Orlando

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In celebration of the upcoming Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month (magicaldining.com), we are partnering with Paddlefish at Disney Springs for a special 3 course preview dinner on Sunday August 20th!

Beginning August 25 during a special preview week, and continuing through October 1, over 100 Orlando area restaurants will offer prix fixe dinners for just $35. Indulge in imaginative appetizers, entrees and desserts sure to leave you spellbound.

Through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal supports Freedom Ride and BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation.

The tickets for this special event can be purchased at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/orlando-foodie-forum-dinner-tickets-36877037211?aff=

SECRET PASSWORD: ORLFOODIE

Cocktail Reception with passed cocktails at 6:00pm

3-Course Dinner served at 6:30pm

Choice of Appetizer
Paired with: Joseph Drouhin Chablis

Fried Green Tomatoes
elote, pickled watermelon, queso fresco, remoulade
Green Salad
romaine hearts, cucumber, grape tomato, red onion, yuzu

New England Clam Chowder
bacon, potatoes, cream

Conch Chowder
Bahamian conch, spiced tomato broth

Wheat Berry Salad
farmer’s market vegetables, arugula, lemon vinaigrette

Choice of Entrèe
Paired with: Lemelson Pinot Noir
Fish & Chips
beer battered flounder, sweet potato fries, tartar sauce
Shrimp & Grits
cheddar grits, spicy black pepper butter sauce

Half Chicken
Carolina mop sauce, edamame bacon succotash, pickled watermelon

Pork Chop & Applesauce
house-made applesauce, green beans

Catch of the Day
select one of our chef’s preparations:
Bearnaise – béarnaise sauce, whipped potato
Beurre Blanc – white wine-caper butter sauce, whipped potato
Floribbean – Jerk spices, papaya-mango salsa, red skin potato

Choice of Desserts
Carrot Cake
cream cheese mousse
Key Lime Pie
graham cracker, meringue

Strawberry Shortcake
farmer’s market berries, whipped cream

DATE AND TIME

Sun, August 20, 2017
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT
Add to Calendar

Paddlefish
1670 Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/orlando-foodie-forum-dinner-tickets-36877037211?aff=

SECRET PASSWORD: ORLFOODIE

At Hawkers, the founders Kaleb Harrell, Allen Lo, Wayne Yung and Kin Ho – all traveled the world to curate a menu of handed-down family recipes and hand-picked popular street foods from all over Asia – Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan to be exact.  Today, all of the original founders are active in restaurant operations ranging from chefs to brand and operations managers.

Since the brand’s inception in 2011 with the Orlando – Mills 50 location, it has opened three additional Florida locations in Jacksonville, Neptune Beach, and St. Petersburg.  New locations are under construction and slated to open in Windermere (located in the Greater Orlando area) in November 2017 and in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward in March 2018, marking its expansion outside of Florida.  Four additional locations are slated to open throughout the Southeast in 2018.

The restaurant’s name is inspired by street vendors found throughout the streets of Asia known as hawkers.  They depend on locally grown ingredients to create dishes sold from mobile carts and stands.

“We are on a mission to disrupt the restaurant industry, and essentially redefine what it means to “eat Asian” in America.  People often ask me who our competition is, and I can’t come up with one–and, for us, that’s a positive thing.”

A place where sharing is not just caring, but the way to eat, Hawkers offers a fresh take on today’s Asian street-fare experience with dishes that are always made to order using local and imported ingredients.  Hawkers is considered a “local’s favorite” and has been featured in Delta SkyMagazine, Florida Trend and Orlando Magazine, and Food & Wine as Andrew Zimmern’s number one pick on his list of “12 Places to Stay, Eat & Shop in and Around Orlando.”

The tables are communal and are inlaid with newspaper to resemble the way street food is often served wrapped in newspaper from hawker stalls.

All Hawkers locations have a weekday happy hour and a wide selection of imported and local wine, beer, and saké.

The menu changes with the seasons and features house favorites such as Roti Canai and award-winning Pad Thai and more common items such as Yi Yi’s Chicken Dumplings and Miso Pork Belly Ramen.  The diverse menu offers options for various palates with vegetarian-friendly dishes, gluten-free and a variety of pescatarian offerings.

(Source credit: Hawkers Asian Street Fare)

We had the opportunity to try some of their new menu items + some classic dishes and we are so excited to share them all with you!

* indicates a new menu item.

*#dimsumcrunchyballs – shrimp, pork, crispy spring roll batter.  This is a traditional Chinese dish using ground up shrimp thrown across the table to get air pockets out, then coated with egg wash and shredded spring rolls wrapper, and finally fried and served with a hot oil-soy sauce.  It has a bounciness to it.

*Crispy Chicken Skin – Hawkers’ version of skewers that can be found in Asia cooked over coals.   They get all of the protein fat scrapped off, season it with Szechuan style seasoning, bake it in oven, then finish it over a grill burning charcoal.   This dish is suppose to be eaten with lime sprinkled over it to accentuate its smokey flavors.

*’Nam Nem Rolls – chilled rice wrap, fried rice paper, chicken sausage, lettuce, cucumber, basil, mint.  Nem in Vietnamese means sausage.  This dish is traditionally made with pork, however, they make theirs with chicken because less people eat pork.  The chicken is baked in the oven then finished on the grill.  The sauce is a Vietnamese vinaigrette consisting of fish sauce, Coco Rico, and red chilies.

*Singapore ‘Chili’ Crab – national dish of Singapore, soft-shelled crab, house-made chili garlic sauce, and fried bao bun.

*Tiger Salad– poached octopus, cilantro, carrots, green onions, celery, cucumber, rice wine vinaigrette, and lemon juice.  A light and refreshing salad.

Roti Canai – Malaysian flat bread served with a side of their signature curry.  Chef Allen Lo describes the bread as “if a croissant and pancake made a baby”.   He ate this dish every day growing up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Wok-Fired Lettuce – shiitake mushrooms, red chilies, light hoisin soy sauce, lettuce.  This staple dish makes a great side dish with every meal.

Chicken Dumplings – hand-rolled in-house daily, wok-seared (pictured) or steamed.  Hawkers makes their dumplings at 7am every morning; it is the first thing they make.

Pad Thai – rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, eggs, scallions, bean sprouts.  Pad Thai is a staple dish in Asia.  At Hawkers, they let their sauce simmer for eight hours before serving it over the noodles.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee  – available in iced (pictured) or French drip.

Mocha Trio – Green tea, lychee colada, and Thai tea.  Made at the Mochidoki shop in New York.

Be sure to check out the launch of the new menu items this Wednesday, August 16, at a Hawkers near you!

Hawkers Asian Street Fare
1103 N Mills Ave
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 237-0606

Home


@eathawkers

We were invited to a media event at a new lakefront restaurant named The Waterfront.  This American restaurant was bought in February and opened in April.  Everything is made in house except the bread.  It is important to support independent restaurants in Orlando, Florida so make sure you check them out!

Adult Swim Saturdays every Saturday in August at 2pm.


Outdoor patio with a roof to protect you from the sun or rain.  Or both.  Florida weather.



Food, brews, and views.

Chips & Pimento Dip – Salsa, Jalapeños, Corn Tortillas.  The pimento dip is prepared with pimento cheese, poblano peppers, garlic, and baked in the oven.

Wings – House Hot

Paired with the “Florida Crush” – Effen Blood Orange Vodka, Triple Sec, Fresh-Squeezed Florida Oranges, Lemon-Lime Soda

Crab Cake Sliders  – Arugula, Tomato, Pickled Red Onion, Avocado, Remoulade.  The blue crab is from Gulf of Mexico and they use the meat from its claws.

Tuna Poke Salad – Ahi Tuna, Seaweed Salad, Arugula, Romaine, Cucumber, Tomato, Radish, Avocado, Sesame Seeds, Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

Paired with the “Jennie Jewel” -Effen Cucumber Vodka, St. Germain, Fresh-Squeezed Lemon, Simple Syrup and Lime, Mint

The Waterfront Burger – Ground Chuck, Swiss, Blue Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Bacon, Arugula

French Dip – Roast Sirloin, Swiss Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Au Jus, Horseradish Mayo

Paired with the “Dixie Belle” – Jim Beam Black, Muddled Mint + Cucumber, Simple Syrup, Fresh-Squeezed Lime

Pan Roasted Catfish – Sautéed Kale, Cheddar Grits, Remoulade, Pickled Red Onion
Fried Chicken Thigh – Hot Honey, Cheddar Grits, Pickled Green Beans


Steak Frites – Pan Roasted Sirloin, Cut Fries, Blue Cheese Butter

Paired with House Red Wine – 2015 Drumheller Cabernet Sauvignon

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie  – Whipped Cream
Bread Pudding – Key Lime Syrup, Whipped Cream

Paired with a sampling of the “Margaret” – Jim Beam Vanilla, Butterscotch, Cocoa, Licor 43, Irish Cream

The Waterfront
4201 South Orange Ave
Orlando, Florida, FL 32806
(407) 866-0468
@TheWaterfront

This past weekend Spoleto continued the summer fun with Spoleto Fest, a complimentary, two-day culinary celebration for all.  The event began on Saturday with a unique culinary experience where guests enjoyed samplings of Spoleto’s menu items, wine and live music, followed by a family fun day featuring “kids eat free,” raffles, games, face painting and more, on Sunday.

This pasta festival was a fun yet budget-friendly way to feed and entertain the entire family as the kids are about to go back to school after summer.

