Valentine's Day Dining

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Russels scallop vday

Valentine’s Day is just a little more than one week away and reservations are going quickly, especially in restaurants that are operating at reduced capacity.

But there are still some lovable options out there. Here are the details and special menus from some of our favorite restaurants.

Click on the restaurant name to see the specials.

Newsy Nuggets: A deli to pig out at, plus other new restaurants and locations

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Deli Desires

  • Orlando is getting a new deli. Of some sort. It’s called Deli Desires and has been operating as takeout and delivery operation through its Instagram page. It is opening softly each weekend at its new storefront in Colonial Town at 715 N. Fern Creek Ave., north of Colonial Drive. It’s purported to be a Jewish style deli but the first item on a menu it has posted in its Instagram feed is bacon, so I have my doubts. Another graphic collage states it is non kosher. No schvitz.

DD’s logo features a wolf, which makes me wonder if it’s an homage to the late lamented Wolfie’s from Miami. Or maybe Wolf’s in New York. Also late, not as lamented. Some of you out there, those of you who are old enough to qualify for a Covid vaccine, might remember that the New York Wolf’s opened a location in downtown Orlando in 1990. It was in the office building at 255 S. Orange Ave. and it was less than the real deal. Didn’t last long. Hope Deli Desires does better. It will operate Friday through Sunday to begin, with a limited menu. And takeout only from onsite ordering.

Celebrate Valentine's Day at Tabla

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Tabla exterior

Remember when love was the only thing in the air and you didn’t have to wear a mask to protect yourself from it?

Last year we managed to get past Valentine’s Day before the shutdowns began. This year, though there is encouragement as the vaccines continue to roll out, Valentine’s Day dining probably won’t look like it has in years past. But there will still be opportunities, whether onsite, on a patio or with a sumptuous takeaway, for you and your quarantine companion to celebrate on Feb. 14. I mean, if you’re still speaking to each other.

I’ll be sharing some Valentine’s Day specials over the next few days, but today consider the prix fixe menu from our friends at Tabla. It’s five courses for $50 per person and starts with an amuse bouche of mac and cheese love bites and concludes with a rasmalai cake dessert called The Climax (you may want to get that one to go).

There are also good selections for entrees – the full menu is below – all prepared with the expert care we’ve come to expect from Tabla and chef Sajan. Reservations are required and the special menu is available at Tabla Orlando and Tabla Winter Park. Contact the restaurant for more information.

Darden and Feeding America give Second Harvest refrigerated food pantry truck

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Darden food trucks

The good news: Darden Restaurants has partnered with Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the U.S., to provide assistance, including enhancing mobile food pantry programs with refrigerated box trucks, in five communities in the country with high levels of food insecurity.

The bad news: Orlando is one of the five communities.

Which could also be seen as good news, since Central Florida’s problem with hunger, especially among children and people of color, has been a well-known issue, one that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Through a $500,000 from Orlando-based Darden’s foundation and support from Penske Truck Leasing and Lineage Logistics, five food banks, including Second Harvest of Central Florida, will receive a 26-foot refrigerated truck to help get food to areas that need it. The other organizations receiving aid include: Feeding the Valley Food Bank in Midland, Georgia; Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, Shreveport; Mid-South Food Bank, Memphis; and San Antonio Food Bank.