Cask & Larder, in Winter Park, Florida, offers southern-sourced seasonal, changing dishes, craft beers brewed on-site and fresh-shucked oysters from their oyster bar. The restaurant is owned by James Beard Award nominated Chefs James and Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig. Dennis Bernard leads as Chef de Cuisine/Partner for Cask & Larder with his wife Tracy Lindskoog as Managing Partner. Ron Raike is Cask and Larder’s Brewmaster, a pioneer of the Craft Beer movement in Orlando and a Certified Cicerone (kind of like a Master Sommelier for Beer).
The brewery, which can be seen towards the back of the bar area, is a beautiful sight to behold full of metallic tubs and parts. Guests can also reserve this area to host small private dining parties and even use it when ordering whole roast animals (reserve in advance).
The beers here are pretty fantastic. On a recent visit, I hung out in the bar area with a few friends and sampled a beer flight of crisp lone palm golden ale, blueberry wit, Florida Tripel with local palm honey, among other craft beers brewed on site at Cask and Larder. The beers paired well with the little bites and dishes that we ordered to share. There is also quite the sizable Southern inspired craft cocktail list available as well with highlights such as the C & L LEMONADE made with tea and sage infused vodka, house pink lemonade, and fever tree ginger beer.
The waffle fries, topped with a chicken liver gravy, buttermilk cheese curds, and pickled scallions were a tangy, tasty treat. Definitely a more sophisticated version of the nacho fries you may see at every day pub houses and bars. Other favorites included the savory mac and cheese, topped with pickled mustard seeds and a ham-cheddar crumble, and the smoked wings which were fall of the bone tender.
On a previous occasion, I had sat at the oyster bar and enjoyed a selection of their smoked oysters with a special house made vinegar chili sauce that was quite excellent. My only complaint was that the barstools were a bit uncomfortable, but I suppose they’re made that way.
Though I enjoyed most of my experiences at Cask and Larder, there is room for improvement. The short rib tamale with carmelized onions, havarti, and topped with parsley was a bit bland for my tastes and was in need of salt. The suckling pig boudin was also not very memorable.
One of my favorite things that I had at the Cask and Larder was the cured Country Ham platter with biscuits and jelly. The ham is sliced fine much like prosciutto and was salty and delicious.
Country Ham Platter
Short rib Tamale 12
caramelized onions, havarti, parsley
Waffle Fries 11
chicken liver gravy, buttermilk cheese curds,
Mac & Cheese 10
pickledmustard seeds, ham-cheddar crumble
suckling pig Boudin 14
dijon chantilly, fried okra