Dining Options: Delivery, Takeout, Curbside Pickup

Takeout sack

 

 

Central Florida restaurants are adapting to the changing strictures being imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are details that some of your favorite restaurants want you to know regarding how they're dealing with the crisis and what they're doing to keep their kitchens busy and people fed.

We'll share the information from other restaurants as it becomes available, so check back often.

Each entry has the information that was submitted by the restaurant, including, where available, hours of operation and links to menus. In most cases, menus are limited. All information – including menus posted here – is subject to change so be sure to check with the restaurant before ordering.

Key: TO=Takeout, D=Delivery, CP=Curbside Pickup

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Tarters and Womelsdorf

We have news out of Winter Garden. Kevin and Laurie Tarter, owners of Chef’s Table at the Edgewater and other WG venues, have announced the hiring of Crystal Womelsdorf as executive chef. David Lampman will continue on at the popular restaurant as chef de cuisine. (Womelsdorf is pictured above at right with the Tarters.)

This is a homecoming of sorts for Womelsdorf, who had worked with the Tarters when they were on the staff at California Grill and joined them when they started their chef table concept 12 years ago this month.

She left, however, to expand her cooking credentials and most recently was with Chicago’s Quartino, which sounds a little too much like quarantino, one of the Gibsons Restaurant Group’s brands. GRG also owns the Boathouse at Disney Springs.

Laurie Tarter said she was able to convince Womelsdorf to return to Winter Garden and be part of the Chef’s Table’s soft reopening this week.

Tarter also said that they have some big changes coming up soon but she wasn’t able to reveal them just yet.

More on the soft reopening soon. The Tarter's Attic Door recently reopened.

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spoleto exterior

As reported earlier this week, Spoleto Italian Kitchen, the South American-born chain of quick-serve restaurants, appeared to have closed all of its Central Florida locations. At the time of publication, none of the chain’s representatives were available for comment. Friday, managing partner Laura Henderson returned a call to confirm that indeed the restaurants are permanently closed. She cited the pandemic as the reason for the shutdown, noting that the parent company is in Brazil, which is currently being hard hit by the coronavirus.

The chain – originally known as Spoleto – My Italian Kitchen – was started in 1999 in Rio de Janeiro and opened its first restaurant in the United States in Orlando in 2015 on University Boulevard. It was an assemblage concept that had the customer choose the type of pasta, sauces and other ingredients to be added to a bowl by a staff member behind the line. It was reviewed hereon April 8, 2015.

Three other locations opened in Central Florida, including in Winter Park, Windermere and inside Florida Mall.

There are more than 350 Spoleto Italian Kitchens in Brazil, which has the largest population of Italians outside of Italy.

According to his Linkedin profile, John Velasquez, who brought the Spoleto brand to the U.S., left the company in December.

Henderson said in her call that she hoped that in a year or so after the pandemic crisis is over that Spoleto could once again reopen in Central Florida.

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Tablawp plate

You can tell that an Indian restaurant is serious about its food if you order something like junglee lal mass, a Rajasthani dish known for its spiciness, and are informed that it is not available mild.

That’s the case at Tabla, the Indian restaurant with touches of Thai and Chinese cuisine that recently opened a second location in the former Paris Bistro space off Park Avenue. The original Tabla, near Universal Orlando, opened in 2008 and is still in operation. When I reviewed it in August of that year, I noted that I really liked the food and service but the location not so much.

So I was really excited to learn that the owners were bringing their wonderful food to Winter Park and to a space I’ve always found attractive.

However, I opted to avail of Tabla’s curbside pickup for takeout, so a report on ambience will have to wait. But do not wait to try the food if you love Indian cuisine because it’s every bit as good as before if not better. I dare say we may have a new contender for Best Indian the next time that Foodster Category rolls around.

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Shakers masks

A version of this article first appeared in the bulletin of the Central Florida Tourism Collective.

Nearly 30 years ago, I had front-row seats to “Angels in America” on Broadway. It was a moving performance, and out of the nearly to a hundred shows I’ve seen in New York, one of the most memorable.

But I’m remembering it for something other than the stellar writing and superior acting these days. From my up-close vantage I could see that when the actors spoke, a spray of aerosolized spit emanated from their mouths, enhanced and made more noticeable by the overhead lights. I remember thinking that the actors must be drenched by the end of the play (and those of us in the front row were in the splash zone, too, especially when Ron Leibman as Roy Cohn was nearby).

Actors, of course, project their voices so to be heard in the back row of the balcony, which undoubtedly increases the amount of spray. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re on stage or speaking up in a crowded room: When we speak, we spew.

So then, let’s talk about wearing face masks in restaurants.

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Tasting table takeout

In this episode of the Tasting Table, a collaboration with WFTV Channel-9 and Inside Central Florida, I discuss takeout from my own dining room table. I have some tips for what I look for in a takeout experience, and a few recommendations from some recent meals.