Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ category

Grand finale at the Pig

September 10, 2010

We were treated to a final and unique dinner  at the gastropub Ravenous Pig. It recreated a James Beard House Orlando dinner from June, showcasing the best of Central Florida cuisine and famous chefs.

Each of them created beautiful and delicious appetizers and a course or dessert for a group of tourism, food industry and news people – complete with a starting glass of bubbly and wine per course.

* Scott Copeland from Antonio’s La Fiamma: Citrus and coriander cured Florida Cobia with Habanero sorbet and pickled watermelon relish.

* Kevin Fonzo, K Restaurant: Palmetto Creek Farms smoked pork Napoleon, Deep Creek Ranch chicken fried beef tongue, local Rabbit Ballotine with pickled cherry preserves.

* Jamie McFadden, Cuisiners Catered Cuisine and Events: Brentwood sweet corn veloute, Florida frog leg and bacon hushpuppy.

* James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig: Chef’s garden heirloom gazpacho, St. Augustine flounder, fried green tomatoes, Canaveral blue crab; Creme caramel with huckleberry compote and Florida-Honey tuile.

Thank you Orlando CVB for a gastonomically unique and richly satisfying weekend.

Advertisements

The Boheme rocks Sunday brunch

September 1, 2010

We had a grand and fulfilling time brunching at the award-winning The Boheme, a signature restaurant at the luxury Orlando hotel Grand Bohemian.

Decor – funky. Food – fresh and plentiful. Verdict – five stars!

The Sunday jazz brunch (only $35) is an eclectic and decadent  spread covering everything from Eggs Boheme (a twist on the traditional benedict), lox, fresh crab legs – hot or cold, roasted veggies, Belgian waffles, an omelet station, breakfast meats and mouthwatering desserts.

The chefs even created their signature dish for us — a crusted filet mignon with smoked blue cheese that was tasty and tender an our waitress refilled our mimosa glasses more times than we could count.

Reservations are recommended and  valet parking in complimentary if you dine there.

Red chairs, magical apps and unique arts

August 29, 2010

We had VIP access to the sixth annual Red Chair Affair last night that kicked off the Central Florida arts season with a few Magical Dining Month participants providing food and drinks.

The event was lovely and the program that followed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center was unique.

The 4th Annual Red Chair Affair kicks-off Central Florida’s cultural season on Sunday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Performers will include Cirque du Soleil, Orlando Opera, Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic, VarieTEASE and many more. The Red Chair Affair also kicks-off the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (Orlando CVB) 3rd Annual Orlando Magical Dining Month with cuisine provided by many of Orlando’s top restaurants.

Another butterbeer at Hogsmeade, please

August 29, 2010

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you really need to get to Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter theme park, if just to taste butterbeer – a magical sweet butterscotchy concoction with beer-like foam that keeps growing as you sip it! You can get in in roadside kiosks or at the Hogs Head pub in the Three Broomsticks.

Explore the castle, dragons, ghosts and grounds in fabulous multimedia ride – The Forbidden Journey or try the Flight of the Hippogriff – a quick little roller coaster ride.

Pick some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans at Honey Dukes, check out the extended ears at Zonko’s or let the wand choose you at Ollivander’s.

I became a child at what is for me Universal’s most unique and exciting theme park. I cannot think of anything that has thrilled me more than walking around Hogsmeade, seeing the Hogsworth Express, Hagrid’s hut, the ghosts of  Hogsworth and the smashed up blue car today. It truly was as realistic as the book or the movie – and completely magical. Now my only problem is, how can I get butterbeer back home?!

We ended with lunch at what is slated as the best of theme park restaurants – Mythos.

The atmosphere was funky and the food good. I enjoyed my crabcakes and tried some of their signature dish the pepper crusted pork – pretty good. All the other stuff, ranging from pad thai to topped flatbread, looked pretty good too.

We ended with mouthwatering Cauldron Cakes bought from Honey Dukes earlier.

You could also grab a roasted turkey leg off a stand in the nearby Jurassic Park!

Pho, chocolate and beer = happiness

August 28, 2010

Lunch was fresh and hearty with Vietnamese rolls and plentiful, steaming pho with sauces and toppings and a complimentary avocado shake at Orlando’s ViMi district this afternoon.

Food expert Scott Joseph joined us at popular local restaurant Pho 88, shared valuable food and dining insights and gave us copies of his book the Orlando Restaurant Guide.

Then we headed to an unique chocolate shop in picturesque downtown. Farris and Forster’s was a chocoholic’s heaven where we got to get out hands dirty – making our own chocolates – with some help from co-owner John Foster Lanenga and his staff.

An hour after handling truffle, nuts, fruits and dark and milk melted chocolate, we left giddily with boxes of our own creations.

It’s no surprise that it’s popular among children and adults alike with the calendar packed with birthday parties and date nights.

Next stop – Florida’s only certified organic microbrewery.

President and self-proclaimed beer snob John Creek let us taste their local brews and gave us a personalized tour of the hidden gem Orlando Brewing Co. Too bad they don’t preserve and transport yet – I could start craving the golden wheat brew Miami Wise back in Boston…

A superlative breakfast at Bull and Bear

August 28, 2010

A tribute to the NYC Waldorf restaurant, the Bonnet Creek Bull and Bear prepared us a stellar breakfast even though they are usually only open for dinner.

We started off with a trio of fresh juices – watermelon, apple and celery and a delicious and spicy carrot and ginger blend.

The bread basket was one of the best I have ever had from the plain croissant to the unique truffle scone and monkey bread. Add the truffle butter and it was absolutely mind-blowing. I really had to try and not slip that butter in my purse.

All of this deliciousness faded when the 36-day 38-ounce dry aged certified Angus prime grade beef steak was rolled in and carved  table side by GM Manny Belete.

As a huge steak fan, I can swear that I cannot remember one so tender and tasty. This is the first restaurant in Florida to serve this high cut of meat. For the quality it’s actually quite a steal at $95 for two.

Regarding his restaurant and menu, Chef David Sears said his secret is to strive for the best but keep it simple.

Magical Dining Month at Orlando

August 27, 2010

I am at the beautiful Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek starting a mouthwatering discovery of good food, award-winning restaurants and celebrity chefs that the city is beginning to offer to entice the modern traveler.

Thanks to Denise Speigel of the Orlando/Orange County CVB, we have a packed and informative program that will help us sample the best that the area offers as they kick off their Magical Dining Month in September.

The 5th Annual Orlando Magical Dining Month is a culinary celebration presented by the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau. From September 1-30, participating restaurants will feature three-course, prix fixe dinners at an exceptional value of $30. Don’t miss your chance to savor Orlando’s best cuisine at an unbeatable price, and contribute to a great cause. This year, $1 of every Magical Dining Month dinner served will benefit the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Central Florida.


%d bloggers like this: