Rusty Spoon has been sold; Will become Elize

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Rusty Spoon interior

The Rusty Spoon, one of the area’s premier restaurants, has been sold by William and Kathleen Blake to Michelle Lagerweij.

The name of the restaurant will change in the coming weeks to Elize. Lagerweij, who is from the Netherlands, owns a restaurant called Cafe Elize in Utrecht. The menu is expected to change along with the name.

Reanna McNamara, who has been a chef at Rusty Spoon for some time, will take over the kitchen and the Blakes will stay on to assist in the transition. William Blake said Friday that he expects them to be around for three to four weeks.

Blake said they had been looking to sell the restaurant for a while and were introduced to Lagerweij by a broker. He said that he and Kathleen were very happy about the sale and were looking forward to having some time off. He added that they plan to stay in the area and will remain involved in the local culinary community.

The Rusty Spoon opened in 2011 and was an immediate critical hit. Kathleen Blake had previously been with Primo by Melissa Kelly and was one of the early proponents of the farm to table movement. Over the years she has established herself as one of the most celebrated and important local chefs.

Beefy King Foodster Award Presentation

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Beefy King Foodster

I stopped by Beefy King to present the owners with their 2018 Foodster Award plaque for Best Sandwich. Pictured from left are "Woody" and Shannon Woodrow and Sandee and Roland Smith.

And this is a reminder that voting ends Wed., July 24, for the Best Vietnamese Foodster category. Stop by the Foodster page now and vote.

Bullet Point Buffet: Hot wine news

Written by Scott Joseph on .

sixty vines dallas

  • Do you know one of the worst places to store wine? Florida. Dreadful conditions. They’re not all that great for humans, either. But good wine at least helps make the climate more bearable. So four locals — Adam Chilvers and Erin Allport of Winter Park’s Wine on the Way retail delivery service; Gary Chapdelaine of CRU Custom Wine Cellars; and Dr. Greg Schroeder — have teamed up to open Winter Park Wine Storage. The new business will offer climate-controlled storage lockers at temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees and humidity at 60 to 70 percent. (Sorry, it’s for wine only.) WPWS will have lockers for 10, 20 or 30 cases of wine, with prices of $35, $70 and $140 per month. It isn’t scheduled to open until the end of summer. What should you do with your wines in the meantime? Ice, ice, baby.
  • Sixty Vines, a restaurant that features wine on tap, will take over the vacated Kona Grill space in Winter Park. According to a press release, Sixty Vines features “seasonal cuisine inspired by the wines of Napa Valley,” so you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s based in Texas. In fact it has only two other locations, in Plano and Dallas (that’s a photo of the Dallas restaurant at top), with another planned for Houston. Winter Park’s will be the company’s first outside Texas. It won’t open until at least next spring.

No more Magical Dining Month?

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Jaleo kitchen

Well, here’s some shocking news: There’s no longer a Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month.

Calm down, calm down...it’s now to be known as Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining. I suppose the Month was dropped from the name because for the past several years the popular event has spanned more than the original month of September. Participating restaurants offer special MagDinMo, um MagDin, menus featuring three courses for a prix fixe of $35, plus tax and gratuity. As in previous years, $1 from each sale will go to local charities. This year’s beneficiaries have not yet been selected.

This year’s restaurant promotion will run from Aug. 23 through Sept. 30 and will feature a record number of participants: 120. Eleven restaurants are first-timers, including Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill and Jaleo by José Andrés.

The latter is bound to be a popular choice not just because it’s new and it’s the only restaurant on the list that’s owned by a chef nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (get busy, Wolf). Jaleo is offering five courses instead of just three for the same $35 fixed prix.

Other restaurants of note include: