Monster Mash, a "mask-for-aid ball," to benefit restaurant recovery

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Monster Mash

The Restaurant & Allied Partnership of Central Florida, or RAPCF (which I think is pronounced rap-chif but don’t hold me to that), is sponsoring Monster Mash, a Mask-for-aid Ball to support restaurant recovery. The event is Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Dr. Phillips House at Lake Lucerne. Dr. Phillips won’t be home.

Monster Mash will feature local restaurants and other participants serving signature dishes along with beer, wine and cocktails. Among the venues participating are:

Newsy Nuggets: A new hotel (and restaurant) at UCF and other stuff

Written by Scott Joseph on .

celeste drawing

The University of Central Florida long planned for a hotel on its campus. Last week, the Celeste Hotel finally opened, part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio of independent hotels.

And with the hotel comes a new restaurant for East Orlando: Aurora (there’s a lot of super-terrestrial branding here). It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and has an American menu under the direction – or as the hotel’s website puts it, the “inspiring culinary genius” – executive chef Mike Trudnak. Trudnak has also been the e.c. at at the contradictorily named Orlando Lake Mary Marriott.

Look for shrimp & grits, grilled skirt steak, pork tenderloin and a breakfast item called the Metro Pileup. Brilliant.

  • FK Your Diet, a breakfast and lunch restaurant, has taken over the former McGinnty’s Irish Pub on Hansel Avenue south of SoDo (SoSoDo?). The FK is for foster kids, which doesn’t make as much sense as what you originally thought it meant. But owner Doug Miller, who grew up a foster kid himself, has pledged to donate five percent of the restaurant's revenue to agencies that deal with foster children. There are two other FKYDs, in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

New date added for Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Foodandwine limited

Due to popular demand, as the saying goes, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin has added a second date for its Food & Wine Classic: Limited Edition, part of its Sip, Savor & Stay Saturday events during the month of October.

The new date is October 30, and a limited number of tickets are available only as part of a one-night package. Prices start at $395, which includes two tickets to the event, which runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and features food and beverages from the resorts’ top restaurants.

Originally, the Food & Wine Classic – dubbed Limited Edition because it’s a more intimate, VIP-quality event this year – was to be held only on Saturday, Oct. 17. The Sip, Savor & Stay promotion was to conclude with an Oktoberfest-inspired biergarten on Saturday, Oct. 24.

But with the added date the event will stretch to the end of the month.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic has become one of the area’s best events, running two days during October and attended by hundreds. But due to the restrictions made necessary by the pandemic, a full-blown event was not possible.

But rather than cancelling outright – and recognizing that cabin-fevered locals were anxious for staycation opportunities – the Swan and Dolphin team developed the Sip, Savor & Stay events, which have obviously been quite popular.

Packages may be booked by calling 888-828-8850.

Newsy Nuggets: Cooking class, classy French, and Yelp fights racism

Written by Scott Joseph on .

tapatoro interior

Here’s something to do, and I know you’ve all bee looking for something to do.

Tapa Toro, the tapas and Spanish restaurant, is hosting a cooking class on Oct. 15 as a farewell to Hispanic Heritage Month. The class will be limited to 12 participants to assure social distancing. The class and the eating of the class project will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the restaurant at 8441 International Drive. Cost is $54 plus tax and tip and reservations are required. Make them here.

  • Chefs de France has reopened at Epcot.
  • The Ravenous Pig is opening its beer garden Friday at 4 p.m. If you’re not available then, stop by beginning at noon on weekends. Work is still being done on the mobile kitchen for the outdoor space. In the meantime, food will come from the restaurant’s kitchen.
  • Michael Collantes, the affable owner of Fillipino Taglish at Lotte Plaza Market, is partnering with Denni Cha of Kaizen Izakaya to open Soseki, an omakase restaurant next door to Vines & Forks at the Wine Bar on Fairbanks Avenue.
  • Yelp, the crowd-sourced review site that people love to hate, unless those people happen to own a restaurant, in which case there is no love, has announced a new initiative to alert the public to businesses that have been accused of racism. According to Yelp’s website, if an incident involving racism occurs it will issue a “public attention alert.” If there is “resounding evidence of egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee, such as using overtly racist slurs or symbols” the business’s listing will be stamped with an “accused of racist behavior” alert.

Seeing as how the restaurant reviews on Yelp are always honest and fair, I can’t imagine anything going wrong with this new alert system.

  • Orlando Meats is moving to Winter Park. The Virginia Drive butcher (and maker of a really terrific burger) will vacate its cozy space next door to Santiago’s Bodega at the end of the year and take over the more sizable digs that most recently was the home of Todo Sushi at Ravuadage Winter Park.
  • The space that briefly was Earth Fare, an organic grocery store in SoDo, will become...Earth Fare. The grocer closed all of its stores nationwide earlier this year, about the same time that Lucky’s Market’s luck ran out. A new ownership group that includes former Earth Fare management is apparently behind the reanimation. No date announced for reopening, but it’s not like they have a lot to do to the space – it was practically brand new when it closed.