Our Critics' Picks

Cleo on Third +

Courtesy Cleo on Third


  • Sun.-Thu., 5:30-10 p.m. (bar until mid.); Fri.-Sat., 5:30-11 p.m. (bar until 1 a.m.); brunch, Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; social hour, 3-5:30 p.m.
  • Vegetarian Friendly, Local Ingredients
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Full bar

There's a lot of Mediterranean going on in town right now, a logical trend for California and its wealth of fresh ingredients. The new Cleo on Third in the old Churchill space inside the Orlando Hotel has a seemingly endless supply of shared plates, including shwarma and Mediterranean mezze. The flatbreads here are arguably the best in town — try the mushroom with caramelized onions and truffle as well as the popular potato with arugula. Executive chef Danny Elmaleh's cross-cultural background touches every dish, including the green falafel with a different twist of beet-pickled fennel, and a stellar crispy artichoke hummus. The duck matzo ball soup is pure comfort. The restaurant's vibe is warm, with mosaics dotting the walls, and it's a perfect spot to people-watch and share a sticky toffee pudding dessert, made with Medjool dates, butterscotch and a walnut tuile and vanilla bean ice cream. —Michele Stueven

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