If you’re like me, nothing satisfies the hunger like a good brunch, and last weekend, I had the opportunity to try the new Sunday Brunch at Highball & Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes.
The brunch only runs from noon to 2pm, so we arrived just as they were opening the buffet area. Taking a quick spin around the room, I saw a nice selection of breakfast dishes, salads, cheeses, carved meats, savory dishes, and more.
I opted to start with a made-to-order omelette with two cheeses, tomatoes, onions, and a pepper mixture. It’s hard to mess up an omelette, and mine was cooked perfectly with no runny areas, and the cheeses fully melted.
While I was waiting for my omelette, I noticed a small table with thinly sliced prosciutto, salami, and rosemary ham. A small pile of the prosciutto went on the plate immediately, though I did try all three.
The second round, I went for the savory counter, and tried the sour cream mashed potatoes, the breakfast potatoes, the Pecan Smoked Bacon, and a Southern version of a Benedict featuring a poached egg on a buttered biscuit half, topped with a sausage gravy. Those last two were stand-outs of the buffet.
I liked the Pecan Smoked Bacon so much, I added it to my third plate, to which I added some sliced fruit (melons and berries), and a selection of cheeses (the buffet had bite sized servings of everything from cheddar and gouda to bleu cheese and spiced goat cheese). I eyed the carving station with its Prime Rib and whole fish, but I honestly didn’t think I could eat that much more. It smelled really good, though.
My last trip (after sitting for a few minutes) was to a table laden with scrumptious looking mini-bite desserts. I finally settled on four dishes: a mini-eclair with marshmallow cube and printed chocolate square, on a bed of chocolate ganache; NY cheesecake topped with half a macaroon on a bed of raspberry sauce; a mini-apple pie with whipped cream and crumble topping; and a light & fluffy tiramisu topped with yellow printed chocolate strips.
They were all good, but the NY cheesecake and the tiramisu were divine. Seriously. If I’d had more room in my stomach, I would’ve gone back for seconds.
I’m told that the brunch selections do change a bit from week to week. This is due to the restaurant sourcing fresh ingredients, many from the on-site Whisper Creek Farm. There are quite a few options for vegetarians, too, along with a raw bar featuring oysters and shrimp.
Bottomless mimosas are included with the brunch, but I found myself drinking the Peach Iced Tea more. It wasn’t too sweet and had a crisp taste that countered the savory food nicely. They also have three Bloody Mary selections, but those are an additional $8 each (and I’m not a BM fan so I didn’t try them).
What added to the enjoyment of the Sunday Brunch was a live acoustic duo providing a musical backdrop, and the decor of the dining room, which was elegant and calming (lots of grays and hardwoods). Service was top notch, too, as one would expect from a Ritz-Carlton. I watched several servers work the room offering drink refills and clearing tables as necessary, but it wasn’t intrusive.
If you’d like to try the Sunday Brunch at Highball & Harvest, it is priced at $58 for adults, and $20 for children aged 12 and under. Valet parking is included (make sure to get your parking stub validated before you leave the restaurant).
Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling 407-393-4422. Get more information on the restaurant by visiting ritzcarlton.com/Orlando.
My bottom-line review is the Sunday Brunch has a great variety of quality fresh food, from savory to sweet. A few of the items (the breakfast potatoes and apple pie) were a bit dry, but that’s probably my personal preference. I’d give the brunch a 9.5 on a scale of 10, and two thumbs up.
Disclaimer: CSO was hosted for purposes of a review. As always, my opinions are my own, and honest.
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