Since he took over Hamilton's Kitchen at the Alfond Inn about five months ago, executive chef Marc Kusche has been making big changes, and all for the better. In case you missed it, here is the re-review I did in July. The restaurant has better focus, and there is an emphasis on local ingredients and market-fresh fare.
One of Kusche's more recent additions is a Chef's Table dining experience, which features five courses, each paired with an appropriate wine, for a very reasonable $125 per person. It's served at the large farm table just outside the big kitchen window, so guests seated there have a great view of what's going on inside the kitchen as well as in the dining room. Kusche and his other staff members serve the guests seated at the table and explain each dish.
And what's on the menu at the Chef's Table? Impossible to say because Kusche never knows what it will be until someone has booked it and he goes off to the market. "We entirely customize the menu," Kusche told me. Often the table is booked for a Saturday evening, so Kusche will visit the Winter Park Farmer's Market just a few blocks away from the Alfond in the morning and start creating the menu with the fresh produce he finds there. He has one steadfast rule for the Chef's Table menu: It never has items from the restaurant's regular menu. That's just another way to keep it special.
The Chef's Table must be booked at least 24 hours in advance in order to give the chefs time to shop and be creative. The table holds a maximum of 10 people but you can book it for as few as two persons.
Another of Kusche's additions to Hamilton's Kitchen is a four-course Tasting Menu, with smaller plates of the restaurant's signature items, such as pork belly with local honey; wild mushroom ravioli; steak frites with broccolini; and brioche bread pudding. The tasting menu is only $45 per person or $55 with two sommelier wine pairings (10 bucks for two glasses of wine is pretty reasonable, don't you think?).
And Sundays now feature an a la carte brunch with nearly two dozen items, most of which are priced mid to lower teens. There's also a build-your-own bloody mary and mimosa bar. Brunch is served from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Hamilton's Kitchen Tasting Menu is available nightly. To book the Chef's Table, call 407-998-8090.