Rasa soup menu

The Asian street food trend has expanded quite a bit. Thanks, Hawkers! Mamak, which like Hawkers is in the Mills 50 district, has made new fans. Now, Rasa Asian Street Food brings the concept to Restaurant Row.

Rasa is the latest project of Sunny Corda, who also owns the estimable Mynt in Winter Park and Saffron Indian restaurant a couple of doors from Rasa.

Corda, who invited me on one of my two visits, said he spent two months in Malaysia researching some of the dishes he serves at Rasa.

Glass Knife rendering

FIRST ON SJO -- The Glass Knife, a cake cafe, will open in Winter Park in October. It will occupy the free-standing building at 276 S. Orlando Ave. that was originally Italio Modern Italian Kitchen.

The Glass Knife is being developed by local entrepreneur Steve Brown. The cafe and concept is an homage to his mother, Jacque, who taught him how to bake. The name is a reference to the glass knives that were common for cutting cakes and fruits in the 1920s before stainless steel was used. Regular knives at that time were often mottled and pitted and inelegant for fine service. Brown’s mother collected glass knives and that collection served as an impetus for the restaurant.

Stuart Whitfield HeadshotStuart Whitfield will be the executive chef. Most recently a pastry chef with Walt Disney Company, Whitfield’s resume includes stints with Le Cirque, davidburke & donatella, and the Four Seasons in New York. Whitfield told me Tuesday that he’ll feature classic cakes such as red velvet, carrot and coconut, “Cakes that your mother would have made,” he said, “but with my own little twist.”

Whitfield is also planning other baked goods, such as croissants, scones and cookies, and will offer a line of artisanal donuts, a trending food category in New York and other cities around the country. A savory menu featuring meat and cheese boards and toasted sandwiches will also be presented. With breakfast, lunch and dinner hours, the cafe will specialize in coffee, prepared by baristas using state-of-the-art technology, and will have a list of beers and wines.

Whitfield said that they hesitate to call the Glass Knife a bakery because it will offer a more complete dining experience, but he does expect the cakes and pastries to be a main focus, with most items available for retail purchase as well.

The 3,000-square-foot cafe is being designed by Ray Schaefer and Gravity Architecture & Design. Schaefer should be familiar with the space — he did the design for Italio, too. The exterior will resemble an upscale pastry box, with a black, gold and pink motif, and will feature a covered patio. Inside the front door will be a classic rotating cake tower displaying the day’s pastries.

“It’s all about nostalgia,” Whitfield said

The Glass Knife will be joining a neighborhood that has seen a surge of restaurant openings, most notably those nearby at Lakeside Crossing. But with most of those restaurants belonging to chains, it will be refreshing to have a new locally owned independent restaurant.

BalluffChef Bruno Fonseca is hosting a wine dinner at his new restaurant, Millenia 106, to benefit the family of Bryce Balluff. Balluff, a local chef, restaurateur and food truck owner, took his life in February; he was 35.

“Ever since this tragic lost,” Fonseca said in an email, “I wanted to do something, anything for the family, and with that in mind I am turning our first wine dinner into a benefit for the Balluff Family.”

The dinner will be Thursday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m.. The cost for the five course meal with wine pairings is $65 per person. Fonseca said that after the wine is paid for, all remaining proceeds will go to the family.

Millenia 106, which I recently reviewed here, is at 4104 Millenia Blvd., Orlando. You can see the full menu with pairing, plus purchase tickets, at this link.

Ace Construction view from the stage

Ace Cafe, which has been under construction for more than two years, will finally open its doors on May 19 with a three-day roster of concerts, demonstrations and special events.

The restaurant and entertainment venue, based on the Ace Cafe in London, will open at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 19, with coffee and grab and go breakfast items. Musical events begin at lunch and pretty much continue throughout the weekend. Other events include a raffle  for a BMW RnineT Racer, with proceeds going to Arnold Parlmer Hospital for Children; painting demonstrations; and car and motorcylce displays. See a full list of weekend activities as they stand here.

Ace cafe occupies three acres at the corner of Livingston Street and Garland Avenue in the former Harry P. Leu buildings. (Also formerly The Edge nightclub.) As I told you here, the sprawling complex will feature multiple bars and dining areas, stages for live bands, a gallery and motorcycle dealership.

Epcot patagonia

The 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run a record 75 days and touch four months of the calendar, running from Aug. 31 through Nov. 13.

Few other details came with the announcement from Walt Disney World, other than a return of the India and Spain marketplaces. with Madras Red Curry and Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake from the former and Charcuterie in a cone from the latter. I hope the cone is made out of sausage.

Ticketing dates and other announcements, such as celebrity chef appearances, will be forthcoming.