Newsy Nuggets: Anniversaries edition

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Kudos to Quantum Leap Winery on its 10th anniversary.

Owners Jill Ramsier and David Forrester managed to do what no other Florida based winery had done before or since: produce wines worth drinking. They key to QL’s success is that it doesn’t use Florida-grown grapes to make its wines but rather imports grape juice, shipped in large vats, from small producers around the world. Once its at the Mills 50 facility, it’s blended, stored in tanks and barrels, aged and bottled or transferred to kegs, pouches or boxes. (Quantum Leap was one of the first to pioneer wines-on-tap in the Orlando area.)

Why doesn’t it use Florida grapes? Due to something called Pierce’s Disease, most of the grapes that can be grown here disease-free tend to be overly sweet varietals. Sweet grapes, sweet wine.

Treviño to open Puerto Rican themed restaurant Chicharron Grill

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Marketplace exterior

TrevinoRoberto Treviño plans to open a Puertorriqueño concept at Marketplace at Avalon Park Dec. 1.

The new concept, Chicharron Grill, will feature such items as empanadas rellenas; pinchos; mofongos; garlic shrimp; pork chicharron; and chicharron de pollo. Chicharron Grill will take the place of BBQ50, one of the original vendors at the Marketplace.

Treviño, a California native known for his Iron Chef appearances, made his culinary mark in San Juan and moved to the Orlando area several years ago, opening El Buda Latin Asian restaurant in downtown Orlando in 2018. It also closed that year. Since then, Treviño has worked with Don Julio’s Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar to create a ceviche menu and with Tapa Toro/Taverna Opa at Pointe Orlando. Most recently, he’s been helping to develop a lounge for a Chinese company in the new Terminal C at Orlando International Airport.

David Ramirez Chocolates offers an outlet for its less-than-perfect candies

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Ramirez dirty dozen

David Ramirez is a perfectionist. Anyone who has seen his elaborate chocolate sculptures (there’s one below) or the jewel-like candies he crafts at David Ramirez Chocolates will know that. Each one is a delicious work of art from a meticulous master chef.

So it won’t be a surprise that occasionally something will happen in the production of the chocolates that raises his creatively demanding hackles. Call them chocolates, chipped; or faulty friandises; or bruised bonbons. Whatever, if they don’t meet Ramirez’s standards, they can’t be sold alongside the flawless confections.

But the flavor is the same, each one made with the same imported European fair-trade chocolate, Madagascar vanilla beans and top-shelf liqueurs. Close your eyes and you wouldn’t even know you were eating one of the nicked nuggets.

Southeast Steel offers early start to "Black Friday" with sales and rebates

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Signature Series

You all can sit around and wait for the day after Thanksgiving if you want, but Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse is starting its Black Friday Sale...[checks watch], so you can get your shopping done early and avoid the madness.

Through Nov. 30 the popular downtown appliance center is featuring sale prices and rebates of $800 or more on many popular brands. And supply chain issues have improved, which means Southeast Steel has ranges, refrigerators and dishwashers in stock and ready to deliver. On my wish list: The Signature Kitchen Suite 48-inch Dual Fuel Pro Range, pictured at top, with gas or induction cooktop and built-in sous vide.

The thing I like about shopping at SES, which has been around since 1940, is that I can actually talk to someone who knows the appliances and can make recommendations. If you go to one of the big box stores and need advice, they might call over some kid who usually works in carpeting or the lumber department. And not for nothing, the boxes at Southeast Steel are pretty big, too.