ROBERTO GONZALEZ, ORLANDO SENTINEL
August 13, 1998
Where: 7559 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando
The lowdown: Authentic, Italian-inspired dishes prepared with fresh ingredients and presented with pride and professionalism. Each Antonio's has its own executive chef and all the food is prepared at the moment. Comparisons are inevitable but chances are slim that each chef would prepare the dish the same way as the others. Service is first-rate.
The background: Gregory Gentile continues to amaze and delight the diners of Central Florida. Years ago he took an abandoned Bonanza Sirloin Pit steakhouse in Maitland and added a second floor so he could have a deli/market/wineshop/trattoria in one place. And while naysayers tittered and betting pools took odds against his success, Gentile opened Antonio's La Fiamma. It was, of course, a big hit. And it still is. In 1997, Gentile opened Cafe d'Antonio in the community of Celebration. It was only a silhouette of the original, a more casual experience overall, but the food was every bit as good. He added a Sand Lake Road location in 2002. Like Antonio's La Fiamma in Maitland, the dining room here is on the second level and offers a more upscale culinary experience than other Italian restaurants.
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