When a restaurant has a name like Grilled Cheezus you can expect some creativity in menu names as well.
Grilled Cheezus, of course, is a grilled cheese sandwich specialty restaurant with two locations, one at the downtown UCF campus and another on Mills Avenue in the former Funky Monkey/Bites & Bubbles space, which is the one I visited. The Mills 50 location was also home, for a brief time, to Restaurant Ash, which also specialized in sandwiches. I think it’s fair to say that if it had served sandwiches the caliber of the ones at Grilled Cheezus, Restaurant Ash would still be there.
That freestanding building at 1230 W. Fairbanks Ave., just west of Orlando Avenue, in Winter Park has been home to a few concepts, including Bread & Co., Nakada’s Kitchen, which was inside Bread & Co., and Wonton Asian Kitchen. Before it housed restaurants it was a beauty salon and day spa.
The current tenant is Tous Les Jours, which opened a year ago. Like B&C, its pastry line is French-Asian. Unlike it, it is part of an international franchise based in South Korea. According to its website, “Since its launch in the United States in 2004, Tous les Jours has developed into a reputable bakery & café franchise,” which makes you wonder what sort of ill repute it started out with.
I keep a list of places to visit, review or write about, and for some time now I’ve had en entry that read, “Lac Viet Bistro is now King Crab Shack.” I guess I didn’t move fast enough on that one because the new note reads, “Lac Viet is now King Crab Shack is now Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe.” SBB&C is from John Zhao, who also owns the very good YH Seafood Clubhouse, and although the name suggests it’s mostly pastries, Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe will also feature savory Hong Kong-style dishes when it opens in December.
Longtimers will recall that the building on Colonial Drive was a French restaurant called La Normandie for many years and then was Lemon Grass Bistro before Lac Viet moved in. (It pays to keep notes.)
Sorry to see that Chai Thai, the charming restaurant on Orange Avenue in the SoDo District, has closed. It had opened in late 2009 and was a second location for a restaurant on Curry Ford Road. The original location eventually closed and is now where Pho & Roll rolls.
The next Supper Club, a Gastronomic Dinner at Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe, has been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ivanhoe Village restaurant, 1414 N. Orange Ave., Orlando.
All the other details remain the same.
The five-course dinner with pairings will be curated by chef/partner Emmanuel Clement, who has put together a very special menu that goes above and beyond Russell’s regular fine menu. “We want to make this extraordinary,” said co-owner Philippe Villain, “and Emmanuel has put together some really fine dishes.” See the menu below (I personally can’t wait for the sweetbread and truffles).
We’ll gather on Thursday, Nov. 3, with a reception, including a welcome cocktail, at 6:30 and dinner at 7 p.m. Russell’s is setting aside the entire lower lakeview dining room just for us.
Cost of the dinner is $175 per person (the price includes tax and gratuity). Reservations are required and can be made by calling the restaurant at 407-601-3508. Tell them you want to reserve a spot for Scott Joseph’s Supper Club.
As always, Scott Joseph’s Supper Club does not require membership. The only requirement is that you appreciate fine food and wine. And single diners are always welcome to join us.
There’s a lot of history in the building on Shine Avenue that has been the home of Maxine’s on Shine for the past decade. The structure started out as a grocery market, but as a restaurant site it has held East Side Cafe, Derby Court, Shine Avenue Deli, Deli Down Under (I actually missed that one), Kia Rose, Union, Union City Tavern, Bravissimo and Shine Neighborhood Kitchen. Current owners Kirt and Maxine Earhart seem to have put an end to the revolving door of restaurant concepts and they’ve recently added a historical note of their own: Maxine’s was on the list of recommended restaurants in the inaugural Florida edition of the Michelin Guide.
There’s history in Maxine’s kitchen, too, where George Vogelbacher has been cooking since 2014. Previously, Vogelbacher owned a restaurant called Le Cordon Bleu that was in the building where Ravenous Pig currently stands. When a fire shut down Le Cordon Bleu and the neighboring Harper’s Tavern, Vogelbacher moved to a restaurant space next to the Enzian Theater in Winter Park and opened Nicole St. Pierre.