It's the Chow Hound Report. A roundup of the week's restaurant reviews and news from Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide.
My, but you ate a lot of Magical Dining Month meals, somewhere around 208,620 of them.
I was able to figure that out because at Visit Orlando's annual meeting Thursday a check in the amount of $208,620 was presented to representatives of Freedom Ride and BASE Camp Children's Cancer Foundation. Those two charities were selected as the beneficiaries of this year's event. Participating restaurants donate $1 from the $35 prix fixe menu from each MagDinMo meal sold. Visit Orlando won't tell which restaurants contributed the most one-dollar donations.
This is the first year that two charities have benefitted. Even with splitting the funds, they did better than the single charity from the first year that Visit Orlando made a local charity part of the mix. That first year raised only about $16,000. So, quite a difference.
Honey Nougat Glacé, the entry from Chef Catherine Delrieu of Mon Petit Cheri Cafe in Winter Park, has been named Orlando's Signature Dish. The announcement was made by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and chef Art Smith at the annual meeting and holiday luncheon of Visit Orlando, which sponsored the contest.
The announcement was the culmination of a search that started earlier in the year that called on local chefs to create something that could become Orlando's equivalent to Buffalo's wings or Philadelphia's cheesesteak. Eventually, the criteria were narrowed to stipulate that the foodstuff be a dessert and that it feature honey as a main ingredient. Honey was chosen because it is a major product of Central Florida, a fact that seemed to surprise just about everyone who was involved in the project. (Except Jacobs, who produces -- but does not sell -- honey from hives in her backyard.)
Nikki's Place is back and everything is just as it was before.
Before meaning prior to the fire that forced the business to close in March 2015. After two and a half years -- and thanks in part to a $25,500 grant from the city -- the family owned restaurant is back serving its homestyle Southern and soul cuisine.
The menu is peppered with such things as Chitterlings, Ox Tails, Pig Tails (or the ears, if you prefer), Turkey Necks, and Pork Neck Bones. You'll also find less "exotic" Meat Loaf, Fried Pork Chops and Catfish.
The next Chef's Night in the Second Harvest Food Bank Series will feature Trina Gregory-Propst os Se7en Bites. The dinner is Thursday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Second Harvest facility, 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando.
Since Gregory-Propst is primarily a baker, she'll be offering a five-course "brinner" menu that combines breakfast and dinner. Check out the menu below.
Tickets are $50 per person and the Chef's Night events traditionally sell out. All proceeds benefit the Culinary Training Program at Second Harvest, a 14-week program that teaches employable life and culinary skills needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. The program is available to qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults in the Central Florida area.
For tickets, contact Feed Hope Now.
Here's the menu: