Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Fifth: Orlando's brunch with style, a review

Blindfolded and unveiled inside Orlando's new high-style urban restaurant/lounge, The Fifth, you might think you were at a trendy Manhattan lounge, or maybe a bar at the top of some new resort hotel in Vegas. Maybe London. Maybe LA. You might never believe you were on Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. The place is gorgeous.

An under lit onyx bar is the standout design feature, it's just beautiful. Stonework lines the walls, and above is a fleur de lief motif, lit from above. Purple crocodile hides cover the benches and plush, velvet curtains hang about. Wait! Did I just see Kim Kardashian come in the door? No, shoot, wasn't her, but I'm sure she'd feel right at home here.

Yes, the decor is hip. In fact, just about everything seems hip here. From the 20-somethings milling about, to the bottle list, to the wait staff and bartenders, to the music, to the bathrooms even. There's just a hip vibe everywhere. But there's also a comfortable vibe as well. I didn't sense any pretension from the staff or the patrons. Everyone at The Fifth was friendly and welcoming - something you might not find at that lounge in Manhattan or that sky bar in Vegas. I gotta say I really like hip, yet comfortable.

And the menu could only be described the same way - hip, yet comfortable. For a Sunday Brunch, The Fifth's menu offered up Corn Beef Hash, Chicken N Waffles, French Toast, Scotch Egg, Grilled Cheese and Shrimp N Grits. Where else in Orlando are you going to find that? How hip is that? How comfortable is that?

We started with the Grand Marnier French Toast ($12) and Apple Cinnamon Sausage ($4). Served as a loaf, and made up of a eclectic collection of breads including French baguette, brioche and croissants along with cinnamon, bites of apples and topped with an orange marscapone whipped cream, it was a masterpiece. Recent Le Cordon Bleu graduate, and upcoming Chef Dean Holland, explained that he collects heels and unused bread throughout the week to use for the dish on Sundays. I like French toast - who doesn't - but this was one of the best I've ever enjoyed. You can't miss this delight breakfast fans.

Next up my guest and I sampled the Crab Eggs Benedict ($14). I like Eggs Benedict sometimes when I'm feeling a little down in the dumps. It's about as calorie-rich, filling and comforting as a breakfast dish gets. But served with a crispy, perfectly fried lump crab cake this old-school dish went from ironic to incredible.

Finally, full, yet still needing a little hip comfort, we decided to try the eponymous V Grilled Cheese ($10). Pleasantly surprised so far, we wondered what the chef could do to hip up a plain old grilled cheese sandwich.

Well, he did it. my guest described it as "the best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever eaten." And while I normally don't agree with his culinary opinions, I think I'm with him on this one.

It wasn't much to look at on the plate, just a plain old sandwich. But inside, butcher's cut peppered bacon, a fried egg, 3-pepper Colby cheese and guacamole created a most unique and unexpected taste event. This is no grilled cheese you'd eat to satiate a bout of the munchies. This is a grilled cheese you'd indulge in after banging Kim Kardashian in a high roller suite in Las Vegas. It was that good.

The Fifth is a restaurant/lounge, so of course alcohol was also on the menu. This being a Sunday brunch outing, we enjoyed glass after glass of House Mimosas ($5) but also offered was a full bar. Some of the brunch-specific cocktails listed were Belvedere Bloody Marys, Belvedere Arnold Palmers and various other higher-end mimosas. And if you happen to live in the area, up front there's a small, yet high end (of course) liquor/convenience store that also doubles as a sleek bar at night.

The Fifth (Roman Numeral V) is owned by The V Group and comprises several establishments in Downtown Orlando - all starting with a capital V - Vintage Lounge, Vixen Bar, NV Art Bar and, coming soon, Vanity Nightclub.

The Fifth Hours:

Monday11am – 12am
Tuesday11am – 12am
Wednesday             11am – 2am
Thursday11am – 2am
Friday11am – 2am
Saturday11am – 2am
Sunday Brunch11:30am – 4pm

With a fun, eclectic menu, fantastic cocktails, an incredible atmosphere, and the friendliest staff around, The Fifth pushes every button and is as hip and comfortable as a worn pair of skinny jeans. If that's possible.

V out of V

Note: I dined compliments of The Fifth

The Fifth on Urbanspoon

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