Bullet Point Buffet: Opening, Closings, Other Stuff

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Mx Taco collage

  • Ryan Manning, chef and owner of MX Taco in the Milk District, is already planning the popular taqueria’s second location. He plans to take over the Waterford Lakes space previously occupied by Le Crave. He’s looking to open by Sept. 16, which is Mexican Independence Day.
  • Oh, Le Crave has closed. It was a French restaurant, apparently
  • Look for a new concept to move into the space on Lake Ivanhoe previously occupied by Mesa 21. Faiyaz Kara of the Orlando Weekly reports that the owners of Local Butcher & Market and the Porch, both on Orange Avenue in Winter Park, will open Russell’s on Ivanhoe. The lakefront park at one time was known as Russell’s Point; I wonder if there’s a connection.
  • Oh, Mesa 21 has closed. Its demise has been foretold for months, and I know lots of local restaurateurs had considered taking over the space before choosing someplace else. Surprising, because it’s arguably one of Orlando’s best restaurant settings, even with the I-4 Construction Without End across the water.

Delaney's Tavern Poised to Open in SoDo

Written by Scott Joseph on .

TAVERN DOORS 002

Hey, remember when Doc’s Streetside Grille closed? Well, do you even remember Doc’s?

If so, do you remember when plans were announced that the group of buildings where Doc’s was located would be rehabbed into a boutique hotel with a ground-floor restaurant called Delaney’s Tavern, all to open in 12 to 14 months?

You’re forgiven if you don’t recall any of that because I first told you about it at the beginning of 2016.

But my how time flies, and the hotel and restaurant are now poised to open, perhaps — just perhaps — around Labor Day. (Yes, this year.)

Matchbook Memories: Le Cordon Bleu

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Matchbook cordon frontMatchbook cordon back

Matchbook Memories is an occasional series or restaurant remembrances based on matchbooks picked up at host stands from around the world, and especially Central Florida.

The building that now houses Ravenous Pig, and before that its sister restaurant Cask & Larder, for many years was home to what many considered to be one of the area’s swankiest restaurants: Le Cordon Bleu.

It was owned by Swiss-trained chef George Vogelbacher and his wife, Monique, who ran the front of the house. Its menu, of course, was classic French. It seems odd now but when I first arrived in Orlando in the late eighties, there were few restaurants specializing in French cuisine. By that time, Le Cordon Bleu, which predated the now-defunct local chapter of the cooking school with the same name, had been around for a couple of decades, since 1968.

I first reviewed the restaurant in early 1989, during my first year at the Sentinel as I made my way around to check out the longtime local favorites. My review has been lost to the electronic gods who oversee newspaper archives, but I remember my assessment was less than a rave. More than the food, I took issue with the decor, which I recall featured a lot of red-flocked wallpaper. I seem to remember having a discussion with my editor about whether or not I could use the word whorehouse. I could not. I might have gotten the words French cathouse past the copy desk.

New Location for Norman's Announced

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Bravo exterior

The owners of Norman’s, the elegant restaurant in its final days as a tenant at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, announced Saturday evening that it will relocate to Restaurant Row. The Norman Van Aken headed concept will move into the space formerly occupied by Bravo! Cucina Italiano at the Dellagio Plaza.

The announcement was made at a “Movin’ on Out” dinner at Norman’s that was prepared by visiting and local celebrity chefs. According to an attendee of the dinner, partner Thomas Wood announced the move and said, "It's going to be the most extravagant restaurant in Orlando because we have something to prove.”