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Orlando Magical Dining Month: Circa

by Meghann on September 11, 2010

September is Magical Dining Month in Orlando.

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Orlando Magical Dining Month is a yearly event where participating restaurants around the Orlando area feature three-course, prix fixe dinners for $30. The beauty of it is that it makes restaurants I wouldn’t normally dine at more affordable. Three courses for $30? Doesn’t sound bad to me.

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Derek and I decided to take advantage of the $30 pre fixe menu by dining at Circa for dinner tonight.

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Circa is an upscale restaurant off of Park Ave I’ve been meaning to try. It’s is usually out of my price range, but the Magical Dining Month seemed like the perfect excuse to try it out.

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We bother started with a glass of cab that was a little sub-par in my opinion.

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Hot bread

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with a seasoned olive oil dip

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When I first participated in Magical Dining Month two years ago (FLASHBACK) at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop the portions for each of the three courses were smaller than what was typically served on their main menu. I assumed this was how it worked for every magical dining spot, but apparently that is not the case.

You can imagine my surprise when a full serving of the Asian Endive Pear Salad was placed in front of me.

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The salad was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the fried pieces of cheese that sort of melted in your mouth on the side.

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For the main entree I selected the Roasted Lemon Zest Chicken.

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10 points for presentation. πŸ˜‰

The chicken was moist and well seasoned. I particularly enjoyed the bites with the lemon zest and pico de gallo. I was surprised how chilled the cous cous was, it was an interesting contrast to the hot chicken and asparagus.

Derek had the New York Strip and I stole a bite. It was quite good too.

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For dessert Derek ordered the Chocolate Molten Cake (wish I had too)

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And I had the Upside Down Pineapple Cake

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I was a little disappointed here. The cake had way too much pineapple on top and I ended up scraping most of it off. The over done carmelized pineapple reminded me too much of a holiday honey ham. At least the ice cream was good. πŸ™‚

All in all I would say it was a fun experience and the Magical Dining Menu was a great deal. I would love to try and explore some more restaurants while the deal is still happening, maybe I can talk my Dad in to taking a little trip to Orlando for one? πŸ˜‰

1 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) September 11, 2010 at 10:08 pm

We have something like that here called restaurant week (you might have that too). You look beautiful in those photos…even the funny face ones. Have a great night, Meghann!
Allie (Live Laugh Eat) recently posted..Checkin’ Outta Rehab

2 melissa September 11, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Good pick! The salad looks great!
melissa recently posted..What to do in NYC early fall edition

3 Matt September 11, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Great meal πŸ™‚

15 miles tomorrow?
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4 Raya @ Raya Runs September 11, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Ahh, how did I not know about this?!!? I must go to at least one of those restaurants. Stat.
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5 Kristina @ spabettie September 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

yum, this all looks delicious (but I agree, I am not a fan of pineapple cake).

we have a restaurant week here, but I don’t think we’ve ever tried it? πŸ™‚
Kristina @ spabettie recently posted..Nine Years

6 Sana September 11, 2010 at 10:46 pm

We have something like that here in D.C/ Bmore. I just never have anyone to go with! I am the only college kid that appreciates fine dining!
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7 Adriane September 11, 2010 at 11:13 pm

The cheese on that salad looks superb! I also love that they served Israeli couscous. So good!
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8 Ash Bear September 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm

When are you going to learn that really you want chocolate for dessert and not these fruit tart/cobbler things when you’re at a restaurant:) Flashback to last week missy? πŸ™‚
Ash Bear recently posted..An Evening With the Couch

9 Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels September 12, 2010 at 12:06 am

Wow what a great deal and the food looks delicious. Mmm I want some of that cheese on the salad. I love the pictures of you making faces! πŸ™‚

10 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat September 12, 2010 at 12:29 am

What an amazing deal! Minneapolis needs to do something like that, since we have many, many restaurants that are out of my price range that I’d like to try.

Love the pictures of you being silly with the camera!
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11 Reenie September 12, 2010 at 1:08 am

It looks good…but was that all to Derek’s steak….it seems very small :O

12 Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 12, 2010 at 2:58 am

What an awesome promotion – I’ve never seen anything like that over here.
The molten cake looks soo delicious πŸ™‚
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13 Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) September 12, 2010 at 5:22 am

Ooh yummy! It looks like you had a good night out. What an awesome promotion and how fun to try somewhere new.

14 Jen September 12, 2010 at 6:35 am

That is so cool that restaurants will do that, I wonder if any do that up where I am….hmmm.
The salad and your chicken dish look so good, bummer about your dessert πŸ™

Jen
http://jenslosinit.blogspot.com/
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15 Biz September 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

The portions are very generous!! When my husband and I do pre-fix dinners, its usually not enough food for him and we have to stop at Burger King on the way home!
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16 Krystina September 12, 2010 at 9:18 am

This makes me miss Orlando so much. πŸ™
Krystina recently posted..Desserts for Moi- Garam Masala Brown Rice Pudding

17 Halley (Blunder Construction) September 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

Yea, you really look fab in these pics! These Restaurant-week type deals are great for going to upscale places that I’d normally never try out. I did hear that many of the restaurants load up on sub-standard quality ingredients for these events, unfortunately. Or, as you mentioned, they serve smaller portions. But it looks like you chose a place that didn’t cut back much this time!

18 Elizabeth September 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

That salad looks awesome! I love those dining weeks/months. Fort Lauderdale Dine Out month starts October 1st and I can’t wait! Perfect timing to celebrate the 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend.
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19 Faith @ lovelyascharged September 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I’m loving the new layout!

That’s an awesome deal for a three course meal. I may end up driving in to Orlando for a night if they keep that up for a little bit!
Faith @ lovelyascharged recently posted..Eat your greens like the Browns

20 DaFoodie September 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I see we both agree on the presentation!

Here were my photos:

http://blog.dafoodie.com/post/1088100945/circa-restaurant-358-north-park-avenue-winter

Is it ok if I add your chicken dish and credit you in the watermark?

21 Meghann September 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

No problem! πŸ™‚

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