Rome Flavours outside

It’s clear that Rome’s Flavours, a cafe just off Winter Park’s Park Avenue, pays extra special attention to the house-made pasta.

That was evident when I visited recently. Shortly after my guest and I were seated, a gentleman I assume is the owner invited a young woman and her party from another table to join him at the pasta-making station in the back of the small space. There he guided her — wearing plastic gloves — through the process of running the dough through the rollers of the electrically powered pasta machine to create smooth sheets of just the right thickness, then through the die rollers to cut it into the various widths that comprise the myriad pasta types. Finally the fettuccine, spaghetti, pappardelle or whatever were draped over wooden dowels to be dried a bit before a plunge into boiling water.

Dining in the Dark website slider copy

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Lighthouse Central Florida will offer their third annual Dining in the Dark event, Wednesday, July 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Second Harvest headquarters.

Diners will will be treated to cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a three-course dinner, all in total darkness. The event simulates vision loss and impairment, which affect more than 80,000 people in Central Florida.

Because someone has to see what’s going on, the Orlando Police Department SWAT team will serve the dinner wearing night-vision goggles.

Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased at DiningInTheDarkOrlando.com. Proceeds from the dinner will help support programs involving both hunger and vision rehabilitation services in the area.

Vision loss and hunger are serious issues, but you won’t be chided for having a good time while learning what it’s like to rely only on your other senses when eating. And I would sure look forward to giving the OPD SWAT waiters a nice tip. Just sayin’.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is at 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando.

Wahlburgers opening overhead

If you were at the opening for the downtown Orlando location of Wahlburgers back in February, you probably noticed a crew from the A&E network on hand capturing video for a segment of the Wahlburgers television show.

That episode finally airs Wednesday evening, July 13, and Wahlburgers (the restaurant) will host a viewing party for the 10 p.m. airing. (A press release notes that it airs at 10/9 Central, but if you’re in the Central time zone you probably can’t make it to the party anyway.)

The burgery will feature drink specials all day (not just during the show) and has reduced the price of a Wahlburgers OrlandoStrong t-shirt from $25 to $15 for the occasion. Proceeds from the sales of the t-shirts go to the OneOrlando Fund and Donny Wahlberg has pledged to match the total amount.

Donny wasn’t at the February opening, but his brothers Mark and Paul were. And there were plenty of Central Florida residents inside the restaurant and out on Church Street, too. So tune in and see if you recognize anyone.

burnett joseph

Joseph Burnett, executive chef at Baldwin Park’s Osprey Tavern, is scheduled to cook at the James Beard House on Tuesday, July 19. Burnett and his OT crew will present a dinner titled “Elegant Tavern Supper” at the Greenwich Village townhouse that was Beard’s home.

The dinner, which starts at 7 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres in the house’s atrium, is open to the public. Price to attend is $130 for those with James Beard Foundation memberships and $170 to the general public.

Here is the menu that Burnett has planned for the evening:

Cazuelas exterior

I'm trying to find the right balance of words to tell you about Las Cazuelas, a small market and Mexican eatery on Conway Road. My tendency is to go a bit overboard with praise, but I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression that this is pinnacle-style dining.

But the bottom line is that I liked Las Cazuelas very much. And it would get very high marks — if I gave marks — in all three areas listed in the Restaurant Reviewers Handbook: food, service and ambience.

Let’s start with service. The young woman who greeted me, took my order, processed the transaction and delivered the food to my table couldn’t have been warmer or more welcoming. She seemed genuinely proud of the food she was serving.

And why not? It all adheres to Mexican authenticity and has a just-made-from-scratchiness that makes it taste all the better.