If you name your restaurant The H Cuisine, wouldn’t you expect people to wonder what the h the H stands for?
That’s the name of a beautiful restaurant in the Dr. Phillips district. It’s primarily a steakhouse and there are Turkish touches on the menu — Turkish and tulum salads, kafes (rack of lamb) — so might the initial be for halal, the designation for meats prepared by Muslim law?
Maybe it refers to the space, the former Stefano’s Grill, which has been so completely transformed into an upscale and posh dining room that it’s absolutely heavenly? Or for the prices, which are high?
No and no.
The owners all have last names that begin with the letter H. That’s it. As I’ve said before, naming a restaurant is really Hard (with a capital H).
It was a photo on the website for Buster’s Bistro that threw me. I had heard of the Sanford restaurant and had gone online to do some preliminary research. I was meeting some friends for dinner and wanted something a little more upscale. On one of Buster’s web pages was a photo of a dining room with the tables covered in crisp white cloths. Just what I was looking for.
Buster’s Bistro is a bar. A Belgian bar, to be precise.
And the tables are not covered with cloths, white or otherwise. (The photo that hooked me was from a special event, apparently.)
But BB’s menu is more ambitious than most bars, with such selections as Short Rib Carbonnade, Vol-au-Vent, and Tikka Masala Curry. The results are as varied as the selections.
The much anticipated Jaleo from José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup will open at Disney Springs on Sunday, March 17. It will be the company’s fifth Jaleo location, its first in Florida, and its largest.
Also opening on that date is Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick and mortar iteration of the chef’s popular Washington, D.C., food truck. It occupies a space in the front corner of Jaleo. The quick-serve Pepe will will open for both lunch and dinner. Jaleo will open initially for dinner service only with lunch hours to be added later in the month.
The inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction kicks off Friday, March 15, with a weekend of dinners, tastings and events organized by the Orlando Magic and benefitting the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF). It’s already clear that this is not going to be your typical wine and food tasting.
It is certainly set apart from other wine events because of the cost, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.
But there is also the scope. The weekend begins with a series of dinners hosted in private homes — well, ok, private mansions in many cases — featuring celebrity chefs, both local and visiting, and a featured winery at each location. Unfortunately, it’s not a dine-around or a progressive dinner — attendees will have to choose just one location. But there’s a varied array from which to choose.
For example, Robert and Tricia Earl will host a Japan themed dinner that will be prepared by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in their Isleworth estate featuring the wines of Accendo Cellars.
Kathleen Blake is teaming up with chef Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers Catering for another event Sunday, March 24, at 10 a.m.: Swamp Sistas La La Charity Brunch at the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park. Food, drink and music. Tickets are $75 and benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Buy them here.
Our friend Ricky Ly from Tasty Chomps is hosting a dinner Saturday, March 9, at the restaurant of another friend, Tony Roma’s (we’re so close he lets me call him Tone). The dinner will feature Tone’s New Classics menu and is priced at $65. Click here.