We loved attending the event and enjoyed the tasty dishes that Spoleto has to offer.  We had a wonderful time and we are looking forward to coming back to Spoleto Fest next year.  Check out our pictures below!

The line for Spoleto Fest – Windermere.  Back in June, they fed 700 people at their Spoleto Fest – Winter Park event.

Free ravioli sample while waiting in line.

Won a bag from the Spoleto prize wheel while waiting in line!

Almost there!  It was worth the wait.

The ingredients are fresh and organic.  After being selected, they get sautéed then tossed in pasta.

Superior customer service – friendly and quick.

My Spoleto creation!

Pasta: Fettuccine Noodles
Sauce: Alfredo
Six ingredients: Broccoli, Truffle Roasted Mushrooms, Roasted Red Onions, Baby Spinach, Kalamata Olives, and Zucchini, Sautéed in Pesto
Garnished with: Minced Cilantro & Red Chili Peppers

Be sure to check out the new Spoleto in Windermere – or check out one near you!

Spoleto – Windermere
4750 The Grove Dr. Windermere, FL 34786
Phone: (407) 217-2756
spoletoitalian.com

This new, exclusive, and interactive bourbon pairing dinner takes fine dining to a whole new level.

The Capital Grille, a fine dining American restaurant, recently hosted an exclusive, interactive, and educational bourbon pairing dinner with Buffalo Trace at their Millenia Mall location in Orlando, Florida.  We were invited for a media preview and was highly impressed with what the culinary staff, bar team, and Buffalo Trace representative brought to the table.  Here are some scenes from our flawless five-star dinner.  The Capital Grille will be having more special dinners like this in the weeks and months to come so be sure to contact them soon about the next one happening in October!

First Course
Authentic A5 Wagyu Carpaccio
Chive Oil, Sea Salt – The highest premium cut of steak.


Eagle Rare 10 Year – This whiskey is masterfully crafted and carefully aged for no less than ten years.  This drink contains complex aromas of herbs, honey, hints of orange peel, leather, toffee, and oak with a bold and dry finish.


Assorted Breads


Second Course
Seared Scallop and Foie Gras, Sherry Vinaigrette
Wild Mushroom Sauté


Buffalo Trace Bourbon – The Capital Grille culinary & bar team’s take on the Manhattan.  This drink is strong, aromatic, and not much is added to it to keep it pure and simple.


Third Course

Berkshire Pork BBQ with Charred Vidalia Onion
And Caramelized Peach Glaze
Late Summer Succotash


E. H. Taylor Bourbon


Fourth Course

Dry Aged Sirloin, Roasted Bone Marrow
And Short Rib Ragout
Shaved Summer Truffle, Asparagus, Cabernet Reduction – 35 day aged sirloin.


Blanton’s Bourbon and Blanton’s Infusion with figs, blackberries, and thyme.

Dessert
Spiked Root Beer Float
Bourbon Cream
Taste: sweet, vanilla, bubbly soda, and then bourbon.

Be sure to check out The Capital Grille – Millenia Mall soon.  They plan on making these special dinners a regular occurrence featuring different spirits & wine in the future.  Cheers!

The Capital Grille – Millenia Mall
4200 Conroy Road, Orlando, FL 32839
Phone: (407) 351-2210
http://www.thecapitalgrille.com

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Tucked inside the busy Dr. Phillips Marketplace (seriously how many restaurants can fit in there??), you can find La Carraia, a new gelato shop for us here in Orlando.

La Carraia is recognized by @condenasttraveller @voguemagazine and @culturetrip for being one of the best gelato ???? shops in all of Florence, Italy ???????? and has now opened its first shop in Florida in Dr Phillips!

I loved my pistachio and sinfonia gelato from La Carraia this weekend – creamy, yet velvety smooth gelato. Bravo! They even serve house made gelato cakes.

La Carraia Gelateria in Dr Phillips Marketplace
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd #38, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: (407) 864-8400
https://www.facebook.com/LaCarraiaOrlando
http://lacarraiaflorida.com/

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Featuring both food and drink specials, Carrabba’s recently announced that their Happy Hour will be available seven days a week.

Some Menu highlights include:
$5 Specialty Cocktails (Pomegranate Martini, Blackberry Bellini, Sicilian Prickly Pear Margarita and Sparkling Tuscan Lemonade)
$5 Premium Spirits (Absolut, Beefeater, Bacardi, Altos Plata, Jim Beam, Crown Royal and Dewar’s)
$4 Well Spirits
$2 – $3 Draft Beers ($3: Stella Artois, Blue Moon and Peroni; $2: Bud Light)
1/2 Price Appetizers (Mozzarella Marinara, Zucchini Fritte, Wood-Fired Italian Wings, Shrimp Scampi, Calamari, Tomato Caprese with Fresh Burrata, and Mussels in White Wine Lemon Butter)

We recently dropped by to check out the menu, here are some of our favorites!

$5 SELECT SPECIALTY COCKTAILS
Pomegranate Martini

CALAMARI
Hand-breaded to order and served with marinara sauce

SHRIMP SCAMPI
Garlic, white wine and our lemon butter sauce served with baked ciabatta

WOOD-FIRED ITALIAN WINGS
Seasoned with spicy Italian peppers. Served with gorgonzola dipping sauce

TOMATO CAPRESE WITH FRESH BURRATA
Creamy burrata mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, red onions, balsamic glaze, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil

MUSSELS IN WHITE WINE LEMON BUTTER
Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in white wine, basil and lemon butter sauce

At most locations, Happy Hour will be available from from 3 – 6 p.m.

There are multiple locations in Orlando, visit: https://www.carrabbas.com/ to find the one nearest you.

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Your Pie, the original fast casual pizza concept, opened in Downtown Orlando on Friday, July 14, 2017 at SkyHouse (335 North Magnolia Avenue). The brick-oven pizzeria offers a customizable, down-the-line experience at its more than 40 stores nationwide.

Make sure you eat your pizza fresh so it stays nice and crisp.

Your Pie uses hand-tossed dough, only fresh ingredients, homemade pizza sauces and salad dressings, and offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free pizzas, as well as traditional pizzas. All menu items, including its rotating seasonal menu, are inspired by family recipes from the Italian island of Ischia. The brand also offers local craft beer, wine and Italian-style gelato pairings designed to perfectly compliment guests’ custom pizza creations.

The Great White has prominent notes of the feta, smoothness from the mozzarella, and hints of garlic.

With the Ischia, all flavors blend well and pop at the same time. The fresh tomatoes add a nice touch.

The Lineage is one of my favorites with the spicy Italian sausages.

The BBQ of the BBQ Chicken is nice and not overpoweringly sweet. The chicken is tender, has its own flavors, and juicy.

The Nat hosts the sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto as the stars of the show.

The Southern Heat is a different sort of pizza where the buffalo and jalapeño heat creep up on you. It’s a great pizza to grab when you aren’t sure if you’d like a pizza or wings.

Have some sharable cheese sticks on wheat bread. Who doesn’t like cheese and bread?

Your Pie also has a number of salads, such as the Caprese and Greek House salads.

While you wait for your pizza to come out, have a taste of their ice cream. In my opinion, they aren’t my favorite.

Along with your dishes, you can enjoy a beer, wine, cider, or many other drink options on the menu. There are a few local breweries that supply beers to this location. The Smoke Berry hard cider is pretty great. These ciders have subtle sweetness that does not overpower your tastebuds.

“At Your Pie, we believe that food can be fresh, fast, delicious and experiential,” said Founder and President Drew French. “We want to be the go-to fast casual restaurant where families, friends, colleagues and groups can gather, dine and share memories without having to share pizzas. We’re excited for the opportunity to bring the original fast casual, individualized pizza concept to Orlando and the surrounding communities.”

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This year, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2017 takes place from August 31 to November 13, 2017. This year the festival lasts longer-than-ever with a 75-day run.

This food aficionado’s paradise is replete with delicious dishes, fine wine, craft beer, spirits and other beverages sure to satisfy every palate—from over 35 individual marketplaces, including new Active Eats, Light Lab, Coastal Eats, Cheese Studio, and Flavors from Fire marketplaces.

In addition, India (2009) and Spain (2010) marketplaces will return for an encore. For a third year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations. Disney chefs are in the kitchen whipping up delicious new bites like the Madras Red Curry vegetarian dish and Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake to be on the menu at the India marketplace. At the Spain marketplace, delectable Charcuterie in a cone promises to be a guest favorite.

Photos by Suzy Farmar of @SOOZIETHEFOODIE

Here’s the latest festival buzz:

  • New marketplaces will be announced this summer. In addition, India (2009) and Spain (2010) marketplaces will return for an encore. For a third year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations. Disney chefs are in the kitchen whipping up delicious new bites like the Madras Red Curry vegetarian dish and Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake to be on the menu at the India marketplace. At the Spain marketplace, delectable Charcuterie in a cone promises to be a guest favorite.
  • Three times nightly Eat to the Beat concerts – 225 concerts in all on the America Gardens Theatre stage — will rev up the World Showcase vibe with new musical acts and returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres such as rock, pop and rhythm and blues.
  • “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops, which debuted in 2016 at the Festival Center, return with fresh opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros. Event hosts and topics will be announced this summer.
  • Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain foodies and inspire their palates at Festival Center demonstrations. Those same stars of the kitchen also will create new dishes for premium events such as Party for the Senses grand tastings with new concepts and themes.
  • Festival focus on family will spotlight inspired dishes geared toward children’s palates and culinary demos designed to inspire family fun.
  • Throughout the festival’s 75-day run, park guests can pair wines, beers and ciders with savory and sweet dishes as they stroll the World Showcase Promenade using their complimentary festival passports as a guide.

As guests explore, they’ll find something for everyone in the family:

  • A Ratatouille-inspired adventure will return as Chef Remy gives families a chance to play together during this culinary scavenger hunt.
  • The complimentary Back to Basics Festival Center weekend series will share epicurean tips and tricks from the pros. Book and bottle signings by some of the world’s top vintners will be scheduled, and The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, will offer guest samples.
  • Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars will offer daily learning and tasting opportunities at the Festival Center. On select Saturdays, Cheese Seminars will be a fromage aficionado’s delight.
    Bookings for premium festival events will open this summer.
  • Party for the Senses grand tasting events will showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips from eminent chefs and beverage experts plus new live entertainment.
  • Resort premium events will include a Grand Floridian Brunch with a Twist and Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef.
  • Specialty Dining and Pairing events will be on tap at a number of World Showcase participating restaurants.

Included with Epcot Admission:

Back to Basics series, book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.

Special Programming by Reservation:

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. When a reservation booking date is announced this summer, guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at EpcotFoodFestival.com.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017
6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

at Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Dr.
Orlando, FL 32821

 

Featuring the area’s most accomplished chefs, brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors, Taste! Central Florida invites the community to enjoy an evening of tasting portions of signature dishes accompanied by fine wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails.

This annual celebration of the community’s culinary excellence is a volunteer-driven event with local chefs, brewers and distilleries donating their time, talent and creations to make this event one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

An all-volunteer steering committee, more than 300 day-of event volunteers, tremendous in-kind support from a variety of local business partners, and the generous backing of Orlando World Center Marriott who donates the event space each year allows us to direct every dollar raised to our beneficiaries while generating profound awareness and relief for the children of Central Florida who face hunger on a daily basis.

Tickets are $150 per person, and can be purchased at centralfloridataste.org. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida via the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central FL and Coalition for the Homeless of Central FL.

This year’s participating restaurants:

4 Rivers Smokehouse & The Coop
American Culinary Federation – Central Florida Chapter
Benihana
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Cala Bella at Rosen Shingle Creek
Ace Cafe Orlando
Canvas Restaurant & Market
The Capital Grille
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Centerplate
CFHLA Food & Beverage Council
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen
Cress Restaurant
Dragonly Robata Sushi and Grill
Eleven Restaurant at Reunion Resort
Empress Sissi Cake & Pastry
Florida Nitro
FreshPoint
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Hemisphere Restaurant at Hyatt OIA
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes
Rosen Shingle Creek
Marlow’s Tavern
Orlando Food Department Co.
Orlando World Center Marriott
Paddlefish
Plancha at Four Seasons Resort
Primo at JW Marriott, Grande Lakes
Raglan Road
The Ravenous Pig
Red Wing Restaurant
Satu-Li Canteen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Savor…Osceola Heritage Park
Seasons 52 Fresh Grill
SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando
STK
Sysco
Universal Orlando Resort
Urbain 40 American Brasserie
The Whiskey
Yak & Yeti

Beverage
This year’s participating beverage vendors.
Acqua Panna & S. Pellegrino
Beam Suntory
Beso Del Sol Sangria
Big Top Brewing Company
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Crooked Can Brewing Company
Florida Dairy Farmers
Jackson Family Wines
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company
NOI Caffe by Rico Foods
Orange Blossom Brewing Co.
Orlando Brewing
Pabst Brewing Company
Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey
PepsiCo
Red Cypress Brewery
Rogue Pub
Scavi & Ray Winery
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Wild Buck Whiskey/Njoy Spirits

The funds raised by Taste! Central Florida help Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provide shelter and services to more than 140 children and their families each night and serve more than 270,000 nutritious meals in the coming year.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida directs the funds raised from Taste! Central Florida to childhood hunger relief programs at their agency to assist the 1 in 4 kids in Orlando who struggle with hunger.

Hunger Facts

  • In Central Florida, 1 in 6 people struggle with food insecurity.
  • Approximately 498,000 individuals turn to Second Harvest’s food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their family each year.
  • 193,000 kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
  • 1 in 4 kids in our community is at risk of going to bed hungry every night.
  • 27% are children under the age of 18
  • 113 million more meals a year are needed to fill the hunger gap in our community.
  • 44.5% of Florida households cannot afford basic needs such as housing, childcare, food, health care, and transportation – the vast majority of these families are working.

TASTE! CENTRAL FLORIDA GOLDEN TICKET GAME 2017

Leading up to this year’s Taste! Central Florida gala on August 19, select Orlando-area restaurants are participating in the annual Golden Ticket game, with the prize of two tickets to this year’s event.

How It Works

Each participating restaurant (listed below) will receive a bundle of envelopes. Within each envelope is either a “silver ticket” with a discount code for real tickets, or a “golden ticket” with instructions on how to redeem your complementary event tickets.  Tickets are $150 per person, and can be purchased at centralfloridataste.org. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida via the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central FL and Coalition for the Homeless of Central FL.

 

Participating Golden Ticket Game Locations

 Ace Cafe Orlando

100 W. Livingston St.
Orlando, FL 32801

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/acecafeusa
Twitter: @AceCafeUSA
Instagram: @AceCafeOrlando_Official

Benihana – Lake Buena Vista
1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Benihana – International Drive
12690 International Drive
Orlando, FL

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BENIHANA.ORLANDO.1
Twitter: @Benihana
Instagram: @benihana

Canvas Lake Nona
13615 Sachs Avenue
Orlando, FL
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CanvasLakeNona
Instagram: @canvaslakenona

Capital Grille – Millenia
4200 Conroy Road STE 146A
Orlando, FL 32839
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecapitalgrille 
Twitter: @thewineexpert & @CapitalGrille
Instagram: @ thecapitalgrille

Chroma 
6967 Lake Nona Blvd,
Orlando, FL 32827
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChromaLakeNona
Twitter:
Instagram: @chromalakenona

Dragonfly Robota
7972 Via Dellagio Way
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dragonflyorlando
Twitter: @DflyOrlando
Instagram: @dragonfly_orlando

Marlow’s – I-Drive
9101 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Marlow’s – Winter Park
1008 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92)
Winter Park, FL 32789
Marlow’s – Lee Vista
6889 Eagle Watch Drive
Orlando, FL 32822
Marlow’s – Waterford Lakes
547 N. Alafaya Trail Building J1
Orlando, FL 32828
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarlowsTavern
Twitter: @MarlowsTavern
Instagram: @marlowstavern

MOOR – Gaylord Palms Resort
6000 W Osceola Pkwy,
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DINEMOOR/ 
Twitter:
Instagram:

Old Hickory Steakhouse – Gaylord Palms Resort
6000 W Osceola Pkwy,
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gaylordpalms/ 
Twitter: @GaylordPalms
Instagram: @gaylordpalms

Plancha at Four Seasons
10100 Carthay Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32836
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FourSeasonsResortOrlando
Twitter: @FSOrlando
Instagram: @fsorlando

Raglan Road
1640 Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, FL 32830
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RaglanRoadOrlando
Twitter: @raglanroadpub
Instagram: @raglanroadpub

The Ravenous Pig
565 W Fairbanks Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ravenous.pig/
Twitter: @ravpig
Instagram: @theravenouspig

Seasons 52 – Sand Lake
7700 W Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seasons52
Twitter: @seasons52
Instagram: @seasons52

STK
1580 E Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, Florida 32830
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eatSTKOrlando
Twitter: @eatSTK
Instagram: @theonegroup

Urbain 40
8000 Via Dellagio Way
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Urbain40/
Twitter: @Urbain40
Instagram: @urbain40

Wreckers Sports Bar – Gaylord Palms Resort
6000 W Osceola Pkwy,
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gaylordpalms/ 
Twitter:
Instagram:

The Whiskey
7563 Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whiskeyorlando
Twitter: @whiskeyorlando
Instagram: @whiskeyorlando

Yak & Yeti
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
2901 Osceola Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32830
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YakandYetiRestaurant
Twitter: @WaltDisneyWorld
Instagram: @WaltDisneyWorld

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Yuki Hana Sushi in Oviedo recently underwent some changes from menu to the culinary team.

Here are some new updates at Yuki Hana: 

New Chef’s Team at Yuki Hana

Shane Stinnett- his expertise is in Edo style Japanese cuisine as well as French techniques, was trained along Iron Chef Morimoto as part of opening team for Morimoto Asia, Orlando.
Steven Phan – well experienced sushi chef, great team player, self-motivated. Worked as sushi head chef at Sushi Pop for 2 years, and Kabooki for 2 years.
Albert DeSue – Formerly Jr Sous Chef & Head Sushi Chef at Dragonfly Sushi Gainesville & Orlando FL from April 2007 to January 2014. Worked at Paris Bistro and other French restaurants around town previously.
Kitchen manager – Eduardo Mena has been with us for more than 2 years, keeping things well organized in the kitchen.

Ping Jiang is the owner of Yuki Hana, tells us “It gives me great energy when I see the whole team work together to bring our guest a memorable dining experience.” She is the mother of two beautiful girls, a student at Seminole State College, and a self described food lover.

House Cured Salmon ( house cured salmon, edamame crème fraiche, pickled shallots, house beet chips, cilantro dust, micro herb).

