Highland Manor

Written by Scott Joseph on .

New restaurant in Apopka (yes, Apopka) is a contender for list of Best Restaurants in Central Florida

Tell someone you’re going to Highland Manor and you’ll likely be met with a blank expression. But add, “It’s where Townsend’s Plantation used to be,” and they’ll probably nod in recognition. Of course, that only works on people who have lived in the area more than 12 years. Townsend’s Plantation, which as far as I know was never an actual plantation, has been closed since 1997.Highland manor

A number of businesses have tried to use the sprawling property, including an assisted living facility that was planned but never opened, and other restaurants. The latest was Captain and the Cowboy, the oddly named seafood and steak house whose food was not up to filling the large place.

Now comes Highland Manor, which, in its own way, is just as oddly named. (In fact it sounds more like an assisted living facility.) But it would seem to me that for the first time in a very long time -- possibly ever -- the kitchen of this storied establishment is turning out dishes that not only are worthy of attention from those in the Apopka area but also so creative and expertly prepared that lovers of fine food throughout Central Florida should consider the journey. This is truly a fine restaurant.

Pizza wars go into final stretch

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Our search for the best pizza in Central Florida is coming to a close. Voting ends at midnight August 31. Have you voted for your favorite yet?



Who has the best barbecue in Central Florida?

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Our search for the best pizza in Central Florida is rounding the last turn, and while we wait to see who will wind up with the most votes, it's time to start thinking about our next big search. How about barbecue?

This time I'm asking for nominations. There are 12 slots on our poll, some will be filled by the usual suspects, but I want to hear from you which 'cue joints you want to see included.

Click below to leave a comment (you must be logged in to comment). I'll take all nominations into consideration.

The barbecue search will begin shortly after the pizza war ends. Voting in the pizza search continues through Aug. 31 and I'll announce the winner on Sept. 1.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Steak is once again ready for prime time.

It wasn't too long ago that the beef industry was reeling from studies that suggested too much beef in one's diet was not a good thing. Today there are some who say we can eat as much as we like.

That may be why we are surfeited with new steakhouses. They're opening up in the kinds of numbers that Italian restaurants did a few years ago. And even some of those Italian restaurants are retooling menus to offer bisteca and meat chops.

The trouble I had with many of those so-called Italian restaurants was that many of them simply boiled pasta, threw some tomato sauce on top and called it Italiano. It takes people who know Italian food to do it well. And it takes people who know steaks to do them well -- or medium or rare -- for that matter.

Fleming's knows steaks. And if the crowd that crammed the new restaurant in Winter Park on a recent Saturday evening is any indication, Central Florida meat lovers are showing their appreciation.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar serves USDA prime corn-fed beef. The quality of the beef is evident with the first taste. But that quality doesn't come cheaply. Fleming's should be classified in the high-end category of steakhouses.

Outback is the corporate parent of Fleming's . But there's not a bloomin' onion on the menu here. And I can't recall the last time I was in a restaurant with this many people and not a child in sight. Which is not to say it's a nice, quiet place to have dinner, but we'll come back to that.

The steaks are, as I mentioned, quite good. On my first visit, I had the bone-in ribeye ($31.95), a 22-ounce steak with a charred crispy outside and the juicy redness of a precise medium-rare inside. On another visit, the bone-in New York strip ($33.95), a 20-ouncer, was cooked just as beautifully. Both steaks showed the classic qualities of the cuts, the ribeye with its mouth-filling fat and the strip with its coarse-yet-tender texture.

There was an argument at my table as to whether the veal chop ($27.95), a 14-ounce beauty, could rival one seared in the memory from Commander's Palace in New Orleans. I'd love to participate in a chop-off, and I might put my money on Fleming's .

But things went sour when I ordered the chef's mixed grill, market priced at $31.95. It featured a small filet as well as a piece of swordfish and crab legs. The steak was fine, but the swordfish was unpleasantly close to raw. And who knew crab legs could be that small? Not only were they puny, the meager amount of meat that could be extracted -- no cracker was provided and they were inadequately split -- was mushy and tasted of salty water. Tiny and briny. Did I mention Fleming's is a steakhouse? If there's a seafood eater in your party, beware.

Side dishes are extra. I liked the creamed spinach ($5) with its parmesan sauce, but the mashed potatoes were not improved by the celery root and horseradish.

