News of Shipyard, City Fire, Indian Restaurants, Mucho and Mucho More

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Some newsy bits to close out January:

Anukul Hampton, the talented chef who most recently was cooking up a storm at Circa in Winter Park, has taken a position with Hilton Bonnet Creek.

Terrace 390 has named a chef for its impending opening. David Morrison, who has cooked at Gaylord Palms and in the

Shipyard Emporium was crammed with people at its grand opening Friday, January 28.
Florida Keys, will head the kitchen when the new bistro opens, probably in March. The 390 in the name is the address of the new restaurant in the Bank of America Building on Orange Avenue. By the way, those of you who were hoping a new restaurant would open at the top of the building in the space where Manuel’s on the 28th closed almost exactly two years ago (it was just after Valentine’s Day), you can stop holding your breath: that space is now an office. It was never meant to be a restaurant. When the building was originally constructed, in the late 1980s, it was supposed to be a board room. Does anyone remember the original name of the building? (Answer below.)


Of course the space where Terrace 390 will be was the longtime home of Harvey’s Bistro, one of the restaurants developed by Manny Garcia and his team. Garcia and company are currently putting the finishing touches on City Fire, the restaurant that will occupy the space previously held by an Urban Flats at the Dellagio plaza on Restaurant Row. The furnishings are in, the training is underway, and inspections are planned. A mid to late February opening is the target. Stand by.

Orlando Restaurateur Installed as President of Central Florida FRLA Chapter

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Eddie Nickell gives his acceptance speech at Funky Monkey Pointe Orlando Wednesday.
Eddie Nickell, co-owner of Funky Monkey Wine Company, Bananas Diner and the soon-to-open Vault Wine Shop, was installed as president of the Central Florida chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association in a ceremony last night. The festivities, which were held at the Pointe Orlando Funky Monkey, included the swearing in of the other board members. The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association represents the hospitality industry in Tallahassee. The Central Florida chapter is the largest in the state.


The Funky Monkey crew feted the members of the chapter with a buffet of the restaurant’s signature sushi as well as roast pork and beef and pasta dishes. Following the swearing-in ceremony, the restaurant put on a show of drag, featuring regular hostess Danielle Hunter and a cavalcade of female impersonators, as well as some real females and some males who didn’t try to hide the fact. I must say, it’s the first drag show I’ve seen with Bollywood dancers and a Mary Poppins impersonator! The crowd, which was made up of folks who can be pretty straight-laced at times, emphasis on the straight, seemed to enjoy it.

Kudos to Eddie Nickell for the great honor, and to his crew for putting on a fun banquet.


Bluefin Tuna Sells for $400,000 (Yes, Just 1 Fish)

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Tuna is one of the mainstays of the world's sushi bars, and bluefin tuna is considered the top of the line. Or net, as the case may be. Japan consumes over half of the world's bluefin tuna, but with its popularity growing globally, the bluefin is becoming overfished and its numbers dwindling. So that's why an auction last Wednesday in Japan for a hefty fish brought a whopper of a bid: $400,000, as detailed in this article from Reuters. Missing from the article is outrage for the overfishing and practices that claim the fish while still young -- and before they can reproduce. But that might come once the prices top half a million dollars for a single fish. Bluefin tuna is usually called hon maguro or toro on sushi menus.


Udipi Cafe Closes

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Udipi Cafe, the vegetarian Indian restaurant in Longwood, has closed. Besides offering another choice for vegetarians, Udipi also provided a taste of some of the more authentic Indian cuisine in the area. And no one there ever asked if you what temperature you wanted your food. If the dish was supposed to be hot, then, dammit, it would be hot. I remember how the rasam soup burned my tonsils as it made its way -- way too slowly -- down my gullet. It was wonderful.

Authentic, vegetarian, reasonably priced -- of course it was destined to fail. Click below to read my original review of Udipi from 2007.