Muddy exterior

Muddy Waters, the New Orleans style restaurant that opened recently in Thornton Park, has a second part to its name, a subtitle, as it were. The full name is Muddy Waters, A Two Chefs Restaurant.

But not just any two chefs. They’re Bernard Carmouche and Larry Sinibaldi, the two chefs of Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar. That’s key information. Because anyone who has been to that North Quarter restaurant, or is familiar the work of the chefs when they cooked separately — Carmouche with Emeril’s and Sinibaldi with Palm Restaurant —knows that the quality of the food at Muddy Waters is bound to be first rate.

It is.

 Ace Orlando clock tower

LONDON -- This is the original Ace Cafe. Sort of.

It sits on a roadway in the vicinity of Wembley Stadium, away from Central London. You'll need enough pounds on your Oyster Tube card to go two zones away. Though most people, the cafe's regulars, are more apt to arrive by motorbike. At least they did in the early days when the cafe first opened in 1938.

Back then, as the war was looming, young people would ride to the Ace to listen to one of the only juke boxes in the area. Two years after it opened, the original Ace was destroyed in an air raid.

Oh My Gyro exterior

Lots of people are all aflutter about a certain New York street food vendor coming to town. We’ll talk about that soon. But if you’re one of those longing for the kind of food prepared on a street-corner griddle, Oh My Gyro might be your kind of place.

In fact, in its Facebook description, it says that it serves “authentic New York Halal Cart Food.” Halal, of course, refers to meat prepared under the strictures of Muslim law. Sort of a Muslim equivalent of kosher.

Oh My Gyro gets its name from the web shorthand of OMG, which actually means oh my god. Not sure Oh My Gyro works as an expletive, but we’ll go with it.

Fonzo in kitchen

EXCLUSIVE -- Kevin Fonzo, the K in K Restaurant Wine Bar, has sold the popular College Park dining destination and will no longer be its chef/owner. Fonzo told his staff Friday about the change, which will take place immediately.

The new owner is Oviedo resident Chad Phelps, a chef whose experience so far has been in institutional kitchens. 

The reason for selling, Fonzo said Saturday, had to do with his family. "This has always been a family restaurant," he said. "I wasn't 100 percent the owner." Both of Fonzo's parents died within the last couple of years, and he said that it was his parents wish that he sell the restaurant so that the proceeds could go to his siblings to help pay for their children's education.

Fonzo says that he still has a vested interest in the business because his name, or at least his initial, is still affixed. He expects the sale to be final in mid July and plans to stay on as a consultant for a few weeks to help Phelps become acquainted with the staff, purveyors and the customers as well.

K Restaurant was originally known as Cafe Allegre and was first located farther up Edgewater Drive. He bought the business and renamed it in 2002. He opened a second restaurant, Nonno, in the old converted house where K is currently located. He eventually merged the two restaurants into one

Fonzo is considered one of the area’s top chefs and has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard award multiple times. In recent years he has become associated with teaching students at the Orlando Junior Academy about cooking and nutrition. His foundation, in association with Emeril Lagasse's, opened the Kitchen House and Culinary Garden near the College Park school. Fonzo has also been participating in leading culinary tours to Italy, South Africa and other worldwide locations. He said he plans to expand both his teaching and traveling endeavors.

Fonzo said that the name, concept and menu will remain the same.


Kres interiorPhoto: Kres Chophouse

I was walking around downtown Orlando with a friend recently when we passed Kres Chophouse. It occurred to me that it had been a long time since I’d dined there, so we popped in for dinner. I’m glad we did.

I don’t know why, but Kres hardly pops into my mind when I’m asked about recommendations for downtown dining. Maybe it’s because the last couple of times I had dined there I found it to be only so-so. But sitting at the bar on the other night, I was reminded about the long history of this space.

Well, a short history in the grand scheme of the location’s timeline. It occupies space in the Kress building and was originally part of the S.H. Kress chain of five-and-dime stores. I first dined in the space when Bailey’s, a popular islands-themed restaurant on Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park opened Bailey’s Cityside there.