Wave Asian Bistro
The space that held Cricketers Arms didn’t sit empty too long after that British pub closed. It’s now called The Whiskey, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that any place with such a name is more about the drink than about the food. But based on my recent visit, that isn’t the case at all.
Oh, it’s very serious about the drink part, especially with cocktails featuring the eponymous liquid. There is an interesting craft cocktail menu with some intriguing entries.
|Address||7563 W Sand Lake Road|
Whisper Creek Farms: The Kitchen
The folks at the JW Marriott recently opened two new entities, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen and Whisper Creek Farm: The Brewery.
You’ll notice The Kitchen as soon as you walk through the front door of the hotel. It’s just off the lobby, to the right. The Brewery is a little harder to spot. In fact, you’d need a staff person to escort you through the warren of corridors and passageways to the kitchen office where the vats, tanks and necessary gauges have been set up in a corner. It’s definitely not a show brewery such as the one at Cask & Larder.
But the Kitchen is on full display, and what it’s churning out is surprisingly ambitious. I say surprisingly because when it was first announced it was downplayed somewhat, as though it would be more of a bar-menu venue.
But while portions are meant to be more of the small plate size — or, reasonable portions, as I like to think of them — the items are well above the ranks of bar snacks....
|Address||4040 Central Florida Parkway|
White Wolf Cafe
This is a funky little place in Orlando's Ivanhoe Row district of antiques shops. When it first opened, in 1991, it was part cafe, part antique shop. But it was clear most people were coming for the sandwiches and salads than the collectibles, and eventually the cafe overtook the antiques store. The atmosphere may be more of an allure than the food, although most of it is quite acceptable. Still, most people see it as a fun meeting place than an eating place....
|Address||1829 N. Orange Ave.|
You would expect the pinchos at a place called Willie's Pinchos to be good. And they are. The barbecue skewers are impressively large, even before you consider the ridiculously reasonable three dollar charge. And the pork version that I had had a nice smoky flavor and a bit of sweetness from the barbecue sauce coating....
|Address||1718 N. Goldenrod Road|
Wine Bar George
Not your typical wine bar. It's two stories, serves some serious food, and it's all overseen by a certified master sommelier, George Miliotes, who loves to introduce his guests to new wines. If he makes a suggestion, take it....
|Address||1610 E. Buena Vista Drive|
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
I'll have to admit that my expectations weren't exactly high when I was invited to the Wine Barn in Winter Park to sample its line of pizzas. I mean, come on: It's called the Wine Barn, for crying out loud, and its main purpose is to sell wines in a somewhat warehousey sort of setting. The food has to be just a sideline, a distraction, a hobby. We're probably talking prefab Boboli-type dough with some slathered sauce and canned toppings, right?
No, not right. The pizzas here are excellent, some of the best I've had in Central Florida. And my reaction is not because of lowered expectations or, as a way of giving full disclosure, a placation to a business that advertises on SJO. These are some darned fine pies.
They're rustic pizzas that immediately brought to mind the sort that are served at Prato. There are two keys to their success. First is the flour, which is Caputo brand, imported from Naples (not the one in Florida) and is a 00, the finest grind (ratings are 1, 0 and 00). The pizza dough is made from scratch and allowed to rest for 24 hours before it is hand-stretched when the pizza is ordered....
|Address||959 W. Fairbanks Ave.|