The pasta purveyors at Naples Italian Restaurant hand-toss a cheesy menu of comestible comforts. Fill cheek pockets with an order of stuffed mushrooms, overindulged mouthfuls of cream cheese, bacon, and scallions, topped with mozzarella cheese, and baked into a bubbly golden dish that can be devoured on-site, or saved and bartered for magic beans ($6.50). Accompanied by a beer-battered tilapia fillet, the Tuscan seafood linguine brims with sautéed shrimp, onions, and fresh tomatoes in a lobster cream sauce ($15), and pork osso buco––braised in herbs and wine––drunkenly slumbers adjacent to piles of vegetables and roasted garlic mashed potatoes ($18.99). Naples Italian Restaurant also serves a sumptuous selection of pizzas such as the white pizza, with ricotta, mozzarella, broccoli, spinach, and fresh tomatoes ($11.75–$15), or the Vesuvio pizza, topped with slowly flowing channels of mozzarella and fresh tomato ($11–$13.50). Once stuffed with the saucy sustenance, wind down the rich repast with the restaurant's selection of house red or white wines, available by the glass ($4), half- or full-carafe ($7.50, $15), or vase.
Upbeat melodies pour from live musicians in the dining room, fostering a festive atmosphere filled with authentic Mexican fare and cool drinks. Chefs plate a variety of flavorful pork, chicken, beef, and seafood entrees, and pride themselves on their fajitas, which sizzle tender strips of meat with sautéed onions, green peppers, and gold stars from food critics. Of Ay Jalisco's eight central Florida locations, five boast full bars that pour salt-laced margaritas alongside a selection of Mexican and American beers.
Originally branded as the Top Hat Drive-In, Sonic Drive In didn’t acquire its nationally recognized name until 1959—six years after its inception in 1953. Today, the franchise operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic Drive In specializes in made-to-order American classics, including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic Drive In’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: best value menu, best milk shake, and best drive-thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
At Casa Mia Café, a 35-year veteran chef whips up a menu of traditional dishes from the northern and southern regions of Italy. Golden fried calamari ($10.50), garlic and rosemary focaccia bread ($8), and other starters prime palates before hearty authentic entrees. In the penne boscaiola, penne pasta, mushrooms, and prosciutto bask in a pink vodka sauce ($13.50), and the linguini scampi employs a white wine sauce to loosen the tongues of identity-confused tiger shrimp, who recline on a therapeutic couch of linguini and talk about their feelings ($18.50). A selection of pizzas, from the individual margherita’s traditional pairing of fresh mozzarella and basil ($12.95) to the ambitious combination of fresh veggies, mozzarella, and kitchen sink piled atop the quattro stagioni ($13.95 for an individual-sized pizza, $18.95 for a large) delight dough-disk aficionados. Guests can finish by wrapping weary taste buds in the homemade salve of raspberry-drizzled custard with panna cotta ($5.50).
The chefs at Al’s Top Shelf, which was voted Best Restaurant View in Lake County by Orlando Sentinel, whip up a menu of upscale steak and seafood. As eyes feast on breathtaking views of Lake Dora, incisors nosh on an 8-ounce filet mignon ($27) or the 20-ounce porterhouse ($30) blanketed in your choice of fixings including béarnaise sauce, blue-cheese crumbles, spinach, or goat cheese ($3 each). The stuffed flounder, which is packed with shrimp and crab, lazily backstrokes in a light lemon-cream sauce ($17). On Friday nights, live jazz music hypnotizes tightly clenched jaw muscles with a swell of soothing rhythms, tricking maws into opening wide for a relaxation elixir such as the Blue Razz-Berry Bliss martini, Bonterra cabernet sauvignon ($10/glass), or a pint of cough syrup.