Newsy Nuggets

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Diversitastic! Dining, cooking contest and a Turkish restaurant coming to Restaurant Row.

Diversitastic logo

FusionFest is restarting its Diversitastic! Dining experiences, the monthly excursions to area restaurants to experience the cuisines and traditions of other cultures. (You may recall that one of the last ones of 2021 explored exotic Texas through its barbecue.)

January’s dinner at Curry Mantra is already sold out, but you can sign up for February’s South African exploration at Serengeti Restaurant at the Bronze Kingdom Museum. The dinner is Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. and tickets are $49.95 per person. Tickets here. Other upcoming D!Ds include Korea, Poland, Romania and the United States. (I just hope it’s not Texas again.)

Flying Fish sets reopening date; other Disney dining venues still closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Flying Fish dining room

One of Walt Disney World Resort’s top-tier restaurants, Flying Fish, will reopen Thursday, Jan. 27, at the BoardWalk. Tim Majoras will resume his role as the seafooder’s chef. Another signature dining restaurant, Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, will return Feb. 17. And Turf Club Bar and Grill, a casual dining restaurant at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, will reopens Feb. 3.

Other restaurants remain closed, or “temporarily unavailable” to use the euphemistic official designation. Most notably among them is the estimable Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, which causes one to wonder if the Michelin Guide inspectors have begun their Central Florida rounds yet. It would be a shame for them to miss one of the finest dining experiences not only in the area but arguably in the country.

(By the way, rumors abound that when V&A does reopen it will have a new chef de cuisine. Only one of my sources has denied the rumor outright, but that was the chef supposedly taking over, so we’ll have to accept that. For now.)

Some other restaurants without official reopening dates are: ESPN Club, also at the BoardWalk; Epcot restaurants Restaurant Marrakesh (Morocco), Takumi-Tei (Japan) and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway): and 1900 Park Fare, also at the Grand Floridian,

Both 1900 Park Fare and Akershus are buffets, which you’d think would be the reason for keeping them pandemically shuttered. But Boma – Flavors of Africa, the buffet restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge, is open for self slinging so I don’t know why they’re still closed. (Also, buffets need fewer staffers to operate.)

Monsieur Paul, the upstairs and upscale restaurant at Epcot’s France pavilion, is still closed, too. But as I told you a few months ago, it is being redone with a new concept (though still French, count on it) to reopen later this year.

Newsy Nuggets

Written by Scott Joseph on .

The Ultimate Garden Party; Wine Quest dates; a fiery chili event; a sad Kissimmee closing; and National Irish Coffee Day.

Garden Party logo

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is doing something new this year with a fundraiser called the Ultimate Garden Party, which makes me wonder what a subultimate garden party would be.

The subtitle for the event is Escape to Elegance, which makes me wonder why they think that a) I need to escape and b) why they think I’m not currently surrounded in elegance. I’m not saying I am, I’m just wondering how they know.

Anyway, the event will be at the presumably ultra elegant Loews Sapphire Falls Resort on Saturday, May 21, from 1 to 5 p.m. General admission tickets are $150 per person with one hundred percent of the proceeds going to support the organizations efforts to fight hunger in the community.

What can you expect at an Ultimate Garden Party? Hors d’oeuvres, drinks, entertainment. According to a press release, “dapper attire is encouraged.” I’ll have to dig out my dappers and get them to the dry cleaner.

More information and ticket-purchasing at the Second Harvest website.