Crab cakes ($11.95) were the hit of the appetizer list. They were substantial disks of crab with a slightly crisped crust, served with a delicate sauce of red pepper and lime butter.

"Wicked" Cajun barbecue shrimp ($10.95) were too garlicky, and the sauce had an unpleasant oily quality. Calamari ($8.95) had a Thai flair, deep-fried and drizzled with a sweet chili sauce and accompanied by crispy rice noodles.

I also sampled a salad, the wedge ($6.50), a huge hunk of iceberg lettuce topped with copious amounts of blue cheese.

Two of the desserts, chocolate lava cake ($7.95) and cheesecake ($6.95), were delicious, the former with a richly bitter chocolate sauce and the latter with a slightly crumbly texture. A cheese plate ($9.95) was an unimpressive array of sliced cheeses served too cold.

The newly constructed restaurant features a large main dining room with an overflow room that can be partitioned for private groups. The kitchen is open to the dining room, and the noise from the cooks combines with the cacophony of a roomful of carnivores. The result is a leonine roar that reverberates off the high ceilings and tortoiseshell light fixtures.

I was impressed with the service; when there were problems they were dealt with promptly and with certainty.

Fleming's wine list is impressive and features 100 wines by the glass. Few could be considered cheap.

Indeed a dinner here is a costly evening. But that didn't seem to matter to the hordes that waited as much as an hour -- even with a reservation -- for their chance to pay. Behold the power of good steaks.

Ruth's Chris

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Orlando’s first Ruth’s Chris Steak House opened in 1990 in the very odd location of the second floor of the  Interior Décor Center on Douglas Avenue in Altamonte Springs. It was a beautiful restaurant with trappings befitting the upscale chain.
The food, however, was disappointing. Steaks were overcooked, steaks were undercooked, food was greasy, food was dry. And it was then, as it is now, expensive.
When I reported my findings, the founder and owner, Ruth Fertel, was furious. She took out a half-page ad disputing my review and touting the restaurant’s emphasis on quality. In the meantime, she dispatched her “kitchen Gestapo,” a term used by her publicist, from the headquarters near New Orleans to the Orlando restaurant where they found the ovens had not been properly calibrated, which explained the miscooked steaks.
Things got better, though to my mind never good enough to be considered the best steakhouse in the area. The original Central Florida location closed in the summer of ’99 and later that year a new Ruth’s Chris opened in Winter Park Village. A couple of years after that a second area Ruth’s opened on the nascent Restaurant Row.
Then, following the devastation of hurricane Katrina to the New Orleans area, Ruth’s Chris Steak House corporation moved its headquarters to Lake Mary (although the company’s Web site says it lives in Orlando). And not far from the home office, a newly built flagship restaurant has opened. It’s a large building, sufficiently upscale though devoid of the usual steakhouse trappings of dark woods and red carpets. The main dining room has a high, rounded ceiling that has the effect of being inside a Quonset hut. Along the sides of the room are cubby-hole booths scalloped into the walls. The décor has a post-modern feel.
I wonder what Ruth would think.
Fertel died in 2002, and in August of 2005, just two weeks before the storm, Ruth’s Chris became a publicly traded company on NASDAQ. It seems the staff has the concerns of the shareholders in mind. A meal at Ruth’s has always been an expensive proposition, but my recent experiences at the Lake Mary restaurant were clouded by instances of strong-arm sales tactics obviously designed to increase the company’s bottom line.
For example, on my first visit my party of six had no sooner been seated than a young woman appeared tableside holding two large bottles. She announced that we had a choice between sparkling water and still, and then without so much as taking a breath she said she would start with the ladies and asked one of my guests which one she preferred. I intervened – it turns out we also had the choice of tap water.
A few minutes later I ordered an array of appetizers for the table. The waiter congratulated me on my choices but said I had failed to order his favorite, the calamari, which he proceeded to describe in detail. When he was finished, he asked if I wanted to amend my order to include the squid. I didn’t anticipate him joining our group, so I didn’t find it necessary to order his favorite appetizer.
Instead, we made do with “osso buco”  ravioli ($11.95), crab cakes ($17.95), shrimp remoulade ($14.95) and barbecue shrimp ($11.50). The ravioli were wonderful, saffron-infused pasta pillows filled with a creamy blend of veal and mozzarella. And both shrimp dishes were good, based on large, firm yet tender shrimp. But the crab cakes, at nearly nine bucks, each a disappointment.
I did order the calamari ($12.95) on another visit just to see how fabulous it might be. It wasn’t. The fried squid were doused with a sweetish Thai chili sauce that rendered the breading a soggy mess.
Whoever is in charge of cooking the steaks in Ruth’s newest kitchen, he or she must have a special affinity for New York strip ($37.95). On both visits those cuts were cooked perfectly, and the meat showed itself to be of such quality as to warrant the cost. The person trimming the meat, however, needs to do a better job. The second steak had a gristly tail of fat that really should have been cut off prior to cooking.
Ribeye ($35.95) was another good cut, a beautifully juicy and well-marbled piece of meat. But something was terribly wrong with my t-bone ($44.95). Although it was cooked to the requested medium-rare, it tasted as though it had been seasoned with lighter fluid.
One of my guests had the lobster tail ($38.95), a laughably small sliver of otherwise sweet meat. And the lamb chops ($36.95) had a delightful gaminess that is all too often missing from domesticated lamb. The veal chop ($30.95), a milky textured and juicy cut grilled and topped with sweet peppers, did not fail to satisfy.
But a fish selection of halibut ($34.95) topped with garlic bread crumbs had to be sent back to the kitchen because it was undercooked.
Desserts were hit and miss. Banana cream pie ($7.70) seemed as though something was missing, but bread pudding ($7.45), a perfectly custardized slice topped with a sweet whiskey sauce, hit all the right notes.
On the visit with the miscooked fish, the manager appeared to give his apology and  offer to remove the cost of both entrees from the check. Had the critic been spotted? Perhaps, but the level of training and customer service at Ruth’s has always been such that I would like to think the same would have been done for any guest. And that’s what makes the attempts to “upsell” – a word one of my waiters actually used – all the more galling. Most people come here for a special occasion, and they know they’ll spend a lot of money. It shouldn’t be necessary to squeeze them for more.

