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La Luce at Orlando's Hilton Bonnet Creek: Really Wonderful Food

La Luce at Orlando's Hilton Bonnet Creek: Really Wonderful Food


Recently, I went on a dining press trip to Orlando. Chef Alberto Navarrete Arias certainly had his work cut out for him.

We went to dinner at La Luce (“The Light”) in the Hilton Bonnet Creek. Then in 1991 I moved to Napa CA, where I started working in the vineyards. I needed a second job, so I accepted a position at an Italian restaurant Bistro Don Giovanni. I started as a dishwasher, and then Chef Donna Scala started training me in the kitchen. I learned all of the cooking stations and felt a passion for Italian food. Then Chef Donna offered me the opportunity to come to Orlando and open La Luce.”

The late Donna Scala was a master chef who was very famous in Northern California. She was asked to supervise the cooking and to design the restaurant at La Luce. She opened the restaurant at Orlando’s Hilton Bonnet Creek. It has become the signature restaurant at the hotel. The restaurant design is modern, all right angles and glass. Chalk art, changed every six months, adorns the walls. La Luce has been open for six years. Reservations are highly recommended.

Everyone eating at La Luce seemed to be open and convivial in its privileged atmosphere. There was a healthy mix of seniors, millennials, business types and couples on a date night. The tables and chairs were wood with cushioned seats and backs.

The service was excellent: discreet, attentive and respectful. The waiters were knowledgable and helpful. They were willing to get any information that they didn’t have at hand. There were wine pairings which the waiters knew. The wine list at La Luce is generous and filled with options which the wait staff knew well.

The lighting was low, the sound level was filled with the murmurings of quiet conversation. The cavernous entrance is just off the lobby at the Hilton where one is greeted by a maitre d’ who has everyone’s table reservations on a colorful computer screen.

We ate a prepared menu. There were wine pairings with each course. After the antipasto course there was a salad course. I was very surprised at this for when I lived in Italy the salad course was always served at the end of the meal. I asked the chef about this and he said it is an accommodation to American tastes where salads are often served at the earlier stages of a meal.

We started with antipasti of olive fritte with marcona almonds and tiny pizzas served with prosecco. Next was a caesar salad, a barbabietole of roasted beets, green beans, fennel, avocado and roquefort vinaigrette. This was paired with an excellent vermentino. The flavor of the beets was delightful as they were organic and very flavorful. Organic beets are almost sweet with just the slightest edge of the tartness of canned beets.

I asked Chef Arias how he works with local suppliers. “We keep in touch with local farms and providers on a regular basis to check what is available weekly and monthly. That allows me to change the menu daily as well as every season too.”

The pasta course was pasta alla lina made with gnochetti with bubbling barbera d’asti. Following this was roasted chicken and seared salmon filet accompanied by potato puree with tomato and chive butter sauce. The wine for this was frescobaldi. It was a wonderful, satisfying conclusion to the meal. The dessert was butterscotch pudding with house made toffee and flourless chocolate cake and coffee.

The meal as a whole was quite wonderful. The restaurant lives up to its reputation of being one of Orlando’s best choices for one’s dining dollar.

Finally, I asked Chef Arias what his plans are for the future. “I want to take La Luce to the next level and keep creating new dishes. I also would like to stay within Hilton and continue to grow my career.”


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!


Food and Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek Start SOON!

We’ll admit it: we don’t really want to see the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival end (and as EPCOT hasn’t posted an end date yet, we might just get our wish!). But now, we’ve got ANOTHER food and wine event in the Orlando area!

Taste of Asia Station at Food and Wine Weekends

That event is Food and Wine Weekends, and it happens at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek!

What’s that? MORE food and wine? Yes, please! Food and Wine Weekends feature tasting events with dishes from the hotels’ signature restaurants, drinks from their mixologists, and pastries from their pastry chefs!

The Manifesto Cocktail at Food and Wine Weekends

This year’s program features Bull & Bear’s Chef’s Table, Taste of La Luce, vegan menus at both La Luce and Bull & Bear, a wine tasting experience called Sip Savor Swirl, Bonnet Creek Beer Garden, Bar du Chocolat, Champagne Tasting, and more!

Food and Wine Weekends Taste of Bull and Bear Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail

Food and Wine Weekends begin on October 16th and run every weekend through November 22nd. Keep an eye on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando website for more details.

Read about our favorites at this year’s Food & Wine at EPCOT!