That little freestanding building at 1375 S. Semoran Blvd. in Orlando has been home to a wide array of international cuisines since it started life as a Captain D’s seafood joint.
Let’s see – it was Thai Chili in the late 1990s; a Scandinavian restaurant called Two Fat Chefs (at the time, there was a popular BBC cooking program called “Two Fat Ladies”; three successive Mexican restaurants – Las Carretas, Casa Rene and Casa Mexico; a Church’s Chicken franchise (the long-abandoned drive-thru order stand, still bearing the chain’s brand, still sits out back); then back to Mexican with A Taste of Yucatan; Coba Coffee & Bakery; and Amor, Amor Latin American cuisine.
JW Marriott Bonnet Creek has opened its Unreserved Food Bazaar, a food hall-style restaurant under the supervision of chef Peter Kunstek. It features pizza from a Josper oven; a sushi and raw bar; seasonal salads (currently featuring peaches and burrata); and fresh fish selections. Also new: the JW Garden, which grows herbs and produce used throughout the resort’s restaurants (more on that soon).
From Unreserved to Uncommon. Uncommon Catering & Eatery is dropping the & Eatery after July 23 and will focus on its catering business. It will remain in its Curry Ford West district space and will offer occasional wine dinners and popup events, according to a post on its Facebook page.
Nobu Hotels, a luxury brand whose partners include actor Robert DeNiro and chef Nobu Matsuhisa, will open a hotel in Orlando. It’s scheduled for 2024, which probably means late 2025 in Orlando-construction years. Yes, that probably means a Nobu sushi restaurant will come with it.
Note: At time of this newsletter's posting, Wed. night is sold out but 2 seats are open for Thursday.
Our Supper Club at Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen for Thursday, July 14, sold out in less than 24 hours. So the folks at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort have added a second night, though since it’s for Wed., July 13, it’s technically the first night. And here’s some information we didn’t have before: Richard Blais is planning to attend.
Reservations are now open for the July 13 Supper Club, and per our policy, recipients of my newsletter have first dibs. If any seats remain at the end of the day (Tues., July 5), the dinner will be announced to the general public.
We’ll meet Wednesday, July 13, for a 6:30 reception and seated dinner at 7 p.m. at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort. (Four Flamingos is in the former Hemingway's building overlooking the resort's pool.) Cost is $150 per person including tax and gratuity. To reserve, call 407-239-3854 or click here for OpenTable.
This will be the second year for the Winter Flavors of New York journey. If you missed my recap of last year’s trip you can read about it here. I’m still amazed at everything we packed into those days. And I can’t wait to do it again.
We’ll do have some of the same experiences but add some new adventures, too. I’d love to have you join me and let me show you my favorite city in the world. New York is special any time of the year, but it’s magical in December.
The next category in our Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants is Best Outdoor Dining.
Below are the preliminary nominees. You may vote for up to three candidates. Those getting the most votes will advance to the finals.
You may also write in a candidate. But remember, Foodster Awards are only for Independent Restaurants, defined as those with three or fewer locations. Chains are not eligible and any write-ins that do not qualify will be deleted.
Also, do not write in the name of a restaurant that already appears on the list. Duplicates will be deleted along with any additional votes they’ve received.
Nominations will be accepted through Friday, July 8. Finalists will be announced July 10.
After voting, leave a comment telling us which restaurant you voted for and why. We may use your comments when the winners are announced.
Click Read More to see the nominees for Best Outdoor Dining 2022: