Known as the founding father of New World cuisine, chef Norman Van Aken — a member of The Daily Meal Council — is acclaimed for his fusion of Latin, Caribbean, and Asian flavors using traditional European techniques. At Norman’s in the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, guests can eat in the opulent dining room or on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace that overlooks the hotel’s lake, 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course, and lush gardens. (Norman’s was ranked No. 37 on The Daily Meal’s list of the Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World.) The menu changes according to availability of seasonal ingredients, with dishes such as yucca-stuffed crispy shrimp with sour orange mojo, habanero tartar salsa, and Nicaraguan slaw; fried green tomatoes with queso fresco and escabeche-spiced mayo; maple-glazed Kurobuta pork belly with preserved artichoke, celeriac purée, and sherry reduction; and Havana banana split with rum-flamed bananas, macadamia nut brittle, and vanilla bean ice cream.
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Restaurants, April 1, 2015