Tony Roma’s Fire Grill & Lounge Review
We stopped in at Tony Roma’s restaurant on my way home from the airport a few weeks ago. We haven’t eaten at Tony’s in a long time, but we ate there often when Tony’s had a location near the University of Central Florida. My husband was jonesing for Tony’s smoked beef ribs (a Texan thing), and I needed a heavy cocktail (or two) after two long weeks of travel in the snowy northeast. I despise traveling north in the winter. The weather was enjoyable in Orlando, but it was bitter cold in Virginia. After taking a short cut through another restaurant parking lot that didn’t work out as planned (we were hoping that the restaurants were all accessible by way of one entrance—silly us), we finally made it to Tony’s. I noticed that the sign above the entrance was different almost right away. I didn’t give it much thought until we walked in.
Tony’s has a new look: It’s sleek, modern, and welcoming. The server told us that the restaurant was renovated late last year and it reopened in December. The solid brick entrance to the kitchen adds to the restaurant’s warm ambiance. Water is served in clear glass jugs, reminding me of vintage milk jugs. Some of the sides and desserts are served in cast iron skillets, adding to the comfortable feel . The rest of the decor is a perfect combination of wood and brick. The lounge is inviting, and I imagine it’s a great hangout for the business crowd, including those, who like me, often find themselves the weary and exhausted traveler. Tony Roma’s is reinvented. The grill is one of a kind, igniting a new legend.
New Look, New Menu
There’s a new menu and a new bar, too. Tony’s offers snacks and table shares for starters. We started with the complimentary smoked almonds and freshly baked bread. We enjoyed a box of the deep-fried onion rings, served with Tony Roma’s Original™ BBQ Sauce and a horseradish aioli—washed down with a Strawberry Harvest Cocktail (organic American Harvest vodka, muddled strawberries, and fresh lime). Yes, I had two cocktails. I had to recover from the flight home and the chaotic Orlando International Airport. So I told the server.
Tony’s new side dishes are large enough to be shared. We had a hard time deciding between the roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and pine nuts and the smoked asparagus with pearl onions and artichoke hearts. They also offer baked mac and cheese and roasted creamed corn. We shared the smoked asparagus. It was delish.
All of the entrees were tempting, including the pork shank and the steaks, but I finally settled on one of Tony’s classic dishes: a half rack of original smoked baby back ribs with apple cider slaw and matchstick potatoes (a combo of white and sweet potatoes). The ribs were delicious and the matchstick potatoes were tasty. I didn’t care for the apple cider slaw, but I managed to eat most of it. My husband was hoping to dive into a plate of smoked beef ribs and was sorely disappointed when the server told him that the ribs were no longer available. They do offer a smoked beef short rib, but a real Texan would never eat such a thing. While he pouted, I licked the BBQ sauce off my fingers and asked for the dessert menu and a cup of coffee.
The dessert menu is downright sinful. I ordered the seasonal berry cobbler, but I was torn between the chocolate mayhem and the red velvet cake. Maybe it was the ricotta cheesecake and the pretzel bread pudding. The cobbler was large enough to share, but I didn’t.
Tony’s offers a lunch, dinner, and kids menu along with happy hour specials and a wonderful selection of bourbon. Prices are more than reasonable considering the quality of the fresh ingredients—harvested on farms here in Florida—and the size of each serving.
Tony Roma’s serves American cuisine.
Tony’s opens for lunch and closes late. Hours are 11:00 am to 11:00 pm Monday – Thursday; 11:00 am to midnight Friday and Saturday; and, noon to 9 pm on Sunday. You can make reservations online through OpenTable.
Tony Roma’s Fire Grill & Lounge is located near the Orlando International Airport. Add Tony’s to your GPS address book:Tony Roma’s Fire Grill & Lounge 7015 S. Semoran Blvd. Orlando, FL 32822 Tel: 407-857-7244 Fax: 407-855-7488