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Swine & Sons Provisions, the new concept from the owners of the Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, will open to the public on Friday, April 3 at 10 a.m. S&S is part cafe, part gourmet store, and features crafted sandwiches, housemade charcuterie and jars of various sauces and rubs.

James and Julie Petrakis, owners of the acclaimed restaurants, are joined in the endeavor by longtime collaborators Rhys and Alexia Gawlak. You may recall that the Gawlaks had been scheduled to be one of the opening businesses at East End Market when it was in the planning stages. They were to open Cuts & Craft that would showcase, among other things, Rhys Gawlak's charcuterie. Delays in the construction caused those plans to be scrapped. (You may recall that Alexia had taken the chef de cuisine position at Siro: Urban Italian Kitchen at the Marriott Orlando World Center.) I wonder if they had gone ahead with Cuts & Crafts if it would be as promising as Swine & Sons Provisions appears to be.

I stopped by for a media preview, and the space, a former cellphone repair storefront across the parking lot from Cask & Larder, looks terrific. (So does the food — I sampled a number of items and will report on them later.) It isn't a huge place, but it is chockfull of high-quality products to eat at one of the picnic tables or to take home, which is probably what most people will do.


Memories ext

Ah, memories.

I remember a wonderful restaurant called Memories of India that still lights the corners of my mind. It was part of Restaurant Row, though it officially resided in Bay Hill Plaza on Turkey Lake Road. It closed last year and will soon become a Grafitti Junktion.

Memories of India was my perennial pick for best Indian. It had its quality dips, as most places do from time to time, and a second restaurant that it opened in Lake Mary never quite rose to the same good food and service found at the original.


devine wine

In a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel, staff writer Kyle Arnold noted that some of Greater Orlando's bedroom communities are bemoaning a dearth of good places to dine. The article was headlined "Some cities ask: Where are our restaurants?"

I propose a followup article: "Restaurateurs ask: Why don't you people who complain about not having good restaurants in your community support them when they open?"

I may need to work on the headline.

But take a look at one of Arnold's example cities, Oviedo. Then consider South + York, the charmingly creative farm to table restaurant that was critically acclaimed but closed after only 13 months. By rights, the community should have embraced this business and encouraged its survival with its patronage.


Editor's note: Today's wine column is by Erin Allport of Wine on the Way, an SJO advertiser. Wine on the Way is offering a special discount through Easter for SJO readers who order online with a special code. The code is SJO10; enter it when you "view my cart" before checking out.
Wine on the Way delivers to local zip codes (free on orders of $150 or more) and ships all over the US (free on orders of $250 or more).

ph logoPatz & Hall Vineyards began in 1988 with the purpose of making exceptional small-lot and single-vineyard wines. And, for the last 25 years they have not only maintained that commitment but they have also remained relevant. A lot of wineries have their moment and then seem to fade, this is not the case with Patz & Hall. I think one of the main reasons is the dedication of the people who represent their wines. Augustan Wine Imports – a division of Premier Beverage Company – has some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable sales people in the market, you add that with the fact that owner Donald Patz travels to the different markets around the world and is very accessible through social media and you can see why these wines have never seemed to lose their momentum.

They focus exclusively on chardonnay and pinot noir from some of the most sought after California vineyards at a fraction of the price you would pay from other wineries. How do they do it when others seem to charge a fortune for the same grapes? They have cultivated long-lasting relationships from storied vineyards in Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, Mendocino County, Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands that make up these great wines.

Donald was asked at a conference what makes a great wine. Here's his nine characteristics:


From the "News That Will Suprise No One" files comes word that Olv, the oddly named restaurant in the SoDo (read: SuperTarget) complex has apparently closed. I say apparently because there is no official statement attached to the darkened door, but the phone is not working and, like I said, it's dark inside. Comments on its Facebook page dating back a week ask for clarification on hours and whether the restaurant is still open.

This is the second closing for Olv. As I reported in October, it closed suddenly, only to reopen in December. About a month ago, I stopped my the restaurant to see how it was doing in its second go-round. I stood waiting at the bar area for someone to greet and seat me. After several minutes of waiting, I simply left.