Gargis Pasta e fagioli

The young man who parked my car wished me a pleasant meal and said that it looked like the food was “pretty good in there.” I asked if he hadn’t dined there himself and he said that he hadn’t yet had a chance because it was his first night on the job. He also asked me to let him know how it was.

Some time later, when I went to the valet stand to retrieve my car, he asked, “How was it?” I just shrugged.

I’ve shrugged after every meal I’ve had at Gargi’s Lakeside, even before it was lakeside and still across the street in the tiny cubbyhole of a space now occupied by a sushi restaurant. It moved to the larger, freestanding building on the shore of Lake Ivanhoe more than 11 years ago. Over the last 27 years, I’ve visited Gargi’s a number of times, always hoping for it to have become the jewel that it should be, and each time I’ve left disappointed.


TR Fire Grill

TR Fire Grill, which came into being in late 2013 when the Tony Roma’s restaurant on South Semoran Boulevard just north of Orlando International Airport was remodeled and rebranded, will close on September 8. On September 30, a new TR Fire Grill will open at Winter Park’s Ravaudage development at the corner of Lee Road and U.S. Highway 17-92.

Romacorp, the Orlando based parent company of Tony Roma’s restaurants, is characterizing the closing/opening as a relocation to the Winter Park site. There are more than 150 Tony Roma restaurants worldwide — the first opened 40 years ago in North Miami — but just one TR Fire Grill, which is described as a “chef-inspired American bistro with cuisine from globally-recognized Chef Bob Gallagher,” someone I’m unfamiliar with.

I’m holding out hope that TR has learned a few things since I first reviewed the restaurant in May of last year.


cinnamon rolls

Do you remember Capt. Appleby's? It was a popular Mount Dora restaurant until it wasn't anymore -- wasn't popular then wasn't there. If you don't remember that, then you probably won't remember that it was also the restaurant that occupied the space at Dubsdread Golf Course before the Tap Room moved in and started serving good food. (My first review of Capt. Appleby's in Orlando coined the term dubsdreadful.)

Even if you don't remember anything else about the restaurants, you'll remember the little cinnamon rolls that were served there. These sweet treats were served as a garnish on each plate at Capt. Appleby’s.

I was digging through some old files and came across this recipe and I thought you'd enjoy it. I'll be featuring chef recipes regularly. Let me know if there are any you'd like to see here.



Mi Tomatina, the Spanish tapas and paella restaurant in Winter Park's Hannibal Square, is calling it quits after a five-year run.

MT broke the news in a tweet to its Twitter followers:

Tomatina tweet


Two Chefs Brunch oyster blt

I’m heading to New Orleans next week, so to get primed I stopped in recently to try out the new brunch menu at Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar in the North Quarter.

If you missed it, you can read my review of the Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar regular menu here. That same great quality is carried through with the Sunday brunch menu.

Two Chefs Brunch deviled eggs

I’ve become inured to the siren call of deviled eggs. I love them, but I’m almost always disappointed when I order them in restaurants. But the Lobster Deviled Eggs at 2CSOB. Besides the sweet lobster meat, the eggs were topped with chewy chunks of bacon and pickled shallots. Each one a delectable treat. And there were four halves instead of the mathematically illogical three that most restaurants serve. I appreciated that.