Seafood

We were invited to Marlow’s Tavern – Lee Vista (located one mile from the Orlando International Airport) to enjoy a chef’s selection of the new fall/winter menu and creative handcrafted cocktails.  The new menu will stay until March, as Marlow’s Tavern changes their menu three times a year.

Marlow Tavern’s Executive Chef/CEO/Co-founder John C. Metz, who created the menu along with Rick Blumberg, manager of adult beverages, said in a recent press release, “Our revamped menu has an abundance of great starters, salads, sandwiches, tavern favorites and creative cocktails.  These inspired takes on traditional tavern dishes and drinks give our guests yet another reason to gather around the table at Marlow’s throughout the fall and winter.”

Some of the new menu offerings and crafted cocktails include:

Our G&T – Empress 1908 gin, smacked sage, orange, angostura bitters and tonic
Pineapple Rum Express – Plantation pineapple rum, St. George spiced pear liqueur, fresh lime
Beached Margarita – Herradura hibiscus tincture, Beach coconut whiskey and house sour
The Jet Plane – Bacardi añejo rum, Brovo Amaro #1, aperol and fresh lemon

Roasted Heirloom Carrots – whole baby carrots, orange honey glaze, crumbled feta

Arugula, Trout & Apple Toast – smoked trout, baby arugula, Granny Smith apple and pickled red onion

Feta & Artichoke Fondue – grilled artichokes, Swiss chard, creamy Mornay, feta cheese and toasty
ciabatta

Pastrami Melt – Montreal Smoked Meats pastrami, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and
dijonnaise on deli rye.  Served with house pickles and Marlow’s Tavern fries, yum!

Grilled Atlantic Salmon – with jumbo couscous, baby spinach, toasted almonds and dried cranberry
in a red wine reduction

Chicken Pappardelle Stack – grilled Prestige Farms chicken, creamy artichoke and Swiss chard,
fresh pappardelle noodles, snap peas and roasted mushroom cream.  The chicken is organic and never frozen.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna – sage Mornay sauce, pomodoro, butternut squash, Swiss chard and
mushrooms

Big thank you to Joel, the manager of Marlow’s Tavern – Lee Vista, and Chef Benjamin for hosting us!  It was a delicious dinner!

Marlow’s Tavern – Lee Vista
6889 Eagle Watch Dr, Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 985-2381
marlowstavern.com

What are your plans for Christmas?

Every year, my family dines at one of the Rosen Hotels for their Christmas Day buffet and we take a picture with Mr. Rosen himself, pictured above.  It’s become a family tradition of ours ever since we met him during a Christmas Day buffet back in 2014 when he greeted our table and asked us how we were doing.  My mom immediately recognized him from reading about him in the papers and asked him if he was Mr. Rosen and he confirmed and allowed us to take a picture with him.  He’s seriously the best.

Life came back to a full circle when I was invited to attend Rosen Hotels & Resorts’ first-ever Holiday Night of Lights media event to preview what each hotel is doing for their Christmas Day buffet & holiday events this year.  The night started with all 50 bloggers and friends hopping onto a snazzy two-story bus (our “sleigh” for the night that was generously donated by City Sightseeing Tours Orlando) to visit all 7 Rosen properties and see their holiday lights, with delicious bites at each stop.

Photo credit: Rosen Hotels & Resorts

At Rosen Hotels, their attention to detail is always impeccable, nothing ever gets overlooked and the customer service is top-notch.  I am so looking forward to making it out to the Christmas Day buffet at one of the Rosen Hotels this year with my family.

First Stop – Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista for chocolate peppermint mocktinis, Santa Claus mopolitan, crab cakes, caprese skewers, dunking donut station, sweets, and a tour of the beautiful Bella Vista event venue.

Second Stop – Rosen Inn Closest to Universal for a hibachi performance from the Shogun chefs (I wasn’t able to get a picture of them in action because they were super fast) and sushi & sake from the Sakura Bar.

Third Stop Rosen Inn International for “The Rosen Tree” lighting, cesar salad cups and sweet & spicy meatballs

Fourth Stop – Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando for selfies with an elfie, chicken wellington, mushroom puff and Christmas cookie

Fifth Stop – Rosen Plaza – for a sneak preview of the upcoming Dec. 15 Iced Out! event (free to the public), an ice luge with a signature cocktails, fig & manchego lollipops, lobster corndogs and baby lamb chops prepared by Executive Chef Michael and team.

Sixth Stop – Rosen Centre – for a greeting by Christmas carolers, a real gingerbread house, Harry’s ropa vieja empanada, pineapple ceviche, strawberry cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, and drinks from Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill

Seventh Stop – Rosen Shingle Creek for a sneak preview of the charity trees (which will be displayed in the hotel’s grand lobby) decorated by 24 local non-profits throughout Orlando, and a festive mix and mingle with the hotel and charity partners.

Thanks Mr. Rosen for hosting us in such a family way!

I am so excited to announce that one of my favorite restaurants Bento Cafe is officially open in Winter Park, across from Winter Park Village.  This is store #11 for them with 4 more to come, all in Florida.  We were invited to a media event to get a sneak preview of their new spot before they opened and try some of their delicious Asian food.

Fun fact: Bento Cafe is owned by college friends David Yu,  Jimmy Tung and Johnny Tung and started in Gainesville in 2002.

Udon Noodle Soup – I order this udon soup quite frequently with a side of shrimp tempura.  It’s perfect for any occasion.

Yaki Udon – Chicken, stir-fried udon noodles, carrot, onion, bean sprout, scallion, ginger soy

Teriyaki Steak – fire-grilled; with sweet soy dipping sauce

Build-A-Poké Bowl

Chicken Katsu

Ginger Scallion – shrimp, red bell pepper, onion, snow peas, scallion

An assortment of sushi

Sushi with black jasmine rice

Sriracha Garlic Chicken – wok-fried; green & red bell pepper

Pao Pao Spicy Cream Chicken – wok-fried in their signature spicy cream glaze, green & red bell pepper.  This is one of my long-time favorites!

Garlic Broccoli Steak – broccoli, carrot, soy garlic sauce

Bento Fried Rice – onion, bean sprout, egg, peas, carrot, scallion

Customized poké bowls

I won the mystery prize… a wireless iPhone charger!!

My sister got “try again” like 3 times in a row!

DJ Spinfamous is my favorite dj ever.

Boba toppings

Sweet cream ice cream and pumpkin wontons by Greenery Creamy, one of the participating sponsors that evening.

Mochi Dochi was another sponsor that evening.  They really need to get a brick and mortar, their desserts were tasty!

Bento cupcakes sponsored by The Naked Cupcake 

For more information, please visit: eatatbento.com

Bento Cafe – Winter Park
501 Orlando Avenue #221, Winter Park, FL 32789
407-775-3555

We were invited to Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, located at Pointe Orlando, to celebrate their ten years of service in Orlando and the release of a new cookbook by national renowned chef and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot and co-author Lourdes Castro.

Guests enjoyed live entertainment and an open bar along with an array of passed and stationary tapas, ceviches, and desserts from Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot’s second cookbook, CUBA COOKS: RECIPES AND DESSERTS FROM CUBAN PALADARES AND THEIR CHEFS (October 2018), $40 each.

Cuban Porchetta – pork belly and pork loin roast with Moros y Cristianos pilaf

Sopa de Cilantro – chilled cilantro soup with tempura of clams

Tacos de Berenjenas – malanga tacos with eggplant salad

Ceviche de Pez Perro – hog fish ceviche with blackeyes peas, coconut milk, cilantro and cachucha Chile sauce

Buñuelos de Espinaca – spinach and manchego cheese fritters, served with goat cheese sauce

Alitas de Pollo a lo Chino – Chinese barbeque chicken winglets

Croquetas de Pollo – chicken croquettes with cachucha aioli

Tostones con Ropa Vieja de Pato – braised pulled duck legs with Hawaiian tostones

Churros con Chocolate

Chef Guillermo Pernot and Lourdes Castro have thoughtfully collected recipes and stories that reveal a vibrant contemporary cuisine.  Throughout the book, readers will find illuminating and insightful notes about Cuba’s culinary heritage, as well as helpful notes found with every recipe.

Guillermo Pernot is a nationally renowned chef and restaurateur, and chef-partner at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Orlando and Washington, DC.

Lourdes Castro is a professor, recipe developer, and author of three cookbooks.

To purchase a cookbook, please visit: cubalibrerestaurant.com/en/orlando/cookbook

(Source: Cuba Libre)

Cuba Libre – Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 226-1600

We were invited to check out and taste the new Slapfish in Waterford Lakes Town Center (located in between the Regal Cinemas and LA Fitness) which just opened last month.   This Slapfish location is special because it is their first location in Florida.  The backstory of Slapfish is that they started off as a popular seafood food truck in California back in 2011 and now they operate 13 stores nationwide, with plans to open up in Arizona, Colorado, Washington D.C., Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah,  Virginia, and overseas in London soon.

Slapfish – Waterford Lakes is a beautiful, clean, bright and airy establishment with plenty of extra outdoor seating.  The friendly and energetic area manager Joshua and his awesome team members took very good care of us.  We got to try a lot of their menu items and out of them all, my favorites were the traditional lobster roll & clobster grilled cheese, which were super fresh and rich in flavor.

TRADITIONAL LOBSTER ROLL – SERVED WARM TOSSED LIGHTLY IN DRAWN BUTTER, MAYO & LEMON

CLOBSTER GRILLED CHEESE – MELTING MIX OF LOBSTER, CRAB AND A CREAMY HERB SAUCE

FISH & CHIPS – CRISPY FLAKEY WHITEFISH SERVED WITH HOUSEMADE TARTAR SAUCE AND REAL FRIES

HAWAIIAN BOWL – GARLIC SHRIMP, PINEAPPLE, SEASONED RICE, HAND PICKED SALAD

POKE BOWL – FRESH TUNA POKE, SEASONED RICE, CHIPS AND GREENS

SHRIMP AND GRITS

ULTIMATE FISH TACO – GIANT TWO-HANDED FISH TACO GRILLED, CABBAGE, AWESOME SAUCE, PICKLED ONION

For more information, please visit: slapfishrestaurant.com

Slapfish – Waterford Lakes
783 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828
(407) 866-1804

Cows ‘n Cabs, one of Central Florida’s premiere culinary and philanthropic events, returned to 150 North New York Avenue in Winter Park’s Central Park West Meadow for its seventh year on Saturday, November 3 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

More than 25 of Central Florida’s top chefs and restaurants showed up to serve some of their favorite dishes, making it a night full of delicious gourmet food and drink pairings.  Hosted by 4 Rivers Smokehouse founder John Rivers and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue, the open-air country-western themed event benefited two local non-profit organizations: After-School All-Stars and Elevate Orlando.

Over the last six years, Cows ‘n Cabs has donated more than $520,000 to local charities.

Beautiful Syedi, wife of Chef Joseph Creech, Hunger Street Tacos

Quesadilla, Chef Joseph Creech and Chef David Creech


Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar – Reel whiskey shrimp, Chef Mike Zajac

Todd English’s Blue Zoo – Yellowfin tuna tartare, Chef Jason Wiggin

1921 Mount Dora – St. John’s River “Nashville Hot Frog Legs”, Chef Norman Van Aken

Hawkers Asian Street Fare – Bulgogi beef taco, Chef Kariloly Arias

STK – Short rib taco, Chef Jonathan Fahey

STK – Chef Jonathan Fahey

Luke’s Kitchen and Bar – Shrimp and snapper ceviche, Chef Brandon McGlamery

Luke’s Kitchen and Bar – Brussel sprouts, Chef Brandon McGlamery

The Coop – Fiesty chicken sandwich, Chef John Rivers

The Sweet Shop – Chef Jenny Herbert

The Sweet Shop – Chef Jenny Herbert

The Sweet Shop – Chef Jenny Herbert

The Sweet Shop – Chef Jenny Herbert

The Sweet Shop – Chef Jenny Herbert

4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa – Taco cone with brisket barbacoa, Chef John Rivers

Reyes Mezcaleria – Canitas taco, Chef Wendy Lopez

K Restaurant – Red wine-braised beef short ribs, Chef Andrew Fisher

K Restaurant – Chef Andrew Fisher

Pizza Bruno – Chef Bruno Zacchini

Pizza Bruno – Octo & tots, Chef Bruno Zacchini

Pizza Bruno – Margarita pizza, Chef Bruno Zacchini

The Glass Knife – Apple spice petit cake, Chef Stuart Whitfield

Taverna Opa – Keftedes “greek meatballs” with tzatziki sauce, Chef Vassillis Coumbaros

Tapa Toro – Pork belly matambre, Chef Francisco Galeano

The Polite Pig – Prime rib slider, Chef James Petrakis

The Ravenous Pig – Crispy oyster steak tartare, Chef James Petrakis, Chef Julie Petrakis and Chef Nick Sierputowski.  These were my favorite dish of the night!  I kept popping the oysters in my mouth like candy.

The Ravenous Pig – Chef James Petrakis, Chef Julie Petrakis and Chef Nick Sierputowski

Proper & Wild – Beet tartare, Chef Emily Congdon

Proper & Wild – Heart of palm crabcake, Chef Emily Congdon

Soco Thornton Park –Southern style bbq grilled kalbi, Chef Greg Richie

Morimoto Asia – Chef Yuhi Fujinaga

Morimoto Asia – Asian bbq beef taco, Chef Yuhi Fujinaga

Morimoto Asia – Chef Yuhi Fujinaga

Umi Japanese Restaurant – Japanese Tonkatsu

Dixie Dharma – Creamy cashew mac ‘n cheez, Chef Shaun Noonan

Peterbrooke Chocolatier – Chef Daniel Lehr

Peterbrooke Chocolatier – Chef Daniel Lehr

Peterbrooke Chocolatier – Chef Daniel Lehr

Foxtail Coffee Co. – Lain Yeakle

Terralina Crafted Kitchen

Terralina Crafted Kitchen – House-made porchetta with apple mostarda, Chef Justin Plank

Terralina Crafted Kitchen – Chef Justin Plank

The Rusty Spoon – Smoked Florida mullet, Chef Kathleen Blake

Chef James Petrakis from The Ravenous Pig

For more information, please visit: cowsncabs.com

Aussie Mate Burger – Beef pattie, caramelized onion, grilled bacon, egg, American cheese, lettuce, tomato & beetroot on a sesame bun.

We were invited to The Golden Pod – Restaurant & Bar on International Drive (located next door to The Tilted Kilt) for a media preview with other local foodies and our experience was simply amazing.  The Golden Pod is Orlando’s best kept secret.  They have high quality food and superior service in a pleasant environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about The Golden Pod:

  1. The owner is from Australia.
  2. They make their own chocolate in house.
  3. They serve grilled kangaroo but I wasn’t ready to try it so I ordered the Aussie Mate burger (picture above) and it was really tasty.
  4. You can print any photo on your coffee via cellphone.  Selfie lattes, anyone?
  5. They are open daily until 2am.

For our appetizer, we ordered the crispy calamari and it was fried to perfection.

A Superfood Bowl – Brazilian acai, banana, almond milk and topped with granola, seasonal fruit, and pink chocolate pearls (optional).  Easily one of the best açaí bowls I’ve ever had.

My friend Gustavo (@dafoodie) ordered the Trio of Sliders and he tore them up!
– Pulled pork with slaw and spicy dressing
– Crumbled and chickened tenderloin, avocado and arugula
– Beef with cheese and tomato chutney

My friend Anthony ordered their Cookies ‘n Cream Shake and he enjoyed it!

Gustavo’s wife, Mary, ordered their Vanilla Love Pod and she loved it! It’s a chocolate dome over vanilla ice cream, pear compote and hazelnuts.  Warm chocolate sauce is poured over the chocolate dome to melt it down before consumption.

For more information, please visit: thegoldenpod.com

The Golden Pod – International Dr.
7653 International Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 776-9206

Seasons 52 is launching a fixed-price menu just in time for fall!  The restaurant’s Harvest menu allows guests to choose a soup or salad, entrée and Mini Indulgence dessert for just $29.95.  The menu features the freshest ingredients that autumn season has to offer – like Bosc pears, mushrooms, butternut squash and Caulilini – and is available now through November 21.

We were invited to Seasons 52 – Altamonte Springs to taste their new Harvest menu and we were very impressed with our entire visit.  The food was so good and fresh and the best manager I’ve ever encountered, Claudia Ortiz (who started there as a server, then bartender, then got promoted to manager) and her staff took care of us really well.  You can’t go wrong at Seasons 52 – Altamonte Springs.  Highly recommended!

STARTER
Select a cup of soup or salad:

– Butternut Squash Soup

– Porcini Mushroom Bisque. I highly recommend!

or

– Spinach and Caramelized Bosc Pear Salad
– Organic Field Greens

 

ENTREE
Select one:

– Cedar Plank-Roasted Salmoncrushed potatoes, Caulilini, grilled lemon, dill-mustard sauce.  I highly recommend!


– Wood-Grilled Filet Mignon
roasted mushrooms, Caulilini, Yukon mash, red wine sauce.  I highly recommend!

or

– New! Mediterranean-Style Australian Lamb Shank* – sautéed green beans, Yukon mash
– New! Venison Chop* – venison ragout, Caulilini and sweet potato mash
– New! Short Rib Lasagna* – mozzarella, grass-fed beef Bolognese

 

MINI INDULGENCE
Select one:


– Pumpkin Pie or Poached Pear Cheesecake

* Entrees exclusive to the Harvest menu.

Guests can complement their meal with recommended wine pairings available for an additional cost by the glass or try a seasonal cocktail, such as the Pearfect Storm.

For more information, please visit: seasons52.com/events/harvest-menu

Seasons 52 – Altamonte Springs
463 E Altamonte Dr. Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
(407) 767-1252

We were invited to Tony Roma’s on International Drive to try their limited-time only “Spice So Nice” menu, available now through Dec. 23!  We were very impressed with our visit from start to finish.  The food was packed with bold flavors and cooked to perfection and the service was top notch.  Be sure visit Tony Roma’s on I-Drive as soon as possible to enjoy these dishes crafted to bring the flavor before they are gone!

Jalapeño Buffalo Shrimp – Enjoy a double dose of heat with these crispy shrimp tossed in Buffalo sauce and packed with bits of fresh Jalapeños. Cool it down with classic ranch dressing for dipping.

Chimichurri Salmon – The bright flavors of their chimichurri sauce pair perfectly with grilled salmon, served with saffron & kale rice and seared garlic green beans.

Black Pepper Ribs & Filet Medallions with Horseradish Butter – Their World-Famous Baby Back Ribs get an added boost of flavor with a new black pepper BBQ sauce. Enjoy a half rack alongside two tender filet medallions topped with horseradish butter for a hint of heat. Served with hearty mashed potatoes and seared garlic green beans.

Spiced Cider Romatini® – The flavors of cinnamon apple pie with a boozy kick make this cocktail a great way to start or finish a meal. Crafted with Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine®, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey®, apple cider and lemon juice, it’s served chilled, but sure to warm you up.

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Cobbler – Apples and cranberries spiced so nice with cinnamon and baked with a crunchy cobbler topping. Served warm with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.

After dinner, the media team got to make our own spices with Brandon, the owner of Tony Roma’s on I-Drive!  Thank you Brandon for your hospitality!

Tony Roma’s – I-Drive
8560 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 248-0094

For more information about Spice So Nice, please visit tonyromas.com/tr_specials/spice-so-nice/tonyromas.com

We were invited to Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine to check out their newest location in Lake Nona.  This is their third location in the Central Florida area along with locations in Winter Park and Dr. Phillips.  The restaurant itself is simply breathtaking, you will find one-of-a kind pieces imported from Turkey throughout the whole restaurant which makes for a beautiful ambiance.  The food was full of flavor, hearty, and served in generous portions, perfect for sharing.

MIXED APPETIZER (Karisik Meze) – A combination of Humus, Babaganoush, Sautéed Eggplant, Tabbuli, Ezme, Cacik, Haydari and Zetinyagli Yaprak Dolma

LAVAS (Hollow Bread) – Our signature, baked- to-order bread creation. Highly recommended for all soups & appetizers

FRIED CALAMARI (Kalamar Tava) – Crispy fried calamari served with a light pine nut infused sauce

LAMB SHANKS – Seasoned to perfection with our authentic Turkish spices and seasonings, braised slowly over 5 hours with a medley of fresh carrots, onions & bell peppers until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone. Served with rice pilaf.

GRILLED SEA BASS (Levrek Izgara) – Fresh Mediterranean sea bass (whole or fillet), chargrilled and served with mixed green salad & choice of rice pilaf or french fries

CHICKEN ADANA KEBAP – Grilled skewers of hand-ground chicken seasoned with fresh garlic, red bell peppers, light hot peppers & parsley

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE – A rich mousse made with Peterbrooke dark chocolate and a hint of Turkish coffee

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BAKLAVA – Peterbrooke chocolate, freshly ground hazelnuts and flaky filo dough topped with citrus infused syrup

PISTACHIO BAKLAVA – House-made baklava with layers of crispy, thin pastry dough filled with pistachios and topped with citrus infused syrup

Be sure to check out Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine next time you are in the Lake Nona area!

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Lake Nona
6900 Tavistock Lakes Blvd. Orlando, FL 32827
407-313-2506
bosphorousrestaurant.com

Bull & Bear’s Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail – chasseur sauce, potato pave, fresh arugula salad

We were invited to Waldorf Astoria Orlando for a media preview of their 8th Annual Food & Wine Weekends happening every weekend starting September 14, 2018 through November 11, 2018 at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

The sister hotels are hosting Food & Wine Weekends, a complement to Epcot Food & Wine Festival, to celebrate fine wine & culinary arts designed for those who truly savor the artistry of fine culinary preparations.

