La Nuova Cucina to Close

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Update 9/28: The owners have decided to keep the restaurant open.

La Nuova Cucina, the charming Italian restaurant with a Brazilian flair, will close September 26. In a letter to suppliers, restaurant spokeswoman Ana Carvalho cited the health of chef/owner Paulo Baroni, as well as economic issues, as the reason. Baroni suffered a heart attack earlier this summer, which, compounded with existing medical conditions, limited his involvement in the restaurant. Baroni was also dealing with financial troubles in his native Brazil, where he also owns restaurants.

La Nuova Cucina is a participant in the current Orlando Magical Dining Month promotion. Diners should still be able to order from the special menu, as well as the regular menu, through the 26th.

La Nuova Cucina was a welcome addition to Orlando’s Restaurant Row. It was nice to have an intimate, independently owned restaurant among the larger, branded venues. Although it was short-lived, it will be missed.

First Bites Opening Reception will be an Intimate -- and Exclusive -- Gathering

Written by Scott Joseph on .

I’ve got some more details about the First Bites Opening Reception that will kick off the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. First Bites will be Sept. 30 -- the evening before the official opening of the festival. It’s beginning to sound like a pretty good party.

And well it should be for the $195 ticket price, not including the cost of getting into Epcot, which is sort of required since that’s where it will be. But it won’t be in the World Showplace, the gargantuan hangar of a venue where the Parties for the Senses are held. First Bites will take place in the Festival Welcome Center where, during the actual festival, many of the wine seminars and culinary demonstrations will be. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a more intimate setting, because it’s still a sizable venue, but it will be a more intimate gathering: whereas the PftSs attract 1100 guests each Saturday, the FBOR will likely have only 200-300 guests.

Special Invitation from Citrus Restaurant

Written by SJO Staff on .


Citrus Restaurant is hosting a book-signing to celebrate the publishing of "Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide," Thursday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. There will be complimentary appetizers, beer and wine. And Scott will be on hand to sign his book or just chat about the local dining scene. Click below for details.

Win Dinner for Two at Chez Vincent During Orlando Magical Dining Month

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Update: Winner of dinner for two at Chez Vincent is Chris Goff.

One more day -- or, as they sing in Les Miserables, One Day More -- until the start of Orlando Magical Dining Month, the September-long celebration of Central Florida restaurants. On every one of the 30 days that September hath, you can dine at some of our best restaurants from a Screen_shot_2010-08-30_at_10.14.51_AMspecial prix fixe menu of three courses for $30. For most of the participants, that represents a considerable bargain over the a la carte prices.

I've got an even better bargain for one of you. I'm giving away a Magical Dining Month dinner-for-two certificate to Chez Vincent, the charming French restaurant in Winter Park's West End. The drawing is this afternoon, and all you have to do to be eligible is sign up for my occasional newsletter. Just enter your e-mail address in the box you'll find on the right side of the screen and that's it -- you're entered. And not just for today's drawing but tomorrow's, as well, which is for dinner at The Ravenous Pig during Magical Dining Month. And all the drawings coming up in the next several weeks. I have lots of fun things to give away.