I had a fun time recently taking part in a progressive dinner of sorts that had me and some other media members visiting the premium restaurants at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. We had been invited by the two hotels' PR team as a way of reacquainting ourselves with some restaurants we may not have visited in a while.
It had been a long while since I had been in Kimonos, the elegant sushi bar in the Swan where we started our evening. In fact, it occurred to me that the last time I did a full review of Kimonos I liked the food but I took management to task for not offering a nonsmoking section.
Even if you're a regular visitor to Ivanhoe Row, you'll get a whole new perspective of the surrounding neighborhood from M Lounge, a new bar that officially opened over the weekend.
That's because it's a rooftop bar, sitting atop a newly remodeled two-story building on North Orange Avenue.
It's all quite open, as you would expect a rooftop to be. And even though it's only three floors up, it offers a comparative towering vantage of Antique Row, the residential area and downtown Orlando in the not so distant distance.
It's especially lovely at sunset, as when I visited a couple of weeks ago.
Every day, Pizzeria Roberti, a new pie monger in East Orlando, features a specialty pizza. You might find braised short rib, Buffalo chicken or even foie gras pizza on offer.
Or a relatively mundane pizza bianca, as was the case when I visited. Oh well, luck of the draw, I suppose.
And the bianca was fine, just nothing out of the ordinary. The crust was New York-style thin and nicely done, and the toppings -- all white, because bianca -- were applied neither too amply nor stingily.
For several years, each August, I would tell you about the upcoming Taste of the Nation, the annual food and wine fundraising bash, and I would write, each time, that I hoped it would be the last year for the event. My reasoning was that if the goal of the benefit -- to eradicate childhood hunger -- could finally be attained, there would be no reason to have another one.
As it turns out, last year's was the last Taste of the Nation, but unfortunately not for the reason I had hoped. Childhood hunger, especially in Central Florida, is still a grave problem.
And it's still one worth fighting. So instead of TOTN, Taste! Central Florida is the new name of the event. It will take place on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 6:45-10 p.m.
You already know about the upcoming Taste! Central Florida -- and if you don't then head over here (we'll wait). I also want you to know about a couple of companion events leading up to Taste!
They're at Eola Wine Company the next two Wednesdays, Aug. 9 and 16. And proceeds will go to the Second Harvest Food Bank, Coalition for the Homeless and the Taste! Central Florida cause of ending childhood hunger.
It's a good way for you to participate if you're unable to attend the big event on August 19 at the Orlando Marriott World Center. Or you could consider it training.