Cuisine: American, Eclectic, European, Italian
Romantic Dining: We can't deny that grand hotels, with their opulence and elegance and servers wearing ties, can be romantic. But we're also fans of small neighborhood joints where live music and an oft-convivial vibe can make a pair on a date feel simultaneously a part of something, yet wonderfully invisible amid the good-natured revelry. Maxine's is a cozy, lively place that may inspire a couple to move in for close talking over a bottle of wine and a bowl of buttery, garlicky drunken mussels (just make sure you both have it!). Regular "Parlour Nights" with live jazz (and classical, Latin and classic rock) piano and a twinkly-lit patio don't hurt, either.
Brunch: One of the beauties of brunch is that it's something of a "Vulcan Meal Meld," giving foodies the option of cobbling together goodies they love for breakfast with fare they generally eat at lunch or dinner. Maxine's is no different, offering seasonal salads and seafood in the same breath as decadent, creative omelets, Benedicts and waffles. Though Maxine's on Shine is a delightful place for date night cocktails and dinner and live music, it retains its cozy, eclectic, neighborhood vibe â" not to mention gracious hosts and staff --- in broad daylight, as well. That's why they call their brunch a "Rejucination." And if you're booked on Sunday, pop in for brunch on Saturday instead!
Thornton Park Area's Best Restaurants: It's eclectic, it's romantic, it's musical, it's fun, it's "neighborhood-y." Maxine's is lots of things, not the lease of which is a good restaurant that kinda feels like it's in the middle of a good friend's house. Just a couple of blocks outside Thornton Park proper, Maxine's on Shine actually does sit in the middle of a largely residential area, which adds to its appeal. Twinkly lights, outdoor tables, nights filled with live music are the side dishes to entrees such as fish tacos, skillet lasagna and a hearty brisket burger. Check them out for Sunday brunch, too. Festive and delish!
337 North Shine Avenue
Orlando, FL 32803
Romantic Dining: "Are you a couple whose preferred romantic outings include a pooch? Maxine's patio is dog-friendly."
Best for Romantic Dining Because: Fancy-schmancy isn't the only game in town for romance. Maxine's offers up a friendly, quirky, local version you might want to try out.
Brunch: "Lovers of the brunch-time Bloody will want to sample their spicy take, which comes not merely with a beer floater and bacon, but a smoked shrimp-and-olive skewer. Viva la decadence!"
Thornton Park Area's Best Restaurants: "Maxine's patio is pooch-friendly. Bring Rover if you're so inclined!"
Best for Brunch Because: Vibe, location, food: Maxine's has it all and gives considerable due to brunch's wonderful tradition of day drinking. Belly up!
Best for Thornton Park Area's Best Restaurants Because: Quirky and quaint with good food and and a festive vibe, Maxine's is an easy, worth it walk-to from Thornton Park.