Bull & Bear Named 1 of OpenTable's 100 Best Restaurants

Written by Scott Joseph on .

bull and bear 1

Bull & Bear Steakhouse, the upscale restaurant at the upscale Waldorf Astoria Orlando, has been named one of OpenTable’s 100 Best Restaurants in American for 2018. Bull & Bear was the only Central Florida restaurant on the list and one of only four in the state. Other Florida restaurants cited are: Buccan, Palm Beach; Kyu, Miami; and La Nouvelle Maison, Boca Raton.

OpenTable, which for many years has been one of the top online reservation systems, compiles the annual list based on reviews of more than 28,000 restaurants submitted by over 12 million verified diners.

The list is presented in alphabetical order and not by rankings. The Bull & Bear entry notes that was recommended by 93 percent of the people who had dined there after making a reservation through OpenTable. It is also listed as Best Overall in Orlando. (Bull & Bear is one of the finalists for our 2018 Best Overall Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants. It was also a winner of our 2017 Best Steakhouse category.)

Bull & Bear is a second location for the original restaurant at the original Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Notably, the Manhattan steakhouse was not cited on the list. A couple of restaurants on the list of 100 do note multiple locations, such as The Capital Grille.

You can see the full list of OpenTable’s 100 Best Restaurants in America here.

Personnel Changes at the Swan and Dolphin

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Dan Herman Executive ChefThe Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has named Dan Herman executive chef from his previous role as executive sous chef. He replaces Robert Ciborowski, who left to take a position with a resort in South Florida.

This is a second major personnel change in the resort’s culinary department. Food and beverage director Tony Porcellini, who had been with the Swan and Dolphin since it opened, departed in August. Luciano Sperduto is now in that position.

Herman, at left, had previously been the Swan and Dolphin Resort’s executive sous chef. In his new role, he will oversee the two hotels’ 17 restaurants and food outlets as well as banquets and a staff of over 200. Before joining Swan and Dolphin, Herman was chef de cuisine at Arthur’s 27, a fine dining restaurant that was on the top floor of the Buena Vista Palace hotel.

Bullet Point Buffet

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Sustainable poster

  • David Moscoso, owner of New Smyrna Beach’s Third Wave Cafe, is inviting Cress Restaurant’s Hari Pulapaka to work together on a sustainable seafood dinner called Chefs for Fish. Cost for the five-course dinner is $95. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Third Wave Cafe & Wine Bar. Tickets here. Sorry, I don’t have an information on the first two waves.
  • The owners of the Hammered Lamb bar on Orange Avenue in the Ivanhoe District plan to break through the wall into the retail space next door and open a 24-hour diner called Jack & Honey’s. We’ll assume the retail space is unoccupied and that permission to expand has been granted by the landlord. Several months away.
  • Hey, do you enjoy banging your head against a wall? Are you a fan of feats of futility? Then you may want to nominate a Central Florida restaurant of chef for a 2019 James Beard Foundation Award. Deadline is Dec. 31. Cast your vote to the wind at this link.
  • King Bao, the Mills 50 monarchal bunner, has opened a second location at Alafaya Trail and U.S. Highway 50, an area no one has taken to calling Alf 50 as yet.
  • Last time I told you about the closing of Kokino in Bayhill Plaza. Looks like Kabooki Sushi will open a second location there. Others were interested in the space, but their names didn’t begin with a K.
  • Pita Pit in downtown Orlando has closed. It was one of the first in the area; I reviewed it in November of 2004. I said at the time that it reminded me of the movie The Snake Pit with Olivia de Havilland, probably because it was one of the first in the area to use the assemblage concept. Madness.
  • A chain called Pokéworks is coming to downtown Orlando, opening in the Morgan & Morgan building. Personally, I would have called the restaurant For the Poké.

Tokyo Soul at Dragonfly Dec. 6 & 7

Written by Scott Joseph on .



Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi, the very good Japanese restaurant at the Dellagio — and a Foodster Award winner for Best Sushi — is hosting a fun dinner event called Tokyo Soul. It will be offered on two nights, Thursday, Dec. 6, or Friday, Dec. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Actually, you’re meant to choose just one of those nights, not both, but when you consider the cost — $50 per person — you may just opt to go twice.

It’s called Tokyo Soul because the menu features classic Japanese dishes with a southern twist from chef de cuisine Dequane Stobbs. For example, the first course features Kenchin Jiro, a Japanese vegetable soup with braised daikon, served with Family-style Tempura Corn Fritters. Other selections include Beef Ribs braised 36 hours; Tempura Curried Hogfish; and the Chef’s Seasonal Omakase. See below for the complete menu.

Dragonfly, which originated in Gainesville, opened its Orlando restaurant in 2010. For some, its reputation preceded it. For others, me included, it was a refreshing surprise. It’s decor is modern and stylish and the ambience is youthful and vibrant. The food has been first-rate since the beginning and continues to be popular. (A Foodster winner, after all.)

You can reserve your seat for Tokyo Soul at this link with a $10 deposit. The $50 fee does not include tax or gratuity but it does include an adult beverage.

Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi is at 7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando. There’s easy parking, by the way, in the lower-level garage just beneath the restaurant.

Here’s the full menu that’s planned for Tokyo Soul: