Updates on additions at Disney Springs, plus Dining Awards voting, and a feast in the fields
Looks like 2018 will be as busy on the restaurant front as 2017.
Disney Springs alone has added/is adding several new and potentially exciting places. I spoke to Orlando’s own master sommelier, George Miliotes, at a recent Adventures by Disney meeting about his upcoming Wine Bar George. Miliotes, who pioneered several prestigious wine programs at Disney and elsewhere (Seasons 52, for one), told me he’s anticipating an early spring opening for his boutique wine bar and small-plate eatery, and he’s looking forward to the job fair this month (any wine-ists in town looking for a job?)
Also on the near horizon is the revamped Terralina Crafted Italian from Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano, a new version of Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill, and the much-anticipated Jaleo from Spanish chef Jose Andres (that I predicted more than a year ago).
The continued influx of international celebrity chefs will focus new eyes on our culinary scene, and that can only be good for our homegrown luminaries.
Speaking of local stars, only two more weeks remain to cast your vote for the 2018 Orlando Magazine Dining Awards. Is your favorite eatery worthy of a Best Restaurant award? Does your fave chef have what it takes to be Best? Pizza, sushi, neighborhood hotspot or upscale splendor, here’s your chance to shake up the dining scene—and we know what happens when you don’t vote! Click here to make your choices.
* Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park is pairing with Talley Vineyards of Arroyo Grande, California, known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals. The seven-ourse dinner takes place on Thursday, February 8th. Call 407-898-8801 for reservations.
* Celebrate the Lunar New Year with dancing dragons on February 25, as a Dragon Parade spotlights the cultural and culinary offerings of the Mills 50 area, marching North Thornton Avenue from Oregon Street to Colonial Drive. Food, music and martial arts demonstration will be featured. Also, a Vietnamese New Year celebration fills the Central Florida Fairgrounds on January 27-28 with great food and cultural traditions.
* The 5th annual Field to Feast Dinner fills the fields of Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood on Feb 17. All proceeds benefit the Kids Cafe Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The all-Disney chef lineup includes Michael Gonsalves (Artist Point); Craig Schleider (Hollywood Brown Derby); Tim Majoras (Flying Fish); Michael Deardorff (Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival); Robby Sayles (Tiffins); Joe Haverlin (Yachtsman Steakhouse); Pastry Chefs Amy Goodpaster and Kelly Smith; and chocolatier Amanda Lauder (The Ganachery).
* James Beard Award nominee chef Hari Pulapaka is taking the proverbial bull by the metaphorical horns and presenting a Solidarity Sunday dinner on March 25, outside his Cress restaurant in DeLand. Showing support for the people, culture, and food from Haiti, El Salvador, and the continent of Africa, the event will fill Indiana Avenue with multiculturalism at its finest—and throw some shade at recent degrading statements from Washington.
Are you exploring the world of food? Comments? Questions? Recommendations? Stay in touch with Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can access a comprehensive list of his print and online reviews here!