Newsy Nuggets: Nami; W; Bar Italia

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Tavistock Restaurant Collections Nami copy

Tavistock Restaurant Collection previewed its opening-this-summer restaurant Nami at the Orlando Wine Festival & Auction last weekend. The newest restaurant will be in the Lake Nona Wave Hotel, which also has Bacán and Haven restaurants.

Nami, which should not be confused with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Orlando, will feature “modern interpretations of traditional Japanese cuisine.” Staffers at the preview, held on the Da Vinci Lawn of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes Saturday afternoon, were serving tuna handrolls, best eaten quickly in the 90-degrees-plus heat. One of the servers estimated an opening in about eight weeks.

Speaking of hotels, Orlando is getting a W Hotel, to be built next to Epic Universe. We already have a B Resort, so I’m looking forward to representation from the rest of the alphabet.

Bar Italia, a restaurant with two locations in Ohio, has opened a third in Winter Park Village. The restaurant’s website notes that the menu has “exquisitely prepared rustic, Italian-American fare and features a choice of primis, salads, pizzas, fresh house pastas, house-made sauces, and secondi (entrees).” It also states: “Familiar dishes like Classic Chicken Parmesan, Bucatini Bolognese, and Spicy Vodka Rigatoni are elevated to a new level,” although the newly redesigned space in one story. Other Florida locations are due to open soon in Lakewood Ranch and Naples

Word on the street (the street being Church) is that a fairly large sports-themed restaurant located in a historical building not too far from Amway Center will close soon. Sorry I can’t be more specific. I can’t even tell you the type of animal in its name.

Science of Wine is April 22

Written by Scott Joseph on .

SoW 2022 glass

The Science of Wine, the popular annual event at the Orlando Science Center that makes drinking educational, returns on Sat., April 22, from 7 to 9 p.m.

SOW is a fundraiser for the Science Center and its mission to “inspire science learning for life.” Early bird tickets are available for $110 per person through March 31 and then go up to $125.

This is a walkabout affair with wine-pouring stations, educational exhibits and food from local restaurants. This year will feature a special presentation on pairing wine and cheese by Florida Dairy Farmers, who will discuss making choices based on acidity, alcohol content (presumably in the wine) and fat (presumably in the cheese). There will not be a quiz afterwards but I’m pretty sure you’ll get to consume the course materials.

There will also silent auction items, including a round-trip flight for two on WestJet and a two-night stay at the Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk.

Follow this link to purchase your early bird tickets.

Here are some pictures from previous Sciences of Wine. All photos, including at top, from Roberto Gonzalez Photography.

Newsy Nuggets: Burger edition

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Graffiti College Park

The College Park Graffiti Junktion will be scrubbed away Sunday. The burgerie, which opened in 2010, was the second location for the local mini chain. The first was in Thornton Park on East Washington Street. That one opened in 2008 in the space that is currently occupied by Cavo’s Kitchen and Bar. The Thornton Park GJ moved down the street to the corner of Summerlin Avenue in 2017, taking over the former Wildfire barbecue restaurant building.

At that time there were 10 Graffitis Junktion in operation. After Sunday there will be four remaining. The downtown Orlando store, on Church Street, closed in 2019 and is set to be home to a new taco concept.

Graffiti Junktion is known for its substantial burgers, loud music and louder decor.

Here’s a fun fact: before Graffiti Junktion, that College Park address was home to K Restaurant.

Pom Pom's to drop sandwiches at night in favor of cold noodles

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Pompoms extPom Pom's Teahouse & Sanwicheria, via Facebook

Citing a change in the nighttime eating habits of the dining public, Pom Moongauklang, the owner of Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria in the Milk District, will begin offering a completely different menu for dinner.

“People have stopped eating sandwiches at night,” she said in a phone interview Wednesday.

So starting April 1, the popular restaurant will feature an array of cold noodle dishes that are popular in Asian countries. Moongauklang said that although many Central Florida Asian restaurants often will feature a cold noodle dish on their menu, there isn’t one that specializes in them, offering an array of styles, ingredients and flavors. “I’m surprised there’s not a place doing it.”

“I’m a ramen head myself,” she said of the Japanese hot noodle soups that have become so popular in the last several years. “But if it’s 80 degrees at night I want something refreshing.”