– New Robata Grill – Japanese bbq grill style with finest Japanese white charcoal- Binchotan charcoal, they are smoke free, create high temperatures to sear in all the juiciness.

Special menu on the weekends – different fish comes in every week, such as Amber Jack, flying fish, Cobia, Madai, Hirame…..Specials in the past have included Otoro Tartare ( Bluefin tuna belly, blue crab, avocado crema, crispy shallot, served in dashi soy, with a cloud of applewood smoke). House Cured Salmon ( house cured salmon, edamame crème fraiche, pickled shallots, house beet chips, cilantro dust, micro herb). Wagyu Carpaccio ( wagyu thinly sliced, served with charred negi vinaigrette, ginger salt, and organic greens). Ginger Scallion Rock Shrimp ( Cape Canaveral rock shrimp wok seared with ginger and scallion). Citrus Roll (Yellowtail, avocado and shallots inside, topped with cobia, finished with orange bail vinaigrette, serrano garlic salt). Also including new local organic produce from Frog Song Organics.

Otoro Tartare ( Bluefin tuna belly, blue crab, avocado crema, crispy shallot, served in dashi soy, with a cloud of applewood smoke)

Custom Omakase
If you are looking for a extraordinary sushi/ Modern Japanese cooking experience, come to Yuki Hana, call their team with your preferences, and they will custom design a dinner just for you, give three days notice.

New Ramen
– Ping tells us, “Ramen is something on our bucket list, we so glad we finally started serving it. The key is the broth as everyone knows, ours is tri-broth made with chicken, pork and beef. We also made the noodle in house fresh as well, with squid ink currently ( the one in the picture from last month was with green tea). The toppings are braised pork belly, six-minutes egg, roasted corn, beni shoga, pickled bamboo shoots, enoki. scallion, nori, and miso dust.”

Soft Shell Crab Bap
House Gyoza
Blue Crab Fried Rice

Yuki Hana Sushi & Japanese Fusion
3635 Aloma Ave #1033, Oviedo, FL 32765
http://sushiyukihana.com/
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/YukiHanaFusion/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/yuki_hana_sushi/

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Here are a few awesome local places to try Tequila today Monday July 24th 2017 – National Tequila Day!

Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen

  • Garden Rita – Mini Bell Pepper, Cilantro, Cucumber, Lemon, Cointreau, Roca Patrón Silver Tequila
  •  6967 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando; 407-955-4340chromalakenona.com

Paradiso 37

 

Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs

  • Stellar Margarita – An Out of This World Blend Riazul Blanco Tequila, DiSaranno Originale, Cointreau and fresh margarita mix
  • 1506 East Buena Vista Drive, Orlando; 407-27-7827; planethollywoodintl.com

The Polite Pig at Disney Springs

  • Tequila & Grapefuit – House-Made On Tap Cocktail with Tequila, Citrus and Grapefruit Liqueur
  • 1536 Buena Vista Drive, Orlando; 407-938-7444politepig.com

  

PLUS,  Paradiso 37 at Disney Springs is offering the below specials in celebration of the holiday!

 

  • $4 Mango or Strawberry Margaritas all day!
  • Free Samples of 100% Agave Tequila from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Plus, guests can choose from a selection of more than 50 tequilas and watch as their margaritas are made tableside, right before their eyes

Mount Dora

  • 1921 by Norman Van Akenenjoy your tequila with a side of modernist art and sip on the Con Quina ($12) made with fresh lemon and strawberry rhubarb sugar

Lake Nona

Restaurant Row

  • Dragonfly Orlandotry the Musashi’s Paddle ($10), because everyone love a little yuzu and jalapeño in their cocktail

Downtown

  • The Rusty Spoonorder the La Diosa…well, because it sounds so pretty!

Shout out to Rockaway PR for this great list – send us your recommendations for Tequila by emailing us at tastychomps at gmail.com!

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I recently dropped by Brio at the Mall at Millenia for a media preview of their new Art of the Grill menu and National Lasagna Day. It had been a while since I’ve dropped by and was glad I did. The flavors were fresh, and I particularly enjoyed the beef carpaccio appetizer.

This, we are told, is among the highest selling items out of the entire nation for Brio right here in Orlando – and it’s because of the high volumes of Brazilian tourists – who certainly know and love their beef – who call Brio’s carpaccio the best in town. I can see why – thinly sliced eye round beef with lovely capers and lemon aioli – the beef is fresh and the setting is beautiful.


Spicy Shrimp & Eggplant
Pan seared shrimp, Romano crusted eggplant, black pepper cream sauce 12.75


Beef Carpaccio*
Field greens, capers, mustard aioli, Parmesan 13.50


Lobster Bisque
Sauteed shrimp garnish 6.95

BRIO Orlando Area Locations are Firing Up the Grill with “The Art of Grilling”
Special Menu Selections, Including Fish, Chicken, Steak and More, June 13–July 30

Grilling is a Tuscan tradition dating back hundreds of years, and preparing the ideal dish is an art to be admired. BRIO Tuscan Grille locations at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando and Winter Park Village in Winter Park,  are featuring “The Art of Grilling” two-course special menu for a limited time, Tuesday, June 13–Sunday, July 30 which includes one grilled dish paired with a dessert.

With The Art of Grilling promotion, guests can enjoy an entrée and dessert from the following choices:

Entrées

  • Grilled Branzino & Summer Panzanella Salad: Arugula, cucumber, tomato, grilled red pepper, chickpeas, red onion, croutons, Feta, red wine vinaigrette ($27.95)
  • Grilled Half Chicken: Mint cilantro relish, grilled fingerlings, bacon, caramelized onions, arugula, lemon vinaigrette ($21.95)
  • New York Strip Steak: 14 oz., pearled couscous pilaf, grilled zucchini, red onions, tomatoes, kale, Feta, Poblano vinaigrette ($31.95)

Dessert — Choose One

  • Dolchino dessert selections include: Crème Brulee, Caramel Mascarpone Cheesecake and Strawberry Shortcake Crumble

Reservations at BRIO can be made online by visiting www.BrioItalian.com. For a list of locations, please visit www.BrioItalian.com.


National Lasagna Day is Saturday July 29th but Bravo and Brio are celebrating a little early.

 On Wednesday, July 26, BRAVO locations will honor National Lasagna Day with 50 percent off their Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese. During dinner, only the full-size portion will be served; during lunch, the half- and full-size portions will be available.

  • Lunch — Mezza Lasagna & Insalata, featuring a half portion of BRAVO’s signature Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese, paired with a Chopped, Caesar or Insalata Della Casa salad, for only $7. (Or, guests can order a full-size lasagna for $7.50.)
  • Dinner — Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese, featuring BRAVO’s signature meat sauce, creamy Alfredo, ricotta and mozzarella, for $8.99.

 

On Thursday, July 27, BRIO locations will honor National Lasagna Day with 50 percent off their Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese.

  • Lunch – Guests can order Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese & Insalata, featuring a half portion of Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese, paired with a BRIO Chopped Salad, Bistecca Insalata or Caesar Salad. A full-size portion can also be ordered during lunch.
  • Dinner – Only the full-size portion will be available.

 

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This year’s crop of Northwest sweet cherries has arrived on grocery store shelves and they have been one of the best cherry seasons I have seen in recent memory. The cherries are large, plump, and sweet – as cherries should be.

In 1847, a man named Henderson Lewelling traveled from Iowa to western Oregon by ox cart and brought with him nursery stock which became the first cherry trees planted in the Northwest. The Bing cherry is named after Seth Lewelling’s (Henderson’s younger brother) Manchurian orchard foreman and friend, Ah Bing.

Growers in the Northwest anticipate a record crop size lasting through August, so consumers can plan to enjoy their fresh and delicious sweet cherries through the thick of summer.

Cherry Varieties

The Northwest is known for seven varieties including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and the unique golden-blushed Rainiers, born at Washington State University in 1952 and celebrated each year on July 11 as National Rainier Cherry Day.

Other popular varieties include the deep juicy sweet Tietons and heart-shaped Chelans on the shelves now, and late-season Lapins, dark Skeenas and bright red Sweethearts coming over the next few weeks.

The Darker the Berry…

Aside from the light-hued Rainier (and its many sub-varieties), consumers can typically spot sweet cherries by their darker red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

Keeping Cherries Fresh

Fresh cherries should be kept in a tightly sealed bag or container and will keep for approximately two weeks when refrigerated. Rinse just before eating for best longevity.

Tips to Enjoy Cherries Year Round

Sweet cherries can also be enjoyed year-round by simply rinsing, packing and freezing them. To freeze cherries, select four to five pounds of firm, ripe cherries. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet, freezing until firm and then packing into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags being sure to remove excess air and cover tightly. Add frozen, pitted cherries to smoothies or juices, defrost and put in hot cereals, pies, turnovers, cobblers, or enjoy frozen as sweet late-night treat.

Recipe Ideas

Add some cherries to your yogurt parfait…

Or enjoy in a cherry beverage like this non-alcoholic Shirley Temple

For more information on sweet Northwest Cherries, seasonal and preservation recipes, health information and more, visit www.nwcherries.com.

Photos by So May Ly Photography. Cherries courtesy of Northwest Cherries.

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Papa Llama was born in 2016 by Kevin Ruiz and his wife, Maria. After several years of planning and recipe experimentation, Kevin decided to launch as a pop-up concept.

The pop-up would offers flexibility to test new recipes and quickly get feedback from Orlando foodies.

Kevin and Maria were both born in Peru and still have strong family roots there. They grew up savoring delicious plates like Aji de Gallina, Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, and Arroz Chaufa.

Kevin’s goal is for Papa Llama to be the future of Peruvian food in Orlando by serving these traditional recipes with modern and fresh ingredients, while still honoring the culture and history that created these flavors.

Today, the pop up operates twice a week at GB’s Bottle Shop and Tasting Bar on Saturdays and Redlight Redlight Craft Beer Parlour on Wednesdays, including the occasional Tasty Takeover in the Milk District.

Each recipe, including the Queso Papa Rellenas, the Braised Carne Bowls and the latest creation: Spicy Tuna Causa, is handmade with craft beer in mind. The goal is to complete the experience at these bars by complementing the flavors, textures, and aromas with unique Peruvian cuisine.

Kevin plans to bring Papa Llama to a brick and mortar in the future, either at a food hall or a dedicated space. Papa Llama will bring more exciting recipes to Orlando very soon. The best way to keep tabs on new menu items and upcoming events is by following on Facebook and Instagram.

PAPA LLAMA

https://www.facebook.com/pg/papallamaco

I’m an absolute sucker for a new menu launch. And an even bigger sucker for anything with Indian flavors. When I heard that Create Your Nature had both, I made it my mission to head over to sample some of the new dishes.

Back in October 2016, when the fruit-and-grain concept opened, I distinctly remember feeling that Orlando finally got a restaurant that it actually needed. Admittedly, this spot is one of my favorites in town. I truly believe that this summer should be all about healthy eats and consuming ingredients that are approachable, easy to pronounce, and super flavorful.

If you’re seeking a place with healthier options or if you’re working on a lifestyle change, such as going vegetarian or vegan, this is your new favorite spot.

During my recent visits (I’ve been six times in the last two weeks), I’ve tried many of the new items, and here are my favorites:

ROCK THE CASBAH – creamy, slightly sweet with a touch of heat

1.Rock the Casbah – Signature oat bowl – $5.5 / $8.5

Cashews, Raisins, Coconut, Coconut Milk, Turmeric, Cardamom, Harissa Oil

2. Cacao-a-Bunga – Smoothie bowl: $12 (Photo above) 

Blend: Blueberries, Banana, Cacao Powder

Toppings: Chocolate Granola (Bonus: It’s made with probiotics!), Almonds, Coconut, Banana, Cacao Nibs

3. Holy Frijole – Salad: $7.50 / Available over greens for $1 extra

Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Corn, Tomato, Green Bell Pepper, Cilantro

Dressing: Lemon Balsamic, Chipotle Olive Oil

HOLY FRIJOLE – savory and slightly sweet

Click here for the entire new menu.

Create Your Nature

1284 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

www.CreateYourNature.com

Snack on,

Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!

 

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Charleston is definitely in my top 5 favorite food cities and the relatively close proximity to Orlando (5hr Drive) makes it without a doubt one the best gastronomic destination for serious foodies. The Culinary scene in Charleston is vast, and 3 days is nowhere remotely close to scratch the surface of all the gems that can be found in the Charming town, however, we did our best to take advantage of our 3 days to the fullest.

Here are the places we visited during our stay and recommend checking out if you decide to venture out to the beautiful town of Charleston, SC. Some of them are favorites that we have been to before and some were our first time there. We know that we eat with our eyes first so we took the liberty of taking as many pictures as we could for your own eye-feasting.

 

Minero is a casual Mexican eatery from Neighborhood Dining Group, located on East Bay Street in historic downtown Charleston, SC. The food is affordable and served in a fun and lively environment. James Beard award-winning Chef Sean Brock offers a collection of dishes inspired by the flavors and culture of Mexico.

 

 

 

All hail the giant gold burrito! Marked with the words “wrapped for your protection” this monster of a meal along with family style tacos is what makes this menu a favorite. That beautiful crunchy layer in display it’s not the tortilla, it is actually a layer of crispy Oaxacan cheese!  While the eatin’ is good, don’t forget to explore the drink menu. The Mezcal selection is great along with excellent cocktails.

 

Must have wings! Grilled over charcoal then shook in a bag with Valentina Sauce, DO NOT MISS THIS.

 

The Shrimps & Masa,  a clear Mexican take on Shrimps & Grits was one of my favorite dishes at Mineros.

 

Pozole Rojo with Charred Avocado & Chicharron.

 

Al Pastor | Carnitas | Chorizo Verde | Charcoal Chicken | Carnitas | Carne Asada

 

Margaritas and Chips with House Salsas.

 

http://minerorestaurant.com/charleston/
153B East Bay St. Charleston, SC – (843) 789-2241
One of my Favorite places in Charleston and home to the best Oyster I’ve ever had anywhere. Their selection is great and of the highest quality possible. They also serve a great Lobster Roll and their Daily Ceviche is on Point. Be warned, it is a tiny place and they take no reservation so be prepared to wait. Go in, put your name on the list and get a cold beer while you wait for your turn to be seated. 
289 E. Bay St.
Charleston, SC

McCrady’s is a tasting menu-only restaurant helmed by James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock. The 22-seat space, located in historic downtown Charleston, features exceptional hospitality and an open kitchen creating an intimate and adventurous dining experience.

Salsify Jerky.
Green Tomato | Lemongrass.
Ossabaw Pork | Wild Red Bay | Sorghum. @mccradys
 
Carrot Tart.
Sunchoke & Clams @mccradys
Magwood Shrimp.
Cobia | Fava Bean | Turnip.
Charleston Rice Cream.
Aged Beef & Chanterelle.
Chocolate | Rooibos | Banana.
Uni & Cucumber Ice cream.
Sea Island Milk | Blueberry | Geranium.
24k Chocolate.
“Foiechamacallit” Foie & Chocolate.
Mint Suspiro
155 East Bay St Charleston, SC 29401
Carrie Morey founded Callie’s Charleston Biscuits in 2005 with the goal of making the tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits of her mother accessible across the country. Touted by Saveur, Food & Wine, Southern Living, The New York Times and Oprah among others, Carrie and her small team of bakers are keeping the tradition of Southern biscuit making alive.
Bacon, Fried Egg, Cheese, Avocado.
Sausage & Bacon.
476 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
These Doughnuts are seriously AMAZING. Don’t Miss it.
481 King St. Charleston SC 29403
This is my current favorite restaurant in Charleston and one that you must pay a visit. In 2003, Mike and Adam began with a simple philosophy that holds true today: serve honest, local ingredients, with informed service, in a comfortable setting. Once a humble corner bistro, FIG has blossomed into one of the Southeast’s top culinary destinations. The staff is passionate and polite. The room is simple and modern. The menu is creative and seasonal.
Corolina Peaches | Lemon Cucumber | Benne Tahini | Florence Fennel
Roe Shrimp Cocktail | Avocado | Cucumber | Tomato | Horseradish.
A staple @eatatfig I’ve been here 3 times and all 3 time I have ordered this dish. Simply fantastic. Ricotta Gnocchi & Lamb Bolognese | Mint
Grab Spaghetti | Lemon Butter | Bottarga | Bread Crumb. Absolutely Amazing!
This dish here was AMAZING if you happen to dine at @eatatfig and are lucky enough to see this item on the menu, do yourself a huge favor and order it. Tomato Tarte Tatin | Whipped Chèvre | Olive Coulis
http://eatatfig.com/the-restaurant/
232 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
Great Spot to come get world class cocktails. The team here does an outstanding job with craft cocktails that would rival to any top bar in NYC. Definitely, put them down on your list if you’re into Cocktails. 
182 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
Proof is an intimate craft cocktail bar with extensive wines by the glass list and a really good beer list. Cocktails are good and reasonably priced. 
437 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Grilled sweet corn | peaches | charred peppers | pickled blueberries |
Red Roe Royal Shrimp | Honey-Chili Sambal | Compressed Melon | Sticky Rice | Peanuts
Chicken Skins | Pimento Cheese Ranch | Espelette @huskrestaurant this was soo good.
Confit Duck | Farro Piccolo | Roasted Peach | SC Mushrooms | Beets | Cabbage | Pickled Blueberries 
Carolina Gold Rice | Field Peas | Smoked Tomato | Heirloom Kale.
Grouper | Charred SC Eggplant | Ember Roasted Fennel | Summer Squash | Cucumber | Green Harissa | Crispy Pita.
76 Queen St.
Charleston, SC 29401
Another favorite in Charleston. This is an absolutely beautiful restaurant that’s got the entire package; Amazing food, Amazing beer, Great Cocktails, all in-house cured meats and a decent Wine List. Don’t miss the place, whether is Lunch, Brunch or Dinner this place will not disappoint the most discriminating foodies out there. 
Fish & Grits.
Seared Pork Pâté Toast 
Monte Cristo.
1081 MORRISON DRIVE
CHARLESTON, SC 29403

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Urbain 40 American Brasserie and Lounge is a throwback to all the nostalgic swank and sophistication of the 1940s (hence the 40 in Urbain 40) Big Band era with a classic yet seasonally changing American and European continental menu.

Several months ago, after 9 years as executive chef of the award winning Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, Chef Timothy Keating joined the Boulevard Restaurant Group as Director of Culinary Operations. The group owns and operates both Urbain 40 on Orlando’s Restaurant Row and Paradiso 37 at Disney Springs.

“Can you guess where these clams are from?,” Chef Tim Keating asks as I looked over longingly at the intoxicatingly aromatic cup of creamy New England clam chowder placed in front of me.

