TartarsKevin and Laurie Tarter, owners of the Chef's Table at the Edgewater and the Tasting Room in Winter Garden.Our friends at the Chef’s Table at the Edgewater in Winter Garden are celebrating the fourth anniversary of their companion restaurant, the Tasting Room.

Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 28 and 29, the TR is offering $4 and $5 specials on food and drinks, and guests can enter to win dinner for two.

The Tasting Room is a nice counterpoint to the multi-course Chef’s Table with a menu of tapas style eats. I’ve always enjoyed my visits there, and I’m happy to see them celebrating another successful year.

The Tasting Room is at 99 W. Plant St., Winter Garden. It is open for dinner daily. The phone number is 407-230-4837.






Txokos logo.001Nicola Pastore, whom everyone calls Andrea, and his wife, Miriam, were having dinner with friends at Txokos Basque Kitchen at East End Market with friends not long ago. “We liked the concept, the market; everything was nice,” he said. A couple of weeks later he learned that the restaurant was for sale. As of September 23, the Pastores are the owners of Txokos. “We love the place,” he told me.

Txokos, of course, was the first inland project of restaurateurs Henry and Michele Salgado. It was much anticipated as the only full-service restaurant that would be part of the then-new East End Market in Audubon Park, and it opened in spring of 2014 to generally rave reviews. Rumors had been circulating for some time that the Salgados wanted to sell the restaurant in order to focus on their successful New Smyrna Beach concept, Spanish River Grille. According to Michele Salgado, the Pastores’ offer and the closing of the sale all happened very quickly. They have moved back to NSB and turned over the keys of Txokos to Pastore.


SalgadoHenry SalgadoHenry and Michele Salgado have sold their East End Market restaurant, Txokos Basque Kitchen, after opening it less than a year and a half ago. The restaurant remains open, but under the new management.

Andrea Pastore, owner of the neighborhood market 903 Mills (at that address in the Lake Davis district of Orlando), is one of the new leaseholders. The name and the concept are both likely to change, but details so far have not been forthcoming. Pastore was in a meeting and was not able to immediately return a phone call.

The Salgados have moved back to New Smyrna Beach where their Spanish River Grille continues to be a popular destination restaurant. They, too, have plans for that restaurant, which they will release soon. Henry Salgado is a past nominee for a James Beard best chef award.

Txokos Basque Kitchen is the only full-service restaurant at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando, and was a critical success when it opened in spring 2014.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Click here for more information about the new owners of Txokos.


Urban Tide interior

I have to admit I haven’t been all that excited about Magical Dining Month this year. That’s because most of the restaurants on the list are places I’ve already been. And while most are places I like and wouldn’t mind revisiting, I’m more interested in new experiences. So that’s why Urban Tide was one of my MDM choices.

Technically, Urban Tide isn’t entirely new. It replaced the wrong-coastally named Napa when the hotel it is in was named Peabody Orlando. The new owners, Hyatt Regency Orlando, gave it a much more appropriate name, one that celebrates the seafood potentials of the correct coasts while acknowledging its inland city locale.

Little has been changed in the decor — no changes were really necessary. The space was spiffed up for Napa in 2010 with a contemporary design that emphasized a friendship with the environment (lots of cork tiles, for example).

And Jared Gross, an able and creative culinarian, remains as chef de cuisine.


Trastevere interior

It was not the best start to a dining experience.

My companion and I decided, on a whim, while driving up Magnolia Avenue, to stop in to Cafe Trastevere. It had been years since I’d dined there and I thought it would be nice to see how things were going there.

They seemed to be going fine. In fact, there weren’t any tables available in the dining room. Actually, that’s not saying much as there are only about a half dozen tables to begin with. But there was a high-top table in the bar area, so we plopped ourselves down there.

While we looked over the menus, I asked the gentleman who greeted us if I might have a taste of the sangiovese wine. He gladly obliged. But after I took a sip, I told him that the wine was rather warm.

“Well, yes, of course,” replied the man, who I assume was the owner, “it’s a red wine so it’s served at room temperature.”

OK, let’s just stop right there.