It's no wonder Vines gives equal weight to "Grille" and "Wine Bar" in its name. The Restaurant Row anchor is hugely popular for its top-quality meats and fresh-caught seafood; a meal could begin with grilled octopus or oysters Rockefeller before transitioning to a cut of Prime filet. But the wine list is at least as impressive, a catalogue of 600-plus bottles from around the world that's been recognized with a Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence. After dinner on any given night, guests can linger over a fine cigar or a gentlemanly mouthful of chewing gold as they listen to live jazz music from the likes of Tonya Phillips Staples and Barbara Walker.
Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
The DeLand Stockyard is renowned for its steaks, which earned the “Best Steakhouse” vote from Hometown News readers in 2012 and a Best of the West award from The Daytona Beach News-Journal in 2010, 2012, and 2013, as well as for its history. The restaurant’s structure was built in the 1920s, and its rich wood paneling and stately décor, replete with black and white photos and mounted portraits on the wall, reflects this storied history. Atop dark wood tables, the wait staff sets down steakhouse staples, from juicy burgers and grilled seafood to the hefty porterhouse, which weighs in at 24 ounces of char-grilled goodness.
Since 1948, grills have kissed aged steaks from Chicago and Kansas City with open flames to take center stage on Gene's Steak House's menu bolstered with select classics dishes and fine wines. Cuts of beef range from 6-ounce petite filet mignons to 28-ounce porterhouse-steak behemoths, each carved from corn-fed, immaculately aged meat. Diners can relive fishing trips or nightmares about aquariums with plates of char-grilled stuffed grouper, lobster tails, and salmon. A list of over 200 fine wines from around the world lends bouquets to balance every smoky flavor, highlighting steaks with French red bordeaux and complementing seafood with German white varietals.
There are no easy decisions once you slide into a booth at Ormond Steakhouse. What should I get as an appetizer? What should I get as an entree? What nickname should I choose for the server? All of these things rush through a diner's mind as they open the menu and scan over its assortment of wood-fired steaks, chicken, and seafood.
Meals kick off with the likes of fall-off-the-bone rib tips and homemade kettle chips topped in melted blue cheese. Then, servers bring plates of market fresh fish, center-cut pork chops, and USDA choice steaks such as a Texas top sirloin in peppercorn sauce. Most of the entree selections do have a couple of things in common: chefs grill them over wood-powered flames, and they go perfectly with sides such as cinnamon apples. Beer, wine, and specialty cocktails?such as a pomegranate margarita?put the final note to this culinary symphony.
Dale Del Bello remembers everything about his first hibachi experience. While stationed in Korea as a part of the Air Force National Guard, Dale and a group of friends visited Tokyo on leave. They followed a traditional route among his fellow service people, which took him to a hibachi restaurant. Immediately he sensed that he’d stumbled upon more than just dinner. The chefs’ showmanship fascinated him as they seared meats and vegetables on their tabletop grills, allowing guests to sample forkfuls directly off the 600-degree surface. After returning to Buffalo, New York, in 1971, Dale opened his first Arigato location, attempting to recreate what made that dining experience so remarkable. Since then, he has distilled the authentic experience into something that families can enjoy without traveling abroad, establishing Arigato restaurants throughout New York and Florida and staffing them with more than 60 chefs from Japan.
Surrounded by 8–10 diners, these chefs act not only as the restaurant’s culinary creators, but also as showmen and magicians of sorts, dexterously slicing ingredients, flipping shrimp tails into their hats, and conjuring soy sauce out of thin air. Away from the flaming tabletops, meanwhile, bartenders make use of their own skill sets as they mix specialty cocktails, which occasionally use splashes of plum wine or sake to imbue familiar-sounding drinks with new dimension.