Daana Pani, the Indian bistro I reviewed in March, is now called Gully and wants to be known as an urban Indian eatery. I’m not sure what that means but I hope the food is just as good as before. The ownership is the same – Sunny Corda of Mynt, Saffron and Madras – but there’s a new management team, chef and menu. The restaurant is inside the Laxmi Plaza on Doss Avenue at South Orange Blossom Trail.
Gully is an homage to Sanjay Dutt, also known as Sanju Baba, a Bollywood movie superstar. So why isn’t the restaurant called Dutt’s? Corda explained that Gully translates roughly to street – if you hear someone referred to as a gully boy it usually means he’s a street fighter. And so the new menu, Corda said, features the street foods of Mumbai. Gully’s new chef and partner is Christopher Corda, Sunny’s brother who has been working at fine Indian restaurants in New York. All of the partners, he said, are big Dutt fans, so the new decor features Duttabelia, including a massive mural of the action star.
Both Swine & Sons and The Courtesy have moved in to the Foxtail’s Farmhouse building at 1280 Orange Ave., Winter Park. Swine & Sons moved down the street from its original location at the confluence of Orange, Fairbanks and Pennsylvania Avenues. For The Courtesy it’s a reopening after it its original downtown location in May. When it first opened 10 years ago, it was at the fore of the craft cocktail renaissance.
The Venetian Chop House at the Caribe Royale Orlando has reopened after a redo, part of the resort’s $127 million renovation. Not all of that money went into the restaurant, which at one time was known as The Venetian Room, but enough to expand the dining area and beef up the wine list. Besides the steaks and chops that the name would portend, the menu also features Italian specialties.
Ava MediterrAgean, the Park Avenue newcomer, has opened its “ultra-private” members-only MM Club on the second level, which in this case is actually the basement. (Hey, if Europeans can call the a building’s second floor the first floor then we can call the basement a second level.) For those of you who remember Luma on Park, MM Club is in what was once a vault when the building was home to a bank. Michael Collantes (Soseki) is doing the menu, which is mainly Japanese, so leaving the MediterrAgean behind. There will also apparently be a DJ and dancing, though the space only holds 41 people, so no jitterbugging.
The photos of the space look gorgeous, but I doubt I’ll ever see it in person. You must be a member to enter, and to become a member you must fill out an online form and be recommended by two current members (the place just opened last week; how many could there be?). What does MM stand for you ask? A woman who answered the phone at Ava said it just means members only. (Merely Members? Members Mainly?) She also said there was a fee to join but couldn’t tell me what it is and that I should fill out the form and someone would contact me with that information. The form also asks for your Linkedin profile and includes a line that says, “Please explain why do you feel you have the right profile for our club.” I think they’re looking for something more than just “privileged white male.”