Celebrating 35 Years as an Orlando Restaurant Icon
With so many high-end dining establishments in Orlando, it’s incredibly easy to be at a loss for choices when it comes to knowing where to go. This is especially true along Sand Lake Road’s renowned stretch of upscale restaurants lovingly referred to as “Restaurant Row.” From incredible steakhouses to seafood eateries, patrons are guaranteed to find the city’s finest fare at any one of the top-rated restaurants they pop into. However, for the visitors and locals who are craving exceptional Italian cuisine, there’s only one restaurant they need to worry about making reservations for. Since its inception in 1984, the family-owned and operated Christini’s Ristorante Italiano has boasted an upscale dining experience of award-winning, mouth-watering Italian dishes. This year, Christini’s is celebrating the extraordinary milestone of 35 years in business. A feat that wouldn’t have been possible without their unwavering commitment and dedication to serving up the best of the best in authentic Italian fare.
This summer, the momentous anniversary was accompanied with the hiring of new Executive Chef Jason Gonsalves. Working in tandem with famed restaurateur and Christini’s founder Chris Christini, Chef Gonsalves presents a fresh, seasonal menu blending the tastes of high-quality Mediterranean cuisine with the traditional, upscale gastronomic experience for which Christini’s has earned accolades and celebrity patronage since its inception. Chef Gonsalves brings a penchant for fresh ingredients and carefully crafted cuisine to the Christini’s table. I was absolutely delighted to have the pleasure of meeting both Chef Gonsalves and Chris Christini in person while tasting a variety of classic Christini’s favorites and some of the new menu additions. Alongside signature favorites like the Christini’s Veal Chop and the Chilean Sea Bass served over Shrimp Risotto, the new menu also features seasonally-inspired dishes from Prince Edward Island Mussels and Crab Salad topped with Mango to Smoked Salmon accented with Nova Scotian Caviar and a classic Grand Marnier Soufflé for dessert.
My entire dining experience at Christini’s was nothing short of a delight as outstanding service, hand-crafted cocktails, exquisite appetizers and delectable menu options all came together in spectacular fashion throughout the evening. Learning about the restaurant’s history and Mr. Christini’s vision for the future from the legendary icon himself was absolutely inspiring and the soothing tunes of a strolling accordion player provided the perfect ambience to partake in the elegant evening. The night capped off with Christini’s timeless tradition of handing out a stunning long-stemmed red rose to every female patron… a simple reminder of an exquisite experience that I took home and proudly displayed in my favorite vase. It was a beautiful night filled with rich, authentic Italian cuisine that continues to put Christini’s name up there with the best Italian restaurants in Dr. Phillips, Orlando, and beyond.
Christini’s Ristorante Italiano
7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd.Orlando, FL 32819