hubblybubbly wall

Bits and Tids for you to chew upon.

  • The prototype Hubbly Bubbly, which opened on Edgewater Drive in 2013, has closed to make way for a Foxtail Coffee. Foxtail, apparently, is trying to out Starbucks Starbucks. With the falafelrie's College Park closing, Hubbly Bubbly now has a grand total of one location, in downtown Orlando.
  • Jillian Ross, who is called the Ferment Lady, and it doesn't seem to bother her, will teach the Basics of Fermentation at Bok Tower Gardens Saturday, Oct. 13., from 1-3 p.m. That's hardly enough time for half sours to pickle, but I'm sure she'll have good ideas to share (bok choy would be an appropriate topic). Tickets here.
  • Last month's Share A Meal Challenge in which diners took pictures of their lunches (as if they weren't doing that anyway), donated the cost of the lunch to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, then challenged friends to do the same through social media, raised $15,000. Good for all you Instagramcrackers.

Beard Bags

  • At last month's James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour at the Brevard Zoo, guests were given gift bags with tokens of appreciation for their support and sponsorship materials. Nothing new there. What was different was that included in each swag bag were several zip-lock bags so that guests who didn't want to or couldn't eat all the food they were served could take it home and enjoy it later. I think the idea -- which I love -- had something to do with the recent launch of the foundation's book "Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food," which features recipes from our own Hari Pulapaka. That I saw no one use the bags is beside the point.
  • Here's something curious: Saporito, a restaurant in Oviedo that opened in June, has been getting a lot of good buzz. But I started to hear recently that the restaurant, which I've not yet visited, might be closing. So I called and I spoke to the chef, Miguel Andrade, who told me that he is leaving in less than two week to take a position at Jaleo, the Jose Andres restaurant opening at Disney Springs. He said he didn't know what was happening with the restaurant because the owner went to Spain for a week and hasn't returned -- after three months. Like I said, curious. Andrade says he's spoken to the owner, and the owner knows that he's leaving, and he's been sending money to pay bills, but, according to Andrade, "there just aren't many customers."


Stir sign

Stir, the restaruant that replaced Nova that replaced Brian's across from Lake Ivanhoe has apparently closed. When asked for comment, Blake Levison, one of the owners, just said, "No Comment."

Stir opened only months ago to mixed reviews.

Disclosure: Following the review on this site, the owners contracted the services of Scott Joseph Company's consulting division.

According to sources, the land the restaurant is located on is for sale for $1.85 million/


tutto caffe ext 1

Popped into Tutto Caffè one recent morning for liquid and solid fuel.

Tutto Caffè is an unassuming little coffeeshop in downtown Baldwin Park. It's set up as a sort of gathering space to sit and sip, read or work, perhaps at the stone-topped counter in the center of the room.

I was taking a day off from work and was wandering the neighborhood with my dog. I tied Toby to one of the outside tables and went inside to order, all the while keeping an eye on Tobe, who's still very much a puppy and not used to being tied up outside of strange places.


Fio Dining Room Looking Out

There are some big changes planned for the Hyatt Regency Orlando (formerly the Peabody Orlando) beginning with a full redo of Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse. The first thing to go in the renovation is the Italian Steakhouse part. It'll still be called Fiorenzo when it reemerges, probably in March, but the focus will be more on traditional Italian cuisine and less on steaks and chops.

In addition, the restaurant, which has been open only for dinner, will serve breakfast and lunch, as well. The reason, said spokeswoman Katie Satava, is that the popular B-Line Diner fills up quickly during the morning rush hours and guests are currently directed to Urban Tide, which is on the other side of the resort. Fiorenzo is much closer to B-Line, so guests not wanting to wait will have a nearby option.

Renovations have begun already even though Fiorenzo remains open for dinner. Satava said the restaurant will close fully after Nov. 1 with an eye to reopen for dinner only sometime after the first of the year but in advance of the completion.

Cory Crawford will remain onboard as the restaurant's chef de cuisine.

Compliments of the Chef: Chicken & Ravioli from Fiorenzo at the Hyatt Regency Orlando

The decor is being brightened up a bit, said Satava, moving away from the steakhouse's "dark and moody" design. In addition, the wall that currently hides the entrance to the restaurant from the main lobby will be removed so that Fiorenzo guests can spill out to the lobby bar.

Fiorenzo is one of the few things that remained when Hyatt Regency Orlando purchased the Peabody Orlando. For many years, however, the restaurant in this space was Capriccio Grill. The Italian Steakhouse designation was tacked on when it was still Capriccio before the name was changed to Fiorenzo.

Other changes are in the wind, so stay tuned.


PropstsSe7en Bites


Trina Propst and her wife, Va, owners of Se7en Bites, the popular bakery on Primrose Avenue, are planning a new Italian restaurant called Sette. Trina Propst said the restaurant will have a "rustic flair" and serve authentic cuisine. "If your mother was Italian," she said, "these are the dishes she would feed you even if you just ate."

That's exciting news all by itself, but the really interesting thing is that the Propsts plan to open the restaurant in downtown Orlando and be the first new business to take advantage of the liquor law exemption passed by the Florida legislature earlier this year.

The exemption, you'll recall, allows smaller restaurants within a defined area to obtain a license that allows them to serve a full cocktail menu. Currently, restaurants must have the capacity to serve at least 150 customers at one time and occupy a space of at least 2,500 square feet to be able to serve full liquor, or purchase a license for approximately $300,000.

The exemption, which I wrote about here, allows restaurants with a minimum of 80 seats and at least 1,800 square feet to serve full liquor.

Members of the city's Downtown Development Board sought the exemption to encourage restaurateurs to open new boutique restaurants in downtown Orlando. The ability to serve full alcohol rather than just beer and wine will allow them to compete with the many freestanding bars, some of which serve food.

Since the bill was signed in March, only one existing restaurant, Maxine's on Shine, has taken advantage of the exemption and now serves cocktails.

Propst says the couple are considering several venues, some that are existing restaurants and some that would require a more extensive buildout. The timing for an opening will depend on which location they choose.