Food & Wine Weekends features innovative dishes from their renowned restaurants, unique food and wine pairings, intimate chef talks, and interactive demonstrations.

The Taste of Zeta Asia

Mount Fuji Signature Roll – Crab salad, cucumber, tuna, yellowtail salmon, wasabi mayo, tobiko, micro cilantro

Kanji Signature Roll – Spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, sriracha, micro cilantro

Short Rib Bibimbap – Short rib, fried egg, blanched spinach, namul, Japanese rice, gochujang sauce

The Taste of La Luce

Lasagna Napolinata – Mozzarella di Bufala, tomato, basil

Risotto Duo Di Mare – Shrimp, scallops, saffron, English peas, oven roasted tomato, reggiano gremolata

The Taste of Bull & Bear

Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail – chasseur sauce, potato pave, fresh arugula salad

Raspberry mint mocktail

Bar du Chocolat at Peacock Alley, Saturdays 6:30pm-10:30pm – A decadent selection of à la carte chocolate treats hand-crafted by Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s world-class pastry team.  Highlights include chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes and bowls of beautiful bon-bons.

La Pâtisserie: Master Pastry Class at Sir Harry’s, Fridays 4:30-5:30pm – Learn the secrets of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando world-class pastry team as they host a complimentary gourmet baking demonstration. From delicate pastries to the perfect cookie, you’ll learn tips on how to make, bake and decorate the perfect dessert.

Pop Culture at MYTH Bar, Saturdays 8pm-10pm

Home-made, fresh fruit popsicles, creamy organic ice pops and adult poptails!  Choose from a variety of gourmet toppings, including hand-dipped chocolate, caramelized almonds, sweet coconut and chocolate vermicelli.

For more information, please visit WaldorfAstoriaOrlando.com/food-wine and HiltonBonnetCreek.com/food-wine.

(Source: Waldorf Astoria Orlando)

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-5500

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-3600

We were recently invited to visit Clearwater Beach by the lovely folks at Wyndham Rewards to check out their Ocean Hai restaurant at Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, recently awarded Four Diamonds by AAA.

The restaurant has a strong emphasis on seafood and pan-Asian cuisine featuring sumptuous sushi and sashimi platters to succulently pan-seared sea bass, all prepared under the culinary eye of Executive Chef Sean Ragan. Dishes are prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, including seafood and farm-raised meats and poultry.

Chef Sean Ragan has over 25 years of professional experience in the hospitality and restaurant industries, previously working at Caretta on the Gulf at the Sandpearl Resort.

Throughout his career, he had been handpicked to train with highly regarded chefs such as Julia Child, Paul Prudhomme and Martin Yan, and cooked for other top restaurants including Oystercatchers under Chef Hans Hickel and Innisbrook Golf Resort and Spa as Executive Sous Chef. Most recently, Chef Ragan was named the 2015 Best Chef of Clearwater Beach – and the fine dishes at Ocean Hai live up to his curriculum vitae.

Born in New York, Chef Ragan was exposed to a melting pot of flavors and cultures, developing a passion for cooking and global cuisine. He received his degree with honors in Culinary Arts and Hotel Restaurant Management in 1994 from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He is also ACF Certified, a recipient of the honored Le Cordon Bleu Medallion and belongs to the historic and distinguished Chaine des Rotisseurs and Societe Mondiale du Vin.

On our visit, we experienced the Omakase – “Chef’s Choice” – multi course tasting menu designed to allow guests to experience a sample of all of Ocean Hai’s cuisine. The cost is usually $75 per person with an optional $25 add on for wine pairings to go along with the dishes.

The first dish of the evening: Lobster Fried Rice, a decidedly elevated take on the traditional fried rice, with delicate pieces of lobster, saffron rice, crispy shallots, and topped with a sunny side up egg. I could not get enough of this dish!

Our second dish of the evening was the Tetsubin Miso Soup – the humble miso soup is brought to new heights here, with smoky charred tofu and smoked mussel, and finished tableside with a pour over from a hot kettle with dashi miso broth miso.

The next course, a delightful compressed watermelon salad that was truly a work of art – cubed, pressed watermelon, heirloom tomato, marinated feta cheese, slices of cucumbers, dollops of basil pesto, and some soy gastrique drizzle. It sings of summer.

To highlight their sushi, we tried their nigiri sushi sampler, with ultra-fresh slices of tuna, salmon, and yellowtail fish that had me reminiscing some time ago in Tokyo, Japan.

For the entree, my dining partner had the pan-seared then broiled Asian Sea Bass, a succulent flaky sea bass with a nice crisp from the pan sear, on top of black Forbidden rice with some sugar snap peas, shiitake mushrooms, and microgreens.

My entree was the Mongolian Lamb Chops, perfectly seared and delicious chops of lamb, accented by a dash of Chinese five spice, and served alongside roasted eggplant, baby bok choy, and crystalized ginger.

The evening ended on a high note – dessert that was playful and delightful – ube / purple yam “twinkie” and deconstructed strawberry cheesecake. Art on a plate. From start to finish, Ocean Hai soared to new heights in Asian cuisine.

Lobster Fried Rice | Saffron Rice | Peas & Carrot | Sunny Side Egg | Crisp shallot | Sweet Soy 20

Tetsubin Miso Soup | Dashi Broth | Smoked Mussel | Charred Tofu | Wakame 9

Compressed Watermelon | Heirloom Tomato | Marinated Feta | Cucumber | Basil Pesto | Soy Gastrique 11

Nigiri Sampler – Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail Nigiri SushiAsian Sea Bass | Forbidden Rice | Sugar Snap | Shiitake Mushroom | Micro Green 38

Mongolian Lamb Chops | Roasted Eggplant | Baby Bok Choy | Edamame Yogurt | Crystalized ginger 42

Deconstructed Strawberry Shortcake DessertPurple Ube Twinkies

If you do come to Ocean Hai, make sure to plan to have dinner while the sun sets over the shimmering waters of the Gulf.

From Wyndham Rewards

  • Wyndham Rewards recognizes ordinary, hard working men and women for what they do every day. From the annual vacationer to the frequent traveler, no matter how often our members stay with us, they are all united under the same loyalty program.
  • Go free – With just 15,000 points, you’ve earned a free night at any Wyndham Rewards hotel. 15,000 points = a free night. It’s that simple.
  • Go fast – Get a room night at a Wyndham Rewards hotel for just 3,000 points, plus some cash.
  • Go get ‘em – For every qualified stay you’ll get 10 points for every dollar or 1,000 points, whichever is more.
  • Wyndham Rewards: InstagramTwitterFacebookOfficial Website 
  • Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach: InstagramTwitterFacebookOfficial Website 
  • Official Hashtags: #WyndhamGrand, #WyndhamGrandClearwaterBeach, #LiveGrand, #GrandLife

Stay and dinner at Ocean Hai provided by Wyndham Rewards and Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. All other views are my own.

You must check out Big Fin Seafood Kitchen this year during Magical Dining Month if you want a delicious meal for a great value.  Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, voted “Best Seafood Restaurant in Orlando“,  offers global, fresh seafood, steaks and pasta, on Sand Lake Road.  This is their 9th year participating in Magical Dining Month.

What is Magical Dining Month?

  • 3 courses – Appetizer, Entrèe, and Dessert
  • Price: $35 per person plus tax & gratuity
  • Over 100 + participating restaurants
  • Beginning August 24 through September 30
  • Through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal will benefit Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
    Click here to view menu and make reservations

Choice of Appetizer

½ Dozen Freshly Shucked Raw Oysters – can be served raw (1st pic) or steamed (2nd pic)


Caesar Salad – Romaine, Parmesan cheese, garlic croutons

Cup of the Soup of the Day – Manhattan Clam Chowder

Choice of Entrèe


Shrimp Orleans – blackened shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, crawfish Parmesan grits with a Cajun cream sauce

Broiled Main Lobster Tail – served with garlic mashed potatoes and French style green beans

Filet Mignon – served with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus

Big Fin Trio – deep fried popcorn shrimp, bay scallops and catfish served with French fries and coleslaw

Upgrade: Add a 3 oz broiled lobster tail to any entree +$12

Choice of Dessert

“Apple Pie” Bread Pudding – braised cinnamon apples, salted caramel sauce, crumb topping, vanilla ice cream

Ooey Gooey – a gooey-layered pie cake topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and raspberry (ask your server for today’s flavor)

Key Lime Pie – a Florida favorite topped with whipped cream & a lime slice

Thank you Visit Orlando for hosting us and thank you Big Fin Seafood Kitchen for the amazing dinner and service!

Big Fin Seafood Kitchen
8046 Via Dellagio Way Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 615-8888

Pork Chop – sweet potato puree, collard greens, onion jam

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month is fast approaching!  We were invited to James Beard Award nominee, The Ravenous Pig to preview their 3-course (appetizer, entrée and dessert) Magical Dining Month menu.  The menu is available to the public Friday, August 24 through Sunday, September 30 for $35 plus tax & gratuity. This year, through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal will benefit Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.

Choice of Appetizer

Steak Tartare – capers, egg, shallot, toast

Shrimp & Grits – Cape Canaveral shrimp, Anson Mills grits, green tomato chutney, chorizo oil

Gatherer Salad – baby greens, avocado, pickled beets, radish, goat cheese, pistachio granola, herb vinaigrette

Choice of Entrèe

Mushroom Risotto – summer mushrooms, parmesan broth, chili oil with black truffle supplement

Black Grouper – chana masala, cucumber raita

Pork Porterhouse upgrade

Choice of Dessert

Coffee Panna Cotta – persimmon sorbet, chocolate cardamom shortbread, compressed persimmons

Spiced Citrus Cake – elderflower chantilly, bay leaf crumble, poached pears

Thank you Sweet Rockaway PR for the invite and thank you Chef James Petrakis and The Ravenous Pig for the amazing service and dinner!  Be sure to check out The Ravenous Pig this year for Magical Dining Month!

For more information, please visit: visitorlando.com/magicaldining/restaurants/The-Ravenous-Pig/44356/

The Ravenous Pig
565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 628-2333

We were wonderfully invited to enjoy dinner at Eddie V’s to celebrate summer with some Sparking Sounds, which meant oysters and sparkling cocktails. However, let’s shed some light on the experience and menu items you can find for a longer time duration.

Of course, you can’t attend the Sparking Sounds celebration without delicious cocktails. Photographed are the Lemon Rosemary Spritz (left) and Red Dragon (right). The Lemon Rosemary Spritz is made with Aviation Gin, St-Germain Elderflower Liqeur, Roederer Brut, and fresh lemon. The Red Dragon is made with Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum and fresh muddled Strawberries, mint, and lime. Both are very refreshing, but they weren’t mixed very well.

Also, there’s no way anyone should attend a prime quality seafood restaurant and not have some oysters. Photographed here are two Capital oysters from Spencer Cove, WA. I don’t know about you, but I fancy West Coast oysters over East Coast oysters. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t mind a challenge if you bring others to my plate. These Capital oysters were fresh and you could taste the ocean.

If you’re not fond of enjoying bold oysters on their own, you could try them with some flavor like this Asian Fusion.

The Tartare of Pacific Ahi Tuna is made with curry and sesame oils, avocado, mango, and citrus. Each ingredient was fresh and delivered on a nice sesame cracker for additional texture. Yet, I would have liked the tuna to be a colder temperature than room temperature.

The Jumbo Lump Crab Cake is sautéed Maryland style with spicy chive remoulade. The crab cake is tasteful and I prefer it without the lemon. There’s a dominant sweet, but slightly spicy note to this dish. The lemon would have been nice if there were no additional flavors to the crab besides the natural sweetness from the crab itself.

Chilean Sea Bass is steamed Hong Kong style with a light soy broth. The broth adds a sweetness to the buttery sea bass. The sautéed spinach that comes along for the ride is slightly saltier than preferred, but it is balanced out when eaten with the sea bass in the same bite. Like some spice? Take a bite of the sautéed ginger provided with the dish to the left of the sea bass.

One of Chef’s Classics include a vegetarian dish – Miso Marinated Tofu served with fried rice and sautéed vegetables. The tofu is on the soft spectrum of the texture scale; I believe crispy tofu would have added more texture and make the tofu more exciting. A bite of the tofu with the fried rice will balance out the abundance flavors offered to the palate by this dish.

For some extra texture, try their Grilled Asparagus with sea salt, fresh lemon and a drizzle of butter. I was grateful to have my own professional hand model to pour our butter for us. The butter adds a nice smoothness to the crunchy asparagus I loved so much.

There isn’t a proper meal if it doesn’t include a decadent and cheesy dish, which brings the Truffled Macaroni and Cheese into play. Each bite coats your mouth with rich and earthy flavors.

To end the night, we experienced the Hope Diamond made with Grey Goose Vodka, Combier Pamplemousse Rose Liqueur, Lemon, Pea Flower Tea, and a Diamond Ice Cube. This drink notes romance, indulgence, and hopes for the best in life. It represents the elegance of the classy and upscale experience at Eddie V’s. Not only that, but it is fun and allows you to take part in making it by pouring in some ingredients yourself to see the liquid change colors!

Our nearby Eddie V’s in Orlando is located at:

  • 7488 West Sand Lake Rd
    Orlando, FL 32819

The hours at Eddie V’s include:

  • Sun – Thu 4:00PM – 11:00PM
  • Fri – Sat 4:00PM – 12:00AM

Feel free to give them a call at (407) 355-3011 for a nice dinner to celebrate an event or life in general.

For more information, visit Eddie V’s.

Guy’s Award-Winning Burger!  Voted “Best Burger in Las Vegas“ by Seven Magazine & Won New York City Food and Wine Festival’s Burger Bash
Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Burger – Crispy smoked bacon, six-cheese mac ’n cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, crispy onions, donkey sauce, garlic-buttered brioche bun

We were invited to Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar in The Villages to check out their revamped menu.  Some of the new menu items includes Baja Fish Tacos, Jack Daniels New York Strip Steak, Big Bite Burrito and the Old School Steak Sandwich.   Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar has also made several other improvements.  They have lowered everyday menu prices, introduced daily specials and rolled out a new Sunday brunch menu.

“On Sundays We Brunch” will be every Sunday from 10am-3pm with prices ranging from $5.95 to $12.95.   The new Sunday brunch menu includes Chicken Fried Bacon, Biscuits & Gravy, the All–American Breakfast Burger, as well as some of Guy Fieri’s signature dishes.  Guests also have the option to make their brunch bottomless with unlimited mimosas and bloody marys for only $15.  The bottomless option has a two-hour limit.

The restaurant’s owner Greg Pranzo is the same owner as the newly-opened Cinco Tacos & Tequila in Winter Park, FL which just celebrated their ribbon cutting ceremony on National Tequila Day this past Tuesday.

Pastrami Egg Rolls – House made pastrami, Swiss cheese, sweet & sour cabbage, Russian dressing

Trash Can Nachos – Warm corn tortilla chips, pulled pork, bourbon brown sugar, BBQ sauce, SMC (super melty cheese), cheddar, beans, jalapenos, crema, pickled red onion, cilantro, pico de gallo

Roasted Garlic Hummus – Scratch-made chickpea hummus, olive tapemade, fire roasted red peppers, herb grilled flatbread, fresh veggies

Guy’s Big Island Punch – Southern Comfort, Dragonberry Rum, Dark Rum, orange, pineapple, mango, lime, cherry

Tattooed Mojito – Coconut Rum, lime, blueberries, mint, ginger ale

*NEW* Baja Fish Tacos – Crunchy panko-crusted cod, cole slaw, chipotle ranch, pico de gallo on a warm tortilla

*NEW* Jack Daniel’s New York Strip Steak – 12 oz New York strip seared, mash potatoes, side of wonder fries, bacon, sour cream, cheddar, broccolini, mushrooms, scallions, Jack Daniel sauce  

Rockin’ the “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” shirt that I got from Guy Fieri himself last year during filming at Saigon Noodle & Grill!

(Source: Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar)

Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar at Lake Sumter Landing
1045 Old Camp Rd, The Villages, FL 32162
(352) 633-3018
guysvillages.com

Guacamole – Roasted corn relish, naan chips, Parmesan cheese

Dine in Plancha today through Saturday, July 14 and enjoy a complimentary guacamole appetizer & mojito (can be made virgin as well) with a purchase of an entrée in honor of National Mojito Day!  What an awesome deal!  The food and drinks there are really good!

Plancha is a Cuban-American restaurant located in the stylish Tranquil Golf Clubhouse at Four Seasons Orlando, just a few minutes away from Disney Springs.  They are open daily from 11am-6pm.  You do not need a hotel reservation to dine there. They have ample parking spots in their lot.

Loco Coconut Mojito – Rumhaven, Brugal 1988, lime, mint

Plancha Mojito – Barcardi, Prosecco, lime, mint

Virgin Orange Blossom Mojito

Churrasco – Skirt steak, chimichurri, mixed greens, yucca fries

Tuna Tartare – Avocado, ginger coconut vinaigrette, tostones, jalapeño, red onions, micro greens

Plancha Burger – Chorizo & beef patty, maduros, white cheddar, tomato, lettuce, cumin aioli 

Espresso

Traditional Flan – Caña sugar caramel, strawberry, kiwi, blueberries, and mini chocolate disk

Be sure to stop by Plancha soon for FREE guacamole & mojito before the deal ends this Saturday, July 14!

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 313-7777
fourseasons.com/content/dam/fourseasons/images/web/ORL/PDF/ORL-Plancha-Lunch-Menu.pdf

We were invited to a media preview at Terralina Crafted Italian a day before they officially opened to the public.  Terralina Crafted Italian is a waterfront Italian restaurant by James Beard Award winning chef, Tony Mantuano.  Chef Tony and Executive Chef Justin Plank worked together to create a menu that serves authentic Italian dishes in a dreamy setting to guests at Disney Springs.  Terralina Crafted Italian, formerly Portobello Country Italian Trattoria, is now officially opened to the public.  They are located next door to Paddlefish.


Swordfish peperonata


Grilled bell peppers and mushrooms

Grilled brick chicken gremolata

Citrus marinated porchetta with apple mostarda

Fresh hand-cut pasta

Meatballs & polenta with shaved pecorino

The indoor-outdoor bar

Fresh house-made pasta with just olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  The pasta was so delicious could not have tasted any fresher!

Terralina Crafted Italian
1650 E Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830
(407) 934-8888
terralinacrafteditalian.com

Seafood Linguine – Lobster meat, scallops, shrimp, calvados, cream

There is just something calming about dining to the smell of saltwater with the view of the ocean in front of you.  We were invited to Daytona Beach’s newest beachfront hotel and the fourth Hard Rock Hotel in Florida to check out their restaurant, Sessions, and stay overnight.  Our experience at Sessions was exceptional.  The food, service and energy was unlike any other media event that I have ever been to.  Our server named Pastor was fantastic.  I give Sessions 5-stars!

Dining at Sessions restaurant will exceed your expectations.  Luxurious rock-star style, contemporary decor and celebrity-style atmosphere coupled with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean adds to experience.  Dine on unforgettable breakfasts, savory lunch offerings and innovative suppers that will leave you wanting more.  Craft cocktails and libations are also available at Sessions indoor/outdoor bar.

Artisan Charcuterie & Cheese – Mini cornichons, pickled peppers stone mustard, sourdough

Tuna Tartare – Avocado, shallot, scallion, dash soy, wonton chips.  My favorite appetizer!

Crab Cakes – Spicy aioli, cucumber relish

New York Strip – Rainbow carrots, crispy onion, sautéed onions and bell peppers.  It was amazing!

Crème Brûlée – Strawberries, blueberries.  This dessert was perfect, so addicting!

Red Velvet Cheesecake – Philadelphia cream cheese frosting, strawberries, blueberries.  It was beautiful and delicious!


Constant Grind the total café experience, serving up hot and cold drinks, quick bites, house-made gelato, and more.

Take a plunge in the heated pool and enjoy the tunes from the underwater speakers or lounge on the oceanfront pool deck.

Wave Terrace is located on the third floor of Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.  Wave Terrance is Daytona’s newest experience serving up local beer, craft cocktails and an inspired seafood menu featuring ceviche, gazpacho, fresh seafood towers and straight from the oven bread—in a chic casual atmosphere.  Add glowing fire pits and live music and you have a night out that can only be Hard Rock.

 

Frank Sinatra impersonator.  He sounded exactly like him!

The kiddie pool is shaped like a guitar

The Elvis impersonator got the crowd rocking the entire night!

Didn’t bring your yoga gear on tour at at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach? #RockOm you covered. Experience peace of mind in the comfort of your hotel room with a yoga kit that includes a Manduka PROlite yoga mat and convenient Go Play carrier, all delivered to your room free of charge.  A regionally-inspired Yogitoes towel is also available for purchase. On-demand yoga videos are available on your hotel room TV, as well as on your personal device at HardRock.com.

Snap a pic of your best yoga pose around the hotel, post to instagram with the hashtag: #RockOm. If your pic is selected, you can win a custom Yogitoes Hard Rock yoga towel.

We throughly enjoyed our stay at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach and we felt like celebrity rockstars the entire time.  The music-inspired property is only two months old as they just opened on May 1, 2018.  I highly recommend staying at this hotel during your next visit in Daytona Beach, FL!

(Source credit: Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach)

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
918 N Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
(386) 947-7300
http://hardrockhoteldaytonabeach.com

The 5th Annual Bite Night presented by Publix Aprons Cooking School was held at the Orchid Garden & Ballroom at Church Street this past Monday.  Bite Night is the grand finale of Bite30 and the premiere of Bite Magazine 2018.  The event featured over 20 of the city’s top local restaurants and chefs serving bite-size samples of their most creative dishes, plus an open bar, live entertainment, silent auction and benefiting Edible Education Experience.  Chef Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon was awarded with the inaugural Bite Award for her outstanding contributions to the culinary community.

Upcoming events: United We Brunch flash sale is happening now! It’s just like Bite Night, but Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, Bacon & Eggs! Get tickets at UnitedWeBrunch.com

(Source credit: Orlando Weekly)

Duck & Drake Kitchen – Ouinoa Verde Sliders – Edamame, Garbanzo & Quinoa Patties with Avocado Aioli served with Root Vegetable Chips

Tartine Orlando –  Crab and Shrimp Stack with Avocado Mousse, Spice Crème Fraiche and Pickled Onions

El Buda – Shrimp Chicharron with Peking Style Duck

K Restaurant – Seasonal Florida Fish/Crudo with Traditional Accompaniments and Gazpacho Sauce

Urbain 40 – Yellowfun Tuna Tataki, Wakame & Pickled Vegetable Slaw, Gochujang Aioli, Cilantro Oil & Sweet Soy, Cahaba Farms Spicy Greens

Publix Apron Cooking School – Butter Poached Florida Rock Shrimp, Corn Nage, and Handmade Pasta

Hunger Street Tacos – Octopus Aquachile

Hibiscus Tomatillo Avocado Cilantro

Watermelon in Mezcal

Key Lime Mousse Chile Pequin

The Glass Knife – Spumoni Cake Bite

The Glass Knife – Mini Crème Brûlée Doughnut

The Glass Knife – Lemon Meringue Tart

The Stubborn Mule – Cauliflower Salad

The Tipsy Cookie – Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookie, Royal Caramel Apple Cookie

Andy’s Frozen Custard – Vanilla Custard with Crushed Oreos

Crudo – Huckleberry Tomato, Arugasabi, Lemon, Salmon, Grouper, Tuna

Key West Pink Shrimp on a Grit Cake with Tase Gravy

Orlando Meats – Buttermilk Glazed Doughnuts 

Orlando Meats – Port Rillettes – Fermented radish, sourdough, kewpie

Tartine – Cinnamon Sugar Pork Rinds with Cream Cheese Glaze

Escargot with Garlic Herb Butter served with House-Made Petite Danish Cup

Pizzeria Roberti – Beet and Mozzarella Salad with Hazelnut Whip

Won this cooler bag from the Topgolf prize wheel

The Sugar Sow – Bacon Mac N’ Cheese

Publix Aprons Cooking School – Mahi-Mahi Ceviche, Toasted Fennel Salted Watermelon Slices

Artisan’s Table – Kielbasa Sliders – Creamy Mustard & Onion Sauce

Devine Wine & Grill – Beet Salad with Ahi Tuna

Cuban Mojo Chicken

Violectric – an electric string quintet plus keyboards and drums performing classic and modern rock tunes.  They were amazing!

We would like to introduce you to Stop and Sip The Rosé Fridays at Ocean Prime Orlando where guests can enjoy half price glasses of Veuve Clicquot Rosé and $1 oysters from 5-7pm every Friday in the summer, in addition to their daily happy hour menu.  Stop and Sip The Rosé Fridays ends on Friday, August 31, 2018.

Ocean Prime is an award-winning modern American restaurant and lounge from renowned restauranteur Cameron Mitchell, with 14 locations across the country.  The service we received at Ocean prime Orlando was truly exceptional.  Ocean Prime is an ideal place to socialize, talk business, celebrate and indulge.


Miner Rose, Domaine Chandon Rosé, Veuve Clicquot Rosé, Notorious Pink Rose

All four Rosés are offered at a special price during their daily happy hour menu from 5-7pm.  On Fridays, the Vueve Clicquot Rosé is offered at a special discount of 50% off from 5-7pm.

Happy hour every day from 5-7pm.  Enjoy $5 off small plates and sushi offerings.

Oysters On The Half Shell


Prime Roll – Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, Scallion, Beef Carpaccio

Dynamite Roll – Tempura Shrimp, Spicy Mayo, Sesame Seeds

Prime Sliders – Bacon, Bleu Cheese, Sundried Tomato

Lamb Lollipops – Teriyaki Marinated, Sweet and Spicy Glaze

Fish Tacos – Corn Tortilla, Avocado, Pickled Cabbage

General Manager Michael Kopoian, very outgoing and passionate man.

Executive Chef Jeremy Mattson.  Chef Jeremy has won several honors including Ruth’s Chris Hospitality Group’s “Executive Chef of The Year”.

Great media dine with these lovely ladies!

A talented musician playing some tunes

Be sure to check out Ocean Prime Orlando soon for Stop and Sip the Rosé Fridays!

(Source credit: Ocean Prime Orlando)

Ocean Prime
7339 W Sand Lake Rd, 400, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 781-4880
http://ocean-prime.com

Seafood Tower – King crab, jumbo Gulf shrimp, oysters, crab ceviche, Ahi tuna poke

We were invited to Paddlefish to celebrate their most recent accomplishment of being voted “Best Seafood Restaurant” by Orlando Magazine’s 2018 Dining Awards.  We enjoyed indulging in a delicious 5-course wine pairing dinner showcasing “Best of Paddlefish” dishes amid the rooftop of their luxurious steamboat.  Tickets to the sold out event was $115 per person.  Paddlefish offers fresh and delicious seafood dishes, exceptional architecture and decor, an attentive and friendly staff, and the most gorgeous view that you will ever get from any establishment on Disney Springs property.

Executive Chef Steve Richards welcoming guest at the Best of Paddlefish dinner.

Mini Maine Lobster Roll

Lobster & Corn Chowder 

Our wonderful sommelier of the evening.

August Kessler, Riesling, Germany

Sea Scallop – cauliflower puree, crispy Brussels sprouts

Cider Braised Veal Cheeks – parsnip puree

Dessert Trio – key lime pie, flourless chocolate cake, strawberry cheesecake

June Specials:

  • Paddlefish will be hosting wine tastings the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month through September.  Their in-house Sommelier team will lead these tastings on the rooftop deck and wine flights will be served with light bites and tastings.  Guests must be 21+ to attend.  Tickets and additional details can be found here.
  • Celebrate National Vanilla Milkshake Day on Wednesday, June 20, at Paddlefish!  Paddlefish will be offering their famous vanilla brownie milkshake for just $5 all day long!
  • Now through June 30, guests can enjoy a bottle of rose and half a dozen oysters for only $40, only available on the third deck.

Be sure to check out the June specials at Paddlefish soon!  It’s a fun filled month at Paddlefish that you won’t want to miss!

(Source credit: Paddlefish)

Paddlefish at Disney Springs
1670 Buena Vista Dr.  Lake Buena Vista, FL
(407) 934-2628
paddlefishrestaurant.com

A significant number of travelers desire a unique and delicious culinary experience while on vacation. Because of this, we are incredibly excited to announce Reunion Resort’s “Taste Of Eleven” menu where guests can experience a taste of Eleven from Monday through Thursday, from 5:30pm – 7pm.  Choose an appetizer, entree and dessert for only $29 per person (plus tax and gratuity).  This special menu is the perfect way to explore the restaurant’s food and breathtaking views at an amazing value.

Eleven is located on the 11th floor of Reunion Resort.  Views of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot fireworks are available nightly from the restaurant.

My mom & I in the resort lobby.

The clean and spacious bar.

Breathtaking landscape views from the restaurant’s dining area.

Glass doors provide access to the resort’s rooftop pool.


Complimentary Bread & Butter

Crispy Calamari – Chorizo, Pickled Chiles, Broiled Lime

Sherried Onion Soup – Gruyere, Sourdough Crostini

Baseball Sirloin – Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus

Cedar Planked Salmon

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée – Fresh Seasonal Fruit Compote

Raspberry Cheesecake – Garden Berry Coulis

Eleven is a very nice restaurant with good food and a beautiful rooftop view.  The manager Kyle and our lovely server Raquel treated us like rock stars.  Be sure to check their “Taste of Eleven” menu from Monday through Thursday, from 5:30pm – 7pm!

(Source credit: Eleven)

Eleven
7593 Gathering Dr, Kissimmee, FL 34747
(407) 396-5290
reunionresort.com/dine/eleven

Ocean’s Bounty Sustainable Fish and Sea Salt Dusted Filet Mignon – Harvest Vegetable Melange, Leek Fondue and Cassis Red Wine Demi by Chef Tim Majoras, Flying Fish

When Disney chefs collaborate with Second Harvest Food Bank for a good cause, beautiful things happen.  It was an honor to attend this charity dinner as a media guest.

Chefs from Disney’s BoardWalk Resort Restaurants prepared a delicious dinner at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida as part of the Chef’s Night Series. The team was led by Andrew Larkin, Executive Chef, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and will include Chef Rich Smich, Trattoria al Forno; Chef Paul Napoli, ESPN Club; Chef Tim Majoras, Flying Fish; Pastry Chef Kurtis Baguley, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort restaurants and Sommeliers Katie Hanewall, Trattoria al Forno and Ted Letsch, Flying Fish.

Chef’s Night brings Central Florida’s top chefs into Second Harvest’s Community Kitchen to celebrate delicious food and raise funds for a good cause.  All proceeds benefit Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program, which provides students with the skills and inspiration they need to obtain an entry-level position in a food service establishment.

Hor d’oeuvres

Insalata Salad – House-Pulled Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic
Chef Rich Smich, Trattoria al Forno

Spring Gnocchi  – Carrot, Celery, Onion, Pea and Corn.  Loved this dish!  I could have eaten it all night!
Chef Rich Smich, Trattoria al Forno

Ciabatta Rolls with Ricotta Cheese and Herb Oil

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad – Baby Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Ciabatta Bread Crisp
Chef Paul Napoli, ESPN Club


Ocean’s Bounty Sustainable Fish and Sea Salt Dusted Filet Mignon – 
Harvest Vegetable Melange, Leek Fondue and Cassis Red Wine Demi
Chef Tim Majoras, Flying Fish

Vahlrona Chocolate Semolina Torta  – Brachetto Raspberry Crema
Mascarpone Cream Mousse – 
Blueberry Lime Compote, Hibiscus Meringue and Rye Bourbon Caramel
Pastry Chef Kurtis Baguley, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort

Be sure to check out the next out the next Chef’s Night happening on August 30, 2018.  Join the Tasty Trio, three deliciously experienced food and wine experts Tonda Corrente, owner of La Femme Du Fromage, Lisa Wilk, founder of Orlando Uncorked, and Jill Ramsier, co-owner of Quantum Leap Winery for a 4-Course dinner journey where wine, cheese and chocolate confections by Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park are featured in every course.  Tickets available at https://linktr.ee/feedhopenow.

More pictures from the most recent Chef’s Night below:

(Source credit: Second Harvest Food Bank)

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
411 Mercy Drive Orlando, FL
407-514-1070

FeedHopeNow.org

Urban Hibachi in Lake Nona (located near PDQ) will be officially open this Saturday, June 2, at 11 a.m.  The restaurant will be offering a grand opening discount of 25% off all day.

Keep scrolling for more pictures from the Urban Hibachi in Lake Nona pre-opening media event this past Wednesday.

Steak Hibachi

Salmon Carpaccio

Urban Hibachi owner (middle) takes photo with friends and family.

Miso Soup and Ginger Salad

Spicy Maguro Sunshine

Salmon Hibachi

Urban Poke Bowl

Volcano Roll

Bainstorm Roll

We got our dessert togo and it was still delicious!  Green tea tiramisu was my favorite!

Fried cheesecake xangos.  This dessert is typically served with vanilla ice cream but since we got ours togo, we got an extra serving of fried cheesecake in place of vanilla ice cream.

Be sure to check out Urban Hibachi – Lake Nona soon for some beautiful and delicious food!

Urban Hibachi – Lake Nona
11954 Narcoossee Road, Suite 101
Orlando, Florida 32832

Beets & Burrata – Cherry tomatoes, radish, beech mushrooms, white balsamic

We were invited to Four Seasons Resort Orlando to check out the new menu items at PB&G, short for pool bar & grill.  The restaurant has added several new healthy options, perfect for those who prefer to eat on the cleaner side and/or those who are currently working on their summer bod!

Fruit & Berries – Bourbon vanilla granola, lemon honey Greek yogurt, coconut.  The granola had bourbon vanilla in it and it tasted really great!

Watermelon & Prosciutto – Pressed watermelon, herbed goat cheese, prosciutto, marinated blueberries, arugula

BLTA – Smoked bacon, bibb lettuce, tomato, avocado, parmesan cheese vinaigrette.  This was the best salad that I’ve ever had!  The bacon was perfection. 

Herb-Citrus Shrimp – Grilled pineapple, spinach, baby kale, quinoa, red union, cucumber, feta cheese, red wine vinaigrette

Seared Ahi Tuna – Kale, cabbage, cucumber, jicama, mango, crispy wontons, wasabi ginger cream, sesame vinaigrette

Lobster Roll – Avocado, tomato, remoulade, Hawaiian roll.  The crab is 100% real, 100% delicious!  Omit ketchup and fries to make it healthier.

Chirashi Bowl – Spicy tuna poke, salmon poke, sushi rice, avocado, soy glazed mushrooms, cucumber, edamame, carrot, seaweed salad, spicy mayo

S’mores for dessert!  Because life is all about balance, right?

Kudos to our talented and wonderful chefs!  We really enjoyed our meal.

 

Upcoming Events at Four Seasons Orlando Resort:

Saturday, 06.09
Global Wellness Day
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Enjoy special fitness classes for Global Wellness Day, plus spa treatments and a healthy cooking demo and lunch.

 

Sunday, 06.17
Father’s Day Brunch at Plancha Restaurant
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Three course brunch (appetizer buffet, choice of entree, dessert buffet), bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary for $68 per person.  Dads will receive a choice of a complimentary bourbon or complimentary cigar.

 

Four Seasons Resort Orlando
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard
(407) 313-7777
fourseasons.com/orlando/

Chef's Spotlight

0 167
First Watch's debut cookbook, "Yeah It's Fresh", is now available in participating restaurants.  Price: $23.95 First Watch has spent close to four decades laying the...

Featured Articles

0 307
DESCRIPTION Inspired by street food classics born in Tokyo, and seasoned with the flavors of the deep South Southern Kitchen, this 6-course dinner event by...