*** (3 stars)

I have to admit I don’t really get Norman’s food. I’ve been to a couple of special events here that I liked quite well, including a Paul Bocuse dinner that was superb. But it was Paul Bocuse’s food, for the most part, that made it so. The restaurant’s normal menu doesn’t do it for me. It always seems to me as if there is one too many spices in each dish, that somehow muddle the flavors. It leaves me yearning for something a bit simpler, where the quality of the natural ingredients is allowed to shine through.

Service is pleasant, although I’ve run into more than one server who was clueless about wine. One server had never heard of the expression “corkage charge,” which is a bit amazing for a restaurant of this caliber.

The room is pretty, although it can be noisy. If you’re staying at the resort, it’s probably worth trying. It’s certainly better than the dozens of steakhouse alternatives that surround it in the tourist area. But when I visit the Ritz I eat at The Vineyard, which has a better wine list and a subtler touch with the food.

4012 Central Florida Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32837
(407) 393-4333