Slip on your boat shoes, Orlando. Grab a polo and your Sperry washed oxford shorts while you’re at it. But make sure you drop a napkin in your lap, because the saucy-barked pork on the LakeHouse’s slow-smoked baby back ribs may well fall off the bone on the way to your face.
Wood finishes, stone surfaces and metals complement the LakeHouse's ample natural light — Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress’ new restaurant may not be your own private lake house, but – whether you pop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner – it sort of feels that way, even when it’s bustling. Soaring ceilings and clean, modern décor, including tones of orange and rustic wood textures, are warm and welcoming – as are the stellar views of Lake Windsong.
Fuel the day: the LakeHouse Benedict — Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
“We wanted to make the restaurant feel like you’re in our home,” says Connor Michael Francis, assistant food and beverage manager of the new eatery, the product of a $2.8 million makeover. It replaces what was previously known as Cascades American Bistro.
“This is our lake house…. Each day, we want to make sure you’re feeling as comfortable with the menu as you are in your day, enjoying your time at the resort.”
Francis touts the sunset views over the resort’s own lake as a particularly appealing reason to pop in. Its craft cocktail menu – with some playful, Florida-centric drink names (the Plant City Smash, the Tri-Rail) – is another.
Those less enthused by leaded libations may enjoy the venue’s signature sun tea. In fact, the LakeHouse herb garden serves as a walk-through sanctuary (there’s actually a new patio where guests can sit for a spell) that showcases some of what you might be seeing on your plate come meal time. It’s also where that aforementioned tea brews to perfection.
The HRGC Roll features sliced mango; the LakeHouse roll pairs tuna with melted cheese — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Order the house pizza, for example, and you’ll see it laden with a variety of basil from the garden, which can be viewed from the inside, as well, in climate-controlled comfort. “The herbs are hand-picked by our chefs and used as much as they can be in our dishes,” says Francis.
Succulent ribs are served with sweet potato fries and grapefruit fennel slaw — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
The menu here is seasonal and oft Florida-inspired. “Food thoughtfully sourced, carefully served” is the Hyatt's F&B philosophy and it is always in effect, ergo local sourcing is always the first choice.
Beneath citrus-buttery sea bass lies spiced kale and lemongrass orzo — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
“Whatever we can get local, we do,” Francis says, adding that while change is afoot for the March menu, some hot sellers – the sea bass, ribs, rack of lamb – will be sticking around while others get a small reboot. “The filet will stay on the menu, for example, but perhaps with a different sauce.”
The sushi selections, he notes, are always popular, and very soon will have a new home as a seafood bar sets to open within the restaurant.
“It will be open for dinner only,” he explains, “and will also include delicious raw bar items for guests to enjoy – crab and oysters will be out and iced and very inviting to see.”
Hearth-oven baked: sticky toffee fig & date bread pudding — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Desserts, too, have their role and some even share space with the pizza inside the venue’s impressive hearth oven. They are decadent, however. Plan accordingly and save room – or better yet, plan on sharing with your dining companions.