A whole Chargrilled Branzino isn’t the sort of dish I’d typically order at a place called Mia’s Italian Kitchen, a newcomer to the I-Drive collection of restaurants. But when one was placed in front of me to try, I found myself wanting to forsake everything else on the table. And just about everything else was worth eating, too.
Mia’s is owned by Alexandria Restaurant Partners of Alexandria, Va., which also owns the nearby Cafe Tu Tu Tango. (Remember when that opened in 1994 and we expected it to be a national chain one day? It’s the only remaining one.)
Or should I say Shoufi Mahfi? Because that’s what’s up for today. And that’s the translation.
Shoufi Mahfi is a charming little Mediterranean restaurant in South Orlando near the intersection of Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway. It’s a counter service operation, but the staff is so warm and welcoming you might think you’re dining in a full service restaurant.
Preliminary artist rendering for a Smith & Wollensky that had been planned for International Drive.
Renderings were drawn, interior designs were planned, and Josh Wallack was being introduced as the landlord of an Orlando location of New York steakhouse Smith & Wollensky. But after a year of negotiations and preliminary expenses, the parent company of the high-end restaurant decided not to go forward with what had seemed like a done deal.
“Of all the deals I’ve done in Orlando, this is the one that slipped away from me,” said Wallack, of Wallack Holdings, which owns Mangos Tropical Cafe on International Drive and Hollywood Plaza with the recently constructed parking garage next door with a prime top-floor restaurant space that was intended for Smith & Wollensky.
Brunch on the Avenue will take place March 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Gaston Edwards Park, which makes one wonder if the organizers know what brunch is, or an avenue, for that matter. It will feature a four-course “breakfast for dinner” menu served at a long and winding table along the Lake Ivanhoe park’s path. So, Brunch on the Path, maybe? Bottomless Bloodies and Mimosas. Cost is $100 per person or $150 for two. Tickets at ivanhoevillage.org.
March 28 is also the date for the fourth annual Beard in Baldwin, a walkabout tasting event benefitting the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship fund and it actually does take place on an avenue. Or street, to be exact. Forty eight local restaurants and 18 beverage vendors will be on hand. Organizers have also invited three Chicago chefs, which is so Beard-like. Event is from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $110 for general admission. Tickets here.