- After a spate of notices of restaurant closings, it’s nice to announce come openings.
Bovine, the long-anticipated replacement for Park Plaza Gardens has finally opened. The steakhouse is part of the JM Hospitality Group, owners of the 310 restaurants and blu on the avenue, the lowercased concept across the street.
I checked my notes and saw that I first wrote that Bovine was planned for this space in February of 2018. At that time, I asked JM’s Joanne McMahon what type of steakhouse Bovine would be and she said: "I don't like to say high end because that scares people away. Say high quality instead.”
I was surprised to see a couple of vegan selections on the menu. But considering a petite filet goes for $42 and the dry aged ribeye for $72, some diners may decide to go vegan on the spot. (The Beyond chili is just $12.)
- F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen, the trattoria in either the Hourglass or Curry Ford West District (depends on whom you ask), has opened a second location in Longwood in the former Bay Ridge Sushi building.
- MoonFish, the Restaurant Row seafooder from Talk of the Town Restaurant Group, has announced that it will not renew its lease at its present location. But it’s looking for another spot to reopen. It opened in late 2001. Its gimmick was listing the name of the person who caught each fish next to its menu entry.
- The owner of the Knight’s Pub, the student bar near UCF that had its liquor license suspended Monday for violating social distancing rules, is saying that he is being “scapegoated and victimized,” according to an article in the Miami Herald. Michael D’Esposito claims a year-old photo of patrons crowded into the Alafaya Trail bar, was used as evidence of violations of Phase 2 guidelines for bars. The photo, above, was posted at 12:45 p.m. on June 5, but the bar didn’t open until 3 p.m. Still, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, from whence liquor licenses flow, claimed the Florida Department of Health had determined through contact tracing that at least 28 patrons and 13 employees of the bar had tested positive. D’Esposito claims he’s being used as a warning to other businesses.
I don’t think Knight’s Pub has any master sommeliers on staff (I should make a call to verify that but I’m running with it). But if they do, they will no longer be addressed as master. No, that doesn’t mean there is no longer such a degree as master sommelier. It just means that the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, has decided that those with the title will no longer be addressed as Master Miliotes, Master Blazon or Master Koziol, to name three Orlandoans among the 269 top somms in the world. I’ve never heard them referred that way; I’m pretty sure they prefer George, John and Brian.
As I mentioned, there have been many announcements of restaurant closings, which means more hospitality workers without jobs. Tango Cares, a project of ARP, owners of Cafe Tu Tu Tango and Mia Italian Kitchen, has been offering family meals to hospitality workers. If you’d like to help them continue, visit the Eat Well, Give Back Orlando GoFundMe page. Ten bucks will feed one worker; $35 will feed a family of four.