When I reviewed Kadence, nearly a year ago, I said that the omakase sushi bar was perhaps one of the best restaurants in Orlando, even though – or maybe because – it did not match the criteria for what we consider a restaurant to be.
One doesn’t make a reservation but rather purchases a (nonrefundable) ticket for a specified time to sit at one of nine seats. There is no menu; customers are served what the chef prepares, all receiving each dish at the same time.
But the experience itself was unique, and the quality of the food exceptional.
One particular thing that made the meal so enjoyable was watching the chefs work, especially Mark Berdin and his skillful one-hand method of shaping the pads of rice for the nigirizushi.
That, of course, can’t be experienced when getting takeout from Kadence, which currently is all that is being offered. But the quality of the sushi and other selections is unquestionably the same. And for once you can make your own selections.
Note: All photos were taken before the coronavirus lockdown; masks and social distancing had not yet been mandated.
Here’s a little insight into the world of restaurant reviewing. Sometimes a restaurant gets visited and the review is written right away. It’s technically possible to write and publish a review before the credit card check slip is signed. That’s an advantage of the internet age.
A disadvantage, too. Sometimes it’s best to put some time between a visit and sitting down to write the review. Rumination can be a good thing. Plus, being the product of the print age, I had to plan which restaurants I would review weeks and sometimes months in advance. I still try to work ahead and visit restaurants that I won’t write about immediately.
That was the case when I ate at City Works Eatery and Pour House, a then-new restaurant and beer bar at Disney Springs, in early March. I remember having a conversation with my dining companions about this virus we were hearing about in the news. The U.S. had just seen its first case, but we had no inkling how things would quickly spiral downward. Two weeks later, businesses were closing, first voluntarily and then under orders. City Works went dark along with the rest of Disney Springs.
So apparently there’s a semblance of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival going on right now. It’s being called Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and is a mere slip of the usual culinary extravaganza that occurs each fall. Still, there are 20 marketplaces socially distanced throughout the park and some inside the ginormous World Showplace, which allows for social distancing galore.
Clifford Pleau, the chef who along with general manager George Miliotes made Disney’s California Grill such a popular restaurant that Darden wooed them away as a team to develop Seasons 52, has returned to the Orlando area after six years as a vice president for Bloomin’ Brands.
Visitors to New York are used to seeing placards in the front windows or on the doors of restaurants with a letter grade issued by the department of health. If the restaurant doesn’t have a large, blue A, many diners will simply pass it by. A B or lower (higher?) is considered a failing grade. (And most won’t consider a “grade pending” notice on an established restaurant because that usually means it has failed an inspection and is awaiting a do-over.
Now, a group of restaurateurs has initiated a program that would put a new sign in the window, one that attests that the establishment is following stringent sanitation and distancing guidelines.