Orlando Tastings is Closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Orlando Tastings Wine Bar in downtown Orlando has closed. The Tastings Facebook page has a note to its fans that reads:

"Orlando Tastings would like to Thank all of our Facebook fans for your patronage and support, but unfortunately we have closed our doors for business. We will miss you all!"

The wine bar, which used a dispenser system that allowed guests to taste wines using a special debit card, was barely three years old.


Talk of the Town Restaurants Offering Dad's a Free Steak on Father's Day

Written by Scott Joseph on .

RibeyeTalk of the Town Restaurants has a pretty tasty offer for dads on Father’s Day. All fathers will receive a free 24-ounce ribeye steak, which includes a signature salad and Jeanine’s French Maid bread (but not the French maid), as long as they’re accompanied by an adult who purchases an adult entree of equal or greater value for each dad present. The cost of the ribeye steaks varies among the different TotT restaurants; see below for prices.

The only other restrictions are that you can’t get this deal if you’re using any other discount or offer, there are no substitutions (such as a Belgian butler for the French maid), and it’s for dine-in only.

Talk of the Town, of course, includes the Charley’s Steak Houses as well as Vito’s Chop House, Moonfish, FishBones and Johnnie’s Hideaway. It's been my experience that even the seafood-centric restaurants know how to do a good steak, so don't let that deter you. Check below for all the restaurants, the hours they are serving on Father’s Day, June 19, 2011, and the price of the ribeye at each (so you’ll know how much you’ll have to spend to qualify for the free steak.

Another New Winter Park Restaurant, Barbecue, Coming Soon

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Photo by Jen Dienst

Updated 6:02 with new information about owner and projected opening.

 In the last few days we've had word of two pending restaurants in Winter Park, Armando's in the former Hot Olives space, and an unnamed Italian restaurant from the folks at Luma.


Now comes word that a third restaurant is coming soon, this one in the former Kata Thai building on the corner of Morse Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue, right around the corner from where Armando's is going in. Big Pig is the name, according to a banner on the side of the building. Barbecue, burgers and beer, it touts. Probably not a whole lot more to know about it beyond that at this point, except when it might open. And who's behind it.

I think I know who it is, and I've got a call out to him. It's someone who has been involved in barbecue in the area for decades. You'll know the name as soon as I tell you, but let me verify it first. Stay tuned and I'll update this report as soon as I hear back.

I had thought that the owner is Sam Meiner, owner of Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ. Why would I think that? Because he has been using that moniker for some time -- it's even incorporated into his email address -- so I figured that he was doing a rebrand of Bubbalou's.

But no. The owner of the new restaurant is Perry Inman, who owns P.R.'s Mexican restaurant just a few blocks away. Inman told me this afternoon that he is planning barbecue, burgers and milk shakes and plans to have the place open by the end of June. (Yes, yes, I know -- they all say that and then it gets to the point of inspections and everything slows down; so we'll see how close it comes.)

Inman said he is going to paint the inside of the building pink and then have a graffiti party for people to come in and finish the detail work. He's going to charge $5 for graffiti artists to participate and, because he hails from Alabama, donate the proceeds to people in that state who have been affected by the recent tornados.

I'll let you know when the party will be, and when the restaurant is ready to start smoking.

Oh, and about the name of the restaurant -- better not write that one in stone just yet. Meiner and Inman have to hash out the legalities on who owns the name. My guess? This restaurant will not be called Big Pig when it opens.

And thanks to Deputy Dog Jen Dienst for snapping the photo here.


Cuba de Cuba is closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, especially to anyone who ate there, but Cuba de Cuba, the downtown bistro, has closed. In my review, I mentioned that I liked some of the aspects of the physical space, and that it was actually more of a restaurant than I thought it would be, but the service and the food were lacking.

Several of my sources told me that Cuba de Cuba’s owner had been trying to sell the business almost from the time it opened. Apparently a buyer was found. The windows are covered with black plastic sheeting, so look for something else to open there soon.