“Cedar Key – just north of Tampa! There’s lovely bits of pork belly, chopped leeks, vegetables, with the chopped clam in there, all in a roux of bacon and duck fat.”

 New England Clam Chowder

Born in New Jersey, Chef Keating began his culinary career in his early teens – “the school of hard knocks,” says Keating.

Working at several high end hotel restaurants, he eventually became Executive Chef of the Five Diamond rated Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, Texas and Executive Chef of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables before joining Flying Fish in Orlando.

Among his many accolades, he was nominated four times for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef-Southwest – in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.


At six feet, eight inches – a former college basketball player – Chef Tim Keating towers in the kitchen, both as a figure and with his great intangible love and care for his dishes and the sourcing of his ingredients.

He loves to bring creativity into his work, using the freshest and highest quality ingredients from local farmers, fish mongers, and more.

At Urbain 40 – he is bringing more of the “American” into the “Brasserie” with new touches of Asian inspired dishes – like the coconut curry ginger yellowfin tuna filet – while maintaining the French favorites that guests have grown to love. Pieces and patchwork and cultures together making a great, big, delicious quilt called America.

We were recently invited to chat with Chef Tim Keating and preview some of the new dishes in season at Urbain 40 right now.

Some of my favorites of the evening included the Duck confit and duck sausage trofi di abruzzo Ligurian style pasta dumplings and the char-crusted Angus NY striploin. The char is a delightful medley of spices that give the steak an addicting, flame-kissed taste without being burnt. It’s black magic.

House baked bread and butter – addictive.

Crispy Jonah Crab Cake
Savory Slaw, Sauce Verde, Piquant Mango-Pepper Coulis

Rock Shrimp and Cape Bay Scallop Ceviche Cocktail
Radishes, Cucumbers, Palm hearts, peppadew peppers, Citrus and Tequila

Duck Sausage and Duck Confit Trofie Di Abruzzo
Twisted Ligurian-style pasta dumplings, duck confit, duck sausage, wilted rhapini, alba mushrooms

Bolognese Pasta
Handmade pappardelle pasta, 11 hour Slow Braised Beef, Veal, and Heritage Pork Ragout
Arugula and Parmigiano Reggiano

12 oz Char-Crusted Angus NY Striploin

Ginger-Teriyaki Char-Crusted Yellowfin Tuna “Filet”
A massive cut of premium tuna steak, swimming in a delightful coconut-carrot-lemongrass curry butter emulsion, topped with lotus roots and mushrooms. I could still imagine slurping that curry up right now. The curry itself would be great with some noodles turned into a noodle soup with some duck confit – maybe next season!

Shrimp Lo Mein
Not your old neighborhood Chinese take out shrimp lo mein – this is an elevated lo mein dish with Wild Gulf Shrimp, Asian Vegetables and Mushrooms, Mirin, Miso, Lemongrass Emulsion

Urbain 40’s Pastry Chef Amanda McFall, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, may be one of the best, if not the best pastry chef in Orlando.

Her desserts are a work of art and it is almost feel a pity to eat them because they are so beautiful.

I say almost because they taste even more delicious than they look so I have no regrets.

The Tropical Sundae Deluxe, conjuring memories of the Caribbean with rum soaked angel food cake and toasted coconut gelato and spiced pineapple, may well be THE Dessert of the Summer.

Sinful Chocolate & Peanut Butter Creation
Layers of dark & milk chocolate, peanut butter crèma, and Florida raspberries.

Tropical Sundae Deluxe
Toasted coconut gelato, rum soaked angel food cake, caramel sauce & pink peppercorn spiced pineapple.

Lemon Meringue Tart
Blueberry-lavender sorbet, poppy seed crèma, and Florida blueberries.

There is a sense of playfulness in the creativity of all of Chef Keating’s dishes at Urbain 40 that is genuinely refreshing.

Urbain 40 since its opening had been one of my favorite restaurants in Orlando – those sizzling mussels are the stuff of dreams even still today – and not only is it in skillfully good hands with Chef Tim Keating, but the changes to the menu are refreshing and have elevated the restaurant higher.

Urbain 40 American Brasserie and Lounge
http://www.urbain40.com
8000 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 872-2640

Photos by So May Ly Photography

With the recent addition of The Gourmet Muffin to the four other bake shops in our Audubon Park Garden District, at the intersection of Corrine Dr and Winter Park Rd, we’ve reached a critical mass – and the time has come for us at Tasty Chomps to officially call the area our “Orlando Bakery District”.

It’s all arbitrary and very unscientific, but this corner of Orlando now has the highest concentration of bakeshops featuring pastries and other baked goods in our region.

So throw your carb and calorie counter out the window, here is:

A Guide to Orlando’s Bakery District:

Olde Hearth Bread Company

Address: 3201 Corrine Dr – East End Market Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 622-0822
oldehearthbreadcompany.com
https://www.instagram.com/oldehearthbread/
https://www.facebook.com/OldeHearthBread/

From croissants to peanut butter cream cookies, you can find the retail arm of the Olde Hearth inside East End Market. The veritable mother of fine artisan baking in Orlando, Olde Hearth Bread Company was founded in Orlando in 1988 by culinary artisans Shannon Talty and Janice Talty, each with classical training in some of our nation’s most acclaimed bakeries.

Their original vision was to “establish a retail and wholesale business offering high quality artisan breads and pastries.” Unbleached and unbromated flours and preservative-free ingredients are essential to their baking process. Minimal automation and a commitment to old-world “hand-made” processing ensures their breads are pure and flavorful.

Blue Bird Bake Shop

3122 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 228-3822
bluebirdbakeshop.com/
instagram.com/bluebirdbakeshop/
acebook.com/bluebirdbakeshop/

Specializing in cupcakes, Blue Bird Bake Shop features flavors from Red Velvet to Sweet Cakes, Ch-chocolate to Peanut Butter & Jelly, rotating on a daily basis.

They bake everything from scratch daily, and also offer brownies, cookies, scones, muffins and other bakery fare.

P is for Pie Bake Shop

Address: 2806 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 745-4743
www.crazyforpies.com
instagram.com/pisforpiebakeshop/
facebook.com/crazyforpies/

P is for Pie Bake Shop specializes in artisan pies, pie pops, & desserts. Everything is scratch baked fresh by hand.

Everything is made from scratch, by hand, incorporating natural, seasonal and local ingredients to every extent possible.

Whole and small pies are available on a first come first serve basis on Fridays and Saturdays. Order your pies aheaed though to be sure at least 24 hours for sweet pies and at least 48 hours for savory pies.

Gideon’s Bakehouse

3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
gideonsbakehouse.com
facebook.com/gideonsbakehouse/
instagram.com/gideonsbakehouse/

This relatively new gothic/Victorian themed cookie shop inside the East End Market has been lighting up Instagram feeds everywhere with their wild chocolate chip cookies. Cookies are a must, but they also serve up cakes, pies, and dessert coffee. Get there early cause they sell out.

The Gourmet Muffin

Address: 2909 Corrine Dr Suite B, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 751-4134
thegourmetmuffin.com
instagram.com/thegourmetmuffin/
facebook.com/TheGourmetMuffin/

Owner-Chef Catherine Hilgerson hails from New Orleans, baking in some of the finest bakeries in that region. She carries her muffin creations throughout Central Florida, as far as Gainesville at local farmer’s markets. But now, she has found a home in the Orlando Bakery District (officially the Audubon Park Garden District), selling also Italian cookies and specialty coffees.

Muffin flavors range from banana and chocolate chip to raspberry and more. My favorites are the “cruffins”, croissant-muffin hybrids, sometimes filled with cannoli cream, other times filled with strawberry mascarpone depending on the day and new ones are always rolling out.

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On July 29, Morimoto Asia will be hosting “Craft Beers & Bites Festival,” benefitting Children’s Home Society of Central Florida.

Taking place on the second level of Morimoto Asia, this event will feature eight Florida craft breweries with individual food pairings prepared by Morimoto Asia’s Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinaga.

The event will take place from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Ticket price: $49.80, which includes unlimited beer and bites. 100% of the profit is being donated to The Children’s Home Society of Central Florida. Tickets are limited. See featured breweries and menu pairings below.

Event Link: http://bit.ly/BeerEvent

Crooked Can Brewing Company
peking duck tacos

Copper Tail Brewing Company
morimoto sticky ribs

Redlight Redlight Brewery
sushi handroll – spicy hamachi – spicy tuna

Cask & Larder
chashu pork quesadilla

Bowigens Beer Company
churros with nutella

Two Henrys Brewing Company
poke bowl – ahi, tako, hamachi

Hourglass Brewing
okonomiyaki – seafood pancake

Red Cypress Brewery
yakitori – bulgogi beef with ginger miso paste

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By Hoang Nguyen

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando has unveiled a new weekly themed dinner show, Caribbean Carnaval, featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet and high-energy, live entertainment for the entire family.

Accompanied by stilt walkers and acrobatic dancers, the evening’s lively hosts whisk the audience away on a flavorful, musical tour through the Caribbean with plenty of dancing, singing, limbo and even a conga line.

 

Guests enjoy authentic Caribbean dishes and drinks, including Planter’s Punch, mojo roasted suckling pig, ropa vieja, jerk chicken, grilled snapper, Caribbean rum cake and guava flan.

A colorful cast of characters provides exciting live entertainment as they take guests on a musical voyage from Florida through the Bahamas with stops in Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.

We were recently invited to attend the new Caribbean experience at the Loews Sapphire Falls resort.

