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RussellsSC dining room

The final Scott Joseph’s Supper Club of 2022 took place at Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe and doubled as a celebration of the restaurant’s second anniversary.

Emmanuel Clement, the chef and co-owner, designed a menu in the spirit of France’s gastronomic dinners, and he, his kitchen brigade and the front of the house staff carried it all off beautifully.

After a reception cocktail in the bar area (I had the restaurant’s signature pineapple old fashioned) we all took our seats in the dining room overlooking Lake Ivanhoe (we had the place to ourselves for the night).

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Gift certs

In celebration of the holidays – Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, your choice – Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide will have a drawing for a restaurant gift certificate EVERY DAY THIS WEEK.

Up for grabs are $50 to Tap Room at Dubsdread, Big Fin Seafood and Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. Winter Park.

As with our regular drawings, winners will be selected from among the recipients of my surprisingly unannoying weekly newsletter. If you already receive the newsletter, which comes out on Thursdays, you’re already eligible for all drawings. If not, click this link and sign up. Real simple.

Drawings this week will be held at 5 p.m. and winners will be notified by email. (Be sure you sign up using a valid email address and that scottjosephorando.com is whitelisted in your email client; you’d be surprised how many winners never claim their prize.) Prizes are physical gift cards and so winners will be asked to supply a postal address.

Scott Joseph Company does not sell or share its mailing list with anyone else – they can get their own subscribers.

Winners are chosen by random number using Random.org and a numbered list of all newsletter recipients. An updated list will be downloaded each day immediately before the drawing.

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Magdin money

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining promotion raised $186,805 for the designated charities this year.

The majority of the funds were distributed to The Able Trust, an organization that assists people with disabilities in obtaining employment. This year Visit Orlando also donated $2000 to one local nonprofit supporting workforce development in each of Orange County’s six commission districts. They included: BIG SIS, Inc.; Central Florida Urban League; HOPE CommUnity Center; PACE Center for Girls; Rebuild Self Care; and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

This was the 17th year for Magical Dining, which ran from late August to early October. Each year, participating restaurants offer special three-course, prix fixe menus and pledge $1 from each dinner sold. So, 186,805 people took advantage of the Magical Dining promotion at 108 restaurants this year.

Though it did not supply specific figures, Visit Orlando said that Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House was the overall top-performing restaurant this year and the Ravenous Pig had the largest increase from the previous year. Churrascaria steakhouse BoiBrazil was the top newcomer earner.

Magical Dining has raised more than $2 million for local charities since 2009.

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Wine4Oysters ext

Wine 4 Oysters Bar & Bites is a charming little restaurant on South Alafaya Trail in the Shoppes of Eastwood. It’s a small storefront space with a few tables and chairs along one wall and a bar on the other. That the spaces at the bar seem to fill up before the tables lets you know that this is a neighborhoody kind of place.

It’s a mom and pop operation run by Tatiana Golenkova and Andrey Makhotin, who are mom and pop to Nikolay, who also works at the restaurant on weekends.

As the name suggests, oysters are a forte here, but this is not your divey kind of oyster bar with a concrete counter and shuckings scraped on the floor. The wine part of the name conveys its more boutiquey atmosphere, which may be one of the reasons that women made up most of the guests on the evening I visited recently.

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Local Flavor is a collaboration between Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide and The Community Paper.

White Wolf Burger

White Wolf Cafe has been a mainstay of Ivanhoe Village District for 31 years — before it was known as Ivanhoe Village Main Street District. Back then, you’d more likely hear it referred to as Antique Row because of the many antique shops along that stretch of Orange Avenue.

In fact, White Wolf started as part antique shop and part cafe, and in those early days, a large white German shepherd named Casper (the putative wolf in the name) could be found lolling around the store, effectively eluding the glance of health inspectors.

Casper left us long ago, and owners Michael and Anne Marie Hennessey turned their focus to the restaurant side of the business. Here, Anne Marie Hennessey shares the recipe for White Wolf’s award-winning Baton Rouge Burger, so named for the Cajun notes from the blackened seasonings. The burger started out as a burger-of-the-month special but proved so popular that it is now part of the regular menu.

Find the full recipe at YourCommunityPaper.com.