Delaneys lounge

  • Delaney’s Tavern enters the brunch realm starting Sunday, offering a buffet of selections from chef Anthony Albino. Over the last few years, brunch menus have been trending toward á la carte, so a buffet style should be appealing. Cost is $39.99 per person and there are all-you-can-drink mimosa and bloodies options.
  • Tapa Toro, too, is changing its Sunday menu, now offering a bottomless brunch. Bottomless means all you can eat paella and does not – I can’t stress this enough – refer to the dress code. Cost is $25 per person and bottomless mimosas and sangrias are also available for $16, but you’re limited to two hours, so leave your sleeping bag at home.
  • You all ate a lot of Magical Dining meals this year, enough to send $306,772 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Orlando and Lighthouse Central Florida, the two charities chosen as the beneficiaries of the $1/dinner donation by Visit Orlando. I guess that means you ate somewhere around 306,772 dinners.


nile platter

I had the opportunity recently to join some people for a dinner at Nile Ethiopian Restaurant and found it to be just as wonderful as before.

I was also pleased to find it still doing well after 13 years.

We had other Ethiopian restaurants open in Central Florida before Nile, but for some reason they never lasted more than a year. I always assumed it was the location – one of the early Ethiopian restaurants was in a motel at 33d Street and I-4 and another was in a strip mall on South Orange Blossom Trail. Nile was smarter in choosing International Drive where a diverse clientele could find it.

It was even smarter to serve excellent food.



Teddy Bear Tea

Our friends at Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes are in full holiday mode and Gingerbread School is now in session. At the school, you’ll construct your very own Gingerbread House under the tutelage of the resort’s pastry team. You’ll erect prebaked gingerbread panels on a wooden foundation and decorate it with candies and other goodies anyway you want to without having to worry about your homeowners association. And when it’s finished you can list it on Airbnb or just eat the whole thing. (Well, not the foundation.)

Gingerbread School is a popular annual event at the Ritz and several dates have already sold out. Here’s the current schedule:

  • Saturday, December 7th – FULLY COMMITTED
  • Sunday, December 8th – FULLY COMMITTED
  • Thursday, December 19th – 9am + 12pm + 3pm
  • Friday, December 20th – 9am + 12pm + 3pm
  • Saturday, December 21st – 9am + 12pm ONLY
  • Sunday, December 22nd – FULLY COMMITTED


Space 220 Restaurant Interior

New details on the upcoming Epcot restaurant Space 220, scheduled to open sometime next year. It is an immersive experience restaurant that will make customers feel as though they’re dining in outer space with a view of Earth below.

In fact, the 220 in the name is a reference to the number of miles guests will travel via space elevator to get to the restaurant. I had mistakenly assumed it referred to the average check price.

The restaurant will be operated by the Patina Group, which also operates Via Napoli and Tutto Italia, also at Epcot, as well as Morimoto Asia, Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs. Other restaurants in its bicoastal portfolio include the Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Lincoln Ristorante at New York’s Lincoln Center.


Paris bahn exterior

Paris Banh Mi Cafe Bakery has opened in a spacious corner spot in the Mills 50 District. And as its name suggests, it’s a combination French patisserie and Vietnamese eatery.

It was a banh mi – the distinctly Vietnamese sandwich – that brought me to the little shop. But it was the display of pastries that made the first impression.