I’ve written a few times about the sixth sense that a critic develops over time, that feeling that you get when you walk into an unfamiliar restaurant and a voice in the back of your mind that says — no, screams — run!
But there’s a diametrical feeling — a seventh sense? — where you enter a restaurant and you know immediately that you’re going to like it. That’s the feeling I got when I walked into Zora Grille in Altamonte Springs recently. Just for a moment, I had that niggling feeling that something might be off. Perhaps it was the fact that the place had no customers even though it was the height of the lunch hour.
But the aromas of the charcoal grill in the back of the open kitchen soon enveloped me. And almost as immediately a young man stepped forward with a warm and genuine welcome. I took a seat.
This may be one of the best things to ever happen to a Winn-Dixie.
The W-D that had occupied the corner of East Colonial Drive and North Bumby Avenue was closed and has been taken over by an Asian food store called Mia Supermarket. It’s a fascinating place to wander about.
I first visited it when I decided I wanted to make kimchi. There were certain ingredients — kochakaru (Korean red pepper powder) and saeujeot (Korean salted shrimp) — that you just can’t find at your local Winn-Dixie. Or Publix for that matter.
I couldn’t even find those items at a couple of the older Asian markets in the Mills 50 district. So I gave Mia a try, and I’m glad I did.
The Walt Disney World Resort culinary team reignited Delicious Disney: A Chef Series in a spectacular way last month with an exclusive after-hours dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
While many special events end with fireworks, the Delicious Disney dinner started with them, with guests gathered on the raised platform at the top of Main Street with a clear view of the castle at the other end. And we sipped cocktails during the show. Yes, real cocktails with actual alcohol in them. Very civilized.
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at Tapa Toro
We're having a Dinner Party and you're invited!
In fact, it's the first Scott Joseph's Dinner Party, but we're going back to one of our favorite venues, when we called it Supper Club.
Tapa Toro, the tapas and paella bar, is the ideal place for a fun to-do. One of my favorite things to do when I throw a dinner party is to invite my guests into the kitchen to help cook.
So executive chef Wendy Lopez is going to show all of us how to make her Flatbread "Coca." We'll mix the dough, form it, stretch it, and then Wendy's crew will bake it up. While it's baking, we'll sit down for dinner.
Our party will get started at 7 p.m. on Wed. March 15. Tickets are $84.50 plus tax ($89.57). Gratuity is included.