Here are the top vote getters from the nominating stage for Best Greek Restaurant in our Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants.
You may vote for only one restaurant, and please vote just once -- this isn't Chicago (though it has a very nice Greek Town).
After placing your vote, leave a comment below telling us why you like your selection (be sure to mention the name of the restaurant in your comment, otherwise we won't know which one you're talking about). We may use your comments when we announce the winners.
Voting ends Sept. 19 and the winners will be announce Sept. 20. (Click Read More to see the list of finalists)
When we talk about the top chefs in the Central Florida culinary community, the name Justin Plank rarely comes up, and I don't know why. I may be as much to blame as anyone.
It's not that he hasn't been around a long time or that his cooking hasn't been critically received. And it isn't that his name hasn't been bandied about. You may recall that in the early 2000s, Park Plaza Gardens actually changed its name to Chef Justin's Park Plaza Gardens to celebrate the hiring of Plank as its new head chef.
Following a stint at Lake Port Square in Leesburg, Plank joined the Levy Restaurants team as the executive chef at Disney Springs' Portobello, handpicked for the position by Tony Mantuano, the Chicago chef who advises and directs the Disney restaurant. Portobello then promptly closed so that it could be remodeled and rebranded.
It's now Terralina Crafted Italian and Plank has stayed on at the helm. While much of the menu was initially developed by Mantuano, Plank says that his suggestions for changes have all been given the go ahead. I stopped in to sample some of the menu recently and to see how the restaurant has developed. Everything I tasted -- some of which was offered to me and my guest to try -- was really quite good.
FIRST ON SJO -- Central Florida will get another major wine event with the inaugural Orlando Wine Festival & Auction, March 15 through 17, 2019, sponsored by the Orlando Magic to benefit the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, the organization's major charity.
The weekend will feature wine dinners in private homes; a grand tasting of wine and food prepared by local and nationally recognized chefs; an auction; and a dinner hosted by a celebrity chef. The weekend will culminate with the Magic's home game on Sunday evening.
Cioppino is a popular fish stew that originated in San Francisco. Legend has it that the fishermen would all contribute -- or chip in -- to a large stew with whatever they'd caught that day.
James Slattery, executive chef at Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, says that "because the region is plentiful with Dungeness crab, you will generally find restaurants including Dungeness as the main seafood in their Cioppino." So he includes it in his.
Watch Slattery show you how to prepare the dish in the video below. Then head out to your favorite fishmongers and ask them to chip in to your own stew. (Click image below to see the video.)
John Rivers, CEO of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, invited media to a ribbon cutting ceremony at Disney Springs Monday for the company's newest concept, 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck. In the video below, Rivers explains how the concept came to be. And you'll get a look at one of the massive Taco Cones that are bigger than a smoked turket leg.