Tavistock Restaurant’s first Central Florida location is now open in Lake Nona!
When Lake Nona’s land was purchased by Joe Lewis, founder and owner of Tavistock Group, he is reported to have laid out a map and say, “this map is going to be the canvas on which we paint Lake Nona.” Decades later, that statement has become the inspiring story behind the name of Tavistock Restaurant’s first Central Florida location: Canvas Restaurant & Market. Located at the Laureate Park Village Center in Lake Nona, the dinner-only restaurant features exquisite, innovative American cuisine built around fresh Florida seafood. At the time of my visit, Canvas had only been opened for 24 short days. With this knowledge in mind, I would’ve been pleasantly surprised to see a couple dozen diners eating at the brand new establishment, but that wasn’t to be the case. On a quiet Wednesday evening, my sister and I were astonished to see a restaurant packed with individuals that had all come together for the shared experience of dining at Canvas. Diverse groups of families, friends and singles were seated throughout the busy restaurant, adding an exciting buzz of vibrant energy and life into the already welcoming atmosphere. To physically see Canvas blow up seemingly overnight in one of the fastest growing communities in America was truly remarkable.
“The Right Recipe”
Orlando Style Magazine
“The reception has been amazing from Laureate Park and Lake Nona as a whole. We’ve got some people who are on their 13th visit already and we’ve only been open for 24 days.” -Aaron Ferg, Assistant GM
That kind of positive reception doesn’t happen on its own and it certainly doesn’t come without plenty of hard work. It takes an entire kitchen of talented cooks, a driven team of managers and an exceptional staff of dedicated servers. For us, that exceptional server came in the form of Daniel Hobson. As our server for the evening, Mr. Hobson was the living embodiment of all that you would hope for in a server at any dining establishment. Most importantly, his talents in top quality service were equally reflected in that of the entire Canvas Restaurant Team.
“I have regulars three to four times a week. I want guests to go home and still be thinking about how amazing the food was…I want them to try something that they wouldn’t find anywhere else…I want them to tell their friends about it and be excited about what we have to offer here. The biggest thing for me is just to get them to come back and have them dine here again.” -Daniel Hobson, Server
The menu at Canvas, which is strongly influenced by Florida’s Southern and Latin American roots, seeks to give guests ultimate flexibility in their dining experience with everything from large sharable appetizers to hearty entrees. Canvas’ stunning presentation of the food is equally impressive with Executive Chef Bryan Thoman’s brilliant use of vibrant colors that pop right off the plates and taste just as savory as they look. Both of us enjoyed tantalizing appetizers of calamari fries and corn Johnny Cakes that I know I will be raving about until the day I return to try them again. For the main course, I was blissfully taken away with the wood-oven roasted whole fish while she indulged in excellent pan-roasted Meyer lemon scallops. Other menu highlights included fried shrimp and oyster po boy, house-cured snapper ceviche, braised short ribs served with house-made ricotta cheese and staff favorite, the cured pork shank with collard greens, which takes three days to prepare.
“My hands down favorite is the pork shank. It falls off the bone with tons of flavor. It’s an amazing dish! I love it!” -Aaron Ferg, Assistant General Manager
“The collard greens is actually a recipe from a line cook that used to work for me. He taught me how to make them and his grandmother has been making them for years. It’s literally three ingredients and they come out amazing. It means something to me too…on top of the pork shank being so complicated, the collard greens are so simple and that’s why I think they’re a beautiful marriage.” -Bryan Thoman, Executive Chef
Complementing the Canvas menu is the restaurant’s stunning interior and inviting decor. Floor-to-ceiling windows and waterfront dining provide guests with a welcoming space and gorgeous patio views of the setting sun. An open kitchen means you can watch the cooks in action and even interact with them as they prepare those mouth-watering meals. At the popular bar, Canvas bartenders craft a range of specialty cocktails integrating more than 50 of the world’s most innovative liquors and liqueurs. Canvas also features an adjacent market open daily for breakfast and lunch and a store where guests can peruse a hand-selected collection of housewares, books and local goods.
“I feel like Central Florida is starting to make strides in the food scene. I hope when people walk away they feel like Canvas is also making that imprint. First of all, we want to be the best restaurant in Laureate Park. Then we want to be the best restaurant in Lake Nona. Then we want to compete and be one of the best, if not the best in Orlando” -Executive Chef Thoman
Climbing to the top in Orlando is no easy feat, but with the quality of service and exceptional dining experience they offer, I believe that Canvas Restaurant & Market can proudly say that they got the “right recipe.”
Canvas Restaurant and Market
13615 Sachs Avenue
Orlando, FL 32827