After three failed attempts to snag a table, a reservation was the answer to our quest to get in on the newest hotspot at Lake Sumter Landing.
Guy Fieri’s now offers reservations on Open Table https://www.opentable.com/r/guy-fieris-american-kitchen-and-bar-the-villages or by calling the restaurant at (352) 633-3018.
While they limit reservations in order to serve walk-ins, if you do not have time or patience to wait, this will help ensure you get a seat.
Like Honest John’s its predecessor, the noise level is highly energetic. Guy’s is popular and crowded, a sign that Villagers and surrounding communities are taking to this new style of food being offered within a town square. Noticeable was a younger crowd as well as Villagers. For a quieter experience, try going between 2 and 4 p.m.
One of the new managers, Kin Lai, formerly was the manager for the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. He knows how to make his guests feel welcome and is positive about the future and plans for the Fieri restaurant. There is a wait on a permit to open the outdoors to entertainment and dancing, as well as to use that space for a new outdoor bar and appetizers, for those looking for a more casual atmosphere.
Kin Lai said it took a few weeks to match the talent, camaraderie and talent to create the right mix of staff, and he is thrilled with the professionalism and positivity of the team that is in place now.
While there is not a designated happy hour, there are great prices on drinks all day. The restaurant is also still adjusting its menu to reflect the tastes of Villagers, while maintaining the signature style of Guy Fieri. For instance, calamari was being served with a pepperoncini sauce, but because of feedback, a second addition of marinara sauce is being offered for those with a less adventurous palate.
Some Villagers have questioned the presentation of food, such as the smashed burger. The burger is presented flat rather than thick, however, it is the same six ounces that one would find elsewhere, but offered differently. The grilled cheese sandwich comes with macaroni and cheese within the sandwich, and was said to be delicious by my husband who was skeptical when ordering. The chicken pot pie was served hot with lots of chicken and vegetables and a freshly baked crust. An order of dark chocolate layered cake with chocolate ganache was the piece de resistance, and could have been shared with the table next to us, it was so large and rich it could not be finished. Ariel our waitress was delightful and attentive, checking in regularly to ensure we were looked after.
While Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar may be over the price point for Villagers who enjoy food that is simple and more in line with early bird prices, it is competitively priced for the palate that desires food with flair and uniqueness from the standard often found in The Villages chain restaurants. If you desire a meal with a touch of adventure, flavor that will wake up your senses, or a fresh take on some tried and true favorites, Fieri will fill that bill as well as your hunger.
Villager Jane Bloom is a frequent contributor to Villages-News.com