Chatham's Place - Dr. Phillips Boulevard, Orlando - 5 stars
"Absence of plunder - This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, conciliation, and of good sense."- Bastiat
True fine dining, as it originated in the 1940's, is completely a lost art these days. The 10-course meal from days of yore is gone. Tuxedos, Pince Nez, cigarette holders, Spatz, and house boys are a thing of the past. Heck, even the Big Boy wears Jordan slides to dinner no matter the occasion. However, if you want a throwback to an excellent dining experience, Chatham's Place is the Primus Inter Pares.
Chef Tony Lopez is a culinary genius who combines complex flavors and layering to allow a palate-pleasing trip down sustenance lane. -
As Bob Rose tickles the ivory as I ate, plate after plate of amazing dishes were placed in front of me served by white-tuxedoed men. I did not see a single female employee in the place. There is even a Maitre D' to seat you. This place exudes class.
I started off with a Whistle Pig Old Fashioned to drink, masterfully blended by the bartender. The first course was Foie Gras in a Grand Mariner reduction. While the sauce was just a tad sweet for me, the Foie was cooked perfectly. Then they bring fresh-baked bread, which has a unique quality of having feta cheese baked in the center of the bread. This is so packed with fun flavors it's hard to move on to the other courses. The intermezzo is mango and fresh basil, which is so tart and fresh that your palate is cleansed for the main course. For the main course, I ordered the Tomahawk steak, a bone-in ribeye, with spinach and asparagus for my sides. The steak comes in a white truffle oil and porcini mushroom demi-glacé. What is really exciting is the steak looks ready to cut; however, the chef has hand cut your meat into bite-sized morsels of delectable ecstasy. The spinach was sautéed to perfection, rich and creamy, and the asparagus was grilled to the perfect crunch. Outstanding is all I can say - just outstanding all-around. My server, Louis, went out of his way to make this one of the best meals I have ever had.
If you go here and try to tell me this is not great food or one of the best culinary experiences you have ever had, you will be hung at high noon in front of a Jersey Mike's. Chatham's Place is fantastic. Without reservation, the Big Boy strongly recommends this restaurant as the epitome of fine dining.