Menagerie/RusTeak Owners Plan New Restaurant in Former Dexter's

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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The owners of downtown Orlando’s Stubborn Mule and Menagerie Eatery & Bar, as well as RusTeak restaurants in Ocoee and College Park, are opening a new restaurant in the space vacated by Dexter’s of Windermere.

Jonathan Canonaco and Brian Buttner are calling the new restaurant Feather & Quill and it is expected to be a departure from their current brands. It is being described as: “New American restaurant with Southern Italian and Asian Influences. Posh yet comfortable environment with an emphasis on craft cocktails & wine.”

Canonaco and Buttner were not available for comment Friday but a worker at the restaurant, which is at 4757 The Grove in Windermere, said that he thought they were trying to open soon, perhaps next week.

Stubborn Mule and Menagerie in downtown’s Thornton Park are bar-centric restaurants while RusTeak offers casual dining focused on steaks, seafood and burgers.

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K Restaurant and Wine Bar is Closing

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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K Restaurant and Wine Bar, the Italian trattoria made popular by local celebrity chef Kevin Fonzo, is closing. Its final day will be Saturday, Jan. 25.

Chad Phelps, who bought the business from Fonzo in 2017, said Thursday that he was selling because he has been diagnosed with cancer.

“The prognosis is good,” said Phelps, 61, but he wants to focus on the treatment ahead.

He said that there will be Closing Celebrations next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25, which will include bringing back some of the restaurant’s popular dishes. Bottles of wine will be discounted and there will be happy hour pricing on other drinks for the walk-in-only celebration.

Phelps did not know what would happen to the property, an old house converted to a restaurant, but said there were some parties interested in buying the business. The structure has been home to other restaurants, including JoAnn’s Chili Bordello and Nonno, another Italian restaurant owned by Fonzo. Because the K stands for Kevin, Fonzo retained some interest in the business, but he was unavailable for comment Thursday evening. After purchasing the business, Phelps expanded the seating to qualify for a full liquor license.

Phelps said that the 15 members of K’s staff had been told about the closing.

Restaurant Elize Names Executive Chef

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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Restaurant Elize, which took over the Rusty Spoon last year, has named Leon Mazairac executive chef. Mazairac was the 2017 winner, along with sommelier Goos van den Berg, of the Copa Jerez, a food and sherry pairing competition held in Spain, when he was then head chef of Restaurant Podium in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was also recognized in 2016 for his talent with a prize from French restaurant guide Gault et Millau, and has been the culinary host of a Dutch television show called BinnensteBuiten (Inside Out).

Mazairac’s LinkedIn profile lists his previous post as signature chef at Bernie’s Beachclub in Zandvoort, Netherlands.

Bullet Point Buffet: The International Edition

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  • Orlando’s Selam Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine was named to Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2020. The list is based on ratings and reviews on Yelp’s website. Selam was our Foodster Award winner for Best New Restaurant in 2018. Also on Yelp’s Places to Eat list: Southern Charm Cafe, Cape Canaveral; Daybreak Pleasant Street, Gainesville; and German Knoodle, St. Petersburg. Here's the full list.
  • In here, it will never be Friday’s again. The Crossroad’s TGI Friday’s has closed permanently. If you were to call that location’s phone number, you’d be placed on hold with elevator music. Permanently.
  • Seana’s, a Caribbean Soul Food restaurant, has opened at 719 Good Homes Road in Orlando.