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Bistro CloClo Now Serving Brunch

cloclo bread

Bistro CloClo, the charming French cafe in the Dr. Phillips Marketplace on Restaurant Row, has added a Sunday brunch to its repertoire (see how I cleverly worked in a French word there?). And I had a delightful time there recently, nibbling on delicious croissants and pains au chocolat and listening to a live combo playing the sort of jazzy tunes you'd expect to find at a brunch in the French Quarter.

In case you missed it, you can read my review of Bistro CloClo here. (I also explain what a CloClo is.) I like pretty much everything about it: the atmosphere, the friendly service and the food. Especially the food.

Continue reading Bistro CloClo Now Serving Brunch

Mills Brewpub & Eatery

millsbp interior

I guess the first thing you need to know about Mills Brewpub & Eatery is that it isn't a brewpub, at least not in the widely accepted definition of the term. When I visit a brewpub, I expect to find beer brewing on the premises. Mills Brewpub is not in the brewing business.

It is also surprising that in a time when it's common to find even small restaurants offering up to 40 taps of draft beer a place that calls itself a brewpub and doesn't brew beer also has only six beers on tap. At least in theory. When I visited recently not all the draft selections listed on the beer menu were available. That's excusable; the restaurant is still new and it can be difficult to gauge demand early on.

Continue reading review of Mills Brewpub & Eatery

La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant


It's another edition of musical restaurants!

That poor little shack/hut/hovel on Curry Ford Road east of Bumby Avenue ought to just put in a revolving door and change the sign to one of those Magic Slates you write on and then lift the cover to erase.

The latest tenant, however, didn't go out of business, it just moved down the road to another space that keeps turning tenants. La Fiesta Mexican Grill, which occupied the space at 2420 Curry Ford Road for only a matter of months, recently moved to the space most recently vacated by Lima 41 at 2901 Curry Ford Road, a small office complex. Before La Fiesta, the free-standing building held another Mexican restaurant, Senor Frogi. Less said about that one the better.

Read more: La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant

Blackfin Adds Lunch Hours

blackfin sliderI told you about the return of Blackfin recently. (Here's a link to the review if you missed it.) This week the Maitland restaurant added lunch hours to its schedule. And beginning Sunday, brunch will also be available.

I stopped in for a quick lunch today. The menu has a few items from dinner, including the very good soups — seafood gumbo with scallops and shrimp, and lobster bisque with a bit of sherry and creme fraiche — and the flatbreads (my favorite is the one with chicken, bacon and gouda; It's called the Chicken, Bacon, Gouda Flatbread).

Unique for the noontime meal is an array of sliders and sandwiches. I couldn't decide which to blackfin sandwichtry, so I tried them all. I thought the Blackfin BLT would be the least of them, but I think I preferred that. The applewood smoked bacon, of course, would be good all by itself, but it was even better on a soft, chewy bun with crunchy-fresh lettuce to give it some crispness. The angus steak burger sliders had an ample amount of meat, so that's a good choice if you're really hungry.

But the grilled fresh catch sandwich, a pompano, was pretty substantial, too. It was a lovely fillet on a kaiser roll with a chipotle aioli that added a nice spicy note.

One thing I really liked about all of the dishes was that they were accompanied by hash browns. What a nice change from fries. (Not that fries were an option because Blackfin's kitchen doesn't have a fryer.)

It's nice to have Blackfin back, and it's nice to have another lunch option in the Maitland area.

Blackfin is at 640 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. It is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday. Brunch, which is being called Sunday Finday — begins this weekend. Dinner is Tuesday through Sunday. I'll have some more fun news about Blackfin soon.

Sushi Tomi

Tomi sushi

Sushi isn't as uncommon as it once was. Once relegated only to Japanese restaurants, sushi can now be found in Thai, Chinese and even American restaurants — it's a mainstay of California Grill's menu and was considered a forte for Crave (which closed recently, but we won't blame the sushi). I railed for a long time against the globalization of sushi — it's a craft, a skill, and it takes great training to do it properly — but I gave up the fight a while ago. I figured if a Thai restaurant could do sushi well, let them.

But I still prefer my sushi from a place that appreciates the heritage and the integrity of the craft. And Sushi Tomi obviously does.

Read more: Sushi Tomi

Saturday, 26th July 2014

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