Join Scott in Tuscany – 1 Room Left

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Tuscany one room

I like giving gifts for the holidays and I’m always careful to choose one for myself. I figure I’m worth it. If you’re the same way, I have just the thing for you: a trip to Tuscany.

Art In Voyage – Beyond Travel’s Food Secrets of Tuscany trip that I’m hosting next year is almost sold out. Only one room remains. Why not give it to yourself and come along?

We’ll start in lovely Florence with a food tour and a cooking class. And I have some favorite neighborhood spots I want to show you there. We’ll also go truffle hunting in the Arezzo region, visit Siena and Montepulciano, and stay at the luxurious Il Borro estate. There will be wine tastings, too, and two of our dinners will be at Michelin starred restaurants.

The dates for the journey are May 30 through June 6, and you can always extend to explore beyond Tuscany.

If you’ve never been to Tuscany, you owe to yourself to go. And if you’ve been, it’s time to go back.

Check the Art In Voyage – Beyond Travel website for details and booking information.

Holiday Dining: Restaurants Open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve

Written by Scott Joseph on .

christmas table

As always, Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide is compiling lists for holiday dining, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Follow the links to each page to find what the restaurants are offering.

In most cases, we’ve included only those restaurants serving special menus on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve because many restaurants are open those days anyway.

For Christmas Day, however, we’re listing any restaurant that has indicated it will be open on Dec. 25 whether it is serving a special menu or not. Some folks are just looking for a meal that day, and we’re happy to provide the service.

For others, a meal at a restaurant is an attractive option to entertaining family in their homes. So it’s especially nice that some restaurants and their staffs give up their holiday to serve others. If you dine out on the 25th, remember that most restaurants will be busy and you may have to wait a little longer for a table and for food to be served. Be kind – Santa starts making next year’s naughty/nice list right away.

For Christmas Day, you’ll find such delicious options as Raglan Road, Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, Tapa Toro, Taverna Opa, American Kitchen & Bar and others. Check them out then make your reservation early.

Restaurateurs, if you’d like to add your business’s details to the list, send the information to us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bullet Point Buffet: Brunch News and More

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Delaneys lounge

  • Delaney’s Tavern enters the brunch realm starting Sunday, offering a buffet of selections from chef Anthony Albino. Over the last few years, brunch menus have been trending toward á la carte, so a buffet style should be appealing. Cost is $39.99 per person and there are all-you-can-drink mimosa and bloodies options.
  • Tapa Toro, too, is changing its Sunday menu, now offering a bottomless brunch. Bottomless means all you can eat paella and does not – I can’t stress this enough – refer to the dress code. Cost is $25 per person and bottomless mimosas and sangrias are also available for $16, but you’re limited to two hours, so leave your sleeping bag at home.
  • You all ate a lot of Magical Dining meals this year, enough to send $306,772 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Orlando and Lighthouse Central Florida, the two charities chosen as the beneficiaries of the $1/dinner donation by Visit Orlando. I guess that means you ate somewhere around 306,772 dinners.

Holidays at Grande Lakes: Gingerbread School and Teddy Bear Tea

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Teddy Bear Tea

Our friends at Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes are in full holiday mode and Gingerbread School is now in session. At the school, you’ll construct your very own Gingerbread House under the tutelage of the resort’s pastry team. You’ll erect prebaked gingerbread panels on a wooden foundation and decorate it with candies and other goodies anyway you want to without having to worry about your homeowners association. And when it’s finished you can list it on Airbnb or just eat the whole thing. (Well, not the foundation.)

Gingerbread School is a popular annual event at the Ritz and several dates have already sold out. Here’s the current schedule:

  • Saturday, December 7th – FULLY COMMITTED
  • Sunday, December 8th – FULLY COMMITTED
  • Thursday, December 19th – 9am + 12pm + 3pm
  • Friday, December 20th – 9am + 12pm + 3pm
  • Saturday, December 21st – 9am + 12pm ONLY
  • Sunday, December 22nd – FULLY COMMITTED