Newsy Nuggets: District dining, FaZe'd Subs, Meat cutaways

Written by Scott Joseph on .

sip and savor weeks logo copy

You can ease into Magical Dining this year with Sip & Savor, a promotion from Orlando’s Main Street Districts running Aug. 8 through 21. During that time, restaurants and bars within the 10 districts will offer food and drink specials. There are no set rules or even set menus such as you’ll find with MagDin, but you might find a special deal on a popular entree, such as Caramelized Cauliflower with Local Whipped Goat Cheese for $10 at The Chef & I (Ivanhoe District) or 25 percent off all taps at Pour House (Mills 50). You can see all the participating restaurants and drinking venues at the Sip & Savor website.

By the way, there’s a new district in town – West Lakes, which encompasses the area surrounding the Bowl formerly known as Citrus.

Popup quiz: Name all 10 Main Street Districts. (Answer after the last nugget.)

Newsy Nuggets: Chilean wine dinner, multiple cucinas, and clean restrooms (!)

Written by Scott Joseph on .

 Bacan wine dinner

If you haven’t yet had the chance to experience the very good (and Michelin recommended) cuisine at Bacán – and impressive art gallery and sculpture garden of the Lake Nona Wave Hotel – here’s your chance. The restaurant is hosting a five-course wine dinner with pairings by Chilean winemaker Ventisquero. The dinner is Aug. 2 and features a welcome reception at 5:30 p.m.. Tickets are $200 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations made by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 407-675-2000. (The menu is at the end of this article.)

The Community Paper’s Nick Georgoudiou reports that College Park restaurant PR’s Taco Palalce, which is not, and I can’t stress this enough, a real palace, is under new ownership and initiating changes. I’m not sure what they all are but a quick look at the website reveals that they now have clean restrooms. This is announced with an exclamation point, so it must be big news. Can’t wait to experience that (!).

Magical Dining returns Aug. 26 through Oct. 3

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Magical Logo 22

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, the popular annual restaurant promotion, returns this year, running from Aug. 26 through Oct. 3. During that time, participating restaurants will feature special three-course menus for a set price of $40.

Yep, even the cost of Magical Dining has gone up from last year’s $37; that’s an eight percent, so it’s roughly following inflation.

As in years past, Visit Orlando will donate one dollar from each Magical Dinner to a local charity (no inflational increase for them). This years beneficiary is The Able Trust, an organization helping to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In addition, Visit Orlando will donate $2,000 to one local nonprofit in each of Orange County’s six commission districts that also supports workforce development.

Local Flavor: Chef's Bruschetta from Tartini Pizza & Spaghetteria

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Tartini Bruschetta

When I recently revisited Tartini Pizza & Spaghetteria, I was impressed with the improvements new owners Oleksandr Nechyporenko and Alvaro Ramirez, who is also the chef, had made. And I loved Ramirez’s creative take on Italian cuisine. His Chef’s Bruschetta is a perfect example.

Ramirez has taken something that is usually no more than chopped tomatoes and basil with olive oil on toast and taken it to new levels. For starters, forget the tomatoes and basil. Instead, he uses creamy herbed goat cheese, arugula and fresh peaches. He tops it with balsamic pearls that look like oversized caviar. The spherification process is included in the online version of the recipe for those who like to dabble in kitchen chemistry. But, Ramirez says, you can also just drizzle some balsamic vinegar for a workaround.

Click here to go to the recipe.