Citricos Names New Chef

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Dominique FiloniDominique Filoni is the new lead chef at Citricos in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Filoni replaces Phillip Ponticelli, who left Citricos to take over the kitchen at the private restaurant in the Golden Oak luxury home development.

Filoni, a native of St. Tropez, France, is a well regarded chef who earlier this year returned as executive chef at Avenue, an oceanfront French restaurant in Long Branch, New Jersey. He had been executive chef there from February 2009 through September 2014 when he left to work on a project in Miami called La Table du Marche by Christophe Leroy that was based on a popular restaurant in St. Tropez. Filoni returned to Avenue in May of this year to welcoming accolades.

Seeing as how Filoni’s background is heavily French, it will be interesting to see what changes he has in store for Citricos. The concept there has been Mediterranean but with more of a nod to Italian. St. Tropez on the French Riviera certainly qualifies as Mediterranean. But at the Grand FLORIDIAN? Let's wait and see.

New Moon to Start Construction Soon.

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Euro Living space

The owners of Lazy Moon Pizza, the popular cheap-eats hangout near UCF, plan to start construction this week on a second location in the Mills 50 district near downtown Orlando. “We’re looking to expand our footprint,” said Tim Brown, Lazy Moon’s co-owner. “We’re going to try to replicate what we have on the east side.”

The new Moon is taking over the space in the former Cruises Only building in the former Euro Living furniture space, 1011 E. Colonial Drive. Because the site has not been a restaurant before, and because there are several floors of offices above the ground floor space, permitting to get the necessary vents for the ovens has been problematic, said Brown. “We’re hoping to start our construction this week.”

Brown said he lives in the downtown area and saw a need for a pizza joint, and one that would be open beyond 10 p.m. Although they will try to create a similar experience, he acknowledges that there will one main challenge: There aren’t 60,000 students “across the street” as there are at the University Boulevard location.

Lazy Moon Pizza only recently moved into its current location near the university. The original Moon was in the dilapidated strip mall at the corner of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail. When that mall was demolished for construction of the just-completed Plaza at University, Lazy Moon moved to a newer, smaller strip farther west on the boulevard.

Brown is expecting the downtown Lazy Moon Pizza, which will seat approximately 160 people inside and on a terrace, to open in March.

Norman's Dinner to Benefit Kids Beating Cancer

Written by Scott Joseph on .

image001normans dinner benefitI think everyone should dine at Norman's at the Ritz-Carlton at least once a year, and if you still haven't gotten in your 2015 splurge, here's a chance to have a sumptuous meal and help raise some money for a good cause.

On Saturday, December 5, at 6 p.m., Norman's will host a five-course holiday wine connoisseurs dinner benefitting Kids Beating Cancer, which provides resources and support for children with cancer, leukemia and related life-threatening diseases in need of bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

The dinner, which features some excellent wine selections to go with the always impressive food, is $250 per person. Tickets can be purchased at


 See the menu below.

















Something Blue Coming to Mills Park?

Written by Scott Joseph on .

segafredo logoSome new blue hues emanating from the recently depared Segafredo’s at Mills Park have some in that area speculating that the owners will reopen as Blue Cafe, which was to have been the original name before it took that of the Italian coffee company’s. (An email address for a manager on Segafredo Orlando’s Facebook page has a domain of, although there is no active site at that address.)

It probably won’t be coffee-centric but rather a sports bar. I’m guessing that Segafredo’s management often looked at the crowds at the Brass Tap next door and wondered how to get some of that.

Better management might be a good start.

My only first-hand experiences with Segafredo’s managers were during my two visits before writing my review. Many of the issues that contributed to the negative notice can be traced back to poor managerial choices. Other examples that have not been independently verified include the decision to close Segafredo’s with no notice, texting some of the staffers to let them know it was closed and letting others find out when they showed up for work that day. Classy. If true, that should be a caution to any potential employees in any new venture that may reopen there.

My sources also tell me that the Segafredo franchise has almost certainly been lost. I know that if I were in charge of an internationally known coffee company whose name had been besmirched, I would do what I could to keep the franchisee from sullying it any further.