Via Napoli pizzas

Since it opened at Epcot's Italy pavilion, Via Napoli has been earning raves for its Neapolitan style pizza. Executive chef Charlie Restivo shows you how to make the same pizza dough and get similar results, even if you don't have an 800-degree wood-burning oven imported from Italy in your kitchen.

Watch the video, then follow the recipe. Tell us how things turned out in the comments below.


Contrary to what you may have assumed from recent news about the Ravenous Pig (owners James and Julie Petrakis announced recently that they would be consolidating that restaurant with the space now occupied by their Cask & Larder), the brand apparently is doing just fine.

To that point, the Petrakises, in conjunction with Walt Disney World Resort, announced today that they would open another porcine themed restaurant at Disney Springs. The Polite Pig is slated for a spring 2017 opening.

James Petrakis is bringing his brother Brian, who started the Greens & Grille salad concept, to be the chef at the new restaurant.

“As a locally-based restaurant group, it’s great to bring our new concept to Disney Springs where we’ll have the opportunity to showcase genuine Florida cuisine for guests from around the world,” James Petrakis said in a statement. “With so many talented chefs opening new restaurants at Disney Springs, we’re really excited to be part of a group helping Orlando distinguish itself as a world-class culinary destination.”

The menu will feature wood-fired smoked and grilled items, and the bar will serve beers brewed at Winter Park's Cask & Larder.

The 5000 square foot facility will have seating for 200 guests.

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 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.