Reel Fish logoAnother + restaurant joins the local scene Thursday, Feb. 9, when Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar opens for dinner service. Reel Fish will occupy the space that was originally home to the Ravenous Pig, which moved to the space that was originally home to Cask & Larder, which moved to Orlando International Airport.

Reel Fish is owned by Fred Thimm, formerly of Hard Rock Cafe and the Palm. The kitchen is under the direction of Michael Zajac and Michael Huffler.

RFCK+B will feature Florida fish with a nod to the state’s fish camp culture. The renovated restaurant will feature a raw bar with oysters on the half shell and a variety of ceviches. Chrissy Benoit will oversee the restaurant as general manager.

The restaurant, at 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, will originally be open only for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays. It will add weekend brunch later this month and lunch service in March.

See the Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar website for more information.

Thepie top

The Pie is the simplistic name for a new pizza joint in College Park. But the pizza here is different from your average pie.

It’s pizza al taglio (say TAH-lee-oh), which, according to a large sign on the wall inside the restaurant, is “Italian for pizza by the slice or ‘by the cut.’” The word taglio translates to shear, so sort of a cut.

It’s also made in rectangular pans and sold by the slice. This is a common type of pizza that you’d find in Rome and is sometimes sold by weight.

Luckily that’s not the case with The Pie because given the toppings that were on the slice I had I would have paid extra euros.

Lukes kitchen dining room

Luke’s Kitchen and Bar has opened in the Maitland building that most recently, and ever so briefly, was occupied by Blackfin, though its provenance was a Steak & Ale. This opening has been anxiously anticipated — not that any restaurant opening that isn’t a Steak & Ale wouldn’t be — primarily because of the pedigree of the people involved.

That would be the team from Luma on Park and Prato, especially the duo of chef Brandon McGlamery and general manager Tim Noelke who have made their Park Avenue posts so popular.

This is their first off-Avenue project. (Slate, the Sand Lake Road restaurant, is often mistaken as a sister restaurant, but while it shares some ownership, it is not related.)

If you had managed to visit Blackfin during the five weeks of its existence, you’ll be surprised at the transformation of the space. The redesign, by the Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry, an Atlanta firm, has opened the first floor up so expansively that it causes one to wonder what’s holding the second floor up. The ceiling over the main dining area is made to feel lower with the addition of slatted beams. It is dark, with the exception of the glare from the open kitchen. And on that subject, it’s curious that the dishwashing station should be so easily seen as part of the show kitchen.

Paddelfish upper deck

Paddlefish, the redesigned former Fulton's Crab House (nee Empress Lily) has opened at Disney Springs. I attended a preopening party on Friday ahead of the Saturday debut.

It's a pretty cool space -- big, too, with mulitple decks and options for dining or imbibing. I predict the top deck with its great view of the Springs will be a favorite gathering place. Don't tell anybody about it.

The crew put out lots of food for the guests Friday, but this is not a review. I'll visit later and give a proper accounting, but I thought you'd like to see some of what the place looks like.

Gourmet Breakfasts CoverFaiyaz Kara, the restaurant critic for the Orlando Weekly, has a new book out called “Gourmet Breakfasts for the Genius” (290 pages; For the Genius Press; $29.97). You’ll be happy to know that membership in Mensa is not a prerequisite.

It’s part of a series of titles under the For the Genius banner that includes “Fundraising for the Genius,” “European Travel for the Genius,” and “Cats for the Genius,” although I happen to believe dog owners are smarter.

Kara adds his breakfast brilliance to the other culinary categories, such as “Fast & Fearless Cooking,” “Baking Bread,” and “Beer,” all, of course, for intellectuals.

But genius is not the operative word in the book’s title, it’s gourmet. Well, the word breakfast is important, too. But the first thing you need to know is that Kara has not compiled a collection of quick and easy, or even fast and fearless, morning meals.

No, this is a collection of involved, multistep, do-some-chopping, make-a-mess and clatter-enough-pans-to-wake-the-rest-of-the-house recipes. So, yes, fearless if not fast.

Kara didn’t go solo. He drew help, recipes and advice from the likes of Kevin Fonzo (K), Greg Richie (Baoery and Soco), Kevin Dundon (Raglan Road), John Rivers (4 Rivers Smokehouse), Hemant Pathak and Aarthi Sampath (Junoon), Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Hodges (Divas of Dish), Hari Pulapaka (Cress) and Norman Van Aken, who also wrote the book’s forward.

The book doesn’t stick strictly to traditional breakfast fare. Sure, you’ll find plenty of recipes for eggs, pancakes and waffles. But Kara also makes the argument to introduce into your morning regimen items more closely associated with evening meals, such as soups. Hey, avgolemono has egg in it. I’ve already dog-eared the “Boozy Breakfasts” chapter.

Kara, who has been the critic at the Weekly since 2006, intersperses the clever writing and good humor that have made his reviews required reading.

“Gourmet Breakfasts for the Genius” is available at Amazon and wherever smartypants shop for books.