By Randy Bihlmayer, winner of our October Couple at Large Giveaway for dinner for two at The Bistro on Park Avenue.

Nestled in the Hidden Garden Courtyard, The Bistro on Park Avenue is an upscale romantic little dining spot in Winter Park. The Bistro offers a variety of seating choices from traditional indoor dining to more unique accommodations like an atrium room, the intimate chef’s table, the bar and an outside hidden courtyard.

We headed to The Bistro for a romantic dinner in the atrium room on a Saturday night. For parking I recommend the free garage located behind Park Place, just across the street. We walked less than a block from the garage and into the Hidden Garden Courtyard entrance from Park Ave. Foot traffic was minimal and made the place seem very private. A secluded brick walkway leads you to The Bistro, which is tucked in the corner of the Hidden Garden Courtyard.


The chef chose a special menu of selections for us to try, offering items slightly different from their existing dinner menu. Though this limited our options, in the end we found all choices to be exceptional.

We started with a glass of the house Pinot Grigio while we waited on our appetizer, the goat cheese flatbread, which was amazing and a great start to the evening. It was perfectly toasted with fresh baby spinach, prosciutto, goat cheese, and a raspberry reduction. This was followed by a house salad with raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing.


For our entrées we tried the Fall Pasta with Grilled Shrimp and the Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak over pasta. The Fall Pasta with Grilled Shrimp was out of this world and the portion was generous. The grilled shrimp, though tail-on, were a nice addition to the pasta dish and complemented the fall flavors of the mushrooms, squash, and an amazing cream sauce. The option was quite exceptional in both flavor and composition. This dish was recently added to the standard menu after it was created for an employee event and received such great reviews. We agree; it was great!


The grilled Ahi Tuna steak, on the other hand, was less than amazing. The portion size was generous but, in my opinion, the tuna was over-cooked leaving it a bit tough to chew. I prefer my tuna steak seared and left rare, however, the chef’s choice was cooked to a medium well. That said, the pasta and sauce had an Asian inspired flavor that worked well with the fish and alone was delicious.

We finished our meal with a piece of house made key lime cheesecake and a glass of Moscato. The key lime flavor of the cheesecake exquisitely complemented the cheesecake reminding us of the light summer flavor of a creamy key lime pie in decadent cheesecake. If you stop in for nothing else, you must have a slice of this delicious dessert. The cheesecake was half way between a New York and a light, creamy cheesecake giving it a fantastic texture, perfectly balancing the two.

The Bistro on Park Ave is not a low-cost affair; our feast was priced at $90 for the two of us. However, the experience can be worth the price. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. The ambiance of the room was perfect for romance and the night was beautiful. Overall, the food was good and we had a delightful experience. Thank you, Bistro on Park Ave.

The Bistro on Park Avenue
348 North Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789