The Waterfront opened about five months ago on Lake Jennie Jewel in the space that was previously Julie’s Waterfront. I drove past Julie’s Waterfront many times and never had the opportunity to visit, so I was very excited to check out the new digs!
My first experience was for a friend’s birthday dinner and the food, views and service were incredible. I had an outrageously fresh and delicious BLT Avocado Salad topped with Seared Tuna (that I still crave and enjoy on the regular.)
I was eager to go back and ecstatic when I was invited to attend The Waterfront’s Blogger Dinner the following week! The blogger event took place back in August, but I have been so incredibly busy I haven’t had a chance to share my experience until now.
But I’ve been back twice since the blogger event, too, and both experiences were equally as wonderful!
Coincidentally the executive chef, Matt Wall, is an old friend of mine from back in the day when we worked together at Citrus Restaurant. He then opened North Quarter Tavern (another favorite restaurant) and is now continue to create awesome dishes, all made from scratch, at The Waterfront.
We started our wonderful evening with the “Florida Crush,” an orange vodka based cocktail, the House Pimento Dip and Hot Wings.
I especially loved the Pimento Dip, topped with salsa and jalapeños!
We sat down at communal tables and I met some wonderful influencers in the food and blogger community here in Orlando.
While we got to know each other, we enjoyed the refreshing “Jennie Jewel” cocktail, aptly named since The Waterfront’s back patio opens up to Lake Jennie Jewel paired with two more starters – Crab Cake Sliders and Tuna Poke Salad.
The Waterfront team was absolutely great in providing alternatives and modified dishes that were gluten-free. I could not enjoy the Crab Cake Sliders, but they looked wonderful. Instead they brought me a small plate of my favorite salad, the Avocado BLT. ?
The Tuna Poke Salad is gluten-free and is delicious!
The “first” main course was a duo of the Waterfront Burger and the French Dip sandwich, paired with the “Dixie Bell,” made with Jim Beam, mint, cucumber and lime. Incredibly refreshing and a great mix of flavors.
The burger (minus the bun) was outstanding. I can’t wait to go back and order it again. I also sampled the French Dip (sans bun) which was good, but probably better when you can get the full experience as a “dippable” sandwich.
The “second” main course was a trio of Pan Roasted Catfish, Steak Frites and a Fried Chicken Thigh. I couldn’t eat the chicken thigh, but the catfish was surprisingly tasty. I had no idea I liked catfish!
And the Steak Frites, while a sample portion, was incredibly decadent, coated in fresh blue cheese and served with crispy french fries. Definitely something I would order again.
Dessert was sadly not gluten-free, but looked incredible. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and Bread Pudding.
Even though I couldn’t eat the two featured desserts, the team brought me a delicious bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with house-made apple butter! YUM! We enjoyed our final course with a taste of the “Margaret” cocktail, also bourbon based but definitely a dessert-tasting drink, with butterscotch and cocoa flavors.
Overall, the meal, drinks, service, ambiance and company were perfect. The Waterfront is in such a great location, with beautiful views of the lake and fantastic lakeside patio seating. They even throw adult swim parties on the weekends and a killer brunch. ?
This has quickly become one of our new favorite digs!
Thank you again to The Waterfront team for sharing such a special evening with us. Cheers!