Homestead Harvest

Homestead Harvest was held October 26 on the grounds of Whisper Creek Farm at Grande Lakes Orlando Resort.

Lit by candles, artificial moons and campfires, chefs from throughout the state presented dozens of delectable dishes to attending guests.

Check out the video below.


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SJO has learned that all four Dexter’s restaurants are under contract to be sold and are to be split up among as many as three buyers.

According to sources, Greg Peters, the founder of Graffiti Junktion, will take over the Thornton Park and Winter Park locations. John Hofmeister, who was a partner with the eponymous Dexter Richardson and Adrian Mann in all four locations, will retain ownership of the Lake Mary restaurant. It was unclear on Saturday evening who would be taking over the Windermere location, the newest of the lot.

Richardson recently suffered a medical emergency, according to people with knowledge about the situation, and has moved out of the area. None of the principals immediately returned called for comment.

Dexter’s started with one location in Winter Park, on Fairbanks Avenue where the Rollins College bookstore now stands. The space had a wine bar on one side and a wine retail store on the other, originally called Dexter's Wine and Cheese. Most seating was at the bar. The menu was not ambitious.

In 1999 the original Winter Park Dexter’s moved to the then-emerging Hannibal Square neighborhood. The wine shop didn’t move with it. As new locations were added, the name reflected the location: Dexter's of Winter Park, Dexter's of Thornton Park, and so on.

In 2004, Dexter’s opened a third location, in Lake Mary, in the curiously named Colonial Town Park. The newness of the shopping center made for a different feel of the northernmost Dexter’s, different from the other two, which had their own soul and character. The Windermere location opened in 2016.

According to the sources, all four Dexter’s will continue to operate as Dexter’s and keep the same menu and concept.

More information as it is learned.



Sure, sure, you’re just thinking about getting through Halloween. But you really need to start thinking about the next holiday.

No, not Veterans Day. Well, yes, by all means think about Veterans Day, which is, of course, Nov. 11 but observed on Nov. 12 this year because Nov. 11 is a Sunday.

But then turn your thoughts to Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 22 and happens to fall on a Thursday, so there’s no reason to move the official celebration to a Monday.

Anyway, where are you going to eat on the big holiday, meaning Thanksgiving, not Veterans Day? If you aren’t up to the task of cooking this year and haven’t been invited to someone else’s house, you have a number of restaurants and resorts open on the 22nd to choose from.

As we do every year, the flog has compiled a list of restaurants that will be serving Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll find the list — which is growing as new information comes in — on our Holiday Dining pages. Scroll through the list and make a choice.

Once you’ve made your choice, call or go to the restaurant’s website to make a reservation. Don’t wait too long or your only options will be late at night after the carcass has been picked over or so early that the Macy’s Parade hasn’t even finished.

Even so, be prepared to be flexible with your dining time. But once you’ve made your reservation, do your best to honor it, and if you can’t, please call the restaurant to let them know you won’t be there.

Also, don’t be surprised or angry if you arrive on time for your reservation but your table isn’t ready. Restaurant Reservationism is not an exact science. It’s especially unpredictable on holidays such as Thanksgiving when a lot of families go out to dine.

And please be nice to your servers. They’re giving up spending the holiday with their own families so that you have a place to have dinner with yours. So give a nice tip, and be sure to thank them for their service.

And consider inviting a veteran to spend the day with you.

Here’s that link to the listings.


Stasio exterior

I sort of get the impression that Stasio's Italian Deli & Market is a work in progress and that the people doing the work aren't exactly sure themselves what the final product will be.

But for all the tentativeness in the air, the food that I've sampled so far is solidly good.

I dropped in for an order to go because one of the things that is still uncertain is whether Stasio's wants people to dine in. There's a marble ledge at the windows for people to eat at, and a couple of outdoor tables. But it definitely isn't a linger-over-dinner spot.

Stasio interior

The menu is mainly sandwiches, though a couple of hot items, including a baked ziti dish, were pointed out to me at the counter, which is where one places an order. I chose the sandwich named after the place and another called The Package.


1921 exterior

Nibble and bits.

  • 1921 by Norman Van Aken will host a five-course wine dinner paired with the Champagnes of Billecart-Salmon Thursday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. $180 per person. Click here for tickets. And no, salmon is not one of the entrees.
  • Speaking of Norman Van Aken, the celebrity chef who also owns Norman's at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando and Three, a restaurant in Miami, caused a bit of a stir when he declined an invitation to cook for a fundraiser to be sponsored by Donald Trump and his son Eric at Mar-a-Lago. "I would not feel it to be honorable of me to seem to align myself with the policies of the Trump administration as it might be concluded by cooking there," the James Beard award winner told the Miami Herald.
  • Mooyah Burgers, a franchise out of Plano, Tex., is slated to move into the Mango's Tropical Cafe complex on International Drive next year. It's taking a space that was supposed to be Hogan's Beach Shop (as in Hulk). So, lateral move.