Update on Case Involving Owner of Old Jailhouse

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Old Jailhouse interior window

Old Jailhouse opened in February. I reviewed it, favorably, here in April. And then, in May, its owner Anthony Sirica was arrested and charged with attempted sexual battery and indecent exposure. The allegations and resulting news stories had an immediate and negative effect on the restaurant’s business.

Still, Old Jailhouse has remained open and has earned further accolades, including being voted Best New and Best Overall in our 2019 Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants.

The announcement of the awards caused a resurfacing of the owner’s legal woes. Some readers questioned whether the Sanford restaurant should even have been nominated let alone “allowed” to win. (Foodster Awards are voted on by the readers.)

It made me wonder about the status of the charges and whether there has been any resolution. So I contacted Sirica’s lawyer, Longwood attorney David Webster, who spoke to me by phone Monday.

A Look Back: What Opened, What Closed, and What's Coming

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Jaleo exterior

Here are some of the highlights from 2019:

Significant openings (with links to their reviews): MX Taco opened in the Milk District with authentic regional tacos. By mid year, owner Ryan Manning would open a second location in Waterford Lakes and announce a third for 2020...Tamale Co. joined the expanding Hourglass District...The long-anticipated Delaney’s Tavern debuted and proved to be worth the wait...Wolfgang Puck returned to the area after an extended absence with Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at Disney Springs...Jaleo by José Andrés also opened in Disney Springs (coincidentally in about the same spot that Wolfgang Puck Cafe had previously occupied)...City Pub moved into the former North Quarter Tavern space...The H Cuisine brought a New York style meathouse to the Dr. Phillips/Restaurant Row district...Old Jailhouse opened in an old jailhouse in Sanford, bringing the culinary talents of Bram Fowler back to the dining public. The restaurant was voted Best New and Best Overall in our 2019 Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants...Trina Gregory Propst and Va Propst opened Sette Italian in the Ivanhoe Village...Mykonos, the popular Greek restaurant, returned to Longwood following a long absence forced by a lost lease and move...Toledo started serving from the top floor of the newly opened Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs...Chef’s Table and Tasting Room owners Laurie and Kevin Tarter took over Winter Garden’s Attic Door, expanded the menu and increased their culinary kingdom...American Social, a South Florida sports bar, took up residence on Restaurant Row...Hook & Reel started reeling in seafood fans in West Orlando...Tori Tori Pub, from Domu’s Sonny Nguyen, forever changed the notion of what bar food should be...Alex’s Fresh Kitchen changed the notion of what a cafe should be...And Proper & Wild and Hungry Pants fuel the plant-based cuisine craze.

Notable Revisits

Wolfe Tapped to Lead Kitchen at Tornatore's

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Tornatore and WolfeFrom left, Denny Tornatore, Jason Wolfe and Eric Freadhoff

Tornatore’s Pizzeria, the College Park Italian restaurant, has hired Jason Wolfe as its chef de cuisine. In a Facebook post announcing the hire, owner Denny Tornatore also said that Eric Freadhoff has been hired as sous chef.

Wolfe had previously been chef de cuisine at Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine and Events and sous chef at K restaurant. He had initially joined the culinary team at Dexter’s New Standard, the relocated and re-versioned Dexter’s of Winter Park, with fellow K alum Ryan McLaughlin prior to its opening but said recently that “it wasn’t a good fit.”

Freadhoff was a former sous chef at the Stubborn Mule in downtown Orlando and line cook at Prato. He also lists a stint with the Pie Car, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus’s kitchen wagon.

Tornatore’s, which was previously known as Caffe Positano, was featured in 2015 on the Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible, a reality show that attempts to rescue struggling restaurants. In his Facebook post announcing the new hires, Tornatore also teased the opening on an Italian market next to the restaurant at 3818 Edgewater Drive, Orlando.

A Thank-You Letter from Scott

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Dear Readers,

It might not look like it but it takes a lot to keep a website like this up and running. Much effort, yes, in term of research, writing and administrative duties, but also money. There are, of course, the costs associated with visiting each restaurant that is written about, and we all know how expensive that can be. But there also software costs and maintenance fees and ongoing payments to the hosting company that ensure the site is always online and can be seen and accessed.