Cafe de France has closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .


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Cafe de France, one of the oldest restaurants on Winter Park’s vaunted Park Avenue, has closed after 37 years. Owners Dominique and German Gutierrez made the announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page:

“After 37 years, we are announcing the closing of our beloved Cafe de France. Since 1985 we have gained lifelong friends from our employees, our patrons, and our partners. Our hearts are full of wonderful memories, and we consider our story a very successful one indeed!

Closing this chapter was not an easy decision to make. Like for many of you, this restaurant has been our second home and our second ‘child.’ A place of first dates, engagements, and all kind of celebrations!

“We appreciate you all more than you know for the continued support and love which kept us operating for 37 years - despite a few recessions and a pandemic to boot.”


Newsy Nuggets: Wine Bar George, Cask & Larder, Barnie's, Orange County Brewers, Keke's, Denny's, Kabooki and London House

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Wine Bar George ExtWine Bar George at Disney Springs

It was previously announced that celebrity chef Art Smith (Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’) will open a new concept called Sunshine Diner by Chef Art Smith in the still-under-construction Terminal C at Orlando International Airport. Back when we told you about that the projected opening date of the terminal was June, now it’s September. A delay at the airport; who would have guessed.

Now we have news that joining Smith with new venues at MCO will be fellow Disney Springsters George Miliotes and James and Julie Petrakis. Miliotes will have a version of his Wine Bar George there and the Petrakises will duplicate their Cask & Larder already in operation in Terminal 2. You’ll recall that Cask & Larder began its life in Winter Park in the space now occupied by sister restaurant Ravenous Pig. (Or maybe it’s brother restaurant; I didn’t look at the pig that closely.) The Winter Park iteration of C&L faded away when the airport restaurant opened. The Cask & Larder website now touts its “Farm to Terminal Cuisine.”

Newsy Nuggets: Good deeds, moving chefs, new restaurants and a closing

Written by Scott Joseph on .


I’ve often marveled at the generosity of the Central Florida culinary community and its willingness to donate, volunteer and participate in good causes. But here’s a new level of compassion.

Beginning this month, restaurants are participating in an ongoing Dementia-friendly Dining program, wherein family members and caregivers can bring people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to dine in a safe and welcoming environment. The program was founded by Dennis Dulniak, who was caregiver for his wife, Nancy. Dulniak started Dementia-friendly Dining a few years ago but had to suspend it when the pandemic hit. Nancy Dulniak died in January 2021.

But Dulniak is restarting the program so others can benefit. As it says on the organization’s website, “Sharing a meal out of the house reduces isolation, increases social contact, encourages opportunities for engagement, stimulation, communication and creates memories that will be shared among families and friends.”

The Meatball Stoppe had been one of the first restaurants to sign on before Covid-19 hit and is once again offering dementia-friendly hours from 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning May 10.

Oviedo’s Town House Restaurant will welcome families on Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. beginning May 4.

And Patio Grill in Sanford will have Dementia-friendly dining every second Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning May 10.

It’s a start, but of course more restaurants are wanted and needed. If you’re a restaurateur and would like to learn how you can offer special dining hours – or if you’re a caregiver who would like to learn more about the program – visit

Musical Chefs...Alberto Taboada was named executive chef for the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes in March. He oversees the newly reopened Primo by Chef Melissa Kelly, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen, and Knife Burger by John Tesar, which is now officially open, as well as other culinary operations. Taboada replaced Michael Dunton, who has been named executive chef at Rosen Shingle Creek.

Orlando Restaurants Open for Mother's Day

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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I’m not sure who was in charge of this year’s calendar, but having Mother’s Day come so fast after Easter was just bad planning. I want names.

But there’s nothing we can do about it now, and in case you haven’t noticed, Mother’s Day is just over a week away, May 8.

But luckily we have several good Mother’s Day dining options for you on our Holiday Dining pages.

Some of the highlights include:

  • A buffet with bottomless mimosas at the beautiful Hemisphere at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.
  • Tap Room at Dubsdread’s always popular spread featuring carving stations of prime rib and roasted leg of lamb.
  • A special a la carte menu at the the Ritz’s ritzy Knife & Spoon.
  • Brunch at Highball & Harvest, also at the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Brunch favorites and spritz cocktails at Primo at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes.
  • And a lavish brunch at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek.

Lots of other options to consider, too, but be sure to make your reservations right away. You don’t want to just show up with Mom on the eighth and not have a table. She’s just going to look at you with a look of disappointment, just like that time you told her you were going to finally get a job and make something of yourself and then took off to Aruba with a bunch of your friends and then had to call and ask her to send you money to get back home. You don’t want to see that look she had when you came through the door and slunk off to your room.

Here’s that link to the Mother’s Day dining listings again.