Tags Posts tagged with "featured"

featured

0 547

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

 

0 626

Bangrak Thai Street Kitchen has been holding pop up sessions at Swine and Sons the past few months, specializing in authentic Thai cuisine not usually found anywhere else in Central Florida.

We at Tasty Chomps chatted with Dylan Eitharong, one of the founders of Bangrak along with Jordan Neumann recently to find out more about the project and where it’s all headed.

Dylan on Why Bangrak…

When it comes down to it, we’re just two dudes who cook Thai food. Our mission is to bring the Thai street food that my (Dylan) family grew up with to Orlando, where finding these types of dishes is either what we feel misrepresented or totally unavailable.

We try to make all of our dishes 1) from scratch, down to our curry pastes and spice mixes and 2) identical to how you’d find it on the streets of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, etc. We don’t get too fancy or anything. We even get the plates and bowls we use from a little shop in Bangrak (where our name comes from) district, Bangkok. With our events, we really want to evoke a feeling of actually “being there” – minus the 100 degree heat and humidity, haha.

When it comes down to it, we’re just two dudes who cook Thai food.

From the Apartment to Swine and Sons…

As for how we started, well – originally, it was just me, serving thai noodle dishes out of my apartment. I’d constantly be posting Instagram photos of things I’d make at home, and friends would always be like “ohhhh I’ll pay you to cook for me”, so I was like “prove it.”

That was a regular thing for a while, until it got to be too much for just me, but around that time, Jordan had just moved back from Portland, so I approached him about 1) going to Thailand with me to eat “real Thai food”, as I called it, 2) learning to cook the food with me, and 3) starting to make it in a bigger venue (legally, haha).

We did all those things, but not without doing several more guerilla-apartment-dinners first, until we finally partnered with Swine & Sons, which is where we’re based out of now.

Chef Lexi (Alexia Gawlak of Swin and Sons) had actually asked me if I’d be interested in doing the pop ups there a while back, but I hadn’t felt ready, but once Jordan joined me we were able to get our shit together enough to actually do it.

The rest is kind of history I guess – we had our first pop up there October 26th, 2016, and we sold out in 2 hours.

We’ve done several since then, including one at redlight redlight, and as of a month ago, after a month long stint back in Thailand, we’re at Swine every other Wednesday. We love it. We could not be more grateful for the opportunity they’ve given us (if this goes in writing, I want them to know that, hah – I’m sure we drive them crazy sometimes).

We also have some other events in the works around town, with some different sorts of menu items and stuff. We’re really excited. A brick and mortar is inevitable, we just wanna make sure we do it right. Until then, we really like doing the pop-up thing. It feels different than anything we’ve been to here and it’s a lot of fun for us.

Dylan and Jordan

On Acceptance…

On top of that, the Thai community seems to Approve – thankfully, haha. They always seem a little apprehensive that one half-Thai guy and one non-Thai guy is making their food, but the response has been great.

Khanom jeen Nam ngiaw, a northern thai curry of ground pork, pork ribs, steamed blood, tomatoes and dried cotton flowers served over spaghetti noodles with a side of pickled mustard greens.

On previous training in the kitchen…

Neither Jordan or I had any kitchen experience. We just cooked a lot, haha.

On meeting the Gawlaks and how did they get involved…

Lexi and I actually used to work together at Whole Foods. We bonded over loving Asian food and Lucky Peach Magazine (RIP). We were Facebook friends after she left Whole Foods, and I guess she saw what we were doing through that.

I was cashiering and she came through my line and was like “Hey, wanna do one of those things you do in a real restaurant?”

It was a long time before we actually did it though…we were nervous. Now me and Jordan work there (at Swine) outside of Bangrak, too, ha. The Gawlaks are the best – I wonder what Bangrak would be doing without them.

I was cashiering and she came through my line and was like “Hey, wanna do one of those things you do in a real restaurant?”

On future plans for Bangrak…

We’re going to stay a pop-up for a little bit – but not tooooo long. We wanna keep it exciting. While we just started going biweekly at Swine, we have some plans to pop up elsewhere too.

The idea is to keep a full, more sit-down-and-share, type menu there, more variety, and when we go elsewhere, have some sorta themed thing going on – we really wanna do a Thai noodle shop type thing, with the plastic stools and tables and everything.

We brought some cool stuff back from Bangkok with us for that sole purpose. Think you’ll be seeing that soon. We are planning on a brick and mortar when we’re ready too – but we want it to be just right.

We want it to feel like a shophouse you’d eat at in Thailand. When we find the space, we’ll take it.

On some of their favorite dishes on the menu…

So, our Swine menu changes every time except for 3 things – Khao Soi, a curry noodle soup, and two versions of Som Tam, or green papaya salad.

Otherwise, we try to showcase foods from the 4 regions of Thailand – Northern, Northeastern, Central, and Southern.

We pretty much always have some kind of Laab – a salad of minced meat, on the menu, and it’s all but once been a Northeastern (called Isaan) variation. That’s my favorite food of all time – especially the catfish version, which we did recently. It’s delicious.

Jordan really likes the Panang Neua, which is a Southern Thai style curry of beef. It’s super rich, and we do it the old-fashioned way – very dry, thick, not soupy, and oil. It’s goooood.

My tip to anyone who comes to our events – order what sounds the least familiar to you.

On some things most people in Central Florida don’t know about Thai food …

Number 1 – put down your chopsticks. In Thailand, chopsticks are ONLY used for noodles. That’s it. And not even every noodle dish. We send out forks and spoons with all the dishes and we still see people eating Laab (minced meat) with chopsticks. No need! It’s only making your own life more difficult, haha. But in Thailand, it’s mostly either a fork and spoon or your hands. Even then, you use your fork just to push your food onto your spoon. But no chopsticks. It drives me craaaaazy – probably more than it should.

Other than that, it’s really just that Thai food is more varied than just Phad Thai and red, green and yellow curries. In fact there are literally HUNDREDS of types of Thai curries that aren’t eaten over here, and they aren’t even referred to by their color – and they don’t even contain coconut milk!

Thai food is SUPER diverse and regional, and chances are, that dishes that you’re used to eating are entirely different in so many ways than what’s available in Thailand.

A BIG thing we’ve had people ask us is why there’s a lack of vegan or vegetarian dishes on our menu – and our honest answer is that that’s generally how it is in Thailand, especially once you leave the tourist trap areas.

PS – Khao San road and Pai are popular tourist destinations with lots of vegan restaurants and pizza shops, but are far from representative of Thai culture. Steer far, far away. Just a heads up for traveling foodies.

In fact there are literally HUNDREDS of types of Thai curries that aren’t eaten over here, and they aren’t even referred to by their color – and they don’t even contain coconut milk!


On this week’s menu – Nam Tok Muu Yang – “Waterfall Pork”! Grilled pork salad with lime and fish sauce dressing, fresh herbs, chili and toasted rice powder! Spicy, smoky, and also refreshing, this is an Isaan classic! Available this Wednesday, 6/7, from 5-8 PM!

Bangrak Thai Street Kitchen

Popup at Swine & Sons, 595 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park
http://bangrakthaistreetkitchen.com/

Photos courtesy of Bangrak Thai Street Kitchen via David Burns https://www.instagram.com/daveyxburns/

Bad As’s Sandwiches was originally founded as a food truck but now includes a brick and mortar restaurant, taking over the space once occupied by Se7en Bites Bakery in the Milk District of Orlando.

Founded by Chef John Collazo, whose resume includes KASA and Raga restaurants, Bad As’s Sandwich was his first operation run by himself. He wanted to ‘wow’ food truck lovers in Central Florida with their wild and frankly, badass sandwiches.

Some of their sandwiches include the Big Boy, a huge sandwich sure to please the inner fat boy in each of us, made with Adobo roasted pork, bacon, pepperoni, tater tots, and more.

I ordered the special of the day: El Anormal, with adobo roasted pork, chorizo, chipotle jack cheese, pickled fried onions, topped with savory aioli and drizzled with a sweet guava glaze. It was a spectacle behold, oozing with meat and cheese and sauce, but was so, so satisfying of a sandwich. Make sure to ask for wet naps to go with this though.

Bad As’s Sandwiches
207 Primrose Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 757-7191
http://badasssandwiches.com/

Bad As's Sandwich Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

0 563

The Taste of Yucatan is a new Mexican taco restaurant specializing in food from the Yucatan – with a heavy emphasis on Mayan influences. We owe much to the ancient Mayan culture which has given us gems such as guacamole, tamales, and chocolate.

Taste of Yucatan sells empanadas and also a limited daily supply of vaporsito, a banana leaf wrapped ground beef tamale.

Cochinita pibil (also known as puerco pibil or cochinita con achiote) is another traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish originating from the Yucatán Península. Cochinita stands for pork and a pibil is the Mayan oven that it is roasted in.

Preparation of traditional cochinita involves marinating the meat in strongly acidic citrus juice, seasoning it with annatto seed which imparts a vivid burnt orange color, and roasting the meat while it is wrapped in banana leaf. At Taste of Yucatan, the pork is marinated in sour orange and slow roasted for 8 hours wrapped in banana leaf.

When ordering, guests can first choose preparation – whether with hand made corn tortilla tacos, or salbute – deep fried handmade Mayan corn tortilla, panucho – similar to the salbute but with fried beans inside of the tortilla, quesadilla style, or burrito style.

Then, choose your meat – from cochinita pibil, to al pastor (layered pork steak marinated in a combination of dried chilies, spices and pineapple), carnitas (seasoned pork braised until tender with lard and herbs), barbacoa (spicy shredded beef slowly braised for hours in a blend of chipotle adobo and herbs), rajas Poblanas (sliced poblano pepper with onion, mushrooms, corn and cream), carne asada (marinated Grilled Beef), Pollo Adobado (Chicken marinated with mixture of dried red chiles, garlic, spices, and vinegar), Carne Molida (Ground Beef Mexican Style), Papa con Chorizo (Smash potatoes + Mexican Chorizo), Champiñon (Sauteed mushrooms), or Queso (Mozzarella Cheese).

It’s a small place, but the tacos pack a lot of flavor. It did bring me memories of my trip to the Yucatan a few years ago, especially the influence of the Mayan dishes.

My favorites included the barbacoa and the cochinita pibil. I really enjoyed the salbute style of fried corn tortilla in the tacos – unique and delicious.

Taste of Yucatan
1375 S. Semoran Blvd.
Orlando, FL, 32807
(407) 704-2248
thetasteofyucatan.com

The Taste of Yucatan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

0 531

Millenia106, recently opened (no surprises here) in the Millenia area (Suite 106) and helmed by local Chef Bruno Fonseca. You may remember Chef Fonseca once owned and operated the 5 Gastronomy food truck in the beginning of the gourmet food truck days here in Orlando. He taught at Le Cordon Bleu and also worked in several local restaurant kitchens in town.

We got to chat with Chef Bruno via e-mail to dig a little deeper into his story and the new venture at Millenia106.

Chef Bruno Fonseca of Millenia106.

Tell us about yourself and background.

I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  I was raised in a household with strong Portuguese influences, where we sat nightly for dinner together, with a variety of foods through the weeks. Fish, potatoes, olive oil were seen at the table as often as black beans and rice.

My mom is a great cook, and she made sure that we always had variety not only in flavors but also culturally. She would always explain where the food originated, etc…  I got to the US (Orlando) in 1993, where I have travelled through the US extensively.

Lived in Tallahassee while attending school, spent a ton of time in Portland, OR., and I have enjoyed driving cross country often.

However I always would circled back to Orlando…

What inspired you to start cooking?

Multiple things… where I grew up, I lived right across the street from the ocean.  We were always eating incredibly fresh seafood and I loved it!!

Also my family was never wealthy, but my mother truly enjoyed taking us out to eat at nice places once a month or so.

In the beginning, it was a drag for me since I was so young, but as I grew older and got exposed to other things, I began to enjoy it.

After moving to the US, I worked in various restaurants in the front of the house.  One day working a server shift at the Governor’s Club, I was asked to help in the kitchen.

It was a fine dining club, headed by Master Chef Jack Shoop… and I was hooked.  I dropped out of college, moved to Orlando, and went into culinary school.

 Tell us about the Millenia 106 concept and the menu.

106’s concept is very straight forward: we source ingredients locally, we change our menus daily, and we serve New American fare.

From oysters, to pork, to whole fish, pan seared chickens, to local beers, craft cocktails, boutique wines.  We identify ourselves as an ever changing restaurant that takes pride in serving great food at an affordable price.

I am proud to say that I put our food up against any restaurant in Orlando.

My previous experiences as a cook and as person (culturally) are seen on the menu daily as are the personalities of others that work with me are in there as well.

What are your first childhood food memories?

So many… my “ a-ha” moment was going to a traditional French restaurant as a kid in Rio, and breaking the sugar dome in a dessert.

Also, seeing my mom frying “bolinho de bacalhau” (salted cod fish cakes) and eating it before lunch with a load of olive oil…eating “feijoada” (traditional black bean stew) after the beach on Saturdays, was a big deal too.

I consider myself very lucky on that department.

What are some of your favorite dishes at your new restaurant?

The Portuguese Surf and Turf is incredible with pork belly confit, fish collar, grilled royal red shrimp, and sofrito Ipa broth, and murro potatoes., as is the chicken that we get from Orlando Farms, but I am really enjoying this new tuna dish we have now.

Its Fl Tuna, farro “verde”, chanterelle mushrooms, tomato-citrus salad, coriander jus.

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

My daughters love a simple pasta with tomato sauce, and whole roasted chicken.  Nothing better.

Where are some of your favorite local places in Orlando to dine in (outside of Millenia 106).

Once a week I am at Border Grill (Mexican) and Pizza Bruno.  Great honest delicious food.

Millenia 106 Restaurant and Bar
4104 Millenia Blvd, Ste 106
Orlando, FL 32839
Phone number (407) 930-6206
www.millenia106.com

0 2680

Orlando’s Mills 50 District is known for its eclectic and diverse restaurants and businesses – from the Vietnamese markets and restaurants to fusion restaurants like Tako Cheena and Pig Floyd’s serving up creative and delightfully delicious dishes with a modern twist.

Lately there have been new restaurants popping up so here is our latest guide to the Mills 50 District – visit soon!

Black Rooster Taqueria
Image via yelp.com

Dishes to try: Achiote Pork taco made with slow roasted pork in banana leaf, achiote, pickled onion, cilantro, habanero salsa and the divine Chocolate Chipotle Flan for dessert.

Black Rooster Taqueria
1323 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 601-0994
www.blackroostertaqueria.com
Banh Mi Nha Trang
Dishes to try: Any of the 22 Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches! I like the traditional banh mi dac biet nha trang with their spicy nuoc cham sauce.
Banh Mi Nha Trang
1216 E Colonial Dr #9, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 346-4549
Lazy Moon Pizza

Dishes to try: Their ginormous pizza – top it any way you like. Eat with a knife and fork.

Lazy Moon Pizza

1011 E Colonial Dr, Ste 101
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone number (407) 412-6222
lazymoonpizza.com

Tasty Wok

Dishes to try: Cantonese bbq plate with crispy skin roast pork, honey bbq roast pork, and roast duck, and the fried salt and pepper squid.

Tasty Wok
1246 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 896-8988
King Bao

Dishes to try: Hogzilla bao, braised pork belly with pickled carrots and daikon, and the truffle tater tots.

King Bao
https://www.facebook.com/kingbaoorlando/
Address: 710 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803, United States
Phone: +1 407-237-0013

King Cajun Crawfish – Vietnamese influenced Louisiana cajun cuisine

Dishes to try: Boiled crawfish, crab, and shrimp in “sha-bang” sauce, a unique blend of buttery garlic, spices, and sweet orange peel. Also try the beignets and fried shrimp po boy sandwiches.  The owners are from Louisiana and imbued their Vietnamese heritage into some of the dishes like the gumbo. They recently moved into this larger place next door.

King Cajun Crawfish
924 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 704-8863
www.kingcajuncrawfish.com

Mamak – Malaysian street food

SONY DSC

Dishes to try: Wontons in hot peanut sauce, Indian mee goreng, char kwa teo, and the roti canai.

Mamak
1231 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 270-4688
www.mamakasianorlando.com

Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

SONY DSC
Dishes to try:  The Oak-smoked St. Louis ribs (half-rack $14.99, full $22.99) are truly among the best, if not the best, ribs in all of Orlando – slow-cooked with a crispy surface yet tender, fall of the bone meat within and a nice sweet flavor. Try it with the crispy sweet fennel apple salad. Also,  great chicken tikka tacos and shrimp and chorizo tacos.

Pig Floyds
1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 203-0866
www.pigfloyds.com

Chuan Lu Garden – Sichuan Chinese cuisine


Dishes to try: La Zi Fish, fried with spicy numb Sichuan peppercorns, cumin lamb, beef and chicken clay pot, dan dan noodles, sliced tofu and fish in hot sauce, and the pan fried house made dumplings.

Chuan Lu Garden
Phone (407) 896-8966
??1101 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
http://www.chuanluorlando.com/

The Strand


Dishes to try: STRAND BURGER – bacon, blue cheese dressing,
lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, & roasted jalapeño on brioche bun served with fries

The Strand
807 N Mills Ave
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone number (407) 920-7744
strandorlando.com

Vietnam Cuisine:


Dishes to try: Banh cuon, a rice noodle crepe dish filled with mushrooms and pickled daikon radish, and the oxtail beef pho noodle soup.

Vietnam Cuisine

1224 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 228-7053

Ming Bistro: Dim Sum

Dishes to try: Dim sum! Shrimp ha gow dumplings, siu mai pork dumplings, fried taro shrimp balls, chicken feet, steamed spare ribs, a plate of beef chow fun, salt and pepper calamari, and some egg custart tart pastries for dessert.

 

Ming’s Bistro
Phone: 407-898-9672
1212 Woodward St., Suite 6
Orlando, FL 32803

 

For more on things to do when visiting Orlando, Florida, visit: http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/things-to-do.html

0 859

Inspired by the culture and tradition of authentic Spanish cuisine, husband-and-wife duo Vassilis and Katerina Coumbaros, Tapa Toro at I-Drive 360 features tapas-style dining, a full-service bar and Flamenco dancing.

The restaurant leads with a 12-seat paella pit serving up family-style paella, a traditional Spanish dish made of rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood.

We recently chatted with Chef Wendy Lopez of Tapa Toro about her inspiration and her favorite eats.

Tell us about yourself!

Chef Wendy Lopez: I’m from Michoacan, Mexico, and I have been cooking since I was little. I received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu here in Orlando. I began my career at the Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere, then later I became a sous chef under Certified Master Chef Russell Scott.

I’ve been with Tapa Toro since we first open. I’ve had the chance to create a really unique menu that combines traditional Spanish dishes with contemporary flavors and presentations that are unexpected, but still accessible, for Orlando foodies.

Where did you get your inspiration to cook?

My family. Both of my parents were restaurateurs, so I have been playing around in professional kitchens since I was three years old. I also think my Mexican culture has something to do with my passion for cooking. In my culture, we wake up thinking about what we are going to eat that day and plan our whole day around it.

Favorite first memories of food?

My first memory of food is eating rabbit for the first time — and loving it!

Every afternoon, me and my brother would come home from school, wash our hands and eat what Mom cooked us. One day when I was about eight, we were eating something our Mom told us was chicken, but it did not taste like chicken. Me and my brother looked at each other thinking, “What’s going on here? This isn’t chicken!” Finally (after some begging and pleading) she told us what we were eating was actually rabbit. She didn’t want to scare us. But it was quite the opposite, we both loved it. After that we requested rabbit all the time. Recently, when I hosted a Chef’s Table at Tapa Toro, I prepared a duck à l’orange — which was a tribute to my mom’s rabbit à l’orange recipe.

Another favorite food memory is trying oysters for the first time in St. Augustine. I was a little older — about 12 years old. My brother and I wanted to try oysters. My mom insisted that we weren’t going to like them, but we tried them and ended up eating 30 oysters each. I thought they were so refreshing and tasty.

We were always curious about food and wanted to try everything.

Best Dishes to Try at the Restaurant?

When you come to Tapa Toro, you have to try the paella. I’ve worked very hard to perfect it and it’s what we are best-known for. (Don’t ask me for the secret recipe!)

My favorite dish on the menu (besides the paella) is the stuffed piquillo peppers.

It’s the one tapa where you take a single bite and taste so many different, incredible flavors. Spanish cuisine has many influences, including Morocco and the Mediterranean.

The Moroccan spices and the Greek Yogurt sauce in the piquillos best describes my eclectic style of cooking and Tapa Toro’s contemporary take on traditional Spanish.

What is one dish you would make for yourself to eat after a long day in the kitchen?

Every day I go home and I make tacos. (You can really tell I’m from Mexico!) I probably eat tacos at least six days a week. Tacos with queso fresco and refried beans are such a comfort food for me. Growing up, beans were always cooking in a room, somewhere.

That comfort that comes from the smell and that taste of tacos has stuck with me since I was little.

Favorite local Orlando places to dine?

When I go out, I love to eat Asian food because it’s so different from my day-to-day. Shin Jung Korean BBQ on Colonial Drive is one of my favorites because the meat is so full of flavor. If I’m in the mood for pho, House of Pho on John Young & Sand Lake is my go-to spot. I love the people at Thai Thani on International Drive because I joke that no spice is too hot for me, so they try to make me cry with how spicy they prepare my food… But it’s still never too hot for me to handle!

DINING NEWS: Tapa Toro and the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye are teaming for Tapas Before Take-Off, a new dining package. Now Orlando residents and visitors can enjoy a three course prix fixe meal and complimentary drink at Tapa Toro, plus a ticket to ride the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye for the low, all-inclusive price of $49.95, including tax and gratuity. (Tickets to ride retail for $25.) For more info, visit http://tapatoro.restaurant/tapas-before-take-off/

Easter

Tapa Toro (I-Drive 360, 8441 International Dr) Enjoy an Easter brunch buffet with Spanish flair, flamenco dancers & DJ from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Buffet is $35 per adult and $15 per child. Add bottomless mimosas and sangria for $15. Reservations required.

Taverna Opa (Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr) Free glass of house wine with purchase of any lamb entrée. Traditional Greek entertainment all day.

Mother’s Day

Tapa Toro (I-Drive 360, 8441 International Dr) Mom drinks free during a special Spanish-style brunch buffet with live entertainment from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Complimentary bottomless mimosas and sangria available with purchase of adult buffet. $35 per adult and $15 per child.

Taverna Opa (Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr) Mom eats free on Mother’s Day with family-style menu for four. One offer per party. Traditional Greek entertainment all day.

Father’s Day

Tapa Toro (I-Drive 360, 8441 International Dr) Enjoy an all-you-can-eat steak & chorizo paella special. Meal includes chicharrones and flan. Plus dad drinks a free 20oz beer with purchase. Paella special is $30 per person.

Taverna Opa (Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr) Dad eats free on Father’s Day with family-style menu for four. One offer per party. Traditional Greek entertainment all day.

TAPA TORO AT I-Drive 360
8441 International Dr #260, Orlando, FL 32819

0 932
ENSALADA DE PULPO 19. Grilled octopus, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber

Bulla Gastrobar is a new restaurant in Winter Park inspired by the most popular tapas restaurants in Spain. Bulla (pronounced boo-ya), which is slang for chatter and what people are talking about, and is led by Bulla Gastrobar Executive Chef Miguel Rebolledo. The sleek and modern restaurant is a bustling, high energy place where friends go to meet up for a drink and to share in good company and good food.

According to his official biography, Chef Miguel Rebolledo “brings his extensive culinary experience, talents and unending love for Spain to Bulla Gastrobar. While Rebolledo’s seaside upbringing naturally leads him to fresh ingredients like seafood, vegetables, and rice, his stints with contemporary chefs have created a constant desire to experiment. After attending culinary school and learning traditional recipes, Chef Miguel Rebolledo improved his techniques at one of Spain’s most famous restaurants, El Bulli, under Chef Ferran Adria. In that position, Rebolledo cooked with some of the biggest names in the industry, for some of the most important people in the world including royalty.”

We recently spoke to Chef Rebolledo via e-mail about his experiences and inspiration who was at first inspired to cook by his family.

He told us, “I started to help my father to cook at 6 years old, I used help him with the paellas every Sunday in summer, and we would also in winter cook rosquillas, traditional dessert like donuts.”

Some of his favorite childhood memories involved Christmastime, when his home was like a tasting – “We started with cured meats and cheeses, cold seafood , and then some fried stuff, like lamb brains or croquetas, more seafood but this time in sauce, like clams in green sauce, then fish , monkfish, spanish hake…then a meat, always baby lamb, and finally an assortment of desserts”

When he worked at Bulli in Spain, “it was at first a dream, and then working in el Bulli with the Adrias brothers changed my life, my vision of the way we cook, the way we understand the food, technique, and I can say it changed the way I see my life.”

Some of the elements of El Bulli that he brings to Bulla Gastrobar include his vision of how they cook, totally respect to the products, and high standard in quality.

One of Rebolledo’s signature dishes is “Huevos Bulla,” made with eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam and truffle oil. The dish is mixed at the table.

SANGRÍA BLANCA 10./37.
Cava, peach schnapps, triple sec, strawberries, blueberries
HUEVOS ‘BULLA’ 10.
Eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam, truffle oil*
HUEVOS ‘BULLA’ 10.
Eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam, truffle oil*
JAMÓN SERRANO 8.
‘Fermín’ Serrano ham, aged 18 months , LOMO IBÉRICO 10.
Cured Iberian pork loin, LEONORA 9.
Soft goat’s milk from León, medium strong flavor
PATATAS BRAVAS 7.
Crispy potato cubes, spicy brava sauce, aioli
TARTAR DE ATÚN 15.
Ahi tuna, mango, avocado, soy sesame vinaigrette, Sriracha aioli*
ENSALADA DE PULPO 19.
Grilled octopus, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber
PINTXO MORUNO 9.
Cumin marinated grilled pork, mojo verde, Greek yogurt

CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE
Traditional fried dough, chocolate sauce, dulce de leche

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

Menu:
http://bullagastrobar.com/media/menus/BullaWinterParkMenus.pdf

Bulla Gastrobar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

0 1978

Alton Brown, the Food Network television personality of Good Eats, Iron Chef America, and Cutthroat Kitchen fame, will be returning to Orlando for his live “Eat Your Science” show at the Dr Phillips Performing Arts Center on April 22, 2017.

On his last visit to Orlando, he stopped by some local favorites such as Beefy King, Credo and Lineage Coffee, Skyebird Juice Bar, Olde Hearth Bakery, Kappo at East End Market, The Ravenous Pig, Pho 88, and Pom Pom’s Tea House and Sandwicheria.

On March 14, Alton Brown posted this on Facebook:

“Dear Orlando: The last time I was in your fine city for Alton Brown Live, you directed me to these fine establishments. Well…I’m coming back April 22 (http://bit.ly/EYSOrlando) and need your help again. Where should I go? #ABRoadEatsORL”

I humbly submit a few places for his next visit, including a few of my favorites.

Knowing he is probably on a tight schedule, I recommend visiting the Mills 50 area first, where he can hit up a few spots at once:

1. Mamak – Malaysian street food

SONY DSC

Dishes to try: Wontons in hot peanut sauce and the roti canai.

Mamak
1231 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 270-4688
www.mamakasianorlando.com/

2. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

SONY DSC
Dishes to try:  The Oak-smoked St. Louis ribs (half-rack $14.99, full $22.99) are truly among the best, if not the best, ribs in all of Orlando – slow-cooked with a crispy surface yet tender, fall of the bone meat within and a nice sweet flavor. Try it with the crispy sweet fennel apple salad.

Pig Floyds
1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 203-0866
www.pigfloyds.com

3. Chuan Lu Garden – Sichuan Chinese cuisine


Dishes to try: La Zi Fish, fried with Sichuan peppercorns and the pan fried house made dumplings.

Chuan Lu Garden
Phone (407) 896-8966
??1101 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
http://www.chuanluorlando.com/

4. Vietnam Cuisine:


Dishes to try: Banh cuon, a rice noodle crepe dish filled with mushrooms and pickled daikon radish.

Vietnam Cuisine

1224 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

5. Seito Sushi at Baldwin Park:


Dishes to try: Pork Tonkotsu Ramen – made with a 24 hour pork broth, and topped with slices of braised pork belly, poached Lake Meadows soy pullet egg, and house made garnish

Seito Sushi
4898 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 898-8801
www.seitosushi.com

6. The Osprey Tavern:


Dishes to try: Spicy Egg Pizza

The Osprey Tavern
4899 New Broad Street
Orlando, FL 32814 407-960-7700

7. The Donut King in Winter Park


Dishes to try: The Cronut or the Traditional Glazed Donut

Donut King
3716 Howell Branch Rd Winter Park, FL 32792
(321) 316-4817
http://www.thedonutking.com/

8. Viet-Nomz


Dishes to try: Vietnamese pork tacos and Vietnamese coffee

Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
Phone: +1 407-636-6069
http://vietnomzfl.com/

9. Shishco Mezze and Grill

Dishes to try: The Gyro bowl, a generous bowl with a large lavash flat bread base overflowing with bulgur wheat grain, sliced pickled red onion, chopped tomatoes, and slices of beef and lamb doner / gyro.

Shishco Mezze and Grill
118 Lake Ave, Maitland, FL 32751
Phone:(407) 661-1336
Menu: shishcomezzegrill.com

10. Bulla Gastrobar in Winter Park

Dishes to Try: Huevos Bulla, made with eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam and truffle oil. The dish is mixed at the table.

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

Where would you send Alton Brown? Use the hashtag #ABRoadEatsORL on facebook, twitter and instagram to send him your recs.

0 1464

My first experience with Yummy House was during college when my friends and I would travel to Tampa to visit friends at USF. The main draw: a 3 dishes for $20 menu at the time for very decent Cantonese style Chinese cuisine – a great deal for some delicious food for a bunch of starving, poor college students.

They have since expanded to many other cities outside Tampa, including right here in the Orlando area in Altamonte Springs. There is a special 3 for $22.99 menu still, which is great for family style dinners, but do mind you have to ask for it.

The regular menu is still a good bargain for what you get. I would count Yummy House in the top 3 Chinese restaurants in the Orlando area. Some may argue that their sauces are a bit on the sweet side, but their Hong Kong style roast duck and their perfectly cooked sweet and sour Mandarin Pork Chop (known as Peking pork chops in other restaurants) push Yummy House to the top for my list, especially in a city which surprisingly lacks many good Chinese establishments for the time being.

Here is the 3 for $22.99 menu!

HERE are some of our FAVORITE choices for a dinner at Yummy House, enjoy:

Crab Meat Fish Maw Soup $14.00
Fresh crab meat and fish maw in broth.
Salt and Pepper Calamari $7.99
Beef Chow Fun $9.50
Cantonese style rice noodles stir-fried with beef, bean sprouts and green onion.
Salted Fish with Chicken Tofu Clay Pot $12.00 (try any of the hot clay pots)
Stir-fried white meat chicken, salted fish and tofu in brown sauce.
Hong Kong Style Roasted Duck $12.00 half / 22.00 whole
Traditional HK style roasted duck marinated with our house special five spice sauce.
Mandarin Pork Chop $9.50
Stir-fried pork chops and onions in sweet and sour Mandarin sauce.
Snow Pea Tips with Roasted Garlic $12.00
stir-fried snow pea tips with roasted garlic

Yang Chow Fried Rice $8.50
Shrimp , BBQ pork, egg, green onion and cilantro with jasmine rice.

Shrimp and Scallops Spicy XO Sauce $14.00
Sauteed tender scallops, shrimp and snow peas in their classic spicy XO sauce.

Black Pepper Beef $9.95
Sautéed beef with onion and green pepper in black pepper sauce.

For the full menu, visit:
http://yummyhouseflorida.com/menu/yummy-house-orlando
Yummy House Orlando
(407) 339-8877
478 E. Altamonte Dr. #102
Altamonte Springs, FL
33701

Hours: Sunday & Monday lunch: 11am – 2:45pm, dinner: 4:30pm-9pm
Tuesday – closed
Wednesday & Thursday lunch: 11am – 2:45pm, dinner: 4:30pm-9pm
Friday and Saturday lunch: 11am – 2:45pm, dinner: 4:30pm – 9:30pm

0 1296
Maraq (Somalia)

The Trump administration recently issued an immigration ban from seven Muslim majority countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). This ban – the way it currently exists – was overturned by the federal judicial courts as unconstitutional. It not only banned refugees, but there were also cases of authorities detaining and deporting legal VISA holders and others, including here at the Orlando International Airport.

This story is personal to me as I am the child of refugees, my parents having escaped by fishing boat from Vietnam before finally being sponsored into the United States. The America I know and love has always been a welcoming and gracious nation, one full of opportunity and a place of safe harbor for those most persecuted and oppressed. If not for America’s open hearts, who knows if my parents would not have been one of the many thousands who died at sea or captured by pirates.

Chef Hari Pulapaka, a native of Mumbai, India, came to the U.S. for graduate studies in 1987. An Associate Professor of Mathematics, he has been at Stetson University since the fall of 2000. When not teaching or working on mathematics and related areas, he is at Cress, a restaurant in downtown DeLand that he owns with his wife, working as an active professional chef. He is also a four-time semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award-Best Chef South and has been invited to cook on multiple occasions at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Chef Hari Pulapaka is soon hosting a family style meal at Cress featuring the cuisines of the 7 countries who are part of the administration’s immigration ban – the 300 tickets are practically sold out at publication time of this article.

I was honored to speak to him briefly about the upcoming project.

16649150_10100617164075221_4288680405045108904_n

Tell us about how this dinner came about, what inspired you to create “7 Courses, 7 Countries”?
I was sitting in a plane on the tarmac in Atlanta, GA having just landed, coming off a Taste of Mathematics event hosted by the Mind Research Institute, when we heard that Delta Airlines was experiencing computer glitches nationwide and that it would be several hours before we could deplane.

At least I had a dedicated Wi-Fi connection. I logged into Facebook to find a number of posts related to the chaos and stress emanating from the Executive Order essentially banning US entry by citizens of the 7 countries. As a first generation immigrant, for some reason, I was struck by the callous and inhumane manner in which the Executive Order was enacted and impulsively felt the urge to resist with a message. So I posted that I was inspired to create such a dinner.

The reaction that ensued was mostly positive and encouraging. I usually do what I say, so, here we are.

What are your responses to criticisms about mixing politics and food?
That is a bunch of crap. First of all, business owners are human beings first. To expect them to not be vocal about political issues when they feel the natural urge to do so is almost an expectation of servitude.

“Shut up and cook” or “Shut up and get me my whatever”.

Secondly, the reality of the matter is that the United States Food System is as tightly woven with the political system as one can possibly imagine. Every decision made by consumers and producers have political implications and are influenced by politics.

The food industry lobby in Washington DC is quite impressive and I don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment. For example, they managed to make the health of future generations a political issue. I understand that the devil is often in the details, but the political will is both lacking and powerful, often to the detriment of progress.

So, if I’m guilty of mixing politics and food it is because I care about improving the state of food in this country and beyond. I’m ready to live with the consequences. I’ve done it my way since the inception and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Polow (Iran)
Polow (Iran) – Courtesy Hari Pulapaka, Cress Restaurant

Tell me about the ingredients and dishes that are going to be served, what kind of research or assistance will you be getting in crafting these dishes? What prior experiences have you had with these 7 cuisines?
It is still premature for me to give anyone a full menu, but I’ve always prided myself on supporting American farmers and farms. On some occasions, I’ve gotten ingredients produced in another country, but by and large, our ingredients are produced in the United States. So, the menu will be a series of dishes representing culinary influences from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Libya, and Yemen (SISSILY).

Guests can expect deeply flavoured stews, herbaceous sauces, rustic breads, aromatic rice dishes, and complementing side dishes. My goal is to present the meal with dishes from many countries during the same course to illustrate that there are few rules and most dishes complement each other and that the power of food as a great equalizer, at a communal table, is a lesson for the ages. Many of the cuisines have significant intersection with flavours I am used to creating whether they are from the Indian subcontinent or the Middle-East. So, I would like to think that I am not out of my proverbial league.

But, I guess time will tell and our guests will ultimately decide. It’s $40 a person for a lot of food with all the proceeds going towards charity. Need I say more? My research has and will include a lot of reading and imagining. But in the end, my own (global) sensibility will have to lead the way.

As an immigrant, what are your thoughts about what is going on right now, what can we hope for?
On the one hand, I am hopeful that the growing resistance by both immigrants and multi-generational citizens against this climate of hate and prejudice is a sign that the America we love (as immigrants) is alive and well. On the other hand, it is disheartening to have to justify our presence to natives after having already sacrificed so much and more importantly having given so much towards the growth and betterment of this place we now call home. My hope is that ultimately, decency will prevail. But my greater hope is that bigotry and discrimination will end once and for all in my lifetime (I’m not holding my breath).

Maraq (Somalia)
Maraq (Somalia) – Courtesy Hari Pulapaka, Cress Restaurant

What do you hope that people will come away with from this dinner?
First and foremost, I hope people will come away with believing (even more) in the healing power of food amidst differences of opinion and ideology. Secondly, I am hopeful that guests will feel empowered to be messengers in favour of inclusivity across the spectrum. I hope that our generation, the next one, and beyond will forge ahead with demanding and finding better solutions to the complex problems of the world. And lastly, I hope that people begin experiencing before judging.

——–
“7 Courses – 7 Countries”

“7 Courses – 7 Countries” is a family-style meal presented by Cress Restaurant with guest collaborators featuring the amazing cuisines of IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, and YEMEN. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a soon to be determined non-profit organization dealing with immigrant and refugee issues. The cost to attend is $40, all-inclusive. BYOB. Sunday, February 26, 2017, 4-6 pm. For Tickets, Visit Here.

7courses7countriesflyer

0 1104

IMG_20170113_181906

Disney is collaborating with Heart of Florida United Way 25th annual Chef’s Gala which will take place on Saturday Feb. 4th, 2017.  A night full of exquisite cuisine from more than 20 of Central Florida’s Top chefs, along with thoughtfully paired fine wines, live music, and silent auction.  United Way’s largest fundraiser, Chef’s Gala will benefit local programs that provide food, shelter and other services to thousands of central Floridians in need.

Processed with VSCO

This year’s Gala will feature one of Disney’s newest and experimental restaurant- Tiffin’s. Laying in Animal Kingdom Tiffin’s tells the stories of the travels and expeditions of the imagineers, especially Joe Rohde’s.

There are three main dining rooms, one holding it’s own unique story and experience, we were seated in the Harambe, Africa room as we prepare to chomp the global inspired menu.

We started with a trio of appetizers.

Processed with VSCO

  1. Lobster-Popcorn Thai Curry Soup
  2. Roasted Baby Beets
  3. Marinated

The star of the Trio was definitely the Lobster-Popcorn Thai Curry Soup with Basil Emulsion. It definitely packs a flavorful punch and slight hint of lemon grass.

Processed with VSCO

Tamarind-Glazed Short-Rib had a cauliflower puree and vegetable variations to accompany it. Incredibly tender. Smokey and slightly sweetened by the glaze.  This dish will be featured at the 2017 United Way’s Chef’s Gala.

IMG_20170113_190834

Hosin-Glazed Grouper with forbidden rice hidden inside swiss chard with a turmeric sauce. Every bite into this dish was so delightful! There were great textures and arrays of notes definitely one of my favorite dishes by Tiffins.

IMG_20170113_194251

We ended with some dessert sample (From Top left to Bottom Right)

  1. Passion Fruit Tapioca
  2. Calamansi Mousse
  3. Lime Cheesecake
  4. South American Chocolate Ganache

The variations in the dessert really shows how versatile Tiffin’s menu really is. Along with the great menu options the restaurants also holds many exciting adventures that will entice the guests.

 

Tiffins

Theme park exploration-inspired restaurant/lounge serving African, Indian & South American cuisine.
 
Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Discovery Island, Orlando, FL 32830

Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala

Recognized as the region’s premier food and wine pairing event, Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala features exquisite cuisine from more than 20 of Central Florida’s top chefs, along with thoughtfully paired fine wines, live music and a silent auction. Hosted by Walt Disney World Resort and raising nearly $300,000 each year, Chef’s Gala is historically United Way’s largest fundraiser for education, income, health and basic needs programs that serve thousands of Central Floridians in need.

2017 Participating Restaurants

Artist Point – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
blu on the avenue
California Grill – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
deep blu Seafood Grille – Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Jungle Skipper Canteen – Magic Kingdom® Park
La Luce
Le Cellier Steakehouse – Epcot®
Narcoossee’s – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Primo by Melissa Kelly – J.W. Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant
Soco Restaurant
STK Orlando – Disney Springs
Tiffins – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Todd English’s bluezoo – Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
Disney’s Boardwalk
Urban Tide – Hyatt Regency Orlando
Yachtsman Steakhouse – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

Desserts & Coffee:

Amorette’s Patisserie – Disney Springs
Bake Me A Cake
Disney’s Yacht & Beach Bakery – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.

  • Heart of Florida United Way

0 1893

midiciintnight3

Midici, a Neopolitan Pizza Company just recently opened their doors to guests on December 30th, 2016 in Kissimmee, FL.

I will go ahead and address the question- Another Pizza Place? I understand this shoulder shrugging when it comes to a new franchise in town. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty everything I ordered was. I actually fell in love with the restaurant a little more when I began talking to the staff and understand the concepts behind the restaurant.

Sticking to the Neopolitan brand they have their ingredients shipped from Naples and their flour is strictly just flour, double zero, natural salt, yeast, and water.

I started off with the House Meat and Cheese (16) which included black truffle cheese (sottocenere al tartufo), goat cheese, parmigiano-reggiano, black truffle salami (tartufo), prosciutto di Parma, spicy Italian salami (calabrese). served with gourmet pickles, 2 mustards, fresh pears, king walnuts, organic honey, and wood fire-toasted ciabatta bread.

meatcheeseboard

As well as the Burrata with Beets & Balsamic (6) fresh soft burrata cheese, all natural red beets, lemon vinaigrette. Amazing textures for a simple dish.

burrata-with-beets-balsamic

My guest had the  House Made Italian Peeled Tomato Soup (6) Traditional thick Italian soup made with crushed peeled tomatoes imported from Italy, parmigiano-reggiano, housemade pesto, wood fire-toasted ciabatta bread croutons, fresh organic sweet basil. (can be requested gluten-free)

tomato-soup

We choose 3 different pizzas from the menu

Truffle and Vegetables Pizza (14) truffle cream, fresh ricotta cheese, all natural fresh mushrooms, all natural Fresno chilis, fresh whole mozzarella, fresh organic sweet basil, organic non-gmo extra virgin olive oil, parmigiano-reggiano, topped with baby arugula and fresh grape tomatoes after bake for a refreshing crunch. This one was hands down my favorite. The touch of truffle was just enough to elevate all the components in the pizza.

trufflevegetable-1

Double Pepperoni (9.5) crushed Italian peeled tomatoes (sauce), fresh whole mozzarella, gourmet pepperoni, spicy Italian salami (calabrese), parmigiano-reggiano, organic non-gmo extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic sweet basil. We added mushrooms to complete Jonathan’s (my guest) usual pizza order and it was said that He can’t go back to Dominoes’ again.

double-pepperoni

We split the Bacon N’ Egg (10) fresh whole mozzarella, all natural applewood smoked bacon, freshly cracked free-range egg, wood fire-roasted fingerling potatoes, oregano, parmigiano-reggiano, fresh organic sweet basil, organic non-gmo extra virgin olive oil (no tomato sauce). My recommendation is to take the crust and scoop up all the delicious yolk on the plate!

eggandbacon

The dinner ended on a rich sweet note with Signature Nutella Calzone & Fresh Berries (6) House Neapolitan dough, light, thin, soft and chewy, baked fresh with Nutella©, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, hidden inside, topped with a hint of balsamic reduction, and shaved coconut. What a decadent treat.

signature-nutella-calzone

Side story- The CEO actually convinced the developer of Nutella to create their product with Non-GMO ingredients so that Midici will stay true to their claim of being a Non-GMO restaurant.

I was able to catch a moment with the CEO of Midici and I had to ask him how is the restaurant able to make any profit since the ingredients are promised to be fresh, imported, and affordable.  He told me it was in the volume that the orders are made. The restaurant encourages the guest to stay and chat to enjoy the ambience and the company of their guests. The enivironment is made to be like a european cafe to get people to stay, sip, and get comfortable.

“People is the best thing to happen to people” is what was relayed to me by the staff. So each franchise location is based on the franchisee versus convenient locations.

Midici is “Fast Fine” is bringing my new year in with a yummy start!

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company
Address: 720 Centerview Blvd, Kissimmee, FL 34741

 

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

0 1883

Montreal was once the home of a large Native American settlement about 4000 years ago, with the French settlers arriving in the mid 1500s, and Montreal finally being founded by the French in 1642. Today, it is the most populous city in Quebec and the second most populous municipality in Canada. The French language and culture still runs strong here as is the love of great food. There is a very European vibe to the city and many great eats from poutine slathered in gravy and cheese curds to bakeries and Montreal’s famous smoked meats.

Here is a quick guide to a Taste of Montreal:

Montreal-style smoked meat

Montreal smoked meat or simply smoked meat in Montreal (French: smoked meat; sometimes viande fumée, is a type of kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. Along with bagels, smoked meat has been popular in Montreal since the 19th century and it has taken such strong root in the city that both Montrealers and non-Montrealers alike identify it as emblematic of the city’s cuisine.

Schwartz’s Deli – 3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada
www.schwartzsdeli.com/

World famous Schwartz’s, serving the best smoked meat from the original recipe of spices since 1928. Over 80 years of tradition – A Montreal classic and the oldest deli in Canada. The staff of Schwartz’s credits the unique flavour of their smoked meat to their mandatory 10-day meat curing time, the high turnover of their meat, and their brick smoke-house covered with over 80 years worth of buildup. Schwartz’s is also credited with creating Montreal steak seasoning or Montreal steak spice.

Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's smoked meat
Schwartz’s smoked meat
Schwartz's smoked meat sandwich
Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich
Smoked Chicken at Schwartz's
Smoked Chicken at Schwartz’s
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's
Schwartz’s
Schwartz's poutine - perfection
Schwartz’s poutine – perfection

Poutine

Poutine is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Québec, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy and sold almost at almost every other block in Montreal.

Mache
restaurantmache.com/
Address: 1655 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K4, Canada, Phone: +1 514-439-5535
Near the university, this small, casual shop has a whole great collection of Montreal Quebecois comfort eats from poutine to pates chinois.

photo-oct-30-7-44-10-pm

BBP 9.75$
ground beef, braised bacon, green peas, cheese, house gravy

photo-oct-30-7-44-31-pmau “Smoked meat” maison 9.95$
house roasted corned beef, caramelized onions, cheese, house gravy

photo-oct-30-7-40-41-pm

le Hamburger steak 12.50$
8 oz seasoned canadian beef, caramelized onions, green peas,
mashed potato, house gravy

photo-oct-30-7-40-46-pm
LES PATÉS CHINOIS
le Trio 13$
ground beef, veal and pork, onions, celery, corn, mashed potato

Pates Chinois – literally Chinese pate – is the French Canadian version of shepherd’s pie. One possible explanation for the Chinese reference is that it was introduced to Canadian railway workers by Chinese cooks during the building of the North American railroads in the late 19th century.

Joe Beef is a very popular restaurant so I recommend you try to get reservations before you travel out there.

photo-nov-01-6-53-13-pm
Bouillon Bilk
bouillonbilk.com/en/
Address: 1595 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2S9, Canada
Modern eclectic cuisine with a French influence served in a bright, minimalist-chic space.

photo-nov-01-7-13-42-pm

beets, persimmon, labneh, cashews, pomegrenate, castelfranco 16

photo-nov-01-7-30-07-pm

agnolotti, corn, duck, chanterelles, burrata, walnuts 18

photo-nov-01-7-52-45-pm

cod, brussels sprouts, lardons, apple, quinoa, pistachios 32

photo-nov-01-7-52-51-pm photo-nov-01-7-08-34-pm

photo-nov-01-8-16-48-pmmille-feuille, apple, sunchoke, caramel, mascarpone 11
Desserts

Juliette & Chocolat
www.julietteetchocolat.com/
Chocolate shakes, milk chocolates, hot chocolates, crepes, waffles, brownies, fondue, pastries.

photo-oct-30-8-33-33-pm photo-oct-30-8-37-22-pm photo-oct-30-8-37-32-pm photo-oct-30-8-37-36-pm photo-oct-30-8-37-40-pm

Near the Notre Dame basilica in Old Montreal, visit Maison Christian Faure, a French bakery shop as well as the first international French pastry school founded by acclaimed Chef Christian Faure M.O.F.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame

Maison Christian Faure
https://maisonchristianfaure.ca
355 Place Royale, Montréal, QC H2X 2V3, Canada
Phone: +1 514-508-6453

Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure

photo-oct-30-2-27-39-pm

Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Pastel Nata
Pastel Nata

Chinatown Montreal

Chinatown in Montreal is located in the area of De la Gauchetière Street in Montreal. The neighborhood contains many Asian restaurants, food markets, and convenience stores as well being home to many of Montreal’s East Asian community centres, such as the Montreal Chinese Hospital and the Montreal Chinese Community and Cultural Center.

photo-oct-31-3-26-50-pm-1

Mai Xiang Yuan
1082 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2Z 1J5, Canada
Excellent house made pork/shrimp/leek/egg dumplings

photo-oct-31-3-55-40-pm

Nudo
1055 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2Z 1J6, Canada
Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodles and braised beef.

photo-oct-29-8-38-01-pm photo-oct-29-8-38-05-pm photo-oct-29-8-42-06-pm photo-oct-29-8-43-56-pm photo-oct-29-8-44-04-pm photo-oct-29-8-49-53-pm photo-oct-29-8-50-20-pm

Marché Jean-Talon
Address: 7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada
www.marches-de-quartier.com/en/marches/jean-talon-market/
Established open-air market with many vendors selling produce, meats, cheeses, fish & baked good since 1933

photo-nov-01-9-35-28-am photo-nov-01-9-35-46-am photo-nov-01-9-36-22-am

McDonald’s in Montreal

photo-nov-01-3-49-33-pm photo-nov-01-3-52-01-pm photo-oct-30-10-15-56-am photo-oct-31-9-57-54-am

For more on where to eat in Montreal, check out this guide to Montreal’s best eats by Foodie Hub
http://www.foodiehub.tv/north-america/Montreal

0 1694

Known for its epic sunrise to sunset views of the airport runway, the new Hemisphere at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport features a $3 million re-design of the 3,000 square-foot restaurant.

photo-nov-15-5-41-34-pm

photo-nov-15-5-40-47-pm

photo-nov-15-5-41-40-pm

photo-nov-15-5-41-48-pm

photo-nov-15-5-41-57-pm

The stylish new environment is a huge upgrade from the 1990s era setting it once had.

Led by Executive Chef Jeffery Powell, Hemisphere’s culinary team has designed a menu that infuses robust international flavors and seasonal local ingredients.

photo-nov-15-6-32-35-pm

Dinner highlights include Moroccan-inspired, dukka-crusted Lamb Chops, Grilled Gulf Prawns and a Wagyu Grass-Fed Beef Burger. The Hemisphere beverage menu complements the world kitchen concept with a carefully curated collection of wines and cocktails from each hemisphere. The wine cuvees are filled with 16 wine varietals from different regions around the globe.

photo-nov-15-5-48-50-pm

“My culinary philosophy is to work with local farmers to acquire the freshest ingredients available. Using complementary ingredients and showcasing each component through simple preparation and proper technique creates integrity and depth of flavor,” said Powell.

Powell’s culinary point of view mirrors Hyatt’s global philosophy –Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. –and is reflected in the global offerings at McCoy’s Bar and Grill and the re-imagined Hemisphere restaurant, slated to make its debut in November2016.

At home, Powell enjoys cooking braised meats, practices slow cooking methods and explores new ingredients such as Moringa, an African green very high in vitamin C with other added health benefits.

photo-nov-15-6-13-45-pm
AVOCADO TOAST
tomato jam, tangy queso fresco, radish,pea tendrils
$8.95

photo-nov-15-6-10-35-pm
BURRATA MOZZARELLA
blood orange, pickled mustard seeds, micro greens, fire roasted bread
$11.95

photo-nov-15-6-31-40-pm
ROASTED BABY BEETS
whipped mascarpone, shaved fennel, pistachios, citrus zest, organic olive oil
$9.95

photo-nov-15-6-43-51-pm
HARICOT VERTS
nduja, red onions,organic sunny side up cage free egg
$10.95

photo-nov-15-6-16-48-pm
SOFT SHELL CRAB
fried green tomato, boursin, grits, arugula salad, smoked tomato vinaigrette, trinity relish
$15.95

photo-nov-15-6-56-28-pm
CHEF’S SIGNATURE PORK BELLY
slow pickled blueberries, candied jalapenos, sun choke puree
$16.95

photo-nov-15-6-48-51-pm
CHURRASCO STRIP STEAK
heirloom tomatoes, red onions, frisee, arugula,chimichurri
$28.95

photo-nov-15-7-13-22-pm
KEY LIME CHOUX AU CRAQUELIN
with torched meringue
10

photo-nov-15-7-13-01-pm
SAFFRON ARBORIO KHEER
cardamom fudge, pistachio mousse, pistachio tuile
10

photo-nov-15-7-13-05-pm
PLUM RAINDROP CAKE
fresh strawberries, lychee, orchid petals, toasted ground almonds
10

photo-nov-15-7-19-13-pm
PASILLA MOLTEN LAVA CAKE
licorice gelato, ginger snap sable
12

photo-nov-15-7-13-31-pm
BLACK FOREST PETIT GATEAUX
amarina cherry, chocolate cake, whipped cream quenelle
10

photo-nov-15-6-05-52-pm

photo-nov-15-7-19-18-pm

Complimentary valet parking is available for all Hemisphere guests.Monthly wine dinners and seasonal brunches will be announced soon.

Hemisphere at Orlando International Airport
9300 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32827
www.hemisphererestaurant.com
407.825.1234
OpenTable Reservations: http://www.opentable.com/r/hemisphere-orlando

Hemisphere Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

0 2540

PRESS RELEASE: Luma on Park and Prato’s Chef Brandon McGlamery to Open Classic American
Eatery in Maitland

Maitland, Fl. – (October 13, 2016) The partners of Park Lights Hospitality Group – led by visionary chef Brandon McGlamery and operations maven Tim Noelke, are opening their third restaurant concept, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar later this year. While Luma on Park encompasses progressive American cuisine and Prato has established itself as an authentic Italian eatery, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will offer classic American cuisine and cocktails. The new concept will be located at 640 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland, FL.

lukes_092216_19825

Executive Chef Derek Perez and McGlamery worked in tandem to curate a menu that highlights classic American fare, using seasonal ingredients and responsibly-sourced proteins.

Inspired by the culinary traditions from coast to coast, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will deliver carefully curated oysters, an extensive raw bar, an array of soups and sandwiches, and entrees cooked over an open fire grill and rotisserie.

lukes_092216_20005

Starters will include Pork Belly and Deviled Eggs, Chicken Wings and house-made Parker Rolls. Guests can enjoy dishes from the sea or land with offerings that include Raw Oysters, Ceviche, Prime Rib and Roast Chicken, with a selection of vegetables and sides.

Inspired by timeless American libations, the bar program will feature signature classic cocktails using house-made ingredients that complement the menu. Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will offer a wide-ranging, hand selected array of fine wines and craft beer available on draft, in bottles and in cans.

Designed by The Johnson Studio, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will welcome guests to a contemporary designed two-story building with an interactive open kitchen and oyster bar. The 6700 square-foot restaurant will seat 220 guests and will also offer patio seating and private dining options.

The name Luke’s is a play on the Italian word “to shine” and at Luke’s their goal is to shine light on American classics.

lukes_092216_20067 lukes_092216_20091 lukes_092216_19920

LUKE’S KITCHEN AND BAR – MAITLAND, FL
Luke’s Kitchen and Bar is the third concept by the partners of Park Lights Hospitality Group, of Luma on Park and Prato – led by visionary chef Brandon McGlamery and operations maven Tim Noelke. Opening in late 2016, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will focus on classic American cuisine, using seasonal ingredients and responsibly-sourced proteins. Inspired by the culinary traditions from coast to coast, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will deliver carefully curated oysters, a high-quality raw bar, an array of soups and sandwiches, and entrees cooked over an open fire grill and rotisserie. The beverage program will feature classically-inspired libations prepared with fresh and house-made ingredients, as well as an extensive selection of craft beer and wine. Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will be located at 640 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland, FL. For more information, please call 407.674.2400 or visit www.eatatlukes.com. Follow Luke’s Kitchen and Bar on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

Photo credit goes to Michael Pisarri.

0 1640

Flying Fish restaurant on Disney’s Boardwalk recently underwent massive interior renovations as well as a reboot of their menu. Gone from Flying Fish is the “cafe” part of the name, welcoming in a new, more sophisticated setting that does justice to the quality of cuisine, focused on sustainable seafood.

SONY DSC
New Look Inside Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Gone, too, are the golden fish and golden columns that brought a touch of boardwalk carnival feel to the old Flying Fish Cafe – the interior features an all-new silver-accented kitchen and dining room (with expanded space for private dining events) with silver, shimmering chandeliers – providing a very modern and upscale dining experience. Guests can still watch the chefs prepare dishes in the open kitchen, and sit at the kitchen counter to watch the action up close if desired.

Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Chef Tim Majoras, who has been with the Flying Fish culinary team since 2011, takes the over the helm in the kitchen from our friend Chef Tim Keating, bringing his take on a whole new menu to delight the palate and senses.

Chef Tim Majoras of Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Chef Tim Majoras of Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

We were invited recently for a media dinner at Flying Fish to get the latest updates to the menu and the interior decor.

The table’s bread is baked locally with little slivers of nori seaweed inside – a touch of the sea here, too – giving the bread a wonderful umami savory flavor. The bread features the telltale signature crusts from Orlando’s Olde Hearth Bakery. I could not stop at just one piece, despite my better judgement.

Nori bread at Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk - made by Olde Hearth Bakery
Nori bread at Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk – made by local Orlando Olde Hearth Bakery
Blue Crab Bisque - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Blue Crab Bisque – Jumbo Lump Crab, Melted Leeks, Aged Sherry, Tarragon Crème Fraîche – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

The stacked seared yellow fin tuna with compressed watermelon is a work of art – served with thinly sliced avocado, pink radishes, and pickled daikon radish and edible flowers. It tastes even better than it looks.

Compressed Tuna and Watermelon - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Flying Fish’s Yellowfin Tuna – Compressed Watermelon, Citrus Espelette, Black Cyprus Sea Salt, Avocado
Peaches and Prosciutto - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Peaches and Prosciutto – Sicilian Pistachio Dust, Vero Beach Arugula, Sonoma Chevre – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Another great starter is the Kurobuta pork belly featuring the finest Berkshire pork topped with a shirred quail egg and stacked with a taste of apple slaw and bing cherry gastrique.

Kurabuta Pork Belly - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Kurobuta Pork Belly – Shank Croquette, Royal Gala Apple Slaw, Bing Cherry Gastrique, Shirred Quail Egg – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk
Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Corn Encrusted Wild Gulf Shrimp – Spiced Hearts of Palm, Orange Supremes, Piquant Aioli – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

The newly renovated Flying Fish also now offers an expanded space for wine storage for their extensive wine list, including 80 wines available by the glass.

For my entree, I chose the Wood-fired Spanish Octopus and Chilean Seabass served with Bomba Arroz, Peruvian Sweet Peppers, and Housemade Chorizo. The octopus was cooked to perfection and paired nicely with the seabass and bomba arroz.

Bomba arroz is short-grain variety of rice commonly used in paella and other dishes in Valencian Spanish cuisine. The rice had a wonderful depth of flavor that had me licking my lips at the end of the meal.

Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Wood-fired Spanish Octopus and Chilean Seabass served with Bomba Arroz, Peruvian Sweet Peppers, and Housemade Chorizo- Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

I was able to sample my friend’s Lobster Nero pasta – nero pasta, or black pasta, is traditionally made from scorched or burnt kernels of wheat. It tastes wonderful.

Maine Lobster Nero Pasta - Golden Tomato Sauce, Young Artichokes, Micro Lemon Grass
Maine Lobster Nero Pasta – Golden Tomato Sauce, Young Artichokes, Micro Lemon Grass
Bison Strip Loin - Ancient Grains, Salsify, Cipollini Onions, Haricot Verts, Sun-dried Tomato-Choron Sauce
Bison Strip Loin – Ancient Grains, Salsify, Cipollini Onions, Haricot Verts, Sun-dried Tomato-Choron Sauce
Plancha-seared Hokkaido Scallops - Antebellum Grits, Brentwood Sweet Corn, Peppadew Emulsion
Plancha-seared Hokkaido Scallops – Antebellum Grits, Brentwood Sweet Corn, Peppadew Emulsion
Wagyu Filet Mignon Okinawan Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Romanesco, Bordelaise Sauce
Wagyu Filet Mignon
Okinawan Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Romanesco, Bordelaise Sauce
Wild Alaskan King Salmon - Pancetta-Ivory Lentils, Wilted Varietal Kale, Meyer Lemon, Garden Vinaigrette
Wild Alaskan King Salmon – Pancetta-Ivory Lentils, Wilted Varietal Kale, Meyer Lemon, Garden Vinaigrette

Dessert is stunning – a work of art – The Under the Sea and Florida Reef desserts are shaped like little pieces of the ocean seafloor, and are all quite delectable. The pastry team at The Flying Fish is top rate and you can tell in their craftsmanship and in the balance of sweetness in their desserts.

Under the Sea - Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef - lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea – Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef – lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea - Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef - lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea – Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef – lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Flying Fish at Disney's BoardWalk
Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk

Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk
Hours: 5-10 p.m. daily

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/boardwalk/flying-fish/

0 1402

Chef Emeril Lagasse, of all chefs, really needs no introduction, with his signature proclamations of spice “Bam!” and having hosted literally thousands of shows on Food Network. Most recently he has been the host of “Emeril’s Florida” on the Cooking Channel, bringing attention to many great local Florida chefs and food purveyors.

Emeril Lagasse is also the chef/proprietor of 13 restaurants, including two here in Orlando – Emeril’s Orlando at Universal CityWalk and Emeril’s Tchoup Chop at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios.

emerils-6657

Douglas Braselman was named Chef de Cuisine of Emeril’s Orlando in April 2015, equipped with more than 14 years of experience in the culinary arts.

Braselman, a New Orleans native, joined Emeril’s Orlando after spending nearly 10 years under the guidance of some of the best chefs and restaurantuers New Orleans has to offer including Chef David Slater, Chef Gregg Collier, Chef Susan Spicer, Chef James Wong of Trey Yuen and Roy Barre.

Emeril's Chef Douglas Braselman
Emeril’s Chef Douglas Braselman

These experiences led to opportunities in award-winning restaurants such as Redfish Grill, Ralphs on the Park and then in 2011, at Chef Emeril Lagasse’s flagship restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District.

Braselman brings with him the flavors of his Louisiana heritage, while being hands-on in the kitchen, using only the best-quality local and regional ingredients to drive his seasonal menu and nightly specials.

“I’m excited to continue Chef Emeril’s tradition of ‘New’ New Orleans cuisine featuring the great products available here in the state of Florida.”

We were recently invited to try their new menu out at Emeril’s. It was a brisk walk to the restaurant from the parking garages, wading through the crowds at Universal’s Citywalk coming and going from the parks. It is undoubtedly the most high scale restaurant on the strip, though dress code is definitively more lax than the typical fine dining restaurant due to the locale.

If you are looking for something different from the traditional New Orleans Barbecue shrimp, try out the wonderful crispy duck wings, glazed with a sticky chili sweet sauce and blue cheese vinaigrette. The wings are lip smacking good and leave you wanting for more.

Crispy Duck Wings

CRISPY DUCK WINGS
sticky chili glaze, blue cheese vinaigrette
14

Salads here are more than your typical caesar or house salad – but change seasonally with the freshest ingredients available. During our visit, we had a lovely strawberry and grapefruit arugula salad with prosciutto and a lovely vinaigrette dressing.

Seasonal Salad
Seasonal Salad

The entrees from the pan seared scallops to the chargrilled ribeye and double cut pork chop are all crafted with finesse and deep flavors, but our favorite dish of the evening was a pan roasted duck dish with dirty wild rice and collard greens – absolutely delicious with a great cajun southern flair.

Desserts like the signature Emeril’s Banana Cream pie and red velvet cake are classic mainstays here, but if it’s available – do try their fantastic rendition of the Mardi gras classic – king cake!

emerils-6679

PAN SEARED DIVER SCALLOPS
creamy corn moque choux, wilted greens, local tomato jam
34

emerils-6677
PAN ROASTED BELL & EVANS CHICKEN BREAST
foie gras dirty wild rice, wilted greens, maple jus
29

emerils-6686

CHARGRILLED RIBEYE*
rosemary charred cabbage, onion jam, roasted oyster mushrooms, buttermilk bleu cheese, arugula
48

emerils-6691
GRILLED DOUBLE CUT PORK CHOP*
caramelized sweet potatoes, tamarind glaze, green chili molé
32

emerils-6698

Desserts
EMERIL’S BANANA CREAM PIE
Graham Cracker Crust, Caramel Sauce, Chocolate Shavings
10

LEMON CHEESECAKE
blueberry sage compote
9

RED VELVET CAKE
cream cheese frosting, candied almonds, chocolate sauce
8

KEY LIME PIE
toasted meringue, berry coulis
10

FLOURLESS DECADENT CHOCOLATE TORTE
butter pecan sauce
10

KING CAKE
During Mardi Gras Season

Emeril’s Orlando
6000 Universal Blvd.
Universal CityWalk
407-224-2424
emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-orlando

0 1284

Orlando Foodie Forum x Tasty Chomps x Ravello Dinner Event
Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30pm
$45 pp (incl tax & grat)

The Four Seasons Orlando
The Four Seasons Orlando

Join us for a special dinner at Ravello on October 11, featuring the Orlando Foodie Forum and host Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com, the Orlando Food Blog. Ravello at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, the Italian restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Orlando, is helmed by Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi, who was born and raised in the Torino area of Italy.

The Four Seasons Orlando
The Four Seasons Orlando

Ravello features all housemade pastas and pizzas made with imported Italian flour, and it’s perfect timing to try this menu as October is National Pizza Month and National Pasta Month!

The menu includes a glass of wine, choice of salad, a personal size pizza, and pasta.

Plus, all attendees will receive a takeaway of Italian cookies. $45 per person includes tax and gratuity.

Space is limited to 20 guests!

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foodie-forum-dinner-at-ravello-tickets-27935938143

orl_618_screen-hi-res

Ravello Dinner Menu:

Choice of Salad, 1/2 portion Pasta and Personal Pizza

-Guests can select from the following:

Salad

Cesare

Hearts of Romaine | Parmigiano | Anchovy | Focaccia Croutons

Insalata Mista

Trevisana | Arugula | Lola Rossa | Moscato Vinaigrette

Blood Orange & Portobello Mushroom Salad

Shallots | Taggiasca Olives | Crunchy Polenta | Chianti Vinaigrette

~~~

flo_626_screen-hi-res

Pasta

Spaghetti

Homemade Spaghetti | San Marzano Tomato | Crunchy Basil

Creste Di Gallo

Pinot Grigio Cream Sauce | Wood Fired Asparagus | Carrots | Spinach | Ricotta Salata

Pappardelle

Traditional Bolognese | Pecorino

~~~

caf_205_screen-hi-res

Pizza

Margherita

Tomato | Basil | Mozzarella

Pizza Alla Salsiccia

Homemade Italian Sausage | Pepperoni | Cured Ham | Mozzarella | Basil Oil

N’Duja

Pomodorini Sauce | N’Duja Sausage | Oregano | Parmigiano | Mozzarella

Bianca

Ricotta Sauce | Mushrooms | Arugula | Truffle Oil

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foodie-forum-dinner-at-ravello-tickets-27935938143

Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

0 1051

PRESS RELEASE

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will celebrate its seventh year October 28 – 29 at the Epcot Resort Area resort with its largest event to date featuring 50 food and wine stations, 10 seminars and opportunities to meet the award-winning chefs behind featured culinary masterpieces.

With more food and drink stations spreading out among more space than ever before, guests will delight in numerous opportunities to sip and savor along the resort’s causeway, alongside the resort’s private lake, and for the first time, on the resort’s private beach all weekend while enjoying live entertainment.

Delectable culinary offerings headline the two-night event, featuring cuisine from the resort’s own award-winning restaurants: Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Shula’s Steak House Todd English’s bluezoo, Kimonos and more, with wine and spirits samplings from around the globe.

“Each year we seek to give our guests something new and exciting to experience and taste.” said the resort’s Director of Food & Beverage Tony Porcellini. “This year, we’ll be able to offer them more food, more drink and more fun than ever before.”

What’s New
Making its festival debut this year is an immersive area, which will transport guests’ palates to the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown with décor and dishes inspired by the famous neighborhood.

Two new dishes were created by resort’s award-winning culinary team will be featured in the area: crispy duck with cucumber, scallion, hoisin sauce and a steamed bun as well as Shanghai dumplings, handmade with pork, rice wine, ginger and scallion, served with soy sauce and chili oil sauce.

Also new for 2016 is the Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery at Il Mulino New York Trattoria, featuring a lavish menu of traditional and unconventional dishes like various cured meats and imported cheeses along with an array of sushi and trattoria-inspired entrees.

Featured Food
Friday and Saturday nights, feature menus full of new and unique dishes sure to please the palate, including spinach and potato agnolotti with pork, tomato cream grilled radicchio and ricotta salata; smoked beef brisket with white cheddar beignet and concord grape and smoked bacon remoulade; and seared striped bass with fall artichokes, nicoise olives and Spanish caper emulsion.

Favorite dishes from past years also return, such as the shrimp cocktail steamroller, Thai chicken salad with organic greens, green papaya tamarind and ginger dressing as well as the dragon sushi roll with crispy shrimp, tuna and avocado.

The resort’s World Champion Pastry Chef, Laurent Branlard, provides a sweeter side to the evening with decadent desserts like the all-chocolate choux and caramel sea salt éclair with vanilla whipped cream and comfit gingered pears. The Sundae Action Station returns allowing guests to choose their own toppings like chocolate cake and caramelized banana.

Seminars and Upgrades
Two new hands-on educational seminars, taught by members of the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team, are being added to this year’s seminar offerings. The Craft Cocktails seminar educates guests on the origins of traditional cocktails and how to make them, and More than Malbec introduces the world of popular Argentinian wines, with tastings and tips for pairing. Popular returning seminar topics include wine blending, Italian wines, champagne, beer, tequila, pasta making, sushi and sake and wine and cheese pairing. All seminars require separate tickets, and space is limited.

As an upgraded ticket option, guests can experience a beer garden, featuring a variety of local and seasonal brews from around the world, alongside Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine made by the resort’s culinary experts.

Award-Winning Chefs
To add to the event’s appeal, guests can enjoy a meet and greet with celebrity chef Todd English, the namesake of the resort’s Todd English’s bluezoo restaurant. Guests can also meet the world’s only two-time World Champion Pastry Chef and the resort’s very own executive pastry chef, Laurent Branlard. Barbeque fans shouldn’t miss the Cib’s Smoke House station for signature barbeque dishes from the resort’s Executive Chef Robert Ciborowski.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, a distinguished culinary and beverage team and unmatched customer service, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort continually receives national recognition for its food and beverage program. The culinary team has had the honor of presenting multiple dinners at the distinguished James Beard House. The resort boasts more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections, including organic and rare vintages. The resort’s restaurants are annual winners of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence including Shula’s Steak House, a five-time recipient of the exclusive Best of Award of Excellence.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are available as part of a resort package or individually. For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500.

What: Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Info: The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort returns October 28 – 29, showcasing a vast array of food and beverage options, informative seminars conducted by members of the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team and an appearance by celebrity chef Todd English.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic consists of 10 food and beverage seminars, live entertainment, a beer garden and more than 50 food and beverage stations, featuring appetizing selections from the resort’s signature restaurants: Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Todd English’s bluezoo, as well as wines, beers and cocktails from around the world.

When: Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 2016
5:30–9 p.m. (for seminar schedule, check www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com)

Where: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Causeway
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-934-4000

Ticket Information:

– Overnight packages, available for one or two nights, including room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee) are available starting at $392

– Advance purchase unlimited food and beverage samples are $105 per person; beer garden upgrade is $130 per person including taxes

– Interactive seminars start at $50 per person, per class including taxes

– Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery is $75 per person

– For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500

About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort resides amongst the greatest theme parks and attractions in Central Florida. The resort is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The resort features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, the extended park hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required) and Disney FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit. The resort can be reached at 800-227-1500, www.swandolphin.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/swananddolphin.

0 899
SONY DSC

Fall Food & Wine Weekends – Sept. 16 through Nov. 13, 2016
Complimentary transportation to Epcot® and the Disney Theme Parks.

Food & Wine Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a celebration of fine wine and the culinary arts…the perfect complement to the Epcot® Food & Wine Festival, for the serious epicurean.

Designed for those who truly savor the artistry of fine culinary preparations – each plate a canvas for delight and each vintage an invitation for couples to indulge in each other – we invite you to experience Food & Wine Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Come for an evening, or immerse yourself in a gourmet weekend retreat. Plus, enjoy complimentary transportation to Epcot® and all Disney Theme Parks.

foodandwineweekendsslider1

Weekend Highlights Include:

SONY DSC

The Taste of La Luce
Friday & Saturday, 6pm – 11pm, La Luce
From the kitchen of La Luce at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, enjoy an exclusive four-course menu with recommended wine pairing featuring a taste of La Luce. Menu may be paired with wine flights for an additional fee. Reservations recommended, please refer to, “The Taste of La Luce,” when making a reservation. Call 407-597-3600. ($)
View Menu

The Taste of Bull & Bear
Friday & Saturday, 6pm – 10pm, Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Experience an exclusive tasting four-course menu comprised of exquisite food and wine pairings – prepared by the illustrious chefs of Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Reservations recommended, please refer to, “The Taste of Bull & Bear,” when making a reservation. Call 407-597-5413. ($)
View Dinner and Wine Pairing Menu

Carved Beef Filet Rossini with Potato Pave
Carved Beef Filet Rossini with Potato Pave

The Art of Sushi Pairing
Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 10pm, Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge
Guests can enjoy an exciting epicurean journey at Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge, exploring perfect pairings of sake or beer with favorite sushi dishes. ($)
View Dinner Menu

Cocktail Creations
Saturday 4:30pm – 5:30pm, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Muddle, mix and sample! Guests partake in an interactive experience creating their very own specialty cocktails.

Sip, Swirl & Savor – A Wine Tasting Experience
Friday and Saturday, 5pm – 7pm, outside of La Luce
Before dinner, sample an array of wines which will be offered as a complement to The Taste of La Luce dinner menu. Regardless of your wine knowledge, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more from an experienced sommelier. Select Weekends.

Craft Beer Experience

Friday & Saturday, MYTH Bar
The resort has teamed up with local breweries to bring this interactive experience to guests. Enjoy a selection of craft beers each weekend. Select Weekends.

Bar du Chocolat and Champagne Tasting
Friday & Saturday, 6:30pm – 10:30pm, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
A decadent selection of à la carte chocolate treats hand-crafted by Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s world-class pastry team. A selection of champagnes are available, as well. Highlights include chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes and bowls of beautiful bon-bons. ($) Select Weekends.

Macaron Bar
Friday & Saturday, 6pm – 10pm, MYTH Bar
Whether indulging in a pre or post-dinner treat, guest can visit the Macaron Bar to try an assortment of flavors, hand-made by the resort’s world-class pastry team. ($) Select Weekends.

Astoria After Dark
Friday & Saturday, WA Kids Club at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Adults aren’t the only ones who can join the fun. WA Kids Club offers a nightly children’s program including dinner and non-stop roster of fun activities – providing parents some “adult time” in which to experience Food & Wine Weekend activities. ($)

Royal Tea – A Waldorf Astoria Tradition
Sunday, 2pm – 4pm, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Guests will treasure quality time with loved ones over finely-prepared tea sandwiches and house-made pastries, while sipping premium hot tea and listening to live piano music. A glass of champagne can be added for a “Grand Royal Tea.” Reservations are required 24 hours in advance. Please see Concierge or call 407-597-5450. ($)

Waldorf Astoria® Spa Tuscany Wine Special
Daily, Waldorf Astoria Spa
Experience the powerful antioxidants of red wine powder, red grape seed extract, crushed grape seeds and pure grape seed oil as you indulge in an extravagant Tuscany Wine Wrap or Pedicure. To book an appointment at Waldorf Astoria Spa please call 407-597-5360. ($)

Live Entertainment
Nightly, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

All guests of Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek are invited to enjoy Food & Wine Weekend experiences.

Stuffed Conchiglioni Pasta: Ricotta, Short Rib, Reggiano, B?chamel
Stuffed Conchiglioni Pasta: Ricotta, Short Rib, Reggiano, B?chamel

0 1653

After a successful dinner at Hyatt Regency Orlando’s Urban Tide last week, in honor of Orlando Magical Dining Month, our Orlando Foodie Forum presented by Tasty Chomps! has partnered with Visit Orlando for a special dinner event at Chef Kathleen Blake’s Rusty Spoon on Thursday September 8th.

080A0441-2

Meet Orlando Foodie Forum friends at The Rusty Spoon for an exclusive dinner event celebrating Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month. Your experience includes a complimentary cocktail reception at The Rusty Spoon bar featuring signature cocktail selections. Dinner will follow giving guests a first taste of The Rusty Spoon’s three-course Magical Dining Month menu with wine pairings and special presentations from Chef Kathleen Blake.

Gratuity included. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. Limit two tickets per party.

MAGICAL DINING MENU

Choice of Appetizers

Lake Meadow Scotched Egg
Soft boiled egg, house italian sausage, pickled vegetables

Charred Squid & Octopus
Watermelon 2 ways, crispy chorizo,
house pickled peppers, arugula & spicy vinaigrette

Crudite
A taste of the season

080A0273

Choice of Entrèes

Lake Meadow Skirt Steak
Crispy potatoes, vegetables of the moment & salsa verde

Lake Meadow Chicken Thigh Alla Diavola
Slow roasted with our italian sausage, house hot pickled peppers, wilted greens & grit fries

Native Pirlau
Canaveral head-on shrimp, chicken andouille sausage, charred vegetables with rice & smoky shrimp broth

080A0355

Choice of Desserts

Floating Island
Seasonal sorbet & poached fruit

Rusty Donut Hole
Stuffed with something yummy, chocolate sauce

Chocolate Cake
Salted caramel gelato & seasonal fruit

080A0393

WHEN
Thursday, September 8, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)
WHERE
The Rusty Spoon – 55 West Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801

TICKETS LINK:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/magical-dining-at-the-rusty-spoon-x-orlando-foodie-forum-tickets-27378049483

Photos Courtesy of The Rusty Spoon

Special Brunch Edition: Cask & Larder partnered with Funky Buddha Brewery for a beer brunch. The event featured a reception with bites and beers, followed by a three-course meal paired with a perfect beer for each course.

Cask & Larder, in Winter Park, Florida, is a local neighborhood gathering spot with a dedication to artisanal foods while creating seasonally fresh dishes. For this event, Cask & Larder reserved the bar area to host its brunch and it was the perfect space for guests to taste the beer brunch menu.

Everything about the menu was exciting and the event exceeded my expectations. It’s hard to pick a favorite because each dish was delicious – the roasted oysters, foie gras french toast, smoked tuna tartine, corned beef hash (with the soft boiled egg!), and ice cream sandwich.

If you would like to learn more about Cask & Larder events, click here to sign up for the mailing list or follow Cask & Larder on FaceBook.

Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA and C&L Pale Ale
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ramp Butter Roasted Oysters with bacon crumbs ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA and C&L Pale Ale
Mini Foie Gras French Toast with pickled blueberries
Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and C&L Wit
Hop Smoked Tuna Tartine with millet bread, pickled kabocha squash, compressed peaches, radish and farro ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and C&L Wit
Crispy Corned Beef & Hash with bearnaise, picked ramps & mushrooms, ramp green soubise and a soft boiled egg ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Blood Orange IPA and C&L Maibock
Ice Cream Sandwich with chocolate stout semifreddo and chicory cookie ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Vanilla Espresso Porter and C&L Coffee Blonde

About Cask & Larder:
Cask & Larder offers southern-sourced seasonal dishes, craft beers brewed on-site and fresh-shucked oysters from our oyster bar. We look forward to serving you good food with casual southern hospitality.

Address: 565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (321) 280-4200
Website: www.caskandlarder.com

About Funky Buddha Brewery
Funky Buddha Brewery was founded in 2010 in Boca Raton, Florida, and is committed to producing bold craft beers that marry culinary-inspired ingredients with time-honored technique. Our mantra is big, bold flavors, made exactingly with natural ingredients. So, for example, if we say a beer will taste like peanut butter and jelly, you can be sure you’ll smell and taste the fresh roasted peanuts and fruity berry jam. Our flagship beers such as Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen, also strive towards big, bold flavor. It’s who we are. Our Brewery is located in the heart of Oakland Park’s new Culinary Arts District.

Address: 1201 NE 38th St, Oakland Park, FL 33334
Phone: (954) 440-0046
Website: www.funkybuddhabrewery.com

0 941

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry brings together the area’s top chefs who donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in Central Florida. Along with culinary delights, guests have the opportunity to sample select wines, cocktails and premium beers and enjoy silent and live auctions and entertainment. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Florida Impact.

Central Florida’s most distinguished chefs will join forces August 27, 2016 to help fight the nation’s childhood hunger epidemic at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry. Forty-five of the area’s most accomplished chefs will showcase tasting portions of signature dishes, accompanied by fine wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails at the Orlando World Center Marriott to ensure children struggling with hunger in our city and across America are connected to the meals they need.

New to this year’s event are 10 of the area’s most popular and exciting restaurants including Benihana, Canvas Lake Nona, Eleven and Forte at Reunion Resort, Hemisphere Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, Nova Scratch Kitchen, The Osprey Tavern, Restaurant ASH, STK and The Rusty Spoon.

TasteNation-115

Several popular brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors have also been tapped for this year’s event, including Brew Bus USA, Cigar City Brewing, Crooked Can Brewery, Orlando Brewery, Red Light, Red Light Beer Parlour, Small Town Brewery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, Lakeridge Winery, Nestle Waters | S. Pell & Acqua Panna, Onli Beverage Co., Funky Monkey, Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey and Tito’s Vodka.

In its 27th year, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is the region’s longest-running and most trend-forward food and beverage event raising funds and awareness for children’s nutrition programs provided by national beneficiary Share Our Strength, regional beneficiary Florida Impact, and local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

In addition to appetizing food, fine wines, craft beers and premium spirits, guests also enjoy a fully automated mobile silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways.

The Giving Tree raffle, sponsored by Edible Orlando, returns for the second year inviting guests to win a taste of Orlando’s most popular establishments. For a $50 donation, guests can select a Giving Tree envelope hanging from a towering tree containing a gift certificate ranging from $25 to $300 in value. The event’s ever-popular Instant Wine Cellar game offers participants a chance to win more than 150 bottles of wine valued at more than $2,500. There are only 250 chances to win this exquisite wine cellar. Each key is a $25 donation.

Guests can also win fine bottles of wine with the all-new Ring Toss for Wine fundraiser. Rings are available for purchase to toss onto wine bottles ?$5 for two tosses or $10 for six tosses. When a ring lands around a bottle neck, the guest wins a bottle of wine to take home.

A handful of students from The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program will be at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation this year to lend the cooking skills they have mastered in Second Harvest’s 14-week program designed to provide qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.

TasteNation-123

“For our culinary students to be able to work alongside Orlando’s top chefs at Taste of the Nation is a one-of-a-kind experience and learning opportunity that we cannot teach in the classroom,” said Chef Israel Santiago, head training chef at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

For a limited time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is offering a special promotion on tickets to this year’s event. Buy 1 ticket, get 50% off the 2nd ticket using the code LASTCHANCE. To purchase tickets, visit NoKidHungry.org/Orlando.

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is offering several fundraising experiences to sip and nibble on before the main event.

Eola Wine Company welcomes guests to raise a glass to end childhood hunger with a series of weekly wine tasting events on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. from now through Aug. 24. For a $15 donation at the door, guests will receive free tastings of select wines. Offering fine varietals by the glass, flight and bottle, plus light fare, Eola Wine Company is located in downtown Orlando at 430 E. Central Blvd., Orlando.

The Ancient Olive is fighting childhood hunger with olive oil by donating $1 for each bottle of ultrapremium extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, and flavor-infused olive oils sold between now and August 31. The tasting bar for premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars is located at 324 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. The Spice & Tea Exchange, located at 309 Park Ave., North, Winter Park, will donate $1 for each gourmet spice blend grinder sold.

TasteNation-231

Proceeds from these three events benefit Share our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger, which includes local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

For the first time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation introduces the Golden Ticket Giveaway, offering an exciting new way to win a pair of complimentary tickets to this year’s event. Guests who dine at select, participating establishments can ask their server for a Golden Ticket to receive a concealed envelope that may contain a pair of tickets to this year’s event. Chances of winning are 1 in 10. Follow hashtags #OrlTaste and #GoldenTicket for a list of participating restaurants and updates on remaining
Golden Tickets. The Golden Ticket Giveaway runs from Aug. 1 – 22.

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored by OpenTable, San Pell/Acqua Panna and media sponsor Food Network. Special thanks to local sponsors Darden Restaurants, Regions Bank, Harris Rosen Foundation, Spotlight, Noble Marketing, Disney, FreshPoint, Hilton Grand Vacations, Bright House, Darden Federal Credit Union, Ernst & Young, Patriot National, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Universal Orlando Resort, Quality 1 and Amerifactors.

Taste of the Nation Orlando

August 27, 2016
Event Tickets : $150
6:45pm – 10:00pm
Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Dr.
Orlando, Florida
http://ce.strength.org/orlando

2016 PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS

Artist’s Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
B Resort & Spa | American Kitchen
Benihana
Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse
Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine
Café Tu Tu Tango
Canvas Lake Nona
Capa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
The Capital Grille
CFHLA Food & Beverage Council
Cress Restaurant
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar at Pointe Orlando
Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi
Eddie V’s
Empress Sissi Cake & Specialty Pastries
Florida Nitro
FreshPoint Central Florida
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center | Old Hickory Steakhouse
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center | MOOR
Hemisphere Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando, featuring Whisper Creek Farms: The Kitchen
K Restaurant and Wine Bar
Marlow’s Tavern
Nestle Professional
Nova Scratch Kitchen
Orlando World Center Marriott
The Osprey Tavern
RA Sushi
Red Wing Restaurant
Restaurant ASH
Rosen Shingle Creek ?A Land Remembered
Rosen Shingle Creek ?Cala Bella Restaurant
The Rusty Spoon
Seasons 52 Fresh Grill
SeaWorld Orlando
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
STK
Tapa Toro Tapas Bar and Paella Pit
Taverna Opa Orlando
The Whiskey
Universal Orlando
Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Updated list of participating beverage vendors for the event this year:
1 Brew Bus USA
2 Cigar City Brewing
3 Coca-Cola
4 Cooper’s Hawk
5 Crooked Can Brewing Company
6 Florida Farm Distillers, Home of Palm Ridge Whiskies
7 JM Smucker Co Beverage/Folger’s Coffee
8 Lakeridge Winery
9 Nespresso
10 Nestle Waters ? S. Pell & Acqua Panna
11 Not Your Father’s
12 Onli Beverage Co.
13 Orange Blossom Brewing Co.
14 Orlando Brewing Company
15 Pernod Ricard
16 Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour
17 Small Town Brewery
18 Tito’s Vodka
19 Tsingtao
20 Uinta Brewing Company
21 Vermont Cider Co.
22 Woodchuck Cider

Leading up to the 27th Annual Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry, we will be holding a Golden Ticket raffle. If you find the Golden Ticket at any participating restaurant, you will win two tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation.

How do I win? Visit any one of our participating restaurants or beverage partners, and ask your server if any Orlando Taste Golden Ticket envelopes are available. Open up the provided envelope – you could win the Golden Ticket – two FREE tickets to Orlando’s Taste of the Nation!

What are the rules? There is only one concrete rule: In order to participate, you must be dining at that establishment. Please note that some restaurants may limit the number of envelopes per table, per day. We just ask that you play fairly, have fun, and be sure to share on social!

I found a Golden Ticket! What now? Now is the fun part! In your envelope, you will also find two tickets to the event on the 27th. Celebrate! Inform your server. Pull out your phones/cameras, snap a shot, and share via your favorite social media channels with hashtag #OrlTaste. Be sure to tag us!

And that’s it! Have fun with it, and thank you again for participating in our first ever Golden Ticket Game! If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Melissa Kear at mkear@feedhopenow.org.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OrlandoTaste
Twitter: @OrlandoTaste
Instagram: @OrlandoTaste
#OrlTaste

Red Wing Restaurant
12500 State Road 33
Groveland, FL 34736
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Red-Wing-Restaurant-119968615387
Twitter: @RedWingRestaura
Instagram: @red_wing_restaurant

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

Benihana
12690 International Drive
Orlando, FL

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

Tapa Toro
8441 International Dr #260
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tapatoroorlando
Twitter: @tapatoroorlando
Instagram: @tapatoroorlando

Taverna Opa
Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr #2240
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Opa.Orlando
Twitter: @TavernaOpaOrl
Instagram: @tavernaopaorl

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

Canvas Restaurant & Market
13615 Sachs Avenue
Orlando, FL
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CanvasLakeNona
Instagram: @canvaslakenona

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

Yak & Yeti
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Facebook: www.facebook.com/YakandYetiRestaurant
Twitter: @WaltDisneyWorld
Instagram: @WaltDisneyWorld

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive Suite #1004
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CubaLibreOrlando
Twitter: @CubaLibreOrl
Instagram: @cubalibrerestaurant

JWMarriott, Grande Lakes: Whisper Creek Farm
4040 Central Florida Parkway,
Orlando, FL 32837
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jwmarriottorlando
Twitter:@RC_Orlando
Instagram:@jwmorlando

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Winter Park
108 S Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32751

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Dr. Phillips
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd, Suite 108
Orlando, FL 32819

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BosphorousTurkishCuisine
Instagram:@bosphorous

RA Sushi
Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive Suite 1008
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RASushi/
Twitter: @RAsushi
Instagram: @rasushi

Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour & Brewery
2810 Corrine Dr
Orlando, FL
Facebook: www.facebook.com/redlightredlight
Twitter: @redlightx2
Instagram:@redlightredlight

Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park
1008 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92)
Winter Park, FL 32789

Marlow’s Tavern – International Drive
9101 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819

Marlow’s Tavern – Waterford Lakes
547 N. Alafaya Trail Building J1
Orlando, FL 32828

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarlowsTavern
Twitter: @MarlowsTavern
Instagram: @marlowstavern

Rusty Spoon
Church Street Market
55 W Church St
Orlando, FL 32801
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheRustySpoon
Twitter: @The_Rusty_Spoon
Instagram:@the_rusty_spoon

The Osprey Tavern
4899 New Broad St
Orlando, FL
Facebook: www.facebook.com/The-Osprey-Tavern-459200480850163
Instagram: @the_osprey_tavern

Café Tu Tu Tango
8625 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CafeTuTuTango
Twitter: @CafeTuTuTangoFL
Instagram: @cafe_tu_tu_tango

Orlando Brewing
Facebook: www.facebook.com/orlandobrewing
Twitter: @orlandobrewing
Instagram: @orlando_brewing

The Capital Grille – Millenia
4200 Conroy Road STE 146A
Orlando, FL 32839

0 1593

King Bao is holding court in the former Raphsodic Bakery location at 710 N. Mills Ave, serving up tasty little Taiwanese style Gua Baos with an Asian fusion flair. Gua bao also known as steamed bao, is a Taiwanese snack food consisting of a slice of meat and other condiments sandwiched between flat steamed bread.

The menu here is pretty budget friendly, with vegan and vegetarian baos starting at $3.00 and going up to $3.75 for seafood bao. Tater tots are also a popular item here and there is even a section for dessert bao, filled with ice cream and nutella bananas.

My favorite bao here has got to be the Hogzilla, the pork belly bao served banh mi style with pickled carrots, daikon radish, honey roasted peanuts, and cilantro.

King Bao Menu
King Bao Menu
Inside King Bao
Inside King Bao
Chef Hoi Nguyen of King Bao
Chef Hoi Nguyen of King Bao
Fire Tots with Sriracha Aioli
Fire Tots with Sriracha Aioli
Inner Harbor Bao
Inner Harbor and OH MY Grouper Baos
Kickin Chicken Bao
Kickin Chicken Bao
Nutella Bao
Tarzan – Banana and Nutella Bao

King Bao
https://www.facebook.com/kingbaoorlando/
Address: 710 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803, United States
Hours: Open today · 11:30AM–10PM
Phone: +1 407-237-0013

0 2125

First, in full disclosure, the three young men who started Viet-Nomz are old friends of mine from college. But even if I did not know these three foolish friends who decided to take on the food industry, I would wholeheartedly feel the same about Viet-Nomz.

Phillip Nguyen, Chris Chen, and Mike Cho began this journey just a few years ago when they started to brainstorm about how to bring their collective love for Vietnamese food together. Phillip, who is of Vietnamese descent, traveled around the world and America, most notably in the Vietnamese enclaves of Southern California as well as the motherland in the streets of Saigon in south Vietnam, to taste and try dishes to bring back to their project in Orlando. With this inspiration, the three friends, each with their own years of experience in the restaurant industry, opened up Viet-Nomz in late June and has hit the ground running ever since.

The space is quite hip, with natural wood ambiance. Order at the counter and your dishes will be brought to you. I visited on multiple occasions and enjoyed everything I had, from the plump, fried pork egg rolls to the grilled beef banh mi sandwiches drizzled with spicy “nom nom” sauce, to the delicately nuanced and flavorful bowls of pho, the staple of Vietnamese restaurants every where. In some ways, Viet-Nomz is the Vietnamese version of a ramen-shop, with piping hot bowls of pho beef noodle soup instead of ramen emanating from their open kitchen.

There are some updates to the Vietnamese menu here, brought on by the founder’s own upbringings. Chris Chen, who is of Taiwanese descent, brought some of the doughy, steamed white buns that make the famous gua baos in Taiwanese street foods, and married them with Vietnamese banh mi ingredients like pickled daikon and carrots and grilled pork. There are also banh mi tacos on the menu, something that was a favorite on our visits.

Photo Jun 23, 12 33 02 PM

Everything is made to order, and you can watch as they assemble and grill the dishes for the rice bowls or noodle bowls, and pour soups from the huge vats of pho beef noodle soup that have been simmering for hours and hours that day. For vegetarians, do try their vegetarian pho, one of the most flavorful renditions I’ve ever tried, made through a special combination of bok choy, mushrooms and vegetables that just speaks volumes of “umami”.

Instead of Vietnamese coffee made by the drip cannisters, the coffee here is made via an espresso machine with a unique house blend of coffee beans. Must try.

The only complaint is the heat from the grills and soup pots that emanates from the open kitchen area – it can get quite uncomfortable, but some say it does bring memories of the hot summers of Vietnam. I hear the heat issues will be remedied soon.

Located just outside of Full Sail on Goldenrod and University, they plan on opening late nights on the weekend in the future for the university crowd.

Overall, I do recommend nomming down on Viet-Nomz soon,  and bring a friend.

Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
Corner of University Blvd & Goldenrod Rd
(Across from Winn-Dixie/Tijuana Flats)
Phone: +1 407-636-6069
http://vietnomzfl.com/

HOURS
Sunday – Thursday
11:00 AM — 10:00 PM

Friday & Saturday
11:00 AM — 3:00 AM

Photo Jun 23, 12 32 27 PM Photo Jun 23, 12 32 36 PM

Grilled Pork Bao
Grilled Pork Bao
Fried egg rolls
Fried egg rolls
Grilled beef rice bowl with fried egg
Grilled beef rice bowl with fried egg
Herbs and veggie station
Herbs and veggie station – The Herb Bar
Banh mi tacos
Banh mi tacos
Banh mi topped with egg
Banh mi topped with egg
Chris Chen and Phillip Nguyen
Chris Chen and Phillip Nguyen
Pho beef noodle soup
Pho beef noodle soup
Vietnamese iced coffee
Vietnamese iced coffee

Photo Jul 01, 12 26 21 PM

Chef's Spotlight

0 108
“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...

Featured Articles

0 547
Seasons 52 - as its name aptly suggests - is a restaurant concept that changes its menu along with the seasons. It's owned by...