twochefs chefs

Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar is scheduled to open — finally — on Tuesday, April 7, in Orlando's North Quarter district.

The two chefs of the name are Larry Sinibaldi (above left), formerly with Palm restaurant at Hard Rock Hotel, and Bernard Carmouche, who for many years was corporate chef with the Emeril Lagasse restaurants.

The restaurant occupies a space in a three-story office building that was briefly a coffee shop called Uptown Ground. The original space was expanded and now includes a main dining area with an open kitchen and oyster shucking station, an outdoor seating area with picnic tables, a bar with hightop table seating and rooms upstairs for overflow seating and private events that is accessible through a doctor's reception area. The upstairs dining room overlooks the bar below.

Sinibaldi and Carmouche first announced the restaurant in August and had expected to be open no later than December. However, the expansion, which required a balcony fire escape route for the second floor dining area where none existed and the conversion of an all-electric snack-producing kitchen into a full-service professional one with natural gas, took more time and resources than expected.

The restaurant will offer full table service for lunch and dinner, and a full liquor bar. The menu reflects Carmouche's New Orleans connections with such things as barbecue shrimp, jumbo lump crab cakes, baked oysters and Southern fried chicken. You can see the full menu at the Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar website.

The address is 743 N. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. Here are some photos of the place:

The owner of a pizzeria in Walkerton, Indiana, is the first restaurant owner to announce that she would refuse to cater a gay wedding after the recent signing of a "religious freedom" bill by that state's governor. This is surely devastating news for gay couples there, seeing as how pizza is pretty much the go-to gay-wedding reception food.

Not sure what this woman thought she would accomplish. Perhaps she thought the publicity would bring out like-minded supporters who would become new fans of her restaurant and support her on the principle.

Instead, the restaurant's Yelp listing is being inundated today by comments, almost all of which are negative and damning. (I saw only one comment as I scanned through several pages that supported the owner's stance.)

Some are actually pretty entertaining:

Yelp 3

Yelp 2

Yelp 1


You can see the ever-growing list of comments at the Yelp lising.

What do you think? Smart move, or the dumbest and possible the last business decision this owner will make? Leave a comment below.



swine logo

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.