Cinco has closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Cinco exterior

Well, it is pronounced sinko.

Cinco Tacos + Tequila has closed. The restaurant, which took over the former Carmel Kitchen Wine Bar in Winter Park, had been open only seven months or so.

Back in July, in those first weeks, Cinco was so packed that valet parking was almost mandatory. Who wants to valet park at a taco joint? But the crowds didn't last

My review, published on Nov. 15, after the new had worn off, may offer a clue as to why its popularity waned. “Unfortunately, much of what I had on my dinner visit was unexciting and bland. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good, like fill-the-parking-lot, wait-listed good.”

Cinco’s backers included former NSYNCer Chris Kirkpatrick and actor Mario Lopez. So, no, Cinco couldn’t be Saved By the Mario.

Wineries Announced for first Orlando Wine Festival and Auction

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Cos dEstournel logo

The organizers of the first Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, March 15 though 17, have announced the initial list of participating wineries, and it’s a stellar lineup.

The bulk of the 26 wineries are from Napa and Sonoma counties in California, but don’t look for any of the names you’d see on the wine shelves at your local supermarket. They include Accendo Cellars, Lail Vineyards, Peter Michael Winery and Rudd/Edge Hill. Bordeaux wineries Château Cos d’Estournel and Haut Medoc Selection will also be pouring. (See below for the complete list.)

They will take part in the vintner dinners on Friday of the festival, held in private homes, and at the event Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes.

The Orlando Wine Festival and Auction is to be the Magic’s signature fundraiser for the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation. "The Orlando Magic are thrilled to announce these initial 26 exceptional wineries as the first commitments to participate in our Inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction," said Magic CEO Alex Martins. "Most importantly, we are so excited to have them share in helping a very worthy cause, at-risk youth in Central Florida. We look forward to an amazing weekend of wine, food and charity.”

As previously announced, the list of chefs participating in the event includes:

Bullet Point Buffet: Celebrate the Year of the Pig

Written by Scott Joseph on .


  • Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, officially begins Tuesday, Feb. 5. So today is New Year’s Eve. I’m sure you’ll want to tune into CNN tonight to watch Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen in New York’s Chinatown making small talk and giggling for four hours. Each year is associated with an animal, and 2019 (on the western calendar) is the Year of the Pig, arguably the tastiest of all the Lunar calendar animals. Next year is the Year of the Rat, which you could have guessed because it’s an election year. To celebrate, go to your favorite Asian restaurant and order your favorite foods. (Japanese don’t observe it, but if that’s your favorite Asian food, go for it.) If you order long noodles, you must slurp them without cutting them or you’ll have bad luck. And, just so you know, on the first day of the New Year it’s considered bad luck to sweep or clean, lest you sweep away good luck. I like that one.
  • Yum Brands plans to open one of its Taco Bell Cantina restaurants, notably different from other TB’s because it serves alcohol. That should help cut out the middle man for many of Taco Bell’s regulars because I assume most of them only go there after a night out of drinking.

Appetite for the Arches is March 2

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Appetite Post1 TW

This has really turned in to a big event.

It’s Appetite for the Arches, a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, and it will be Saturday, March 2, at Rosen Shingle Creek, from 7 to 10 p.m.

This is a walkabout food and beverage event like many others, with food stations featuring some of the area’s top chef talent set up around a ballroom, each paired with a wine or cocktail vendor.

But this one has a big twist: All of the chefs have been challenged to create dishes using one or more ingredients found on the menu at McDonald’s. But remember, we’re talking about some really creative culinary talent, so expect something more than McNuggets a la king.

For example, past creations have included Charmoula Chicken, an appetizer fashioned out of chicken breasts, hash browns and pickled red onions from Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon. Or Chipotle BBQ Beef Enchiladas using steak, tortillas, iceberg lettuce, onions, cheese and barbecue sauce, a past entry from chef Kevin Fonzo.

This year’s participating restaurants include: