As coincidence would have it, I first reviewed Il Pescatore, the family homey Italian restaurant on Primrose Drive, exactly 20 years ago this week. And now that it has reached that milestone, it can be declared an Orlando Classic.
It was Marie and Stefano LaComarre who purchased what was Sorrento’s Italian and renamed it Il Pescatore, or the fisherman. It was never meant to be a seafood restaurant, and in fact seafood was never its forte. The name was merely an homage to Stefano’s childhood on the waters of his native Sicily.
Just under the name What the Chuck and its big orange W logo (which was vaguely reminiscent of Whataburger’s) it says “A burger joint.” That pretty much sums it up.
Well, not entirely. I suppose you should also know that the burgers this joint offers are of the smash genre, wherein the patty is pressed down during grilling and flattened somewhat instead of being a thick and juicy hunk of ground beef oozing with red juices. Smashed burgers cannot be ordered, say, medium-rare because as soon as they’re smashed they’re pretty much beyond that point. Which is not to say such burgers can’t also be satisfying. You should just know before you go.
Palma Maria, the longtime family operated Italian restaurant in Casselberry, is closing permanently.
The restaurant had closed Jan. 4 following the death of its owner and operator Peter Rosinola Jr. In a post Monday afternoon on the Palma Maria Facebook page, the family announced that it would not reopen. Besides the loss of Rosinola, the hardships that Covid-19 has visited on businesses, especially restaurants, was another reason, according to sources familiar with the business.
The capacious atrium of what was formerly SunTrust Tower in downtown Orlando will be the home of South Orange Provisions, a nine-vendor food hall set to open later this year. SunTrust has moved a block away to Garland Avenue in the newly constructed tower with a hotel on its upper floors. (I wonder: Did SunTrust even bother to rent a U-Haul or did they just push everything over to the new building on their rolling desk chairs?)
A Spoon Full of Hope, the retail product line of Second Harvest of Central Florida, has teamed up with Hourglass Brewing to present An Hourglass Full of Hope, which will bring you a glass full of beer.
A steam lager, actually, made with ASFOH’s orange blossom honey. According to Hourglass’s tasting notes, the beer has “fragrant notes of spiced sap and swirling sweet lemon-lime citrus” there are also “flourishes of golden biscuits and freshly baked bread” plus “a subtle caramel finish” that comes from resting the lager on cracked honeycomb toffee that was made with the same honey. You can experience all that – and help fund Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program – at Hourglass Brewing, the addresses for which you’ll find on its website.
Speaking of brewing, Gatlin Hall Brewing is still on tap (see what I did there?) to open this quarter inSoSoDo. Besides an onsite brewing facility, the hall will feature food vendors. Final permitting has been completed and the owners are looking for a mid March opening. Also moving into the strip mall at South Orange Avenue and Gatlin Avenue will be a second location of Winter Park’s The Porch, I hear.
One of the downfalls of the rise in takeout is the regrettable single-use foam and plastic containers in which the food is packaged. The containers are convenient, relatively cheap, easy to use, and potentially an ecological disaster.
So that’s why I like this product from M’Porte, a San Diego company. It’s marketing reusable to-go containers that customers purchase and then exchange with their next order.