I have to admit I haven’t been all that excited about Magical Dining Month this year. That’s because most of the restaurants on the list are places I’ve already been. And while most are places I like and wouldn’t mind revisiting, I’m more interested in new experiences. So that’s why Urban Tide was one of my MDM choices.
Technically, Urban Tide isn’t entirely new. It replaced the wrong-coastally named Napa when the hotel it is in was named Peabody Orlando. The new owners, Hyatt Regency Orlando, gave it a much more appropriate name, one that celebrates the seafood potentials of the correct coasts while acknowledging its inland city locale.
My companion and I decided, on a whim, while driving up Magnolia Avenue, to stop in to Cafe Trastevere. It had been years since I’d dined there and I thought it would be nice to see how things were going there.
They seemed to be going fine. In fact, there weren’t any tables available in the dining room. Actually, that’s not saying much as there are only about a half dozen tables to begin with. But there was a high-top table in the bar area, so we plopped ourselves down there.
While we looked over the menus, I asked the gentleman who greeted us if I might have a taste of the sangiovese wine. He gladly obliged. But after I took a sip, I told him that the wine was rather warm.
“Well, yes, of course,” replied the man, who I assume was the owner, “it’s a red wine so it’s served at room temperature.”
Henry SalgadoHenry and Michele Salgado have sold their East End Market restaurant, Txokos Basque Kitchen, after opening it less than a year and a half ago. The restaurant remains open, but under the new management.
Andrea Pastore, owner of the neighborhood market 903 Mills (at that address in the Lake Davis district of Orlando), is one of the new leaseholders. The name and the concept are both likely to change, but details so far have not been forthcoming. Pastore was in a meeting and was not able to immediately return a phone call.
The Salgados have moved back to New Smyrna Beach where their Spanish River Grille continues to be a popular destination restaurant. They, too, have plans for that restaurant, which they will release soon. Henry Salgado is a past nominee for a James Beard best chef award.
Txokos Basque Kitchen is the only full-service restaurant at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando, and was a critical success when it opened in spring 2014.
The newest Red Lobster kitchen, equipped with state-of-the-art appliances, sits in the heart of downtown Orlando, but its dining room has no customers. At least no paying customers.
It’s the seafood chain’s Culinary Development Center, part of Red Lobster’s Restaurant Support Center (don’t call it the headquarters), located in the CNL Tower next to City Hall and across Orange Avenue from the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. The support center occupies three full office floors on higher floors, though not all adjacent, in addition to the ground floor Culinary Development Center.
Besides the kitchen and dining room, which is a replica of any Red Lobster you might find all over North America, the ground floor also has meeting rooms and training facilities. You’ll also find the company’s “Declaration of Independence, signed by managers from many of the Red Lobster restaurants.