Newsy Nuggets: Knives, toast, whiskey and they call the cookies Mariah

on on .

KnifeSpoon dining

  • Knife & Spoon, the steak and seafood restaurant now in residence at the Ritz-Carlton, is nominated for USA Today’s 10Best list for Best New Restaurant. The John Tesar-led restaurant, which I reviewed in October, is currently no. 2 on the leaderboard behind Charleston’s Tempest. The only other Florida restaurant on the list of 20 finalists is a Pensacola barbecuer called Water Pig, which is my nickname for the guy a couple of blocks over who runs his irrigation too much. You can place your vote until noon Dec. 21 for Knife & Spoon here. You may vote once a day, which seems totally fair.
  • Virtual Dining Concepts, the Orlando-based business from Robert Earl and his son, Robbie, is looking for local restaurants to cook its brands, including two newly announced menus from DJ Pauly D and Mario Lopez. VDC offers delivery-only foods prepared in existing kitchens. It’s sort of like the growing concept of ghost kitchens though the company prefers the term virtual kitchen because it partners with restaurants that may also cook their own menus for the public – ghost kitchens aren’t in restaurants. The two new concepts are Pauly D’s Italian Subs and Mario Tortas Lopez. They will join Tyga Bites from the eponymous rapper and Wing Squad, which is not attached to a celebrity. If you’re a restaurant owner and want to learn about being a virtual – not ghost – kitchen, visit the Virtual Dining Concepts website. Speaking of Mario Lopez, you may recall that he was involved in Winter Park’s Cinco Tacos + Tequila, which is now a ghost restaurant.

  • Friday is National Cookie Day and the launch date for Mariah’s Cookies, another Virtual Dining Concept brand. In a press release announcing the partnership with the famous singer, Robert Earl said: “Mariah and I have chatted over the years about working together on a food business and, with her love of baking, cookies were a natural fit. As Mariah is synonymous with the holidays and celebration, we will make sure that her special holiday flavors are available not only for the holidays but year-round.” Carey, in the same release, said, “Yay, cookies.” You can find them through most third-party food-delivery apps.
  • Don’t forget that Dec. 7 is Maker’s Monday at The Whiskey where you can get an engraved bottle of their Private Select Maker’s Mark for the bourbon lover on your list. Yay, whiskey.
  • Popular food trucker Chicken Fire is moving into the former Fratello’s Pizza spot on Colonial Drive at Bumby Avenue. Mid month, maybe.
  • Winter Park Biscuit Co. is already slinging its plant-based menu from its new home at East End Market.
  • Former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has died. Food connection? Paul Bocuse named his truffle soup V.G.E. when he received the Legion of Honor from d’Estaing in 1975. When available at the Lyon restaurant, it commands a supplement of 90 euro.
  • And if you’ve got that kind of money, you may be interested in the Revolution Cooking smart toaster, regularly $299.95 but on sale at Bloomingdale’s and other retailers for $239.99. It boasts an intuitive touchscreen, an auto-glide device that lowers the bread and raises the toast, and “custom toasting algorithms.” Imagine being smart enough to write algorithms and deciding to apply that knowledge to toast. Ok, yay toast.

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