 First and foremost, the hotel was gorgeous with wooden beams and gave the guest a very beach resort sensation.  The staff was very friendly.  We were greeted in the lobby and lead down to the Cayman Court pavilion where the show would take place.  We were greeted by cast members representing different areas of the Caribbean along the way. 

 

Once we reached the outside dining area, the cast welcomed us with beads and provided island music for us to enjoy during dinner.  A buffet consisting of different dishes from all the different nations were available to us including Jerk Chicken, Coconut rice with mahi mahi and ropa vieja.  

However, the crown jewel of the night was undoubtedly the whole roasted pig.  It was extremely moist.  The meat was flavorful, fatty and fall of the bone tender.  It’s not everyday that patrons get to see a whole pig, head included, served in front of them. The pork paired very well with the planter’s punch and coconut rice.  The sweetness of the punch, saltiness of the pork combined with the creamy flavor of the rice really worked well together.   

Even with the plentiful spread available on the buffet table, we definitely made room for dessert.  The rum cake was definitely heavy on the rum.  It was a little dry for my taste and could have benefited with some extra glaze.  Our favorite was definitely the guava flan.  The texture was creamy, smooth and was not overly sweet with a hint of guava flavor.  

 

As the night went on, we were whisked away on a musical voyage from Florida through the Bahamas with stops in Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.  The show was very engaging and entertaining.  The energy level started off high and dramatically increased as the night went on as the audience loosened up a bit.  The acrobatics were awesome.      

The dances were well coordinated and enhanced with colorful and lively costumes.   The music was upbeat but also made us feel like we were relaxing in the tropical islands.  All of a sudden a conga line started and we were surrounded by dancing audience and performers.  

To sum it up, if you were in the mood for a great show and wanting to sample a variety of dishes from the different Caribbean nations, then this event should be marked on your calendar.  The show was fun and engaging.  The food was plentiful and provided a plethora of food for every palate.

 Caribbean Carnaval takes place every Wednesday night in the resort’s outdoor pavilion, Cayman Court.

Seating begins at 6 pm and the show starts at 7 pm.   

Tickets are $69 for adults and $35 for children ages 3-9. Children under 3 are complimentary. Price includes gratuity, non-alcoholic beverages, wine, beer and Planter’s Punch. Tax and ticketing fees apply.

For reservations, call 407-503-DINE (3463) or visit caribbeancarnaval.eventbrite.com.

 

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The restaurant that started as a craving
Hunger Street Tacos was borne of a husband’s desire to make his wife happy. Luckily for all of us, what made her happy was a taco.

Joseph Creech was a “missionary kid” born in Guadalajara and raised in Acapulco where his parents, Joseph Sr. and Rita, started a Presbyterian church. He loved the weather and people of the area, and especially the food. But the family moved back to Central Florida when Joseph was six and he fell right into being the All-American kid. He went to school at Auburn, but by his sophomore year, he was restless.

“I was majoring in International business and marketing, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life,” Creech said. “I figured a year off would help me figure it out.”

So this time, he became the missionary and went back to his beloved Mexico. During his childhood there, his parents had discouraged him from eating street food because of health concerns. But as a young man, he discovered what turned out to be the fresh, scratch-made food of the ubiquitous taco and quesadilla hawkers. He trolled the street vendors and markets in every city he visited.

“It became an obsession with me,” he said. “I couldn’t get enough of it.”

Creech quotes his favorite chef Enrique Olvera from Mexico City about what attracted him to the food.

“Olvera says there is a ‘wealth in poverty,’” Creech said. “Meaning that out of need comes amazing creativity. People were using ingredients they may not have tried if they could afford other things, but out of that comes incredible food.”

He points to some of the unique but affordable ingredients used in Mexican cuisine such as insects, cactus and flowers to make his point. He also appreciates the history of the food.

“People have been making this food for generations,” he said. “Much of it in the exact same way they are now.”

Nine months into his time in Mexico, he met a young woman named Seydi Plata. A Mexico City native, she had as much appreciation for street food as Joseph did. She also had a favorite taco – the taco de suadero.

Suadero is a term used to describe the type of beef used on the tacos. The cut of meat is found in between the belly and leg of the cow. In the U.S. Suadero is usually ground for burgers. Closest in taste and texture is brisket, which is also frequently used in Mexico for the tacos de suadero. The meat is slow cooked to tenderness and then seared on a hot griddle or pan before going on corn tortillas with the traditional toppings of cilantro, onion, salsa and lime. The only taco originating in Mexico City, it is also one of the most loved. Joseph and Seydi ate a lot of them; especially at a place right outside of Mexico City called La Calle Del Hambre or Hunger Street.

“Street food is everywhere in Mexico,” Seydi said. “Everybody eats and loves it, especially if you don’t have a lot of money.”

Seydi jokes that she had to “school” Joseph to get him to appreciate some of the traditional Mexican ingredients.

“He didn’t like chorizo or salsa verde,” she said. “But he does now.”

Joseph moved back to the Florida but he and Seydi maintained a long-distance relationship for four years. She moved to the States in 2005 and the two were married. Joseph dabbled in the restaurant business, at one point even dreaming of becoming a chef, but ultimately took a more “pragmatic” career path, working in finance. Two daughters were born, Bella and Mia.

And that’s when Seydi’s craving started. She missed her beloved taco de suadero.

“We would go to 4 Rivers and get the brisket, but I don’t like bread,” she said. “I would dream about eating that brisket on a tortilla.”

She kept telling Joseph they should try to make suadero.

“My wife had a craving,” Joseph said, “And I finally started paying attention to it.”

The couple had always entertained, so Joseph started using his friends and family as Guinea pigs, trying out different suadero recipes. They watched YouTube videos, they bought and learned how to use a pressure cooker because that’s how Seydi’s mother cooked “everything.”

“My mother used a pressure cooker every day,” Seydi said. “Many times, dinner ended up on the ceiling when one blew.”

They started researching and experimenting with different cuts of beef, finally settling on the brisket that Seydi loved so much.

“It has the right mixture of tender meat and fat,” Joseph said. “When you sear it on the flat top, the meat browns and the fat melts perfectly.”

The response was positive, to say the least.

“People were overwhelmingly blown away,” Joseph said. “It was great.”

They started making some other favorite dishes like Esquites, fresh corn simmered in a rich bone-marrow broth, and a refreshing cucumber and radish salad. Many of the recipes had been in Seydi’s family for generations, others, like mushroom quesadillas and squash blossom quesadillas, came straight off the street.

“We realized we had something special,” Joseph said, “And it wasn’t anything you could get here in Central Florida.”

In the meantime, Joseph’s little brother, David was working for Chick-Fil-A, in its employee training division. Joseph approached him about starting their own food business using the recipes he and Seydi had been developing.

“My time was coming to an end at Chick-fil-A,” David said. “So, I said yes, let’s go with our passion.”
Those summers the family spent in Mexico affected David much as they did Joseph. He fell in love with the people, the culture, the food. In college, he did a semester abroad in Mexico and found a calling to learn the language and the food.

“At that point I was thinking about going to culinary school,” he said, “but I decided to learn from Mexican grandmothers instead.”

As part of his missionary work, he lived in a house with 27 Mexican high school students. He went to the market every day and helped with the cooking.

“It was an amazing experience,” he said. I learned to really appreciate fresh, local ingredients.”

The brothers didn’t want to jump right into a restaurant, and food trucks seemed problematic, so they went with a catering company. The worked private and public events from under a 10’X10’ tent, lugging two cast iron flat top grills with them. They got rave reviews. The most interesting and valuable experience during that time, David said, was acting as the concessionaire for Maitland Little League.

“We learned a lot about organization and having procedures in place,” David said. “Catering was the perfect way to work on menu development and building a customer base.”

But a bricks and mortar restaurant was always in their sights.

“We always had that vision; that was always the goal,” David said. “We wanted to be able to deliver a modern Mexican ambience in the restaurant and share Mexico through not just our food, but the art and music too.

The brothers set a goal to have a restaurant open in five years.

“We had a five-year plan that turned out to only last a little more than two years,” Joseph said.
Joseph calls Seydi (and her taco cravings) the “driving force” behind Hunger Street Tacos, so it’s logical that future plans include a string of restaurants, but not franchised. All under the “corporate family” umbrella. And the catering operation that got them started will continue.

For now, Joseph and David plan on honing recipes and policies in their first location. The two have gotten help from a local restaurant legend, John Rivers of 4 Rivers Barbecue. While not an official part of HST, John is “like family” and is giving the brothers advice on everything from customer service to sourcing ingredients.

“We have so many people who support us and want to see us succeed,” Joseph said. “We’re very fortunate.”

 

All tacos are made on gluten-free, soft corn tortillas

Brisket 3.5
Seared brisket, onion, cilantro, avocado-tomatillo salsa, lime

Campechano 3.5
Seared brisket, chorizo, onion, cilantro, avocado-tomatillo salsa, lime

Chori-Pollo 3
Chorizo, shredded chicken, onion, cilantro, avocado-tomatillo salsa, lime

El Mañanero 4
Seared brisket, chorizo, refried beans, scrambled egg, Chihuahua cheese, avocado-tomatillo salsa, lime

Hibiscus & Guac 3
Sautéed hibiscus, guacamole

TOSTADAS
Chicken Tinga 4.7 (Dine-in only)
Shredded chicken, chorizo, refried beans, red cabbage, sautéed onion, tomato, garlic, chipotle, crema fresca and sliced avocado on a crisp corn tortilla

QUESADILLAS
Brisket 6
Seared brisket, Chihuahua cheese, avocado-tomatillo salsa

Chicharron de Queso 5 (Dine-in only)
Seared cheese wheel, served with guac and salsa


Esquites 3.3
Corn off the cob, bone marrow broth reduction, epazote, queso cotija, lime

Hunger Street Tacos
hungerstreettacos.com
2103 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

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Housed in a former Checker’s drivethru stall on South Orange Blossom Trail, just north of the Florida Mall – I may have just found it. Some of THE best tacos in Orlando are at Tortas El Rey.

