varietals -- sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, muscat, viognier and semillon -- each produced with a different vinicultural (wine making) technique.

The Food: While the full menu included many local seafood options, I went with my favorite: the Chilean sea bass. And this is where the fun begins. I love restaurants where you get to pick your protein...and then pick your cooking method. I went for the Citrus and Oak Grilled. And it was delicious with the buttery sea bass. The dish came with sesame green beans and fantastic scallion mashed potatoes. We also ordered two side dishes: creamed spinach and oak grilled asparagus. While the asparagus was tasty and perfectly cooked, the creamed spinach really stole the side dish show. Not too creamy and full of mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, this is officially my favorite creamed spinach ever -- even better than my own.

I'd highly recommend Moon Fish for a nice, leisurely meal. It's not too far from the downtown metro area, and if you're visiting Orlando, it's only a hop, skip and a jump from the International Drive area and hotels like the Rosen Plaza Hotel.

– Kate Higgins of Kate’s Kitchen

[[Photos courtesy of Kate Higgins]]

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