It doesn't quite seem possible that DoveCote, the postmodern French brasserie in downtown Orlando, has been open just over two years. It started out well enough, though a few faux pas warranted a more cautious recommendation.
All caution is hereby removed. I returned to DoveCote one evening last month and found that the restaurant has settled into a quiet thrum of efficiency, and the kitchen, still under the direction of chef and co-owner Clay Miller, is producing more reliably fine recreations of French classics. And, not incidentally, at a price point that is reasonable and affordable.
When it opened in downtown Orlando, in early 2017, Tin & Taco did little to elevate the "things in a tortilla" category. I wasn't overwhelmed by what I tasted; I wasn't underwhelmed, either. I was just whelmed.
So I was a bit bemused to learn that T&T would be opening a second location, in the SoDo district less than three miles away. What could they possibly have learned in a short time to warrant a second location?
For years you've seen me report from the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, the massive convention for restaurants and food service professionals. I always like to walk the massive convention floor looking for trends -- and sampling all of the foods that vendors are passing around.
Each year I get asked by readers how they can attend the convention. Sadly, it's open only to members and industry professionals.
But I can get you in this year.
On Saturday, Sept. 8, I'm hosting a Sous Chef Challenge called The Next Big Thing. I've invited some of the talented men and women who serve as second in command in some of our top kitchens to show us what they can do. I've asked them to create a dish that they think will be the next big thing, a food or ingredient trend we'll all be nuts for next year.
Premier Event to Banish Childhood Hunger is Saturday
Taste! Central Florida, the annual food and beverage extravaganza dedicated to ending childhood hunger, is just about here. The event, formerly known as Taste of the Nation, is Saturday, Sept. 8, from 6:45 to 10 p.m. at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased online at this link. All proceeds from ticket sales stay in the area and are used by Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.
Taste! is a massive walkabout affair that fills one of the huge ballrooms at the Marriott World Center. The highlight is the array of talented chefs from some of the area's top restaurants offering samples of their best dishes.
Among this year's list of participating restaurants are flog friends:
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 you 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.