“Review” of Graeme McDowell’s Nona Blue Tavern

Nona Blue Tavern in Orlando.

Nona Blue Tavern in Orlando.

I am not a restaurant reviewer. I enjoy good food and I’m a decent cook. However, I am not a reviewer of food aside from “I like this because…/I do not like that because…” But I’ll take a shot at this. Maybe some readers are planning a trip to Orlando (many people do) for golf or family vacation.

In March, Nona Blue Tavern opened in the Lake Nona area of Orlando. Lake Nona Golf and Country Club is the Orlando home to several professional golfers and, along with Isleworth Country Club, was one of the original competing teams in the Tavistock Cup.

Among the membership roster at Lake Nona are Ian Poulter, Annika Sorenstam, Justin Rose, Peter Hanson, Yani Tseng and Graeme McDowell, among several others. Several months ago McDowell announced construction of a new restaurant in the area named Nona Blue, after Lake Nona’s club color.

The tavern opened in March, the same week as the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Not surprisingly, it was difficult to get a table. There were some complaints about service issues (expected at a brand new restaurant) but no issues with the food.

Earlier this week, I met some friends who were flying out of Orlando for lunch at Nona Blue. The Lake Nona area is about 10 minutes east of Orlando International Airport. Nona Blue is a great option for a meal and a drink nearby the airport. There are also several quality golf courses near Nona Blue as well.

The menu is diverse without making one wonder if the kitchen makes so many different things that perhaps they don’t make anything well. Typical American pub fare is available, burgers, ribs, steaks and the like. A great selection of draft beers, wine and cocktails is available as well. You can find the Nona Blue menu here.

My wife and I often like to order different items and split them. We did that at Nona Blue as well. She ordered the “BLT” Grilled Cheese. BLT is not for bacon, lettuce and tomato; rather the L is for lobster. Apple wood smoked bacon, lobster salad, diced tomatoes and Havarti Cheese on Texas Toast. It seems a little decadent, but was worth it. The lobster salad was creamy. but didn’t ooze out of the sandwich. The buttery toast was crisp and bacon makes everything better, right?

I knew what I wanted to order before we were seated. I had heard about the “GMAC and Cheese” during the opening rush. Cold water lobster, apple wood smoked bacon and a blend of cheeses with pasta shells. It is served in the pan it is baked in with that beautiful caramelized cheese on the top. It was fantastic. Be warned, they serve this right out of the broiler, so that cheese is hot. I may or may not have burned the roof of my mouth in my haste to take a bite. Coupled with a Lagunitas IPA this was a great lunch. I’m not a Guinness guy, but GMAC is…

If you come to Orlando (or live here) check out Nona Blue. The interior is large, a capacity of 299 people! The bar in the center of the dining room is massive and the menu has something for everyone. You can watch Graeme McDowell’s tour of Nona Blue, via golf.com

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One response to ““Review” of Graeme McDowell’s Nona Blue Tavern

  1. Pingback: G-Mac Takes The Heritage | DimpleHead·

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