Chianti pizza

Chianti’s Pizza and Pasta, the charming trattoria that opened in Sanford in 2012, now has a second location in Longwood. It has taken over the space in the Longwood Village Shopping Center that had previously been Carmela’s of Brooklyn and a Sbarro. So the walls should be sufficiently Italianized by now.

Of the two food genres in its name, Chianti’s seems to be more proficient in the pizza format. During a recent lunch visit, a flog associate ordered the Chianti Supreme Pizza, which featured slices of pepperoni and bits of sausage with mushrooms, red and green peppers and just enough mozzarella to give it some stringiness, all on a platform of a seasoned-just-right tomato sauce. The crust was just the right thickness, not too thin and crackerlike and not too thick and doughy. The edges of the crust had a decent char. And the 12-inch size is available as a lunch special for $8.99 with a beverage, to boot, a good deal for such a good quality pizza.


Cuisiniers Bowl Event header copy

  • Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events is teaming up with East End Market to offer a “healthy lunch pop-up” on Friday, April 12, to celebrate the popping up of spring. The menu will feature bowl lunches that are regularly priced at $10 to $15 but for the event will be popped down to just five bucks. Sample bowls include vegan quinoa with roasted butternut squash; taco-spiced chicken with sofrito; and low-carb seared mahi mahi over napa cabbage. You can pop in for the lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando, but it would be best to pop over to the event’s webpage to preorder your bowl.
  • If brunch is more your thing, you may want to check out the Best Brunch Ever Cooking Class offered by chef Susan Ytterberg on Saturday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation House & Culinary Garden. It’s a hands-on class where you’ll learn how to make stuffed French toast, cloud eggs and asparagus frittata, among other things. Cost is $105 per person. Reservations here.
  • So apparently there’s something called Game of Thrones Scotch, eight variations, all single malts. If they leave a taste like the first two episodes of the HBO series did when I tried to watch them, I’ll pass. But if you’re a fan, you may be interested in the Game of Thrones Scotch Whiskey Dinner at Luma on Park on Monday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will feature eight courses, each paired with a whiskey. It’ll cost you $150 per person plus tax and gratuity or about 10 months of an HBO subscription. Call the restaurant for reservations.
  • The Orlando Weekly’s Faiyaz Kara is reporting that Outpost Neighborhood Kitchen is leaving its neighborhood in College Park come fall. That gives the owners plenty of time to find a place to relocate, if indeed that is what they intend to do.


Le House interior

The owners of a new Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Orlando named it Le House because they wanted customers to feel as if they were dining at their home. I can’t attest to that authenticity, but I can say that I certainly felt welcomed and accommodated on my visit, even if I wasn’t offered the guest room.

The menu here is more succinct than at other Vietnamese restaurants. Pho is available, as it must be at all local Vietnamese restaurants, apparently by law. But Le House’s menu has a manageable 10 entries instead of the three or four dozen you might be asked to negotiate elsewhere.

But pho is not a specialty of Le House. The young man who greeted me — welcomed me into his home, as it were — suggested two items under the Specialty banner: Nem Cuòn, a springlike roll with cured fermented pork; and Com Gà, or organic chicken.

The Nem was a must, I decided, but instead of the entree version, which comes as a build-it-yourself kit of ingredients, I opted for the no-assembly-required appetizer variety.


Gilbert King

beneath a ruthless sun jpeg copyPulitzer Prize winner Gilbert King will be the featured artist at the 12th annual Reading Between the Wines event on Wednesday, April 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Orlando Science Center. The popular event is a fundraiser for the Adult Literacy League, which helps people 18 years and older to learn reading, writing, math and other basic skills in order to gain employment.

The event includes a walkabout food and wine tasting featuring area restaurants and wine vendors, as well as a silent auction. Among the restaurants that will be participating this year are Swine & Sons Provisions; 4Rivers Cantina Barbacoa; Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant; and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen.

Following the tasting, attendees can participate in a discussion with King about his books and writing process. The discussion will be moderated by the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell.

King was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for his book “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America.” He recently published “Beneath a Ruthless Sun,” which the Washington Post has called “riveting” and the Christian Science Monitor said was “remarkable.”

Individual tickets are $99 and can be purchased at this address. You may also call the Adult Literacy League at 407-422-1540, ext. 112