Krestaurant interior

K Restaurant and Wine Bar, the Italian trattoria made popular by local celebrity chef Kevin Fonzo, is closing. Its final day will be Saturday, Jan. 25.

Chad Phelps, who bought the business from Fonzo in 2017, said Thursday that he was selling because he has been diagnosed with cancer.

“The prognosis is good,” said Phelps, 61, but he wants to focus on the treatment ahead.

He said that there will be Closing Celebrations next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25, which will include bringing back some of the restaurant’s popular dishes. Bottles of wine will be discounted and there will be happy hour pricing on other drinks for the walk-in-only celebration.

Phelps did not know what would happen to the property, an old house converted to a restaurant, but said there were some parties interested in buying the business. The structure has been home to other restaurants, including JoAnn’s Chili Bordello and Nonno, another Italian restaurant owned by Fonzo. Because the K stands for Kevin, Fonzo retained some interest in the business, but he was unavailable for comment Thursday evening. After purchasing the business, Phelps expanded the seating to qualify for a full liquor license.

Phelps said that the 15 members of K’s staff had been told about the closing.


Kathi exterior

It wasn’t even a year ago that I told you about a new restaurant on Curry Ford Road called Forever Naan.

Unfortunate name, that.

It was doing full versions of classic Indian dishes – Butter Chicken, Lamb Curry – and doing them good enough, but for whatever reason it closed.

In its place now is Kathi Rolls, named for a food made popular by street vendors in Kolkata. A kathi roll, sometimes spelled kati though it’s pronounced kha-thee, is essentially a kebab served in a folded paratha. So it’s basically an Indian wrap sandwich. Or a subcontinental taco. As served at this eponymous restaurant, it’s also very good.


Chumley burger

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 Best Burger Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants.

The restaurants listed on the poll below have been winners and top nominees in past Foodster votes. You may vote for up to three of your favorites. The restaurants getting the most votes will advance to the finals.

You may also nominate a burger that isn't currently on the list. Click "Write In" and enter the name of the restaurant. Be sure to check that the restaurant's name isn't already listed above. Duplicate names will be deleted along with any votes that may have been cast. Also, the Foodster Awards are for Independent Restaurants, defined as those having three of fewer locations. Write in nominees of chain restaurants will also be deleted.

After you vote, leave a comment telling us who you voted for and why. Be sure to mention the restaurant's name in your comment or we won't know who you're talking about.

Nominations will continue through Jan. 22. Finalists will be announced Jan. 23.

Here is the list of nominees:



Restaurant Elize, which took over the Rusty Spoon last year, has named Leon Mazairac executive chef. Mazairac was the 2017 winner, along with sommelier Goos van den Berg, of the Copa Jerez, a food and sherry pairing competition held in Spain, when he was then head chef of Restaurant Podium in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was also recognized in 2016 for his talent with a prize from French restaurant guide Gault et Millau, and has been the culinary host of a Dutch television show called BinnensteBuiten (Inside Out).

Mazairac’s LinkedIn profile lists his previous post as signature chef at Bernie’s Beachclub in Zandvoort, Netherlands.


Happy Snapper exterior

I take it as a generally positive sign that after I order a bowl of clam chowder the first thing the cook does is grab a handful of fresh clams.

That’s what happened when I stopped in for lunch at Happy Snapper, a seafood market with a hot food menu in the Pine Castle area south of downtown Orlando.

It’s a small shop and the inventory of fresh fish, displayed in the counter on crushed ice, is limited. Don’t expect to find the array of a Lombardi’s or Bar Harbor. It’s more the type of place where you ask, “What’s fresh,” and plan your menu from there rather than go expecting to find a certain fish or shellfish for your evening’s dinner.

The menu is compact, as well, but offers a good representation of fruits of the sea.