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Resort Hotels: Peabody Orlando - Dux

 

What: Award-winning gourmet cuisine
Where: Off the lobby on the ground floor
Price Range: $$$$+
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Reservations: Strongly suggested; (407) 345-4550

Fine dining served in a self-consciously luxurious setting is getting harder to find in touristy Orlando, but it is alive and well at Dux. This is the Peabody’s top of the line restaurant and perhaps the best in Orlando; the AAA has seen fit to award it the prestigious four-diamond rating year after year. Jackets and tie are no longer de rigeur, but you will want to dress up.

Perhaps the best way to experience Dux is to opt for the Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings, which will set you back something north of $100 a head. A vegetarian version of the Tasting Menu is slightly less and foregoing the wine brings the tab down considerably. This is a three- or four-course extravaganza featuring a selection of two from the appetizer portion of the menu, your choice of an entree, and an over the top dessert creation.

You can save a bit of money, but not much, by ordering a la carte. The menu changes to match the best the seasons have to offer, so predictions are somewhat iffy. Appetizers can range from delicate soups and salads to Maine lobster pasta, and cost from $12 to over $20. Entrees might include such delicacies as black grouper cheeks or Kobe beef rib eye at prices that can flirt with $50. Interestingly, prices are more moderate during the summer months, which is a slow period for the convention trade and the big expense accounts that accompany it.

The wine list is shorter than you might expect at such a high-end restaurant, which for many of us will prove a blessing. The selections seem very well thought out as well. Yes, you can spend several hundred dollars for a so-called “super Tuscan” wine, but some moderately priced bottles offer good value for the price. A glassed-in, temperature controlled wine cellar sits between Dux and the adjacent Capriccio Grill. You can pop in and browse the selection if you wish.

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