Henrich Brestowski, owner of Chef Henry's Cafe, dies at 69
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[.]”