Matchbook Memories: The Skyline Restaurant and Piano Lounge in New Smyrna Beach

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Skyline Matchbook

The Skyline was a restaurant and piano lounge in New Smyrna Beach, not a city known for its skyline. But it was named not for a view of tall buildings but rather for its location at the New Smyrna Beach airport.

It was arguably the most upscale restaurant in town, though there weren’t a lot of restaurants vying for the title. Even when I reviewed it, in the Dec. 8, 1996, Orlando Sentinel, I noted that fine dining restaurants were becoming scarce. “The Skyline is a throw-back to the sort of restaurant that used to be described as continental, more for its atmosphere than its menu. Dining at the Skyline is like being transported back in time a bit, to when going out to dinner, even a simple dinner, meant putting on something a little dressier than jeans, sipping a cocktail before ordering and relaxing in the subdued hues of flickering candles while listening to a pianist playing Moon River.”

Newsy Nuggets

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Ava opens, a wine shop returns, new tenant in former Marlow's, and a brawl at the buffet.

Ava interior crowd

Ava MediterrAgean, the restaurant that has taken over the Luma on Park space, officially opens today, Feb. 4. But if Thursday evening’s preview event was any indication, I’d give them some time to get acclimated. I’m thinking maybe August.

Thursday’s event was supposed to be from 6 to 9 p.m. with some sort of a presentation for media at 6. About 20 minutes after 6, a large crowd was still queued up on the sidewalk in front of the newly renovated restaurant and weren't being let in. If there was a presentation or announcement, I didn’t hear it. My only guess for the delay was that it was a South Beachy sort of technique to convey exclusivity. I’d love to tell you what the place looked like once I got in but there were so many people crammed inside that I couldn’t get a good look or photograph.

One observation: those horrible automatic bathroom doors have been replaced with ones you have to pull to open.

Food, wine and cocktails were being passed around, but I bolted.

Tornatore's offers pre-Valentine's Day special

Written by Scott Joseph on .

tornatores ext

As I mentioned in a previous article of restaurants offering Valentine’s Day specials, Feb. 14 falls inconveniently on a Monday this year. But you say, “Scott, true love is love every day of the week,” to which I reply, “Many restaurants aren’t open on Mondays.” (You don’t have a pithy retort, do you?)

The popular (and quite romantic) Tornatore’s in College Park is such a restaurant. And not only are they not open on Mondays, they’re closed Sundays, too.

So Tornatore’s is offering a Valentine’s weekend special that will be available Feb. 11 and 12.

The menu will feature starter options of deviled eggs or French onion soup and entrees of braised beef short rib, roasted duck breast, or heart-shaped ravioli stuffed with lobster.

You can make reservations by calling 407-292-2248. Tornatore’s Cafe & Pizzeria is at 3818 Edgewater Drive, Orlando.

Valentine's Day Dining Options in Orlando

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Roccos dining room

February is breathing down our necks with its disturbingly cold breath. That means: 1) February could use a Tic Tac and 2) the clock is going tick-tock on getting your Valentine’s Day reservations in.

This year, Valentine’s Day will fall on Feb. 14, which is a Monday, the least romantic day of the week. But a few of our favorite restaurants are offering some Valentine’s Day special that will help you feel the love and impress your dinner date.