Out and About: Lunch at Lotus in Downtown Orlando – An Fusion-influenced Seafood and Steak Menu
[Ed. note: Carol, our family reporter, dined with me at Lotus, so she could try all the dishes my allergies prevented me from trying. Here is her experience at the restaurant. You can read my review of Lotus here.]
I was invited to experience this new restaurant in Orlando with Michelle, called Lotus. Now that both kids are in school, I accepted this invitation with great anticipation for an adult experience in food. I must admit that, as a parent of 2 small children, my pallet has become more accustomed to McDonalds and Chick-fil-A than I would like to admit. So this opportunity to sample the fare at an upscale restaurant had me excited.
Six courses were offered. We began with Lotus Chips with a Green Curry dipping sauce. The chips were a thick cut chip, fried and seasoned. The sauce had a subtle flavor of green curry and shrimp with a bit of a kick. It was not too spicy and had good flavor.
Our first course was a pork belly taco with a Harissa aioli. This made me happy! And yes, that is what I said to anyone who asked. Four of these and I would be a happy woman.
Course number two was a Goat Cheese Agnolotti with a Porcini mushroom volute. This was lovely. It had a good earthy flavor that was not over powering. There was depth to the flavors that was good to experience for a change. Sometimes I forget what really good food is supposed to taste like. Lotus has reintroduced my taste buds to flavors other that the typical kid fare.
The third course was a Ruby Red Shrimp pouch with Spicy Strawberry jam. The presentation of this was beautiful. I hated to cut into it. Alas, I found it was a bit challenging to eat as it is similar to a wonton, but it was yummy. I know, A simple word, but it fits this item fabulously. The pouch filling was shrimp with diced kimchee apples that gave it a nice flavor and texture. The jam had a nice spice to it that complimented the shrimp well. I enjoyed this sampling. The kimchee apple did resemble mango so I asked if it was. I was happy to hear that it was not mango as my husband is allergic to them, so this is a dish he could enjoy, as well.
Course four was a Seared Scallop with Coconut Infused Purple Rice and Carrot Foam. I found this dish to be a bit disappointing. The rice was interesting and I liked the coconut flavor, which was light, but it was chewy and tough as though it was undercooked. However, I think it is just that species of rice. The scallop was cooked to perfection and was complimented nicely with the carrot foam. I did enjoy the scallop but did not like the rice. I believe that it may be a personal preference on the rice, and this just is not my preference.
The fifth course was a grilled skirt steak with a truffle chimichurri. The steak was cooked to a medium, which is my personal preference, and presented on a bed of French fries for today’s tasting. The steak had a good garlic flavor and I did enjoy this. It reminds me of the traditional Colombian Churrosco in flavor.
Unfortunately, the sixth and final course, dessert, was one we had to take to go as I needed to get the kids from school.
Lotus is an upscale restaurant without being pretentious. The atmosphere is simple and clean. I think it would be a great place for “date night” for parents, but it would not be good for kids. It is small, so I would recommend reservations if they accept them. The service was fabulous and my glass of water with lemon never ran dry. I was driving so I did not sample any of their many cocktails.
They have a farm to table philosophy and you can taste it in all of their dishes. Everything tastes fresh. It is clear to me that the chef, Luis J Negron, does care about the product he puts out. My friend has a seafood and mushroom allergies and they staff was very accomodating for her with advanced notice. I find this refreshing in any establishment. I did enjoy lunch today and I thank the Lotus team for a great experience.
[In case you missed it: Read the rest of our Lotus coverage here, with more photos.]