Bullet Point Buffet: Pop in for a pop-up or sip some fantasy scotch

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Cuisiniers Bowl Event header copy

  • Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events is teaming up with East End Market to offer a “healthy lunch pop-up” on Friday, April 12, to celebrate the popping up of spring. The menu will feature bowl lunches that are regularly priced at $10 to $15 but for the event will be popped down to just five bucks. Sample bowls include vegan quinoa with roasted butternut squash; taco-spiced chicken with sofrito; and low-carb seared mahi mahi over napa cabbage. You can pop in for the lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando, but it would be best to pop over to the event’s webpage to preorder your bowl.
  • If brunch is more your thing, you may want to check out the Best Brunch Ever Cooking Class offered by chef Susan Ytterberg on Saturday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation House & Culinary Garden. It’s a hands-on class where you’ll learn how to make stuffed French toast, cloud eggs and asparagus frittata, among other things. Cost is $105 per person. Reservations here.
  • So apparently there’s something called Game of Thrones Scotch, eight variations, all single malts. If they leave a taste like the first two episodes of the HBO series did when I tried to watch them, I’ll pass. But if you’re a fan, you may be interested in the Game of Thrones Scotch Whiskey Dinner at Luma on Park on Monday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will feature eight courses, each paired with a whiskey. It’ll cost you $150 per person plus tax and gratuity or about 10 months of an HBO subscription. Call the restaurant for reservations.
  • The Orlando Weekly’s Faiyaz Kara is reporting that Outpost Neighborhood Kitchen is leaving its neighborhood in College Park come fall. That gives the owners plenty of time to find a place to relocate, if indeed that is what they intend to do.

Reading Between the Wines with Pulitzer winner Gilbert King is April 17

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Gilbert King

beneath a ruthless sun jpeg copyPulitzer Prize winner Gilbert King will be the featured artist at the 12th annual Reading Between the Wines event on Wednesday, April 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Orlando Science Center. The popular event is a fundraiser for the Adult Literacy League, which helps people 18 years and older to learn reading, writing, math and other basic skills in order to gain employment.

The event includes a walkabout food and wine tasting featuring area restaurants and wine vendors, as well as a silent auction. Among the restaurants that will be participating this year are Swine & Sons Provisions; 4Rivers Cantina Barbacoa; Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant; and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen.

Following the tasting, attendees can participate in a discussion with King about his books and writing process. The discussion will be moderated by the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell.

King was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for his book “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America.” He recently published “Beneath a Ruthless Sun,” which the Washington Post has called “riveting” and the Christian Science Monitor said was “remarkable.”

Individual tickets are $99 and can be purchased at this address. You may also call the Adult Literacy League at 407-422-1540, ext. 112

Bullet Point Buffet: A Manny's Makeover and mixing things up in a big way

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Mannys interior

  • Look for the Baldwin Park location of Manny's Original Chop House to close sometime in July or August and, after a 30 day or so redo, reopen as a more upscale steakhouse. It'll still be under the same ownership -- sorry to get your hopes up -- but I assume they'll get rid of the "Pump Boys and Dinettes" decor. The new name hasn't been finalized yet but it will be similar. Manny's Unoriginal Chop House? 

Monkey Mixer

  • Monkey Shoulder, a maker of a blended malt scotch whisky, will be pouring cocktails at Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Friday and Saturday (March 29, 30) from a rather large shaker. It’s called the Monkey Mixer, and you’d be forgiven for confusing it with a tony cement mixer. The 2400 gallon mixer is attached to the rear of a semi truck. Technically, I think you’d have to agree that although it’s in the shape of a shaker, the device is actually stirring the cocktail. Said cocktail will be the Mixed Up Monkey and may be sampled 5:30 to 10 p.m. Wouldn’t just just love to see the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile pull up next to that thing?
  • If you’d rather wield a more conventional shaker, you may be interested in attending the Master Mixology Class hosted by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of American on Sunday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. Registration is $50, which will get you in to all of the events that day, including an afternoon wine seminar, plus a $10 lunch coupon. It’s part of a Consumer Day outreach by the organization. Register here.
  • The people who own the Chai Thai restaurants will open Mai Thai in the former Artisan’s Table space on Pine Street in downtown Orlando. I told you that Artisan’s Table moved to 55 W. Church St., right? I wonder if the new tenants asked Artisan’s why they wanted to move. Or the Black Olive. Or Pine 22. Or Blue Smoke Burgers.

Local restaurants and chefs excluded from list of Beard Awards finalists

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Beard announcement

The finalists for the 2019 James Beard Foundation awards were announced Wednesday morning at an event in Houston. Unfortunately, Central Florida’s record of never having a semifinalist advance to the final ballot remains intact.

Central Florida restaurants and chefs were nominated in four categories this year, all national: Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant; Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was on the long list for Outstanding Service; Rabii Saber of the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Resort was nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef; and James and Julie Petrakis were co-nominees as Outstanding Restaurateur.

The Petrakises have been nominated multiple times previously in the Best Chef: South category. For the past two years, no local chefs were singled out in the category, even as a semifinalist.

One interesting note in the Outstanding Restaurant category: Jaleo in Washington, D.C., is a finalist. The José Andrés helmed ThinkFoodGroup opened its fifth Jaleo, the group’s largest, at Disney Springs last week. With five locations, Jaleo can be considered a chain, so it’s worth noting that the Beard judges are willing to include a chain restaurant as one of the country’s best.

Jaleo’s fellow nominees are: Balthazar, New York; FIG. Charleston; Quince, San Francisco; and Zahav, Philadelphia. (FIG and Quince should team up against the others.)

In the Best Chef: South category that has proved so elusive for Central Florida’s deserving chefs, the finalists are: Wishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, Miss.; Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, P.R.; Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans; Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans; and Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans.

The 2019 James Beard Awards Gala will be held in Chicago on Monday, May 6.

Here’s a link to the full list of award finalists.