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Islands of Adventure – Lost Continent: Mythos Restaurant

 

The Lost Continent boasts the best restaurant in Universal Orlando’s two theme parks — Mythos, which is among the better restaurants to be found in the theme parks of the world. For those who take a strictly utilitarian approach to food, there are walk-up stands offering a quick and filling bite.

Mythos Restaurant

What: Family friendly fine dining
Where: Opposite Poseidon’s Fury
Price Range: $$ - $$$

This upscale/casual restaurant is the feather in Islands of Adventure's culinary cap. In keeping with the unspeakably ancient theme of the island, it is housed (if that's the right word) in an extinct volcano with water cascading down its weathered slopes. Step inside and you've entered a sea cavern whose sinuous walls have been carved out and smoothed by centuries of surging waves. Eerie yet soothing music tinkles through the air. In the main dining room, the cavern's roof vaults skyward and a large windowed opening gives out onto the lagoon and a spacious outdoor seating area. Subterranean streams run between the handsome seating areas, with seats upholstered in regal purple. The walls take on the shapes of long-vanished gods and their spirit minions. The effect is only a step or two this side of awesome. Decor like this is a hard act to follow, and you find yourself wondering if the food can rise to the level of your heightened expectations.

Not to worry. The cuisine produced under the direction of executive chef Steven Jayson and chef de cuisine Tom Goss offers a wide variety of comfort food with a contemporary twist at surprisingly reasonable prices — and still manages to taste, well, just plain yummy. Repeat visitors may notice some falling off, but if you order wisely Mythos still serves up some of the best food to be had in any theme park. The menu changes regularly, so this description won't be exhaustive but will hopefully whet your appetite.

Soups and Appetizers ($5 to $10) always include the Chef's Signature Pizza of the Day. These are thin-crusted masterpieces that blend traditional cooking methods (there is a spectacular wood-fired pizza oven in clear view of the dining area) and eclectic ingredients that change with the seasons. One appetizer that has proven a perennial is the Tempura Shrimp Sushi, a miniature work of art served with a wasabi and soy drizzle. The soups are nothing short of ambrosial.

Salads ($6 to $14) range from deceptively simple bowls of mixed baby greens to elaborate entree-sized extravaganzas featuring chicken, shrimp, or fish. t.

Entrees ($10 to $20) range from a not so humble cheeseburger with smoked applewood bacon to some very well-executed specialty sandwiches and wraps. The beloved Chicken a la Oscar and Blueberry Pistachio Crusted Pork are gone, but you can almost guarantee that the list of entrees will include Cedar Plank Bay of Fundy Salmon and Bistro Fillet with Truffle Butter, both excellent. The menu always includes a Risotto of the Day (often interesting, but sometimes underdone). Be sure to ask about the "Pastabilities" selection, which changes regularly and allows the chef to show off a bit.

You can add a small soup or salad to an entrée for $3. There is a kids' menu ($6 to $11) featuring simple dishes for the less sophisticated gourmet. After one of these terrific meals, desserts are generally a let down. Fortunately, there is the Warm Chocolate Banana Gooey Cake ($5.25), which is spectacular and probably the only dessert worth ordering. The others are "mini-desserts" ($1.75 each) served in skinny shot glasses; they are the same ones served at Finnegan's and Lombard's in USF and are merely so-so.

The restaurant features an intelligent and reasonably priced wine list of American varietals along with some imports ($24 to $65). Many are available by the glass; feel free to ask for guidance. For something more potent, try the specialty drink of the month ($5). They also have their own brand of beer.

The restaurant seats 180 with an additional 50 seats outdoors, many of them sheltered by the overhanging volcano. Try for an outdoor seat if open on a balmy night. Reservations are taken at (407) 224-4012 or via OpenTable.com, but try the restaurant's direct line at (407) 224-4534 to feel like a regular. Mythos is only open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., although hours are extended during busy periods (Spring Break, mid-July through August, and the Christmas season). .

Note: See Good Things To Know About. . . Dining Passes, above, for information on how to dine at Mythos without paying for park admission.

And after you’ve finished dining, it’s just a short stroll to either the Incredible Hulk or the Dragon Challenge roller coasters. This could be the best meal you’ll ever lose!

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Universal Orlando 2011

 

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