Henrich Brestowski, owner of Chef Henry's Cafe, dies at 69

Written by Scott Joseph on .

BrestowdkisPhoto of Estera and Henrich Brestowski courtesy of the family.

Henrich Brestowski, the eponymous owner of Chef Henry’s Cafe, a popular Eastern European restaurant, died January 9 at AdventHealth Winter Park Hospital. He was 69.

Brestowski and his wife, Estera, opened the restaurant on Howell Branch Road in Winter Park in 1999. He was chef de cuisine and she was the pastry chef, noted for her strudels. In my review of July 25, 1999, in the Orlando Sentinel, I wrote:

“I don't know what the residents near Howell Branch Road east of Semoran Boulevard in Winter Park did to deserve Chef Henry's Cafe, but it must have been something good.

“Chef Henry's Cafe is a rare find, and let me say from the outset that I didn't find it on my own. Several readers put me on to the place with passionate letters singing the praises of the little cafe run by former Slovakia residents Henrich and Estera Brestowski. They were the kind of letters that make me roll my cynical eyes and read between the lines.

“'Authentic European cuisine,’ they said. Bratwursts on a hot dog bun, I thought.
‘Made from scratch,’ they wrote. Scratch is probably the brand name for a frozen food company, I mused.

“But I decided to pay a visit. Heck, I like brats as much as the next guy.

“What I found was authentic European cuisine, made from scratch, prepared and served by a family dedicated to promoting the foods of their homeland. And they're winning converts one plate at a time.

“They had me with my first spoonful of leber dumpling soup[.]”

Newsy Nuggets: Beer, beer, beer, Taste, chicken

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Science on Tap logo

The Orlando Science Center will host Science on Tap, a beer-centric version of its popular Science of Wine event, on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. in Loch Haven Park (yes, it’s an outdoor event; dress accordingly). Attendees will have the chance to sample sample-size sips from more than 30 breweries while exploring interactive science demonstrations. (No pop quizzes – that would be the Science of Soda.)

Also on tap, to use a trite phrase that somehow seems appropriate here so I’ll allow it, will be live entertainment, food trucks and games of cornhole and giant jenga, which I assume involves stacking very tall people.

General admission tickets are $60, $50 for OSC members and young professionals (assuming said professionals are over 21). There is a designated driver ticket available for $30. Those who purchase a ViP ticket for $90 get into the event at noon (it also gets you two ickets for a full pour of your choice, something not available to GenAd ticket holders). Food purchases are extra. Tickets and more information here.

This pizza is brought to you by...

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Stefano box

Flog favorite Stefano’s Trattoria in Winter Springs is taking an innovative approach to subsidize some of its costs. Although it’s a popular dining destination for many, it also has a lot of takeout orders, a sector of the business that likely ramped up during the pandemic and continues to be a strong suit.

But increased takeout business brings increased costs in the form of takeout containers and pizza boxes. Owner Alejandro Martinez saw an opportunity there and is offering the containers as advertising surfaces – mini traveling billboards – to local businesses and slapping flyers for local companies on the pizza boxes and to-go bags that are picked up or delivered to homes in Winter Springs, Oviedo, Casselberry and Winter Park. Very smart. And a win-win-win situation: Stefano's costs are defrayed; businesses get noticed; and customers get Stefano's terrific food.

Newsy Nuggets: Chef Battle, prime rib daily, Three Kings Day, Chicharrón Grill and the return of Winter Park Fish Co.

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Chef Battle flyer

The Chef & I, on of the more ambitious restaurant kiosks at the Hall on the Yard in Ivanhoe Village, is hosting a Chef Battle as part of its dinner series. Chefs Michael Morrison and Travis Chasteen will face off on January 25 at 6:30 p.m. to produce a four-course taste-off using shrot ribs, mahi mahi, pork tenderloin and Key West pink shrimp. And attendees will choose who cooked it better. Tickets are very limited and are $100, which includes gratuity. Tickets here.

If you’ve been waiting all week for the weekend so that you could go to Tap Room at Dubsdread for the prime rib that is not available during the week, you’ve wasted several days. The popular College Park restaurant now offers prime rib every evening.