Cuisiniers celebrates 21 years as one of Central Florida's premier caterers

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Today we salute our friends at Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine and Events as they celebrate 21 years as one of Central Florida’s premier catering companies.

In the video below, executive chef Jamie McFadden talks about the journey from a small company with just a few employees to one with a fleet of six trucks transporting food to up to 30 events each week.

I first experienced McFadden’s food in 1992 when he opened his restaurant, Mimi’s Cafe, in Longwood. It was a small place but it was clear that McFadden had a talent for creative cuisine. His crab cakes were especially memorable. In fact, they’re still one of his most popular items at Cuisiniers, which goes through almost 800 pounds of crabmeat every year.

Congratulations to McFadden and all the staff at Cuisiniers. Here’s to many more years of creatively catered events — and more and more crab cakes.

Bullet Point Buffet: More on Cinco and more to the Pointe

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Cinco 5

  • As reported earlier this week, Cinco Tacos + Tequila closed after little more than seven months. Following that news, one of the owners, Greg Pranzo, told other members of the media that the restaurant would be moving. However, my sources tell me that isn’t likely. Also probably not happening: East Hampton Bait & Tackle, which Pranzo had planned to open, last November, in the former TR Fire Grill space. Don’t confuse this restaurant with the Hampton Social, which is still on track to open this year at Pointe Orlando.
  • Speaking of Pointe Orlando, Hopdoddy Burger Bar will open Monday, Feb. 18, in the former Funky Monkey space.
  • Don’t leave the Pointe yet — Lotus Asia House will open there Thursday, Feb. 21. It goes into the former Ra Sushi spot.

Celebrate Carnevale at Maria & Enzo's

Written by Scott Joseph on .



New Orleans has Mardi Gras but Venice has Carnevale. And so does Maria & Enzo’s.

From February 22 through March 5 (that’s Fat Tuesday), our friends at the beautiful Disney Springs restaurant will be hosting nightly celebrations in the tradition of the Carnival of Venice. There will be costumes, singers, stilt walkers, jugglers, mimes, face painting and folk dancers.

And, of course, the terrific Italian food that the restaurant is known for. In addition to the regular menu, Maria & Enzo’s is offering a special Feast of Carnevale that includes an amuse bouche; ciabatta, grissini (those tasty breadsticks) and focaccia; chef’s selection of pasta, served family style; antipasti; secondi; and dessert. All for $45 per person, which is a great deal for this quality of food (even without the entertainment).

Reservations are recommended. Go to Maria & Enzo’s website or call the restaurant at 407-560-8466.

And here’s something interesting. The origin of the word carnevale, and thus the English word carnival, is from two Latin words that mean “meat” and “remove.” So the Italians celebrate with this annual festival up to the beginning of Lent when they have to remove meat from their diet.

You don’t have to be observant to be a part of the celebration. Grab your mask and put on your favorite harlequin outfit and join in the fun.

Valentine's, Galentine's or Palentine's: It's a big, not-big dining day for restaurants

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Valentines Bacon Final

Valentine’s Day has to be one of the worst days of the year for restaurants. Yes, most of them will have their reservation books maxed out, the dining room fully committed, as they say. But unlike other big dining occasions, Mother’s Day or Christmas or New Year’s Eve, they won’t do as much business.

Think about it: Most of the tables will be two tops, couples out for a romantic meal. So tables that on other evenings might have more butts in seats, also as they say, will be half set.

One exception might be a recent movement for groups of women to go out together on Feb. 14 for a Galentine’s dinner. My understanding of the concept is that it’s supposed to ameliorate the disappointment of being without a significant other on a day dedicated to romance.

I wonder if any guys have thought about organizing a Palentine’s dinner? You know, a boys night out, maybe take in a buddy movie, have a few brewskys, then go have dinner at a nice restaurant with low lighting and soft music to see if there are any Galentine groups they can meet up with.

I’m not saying that restaurants don’t welcome the extra business. Especially when it falls on a weeknight, Valentine’s Day can still be a better than average day of business.

And there are plenty of restaurants going all out to attract yours, whether it's you and your boo or you and your bros. Or BFFs. Or whatever. Here's a sampling: