Fortuna exterior

Fortuna Bakery, an Central Florida chain featuring Colombian and South American pastries, breads and savory items, will move into the space on Park Avenue that most recently was Grato of Winter Park. Before that it was Antonio’s House of Pizza, Antonio’s Trattoria & Wine Bar, and Maestro Cucina Napoletana. It was also, very very briefly, Makis Place, a Brazilian sushi franchise, and I seem to remember a place called Sala Wine Bar. Going back further, it was home to Park Avenue Compact Discs, which today would qualify as an antique store.

Fortuna has nine locations besides the one about to open, including Mall at Millenia and two at Florida Mall. Its online menu features mainly sweets and cakes and just six savory items, such as empanadas and arepas. But a sign on the window on Park Avenue suggests that location will have pizzas. I guess they figured they’d make use of the oven the previous tenants left behind.

Grato had been a second location of a Lake Mary restaurant. That one has also closed.


VA22 entryVictoria & Albert's

Eight Orlando restaurants will be added to Michelin Guide’s second Florida edition, including Victoria & Albert’s and Toledo at Walt Disney World and newcomers Kaya and Otto’s High Dive. Tampa will add three restaurants, joining the previously announced eight restaurants in Miami. Only restaurants in those three metropolitan areas are considered for the prestigious distinction.

Whether the restaurants will be awarded stars, designated a Bib Gourmand, or simply named to the list of recommended restaurants will be revealed at an invitation-only ceremony in Miami on May 11.

The other local restaurants joining the guide are: Doshi; Edoboy; Juju; and Twenty Pho Hour.

Tampa additions include Lilac; Ponte; and Noble Rice.

Speculation is high that Victoria & Albert’s will enter the guide with stars – Michelin awards top restaurants with one, two or three stars; those named to the guide without stars are called recommendations or designated Bib Gourmand, which the guide says represents “great food at a great value.” (Bib is short for Bibendum, the official name of the puffy Michelin tire company’s mascot.) When the inaugural guide was published last year, Victoria & Albert’s had not yet reopened after it was closed for the pandemic.

Currently, Knife & Spoon, Capa, Kadence and Soseki are the only Orlando area starred restaurants, with one each. Only one restaurant in Florida – L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Miami – has two stars. None has three. All the restaurants with current stars will also find out at the May ceremony whether they’ve gained a star – or lost one.

Restaurants are visited anonymously by Michelin inspectors who focus mainly on the quality of the food to make their decisions.


OMWF23 lawn

The third Orlando Magic-sponsored Orlando Wine Festival & Auction took place March 24 -26 with 420 attendees participating in wine dinners, tastings, and an auction, culminating with the Magic game Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets.

The event raised over $1 million for the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, according to Trish Wingerson, director of public relations for the Magic. Some of the monies came from the sale of packages – the minimum was $2500 for two people to attend the Saturday afternoon tasting and the dinner and auction, all at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. Those who shelled out $6500 per couple got tickets to the game (and saw the Magic win) as well as an invitation to one of six private dinners cooked by top local chefs in unique settings.

But more money was raised at the live auction. Top sellers included a Bordeaux Rhone visit and a bottle of PC4, Pape Clément that went for $33,000; a six-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Club in Aspen and dinner there with Magic CEO Alex Martins for $32,000; a trip to New York for Fashion Week and a backstage tour with Pamella Roland, $28,000. There apparently weren’t any airline contributors because none of those trips included airfare.


 Enzo sign

I like to revisit a restaurant, especially a long-established one like Enzo’s on the Lake, whenever there is a major change. The recent sale of the business by original owner Jo Anne Perlini, who opened it in 1980 with her then-husband, Enzo, to Orlando dentist John Khalil is about as major as changes get.

So it’s time to take another look. But for this one I asked for help.

The opportunity for two diners to join me on a visit to Enzo’s was a silent auction item at last month’s Orlando Shakes gala. Ellen Prague was the successful bidder, but Winter Park couple Steve Goldman and Melanie Love said they wanted in on it, too. So they agreed to match Pragues bid and I made reservations at Enzo’s on the Lake for two nights exactly one week apart.



Henry Moso, chef and owner of Kabooki Sushi in Orlando, has accomplished what no other chef in Central Florida has been able to do: He is a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef – South Award.

There have been many local chefs who have been named to the semifinalists list over the 32 years of the awards’ history but no one – in any category – has advanced to the finals.

Moso’s co-nominees for the South region, which includes Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Puerto Rico, are: Ana Castro, Lengua Madre, New Orleans; Timothy Hontzas, Johnny's Restaurant, Homewood, Ala.; Alex Perry and Kumi Omori, Vestige, Ocean Springs, Miss.; and Natalia Vallejo, Cocina al Fondo, San Juan, PR.

Jimmy and Johnny Tung, the owners of the Bento Group, were semifinalists for Outstanding Restaurateur, a national award, but did not make the finals. Moso was previously a semifinalist in 2020.

Kabooki Sushi opened in 2013 in an odd venue near the corner of Colonial Drive and Maguire Avenue. A second location opened in the Restaurant Row District in 2019.

The chef awards will be presented at a gala in Chicago on Monday, June 5. Tickets for those who would like to attend and cheer Moso on will go on sale Mar. 31 at 5 p.m. and can be purchased here. The awards will be livestreamed on Eater.

To see the full list of finalists, visit jamesbeard.org.