Recent Reviews and Restaurant News, Plus a New Supper Club
News from the Flog
Join Us for Supper Club
at Tapa Toro
Our next Supper Club will be Thursday, April 7, at Tapa Toro, the Spanish restaurant under the Orlando Eye. Tickets for the five-course dinner with pairings are $75 plus tax. As always, newsletter subscribers get first crack at the limited number of seats.
That space across the street from Lake Ivanhoe, the one that had for many years been Brian’s Diner and for one brief moment in 2014 was Elliott’s Public House, is now home to Nova. (The name is derived from its location at North Orange Avenue and Virginia Drive.) Actually, it occupies a little more of a footprint than its predecessors, expanding into an adjoining business (with permission, one assumes).
I wish I could more enthusiastically recommend the food. But a sampling of the menu on two visits showed that the execution falls short.
I popped in to check out Pho & Roll, which recently replaced Pho Curry Ford (and whose name, as Faiyaz of the Orlando Weekly pointed out, was a bit dirty sounding if you pronounced pho correctly).
The menu for Pho & Roll says that it is “Vietnamese food with a modern twist.” Don’t know what that twist might be, except to offer fewer options than the older, more traditional Vietnamese restaurants in the area. And I don’t count that as a negative.
The Venetian Room, a longtime favorite for special occasion dining and one of the last bastions of white-glove service, is rebranding and will now be known as Venetian Chop House, an upscale steakhouse.
According to a spokeswoman from the Caribe Royale, where the restaurant is located, many of the Venetian Room’s signature items will be carried over to the new menu. But “the decision to rebrand was made in order to appeal not only to our local crowd, but equally to our in-house hotel guests who many not have come prepared for a ‘jackets suggested’ type of experience.”
FIRST ON SJO — The One Group Hospitality, Inc. is expected to announce on Friday that it has named James O’Donnell the executive chef for its STK Orlando restaurant scheduled to open this spring at Disney Springs.
Originally from San Diego, O’Donnell was previously associated with Cornerstone Management and Consulting as executive chef for its Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. His resume also includes partner and executive chef for The Captial Grille in Jacsonville and executive chef at House of Blues in Los Angeles. He has been with the Orlando project since December.
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