At first, it might look sketch with the neighborhood and setting, but look closer and you will find some of the best eats in all of Orlando. Even Edible Orlando magazine recently featured the tiny taco shop for their torta – a type of Mexican sandwich – for their Carnitas Torta – a huge sandwich of fried pork, a slather of refried beans, mayo, tomato, and lettuce on a cemita roll.

The tacos are not to be missed – for about $1.25, they are some of the best valued tacos in town. I ordered 4 – the cabeza (tender pulled beef head),  al pastor marinated pork, chicharron (Mexican sausage),  and the carne asada steak. The tacos here are served in fresh, hot corn tortillas and  topped with some cilantro and onion. They also came with these two special salsas, slices of lime, and pickled peppers.

Truly a well deserved name – they are the kings of not only tortas but tacos as well. Make your way over there asap.

Overview of the Carnitas Torta

Cross section view of the carnita torta – magnificent

These tacos are full of meat and flavors. Chorizo, cabeza, al pastor, y carne asada.

TORTAS EL REY
6151 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809
https://www.facebook.com/TortasElRey/

Tortas El Rey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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“What drives me as a chef is learning what’s new in the ever-changing culinary world, and having unique experiences with people I’ve met throughout my career who motivate me to be innovative in my craft.” – Chef Gabriel Massip of Capa Spanish Steakhouse

Born in Paris, France, Chef Gabriel Massip recently took over as the Chef at Capa, the 17th floor Spanish-influenced steakhouse at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

Massip brings more than 11 years of experience to Capa, with a career spent cooking in award-winning restaurants across the globe, from Australia to New York and Bora Bora.

He began his culinary training in his hometown at the young age of 15.

“From the beginning, I was taught by my mother that the best dishes are cooked well, with simple ingredients.”

Continuing his growth after culinary school, Massip began his career in France as chef de partie at multiple award-winning restaurants and two 1-Michelin star restaurants. He then relocated to a resort in tropical Bora Bora, where he spent the next four years working as a sous chef.

After relocating from Bora Bora to Australia, he made his way from Down Under to board the Disney Cruise Line in Orlando working at the ship’s signature restaurant venue, adding to his diverse resume of culinary genres.

“Despite my French background, my travels have influenced the evolution of my dishes to be more on the bright side, lighter on the butter.”

More recently, Massip took his talents to New York City, where he worked at the renowned Daniel Boulud eatery DB Bistro, eventually moving on to re-open the downtown New York City restaurant Acme as chef de cuisine.

Now back in the Sunshine State, Massip is excited to bring his talents to elevate the dining experience at Capa.

“My recipe for success is simple: I know flavours and I know cooking. I love working with the team to continue to provide the high quality dining experience that makes Capa one of the best restaurants in Central Florida.”

We recently spoke to Chef Massip via e-mail to dive deeper into his background and inspiration.

 

What inspired you to start cooking?

Very young, I was already eating a lot of different things and was more curious than my brothers on that matter. I have two brothers, one who is three years older and one who is two years younger. I was the only one who tried everything my mom was cooking, while my brothers stayed away from trying new things. I enjoyed eating sautéed veal brain with parsley and garlic, and helping my mother with cooking and baking.

What are some of your favorite dishes at your restaurant?

The Cerdo (beer brined pork belly with apple butter and pistachio jazz) has a great balance of flavours, Zanahoria (thumbelinas carrots with za’atar spices, turmeric vinaigrette and puffed quinoa) is a great way to eat vegetables and is packed of flavors too.

Tell us about the new CAPA menu!

It is consistent with what has been done before; the tapas are inspired by the many different trips during my career. Some of them are dishes that I have created in the past, but I have tweaked and worked differently. For instance, the carrots dish I created in NYC. I took the main idea of roasting the carrots with the za’atar spices and made homemade vinegar with fresh turmeric. The celltuce dish comes from a restaurant in France, although it was completely different in France. I like the vegetable and worked the dish differently for Capa. As always, Capa is the place to go for incredible steaks and seafood.

What are your first childhood food memories?

My mom’s cooking with some staples of French cuisine: stews, fresh vegetables, foraging mushrooms in the forest and the fresh aromatics in the backyard.

What do you like to cook for “comfort food” at home with your family?

Anything, it can go from bread to roasted chicken to a fresh piece of fish. I like to randomly open the fridge and make up a recipe with whatever is available. It can be a simple roast chicken with mashed potatoes, black sausage with apples and plums, braised lamb shoulder with garlic olives and tomatoes. I also love light and acidic dishes such as ceviche and fresh tomato salad. The simpler, the better.

Where are some of your favorite local places in Orlando to dine in (outside of CAPA)?

A local Korean restaurant next to where I live, called Beewon Korean Cuisine, and Luma on the Park was a great experience along with SoCo.

Photos Courtesy of Four Seasons

Capa at Four Seasons Orlando
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32836
http://www.fourseasons.com/orlando/dining/restaurants/capa/

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Starting June 20, Bulla Gastrobar will celebrate summer with “Paella Tuesdays.” Every Tuesday night (“Noche de Paellas”), Bulla will offer a special menu for dinner that will include 3 original paellas plus 2 new ones each week. The first Tuesday will feature the Paella de Vejetales (vegetable paella) and Paella de Cordero (lamb paella).

Bulla Gastrobar
110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (321) 214-6120

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Seasons 52 – as its name aptly suggests – is a restaurant concept that changes its menu along with the seasons. It’s owned by the Darden Restaurant group and so with the headquarters here in Orlando, the Sand Lake location (they are located on Restaurant Row – though it might be more accurate to call it Darden Row nowadays?) gets to have first dibs when it comes to being the test kitchen for new dishes.

The summer menu is full of fresh corn and watermelon flavors.

Here are our Favorite Bites from Seasons 52’s New Summer 2017 menu:

 

 

SUMMER CORN SOUP
bacon, leeks (230 cal)

LUMP CRAB, ROASTED SHRIMP & SPINACH STUFFED MUSHROOMS
panko crust (230 cal)

WATERMELON & HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD
shaved red onion, feta, lemon vinaigrette (190 cal)

ROASTED SUMMER CORN SKILLET
crispy bacon, caramelized onion, Parmesan (410 cal)

TRUFFLE MAC ‘N’ CHEESE EN BRODO
cave-aged Gruyère, cheddar, trio of roasted mushrooms, truffle zest, panko crust (350 cal)

*WOOD-GRILLED HANDLINE TUNA
black rice, kohlrabi slaw, sesame-peanut vinaigrette (530 cal)

*WOOD-GRILLED NEW YORK STRIP
sauté of vegetables, Yukon mash, roasted garlic butter (670 cal)


SIGNATURE MINI INDULGENCES INCLUDING:
KEY LIME PIE
pecan crust, toasted meringue (290 cal)
PECAN PIE
vanilla bean mousse, whipped cream, honey-glazed pecan (370 cal)

Other new dishes for the summer at Seasons 52:

· Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Figs: Fresh seasonal figs have a distinctly smooth skin and sweet, chewy texture that pairs beautifully with rich gorgonzola, topped with a 15-year aged balsamic.

· Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Board: Sweet, Vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes pair perfectly with creamy burrata and prosciutto and topped with 15-year aged balsamic.

· Heirloom & Watermelon Salad: This color-rich dish combines the best summer produce flavors and textures: Sweet watermelon cubes resting on bright heirloom tomatoes, paired with shaved red onion, creamy feta and a pop of lemon vinaigrette.

· Chilean Sea Bass: This guest favorite entrée is roasted and drizzled in an Asian glaze, the Chilean Sea Bass is served with organic black rice, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, and micro wasabi. Fun fact: Black Rice packs more antioxidants than blueberries.

· Copper River Salmon: Coming Soon! Sourced from the glacial rivers of Alaska’s famous Copper River, these fresh salmon are considered among the most flavorful and sought after fish in the world. Copper River Salmon will only be available for a short time, and every year our guests count down to the start of wild Alaska season when this rich, distinctly bright red salmon hits the menu paired with seasonal sweet corn risotto, toybox tomatoes and snap peas.

· Michigan Cherry Crème Brulee Mini Indulgence: Known as the Cherry Capital, Traverse City, MI, is considered the heartland of sweet cherries in the United States, and every summer visitors flock to taste the distinctly dark, sweet fruit. For a seasonal twist on a classic dessert, try our Michigan Cherry Crème Brulee Mini Indulgence, with classic vanilla bean infused custard over an intense compote of some of the best cherries from Traverse City and throughout Michigan.

 

There are two locations in Orlando:

Seasons 52 www.seasons52.com

7700 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

463 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

 

Chef's Spotlight

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The restaurant that started as a craving Hunger Street Tacos was borne of a husband’s desire to make his wife happy. Luckily for all of...

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Tucked inside the busy Dr. Phillips Marketplace (seriously how many restaurants can fit in there??), you can find La Carraia, a new gelato shop...