Our friends at Grande Lakes Orlando are going all out for Memorial Day Weekend with four days of activities, events and special dining options.
There are boat rentals for tooling around the lake — did you know there’s an actual Grande Lake? — and eco-tours are Shingle Creek. Golf specials, including a 20 percent discount for active or retired military personnel. There’s also going to be a falconry school where you can learn about falconry. After a brief training, you’ll go out to field and the birds will follow and come when called. You can pretend you’re a helpless field mouse.
You’ll find me inside at one of the many good restaurants, most likely Highball & Harvest because I like their cocktail program. And I’ve been promised they’ll have some special drinks and menu options inspired by the Memorial Day commemoration. Reservations required, call 407-393-4648.
I had a rare evening recently when I decided I didn’t want to go out to eat at a place that I had to but rather revisit a restaurant I wanted to, just because I like it.
I chose Eddie V’s.
I love the elegance of Eddie V’s dining room, the sophistication of the tuxedo-styled tables with white linens and black napkins. The candles and fine stemware. The drum shaped light fixtures softly illuminating the room.
I finally made it up to the new Mykonos. Well, it was new 10 months ago when it started serving its popular Greek food again. Technically, it’s not new at all.
I first reviewed Mykonos back in 2000 when it first opened in the Springs Plaza in Longwood. Then it was called Mayerion Mykonos and it instantly served some of the best Greek food in town. Granted, there were only a few Greek restaurants in town back then. I remember that I liked the food, and I especially liked the lima beans. I think I even published the recipe.
But in 2016, the restaurant’s landlord informed the owner, Tina Karoutsos, that the lease would not be renewed. A medical clinic next door was expanding and needed the space. Instead of trying to find an existing restaurant that she could take over, Karoutsos signed for a new spot in the same plaza, directly behind where the original restaurant stood.
Alon Gontowski has been named executive pastry chef for the Rosen Centre Hotel. Gontowski is a past winner of the Food Network’s “Sweet Genius” competition and was part of the team that made the world’s largest wedding cake to claim a Guinness World Record (no word on whose wedding it was for). He most recently was with the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa.
Gontowsk, above,i was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He has also baked at Todd English’s Tuscany and Michael Jordan’s Steak House.
Tako Cheena has finally opened in the former Forbidden City space in Mills 50. The popular Mexican/Asian fusion concept first announced that it would take over the Forbidden City building in July. Of 2015. Even considering the condition that the former gas station cum restaurant was in — I try not to think about it — that’s a long time for renovations. Currently, the original Tako Cheena is closed and undergoing renovations, most likely for a new concept. But I’m not going to expect anything real soon.
Tre Bambine, the Italian restaurant that took over the former Spice Modern space overlooking Lake Eola has closed after just over two months. In a story about the closing by Jessica Bryce Young at Orlando Weekly, the owner was quoted as saying she just couldn’t make it work. Kids, if you’re considering opening a restaurant, consider this rule of thumb from veteran restaurateurs: you should expect to lose money for at least two years. It’s a tough, tough business.