Fancy steakhouses lure cash-strapped customers with high-quality burgers

Written by Scott Joseph on .

fleming's burgerHigh-end steakhouses are finding that fewer people are willing to shell out $30 to $40 for their slabs of marbled meat these days. The recession has provided variations on the “Champagne tastes on a beer budget” theme.

But people still go out to eat, and they still prefer meat. So what do you do if you’re a Fleming’s or a Ruth’s Chris or a Morton’s? You can’t buy a lesser grade of meat and expect to maintain your reputation for high-quality beef; and you can’t reduce your prices drastically enough to attract more business, at least not with the expectation that once the recession is over you can blithely raise them again.

But you can add something to your menu, something people love, something that will satisfy carnivorous cravings. And something you don’t have to charge and arm and a hindquarter for.

So that’s why the steakeries mentioned above -- and a few other restaurants -- have added burgers to their repertoires.

Hamburger -- it’s the new steak.

Great burgers of Central Florida

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Here's my list of places that serve a terrific burger:

The Tap Room at Dubsdread was a winner of the critic’s award for best burger when I was handing out the Foodies and it still does a terrific job.

The Ravenous Pig was the winner of the first SJO vote for best burger. It’s a good version, too, though a lot of people get it just so they can have the truffled fries, which are indeed quite tasty.

Hue Restaurant, the trendy Thornton Park hot spot, serves a surprisingly good burger, one that is good enough to be a contender for any burger award out there. I'm not kidding!

I’ve had an on-again, off-again love affair for the burger at Johnny’s Fillin’ Station for a number of years. Currently it’s on-again. This bar at the corner of Michigan Street and Fern Creek Avenue cooks up a big, fat juicy burger that is perfect -- until one day I go in and it’s not. Catch them on a good day and it’s still an award winner.

The Pit is another neighborhood kind of bar that has its sites set on toppling Johnny’s burger. The Pit has one that includes a fried egg (and by the way, Johnny’s Fillin' Station's newest entity, Johnny's Other Side, recently added such a burger to its repertoire).

And of course there’s Hamburger Mary’s, the happy little spot on Church Street that is all burgers all the time. Hard to go wrong there.

And a fairly new addition to the Thornton Park neighborhood, Graffiti Junktion, also manages a good-sized burger in a decidedly wild atmosphere that is more bar than restaurant.

A Land Remembered

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Today we’re visiting Rosen Shingle Creek’s A Land Remembered, a moniker so vague that in most references the hotel feels it necessary to add Steakhouse after the name. Of course, if we’re going to talk about strange names we could start with Shingle Creek, but let’s just let that one go for now.
A Land Remembered gets its name from the title of a novel by Patrick Smith, a Merritt Island writer. A Land Remembered (Pineapple Press, Inc.), first published in 1984 and still in print, is the story of three generations of a pioneer family in Florida. I have not read the book so I don’t know if there’s a logical reason to name a steakhouse after the novel. Perhaps the pioneer family were cattle ranchers. And, to be fair, there is a restaurant in Cross Creek called The Yearling, but at least there you have the possible connection of venison.
Anyway, the name doesn’t bother me as much as the designation, because of all the things I liked about A Land Remembered – and I liked quite a bit about it – the steaks were the least of it. But a lovely atmosphere, first-rate service and an extensive menu under the direction of chef James Slattery make this a dining experience worth recommending.
The best entrée I sampled was the prime rib ($36), a 24-ounce cut that was so large it looked as though it could tip over Fred Flintstone’s car. And just as impressive as its size were its buttery texture and mouth-filling flavor. It was topped with fresh horseradish shavings and served with creamy horseradish sauce and meat juices. For some reason prime rib is difficult to find in Central Florida. It’s nice to have a place that does it so well.
But then look at the New York strip paired with twin lobster tails in the Land Remembered surf and turf ($85; and shouldn’t that be Land and Sea Remembered?). The strip was surprisingly thin and looked more like a piece of meat you’d be served in a family-style restaurant, not an upscale one like this and not in a place that prides itself a steakhouse. The outside of the steak was gray, not charred, and the inside was, not so surprising given the thickness, a bit overcooked.
But then look at the lobster tails that came with it, two lovely South African morsels, beautiful grilled and with plenty of sweet meat to dip in the pure, melted butter.
On another visit I had the porterhouse ($48), a much better steak in quality and taste, this time with a seared and well-seasoned crust but still a tad overdone. Side items are an extra eight bucks each – yes, even at the prices charged. The baked potato was sufficiently “meaty,” and Vidalia onions were also good, but outrageously overpriced given the small serving.
I was disappointed with the crab cake appetizer ($15). The crabmeat was shredded and stringy and there was too much filler. Steak tartare ($18) was unevenly chopped and had a bit more mustard in the mix than was necessary.
I liked the Gator Creek stew ($8), aptly described by a server as a Manhattan-style clam chowder with gator meat instead of clams.
For dessert there was a wonderful bread pudding ($12) with a crisped crust over a creamy textured custard. The banana cream pie ($12), on the other hand, was a post-modern version with tiny amounts of the cream filling, gelatin and chocolate between two triangular wafers.
I have nothing but praise for the serving staff. The waiters and assistants were diligent, attentive, anticipatory and precise. The wine list is thorough and has some very nice selections by the glass.
A Land Remembered is in the clubhouse of the resort’s golf course, just steps from the main hotel building. It’s a comfortable space, not too big yet spacious enough that tables were far enough apart to afford privacy. Massive beams cross the high ceiling, but even with the expanse the noise level is low. The sound system plays lovely music from a bygone era. Seating is at booths and tables and lighting is provided mainly by some rather odd lampposts that features something like palm fronds or maybe ferns and lampshades with ball tassles. You have to see them. Tables are covered with nice linens – at these prices they can afford the laundry bill.
It is, ultimately, too overpriced. That will deter some people and perhaps attract others. And it’s sure to make the meal memorable.

A Land Remembered is at Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando. It is open for dinner nightly (call first, they've been known to shut down if there aren't many advance reservations). The phone number is 407-996-3663. Here's a link to the Web site.

Surf Bar & Grill

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Bernard has left Bernard’s Surf.
In truth, there hasn’t been a Bernard at the Cocoa Beach restaurant since the ‘60s. The real news is that the seafood landmark on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Minuteman Causeway is no longer owned by a member of the Fischer family. Rusty Fischer, whose uncle Bernard opened the restaurant on October 30, 1948, sold the restaurant in November.
The new owners are Tomas Saronja and Niko Mihatovic, both natives of Croatia. Saronja has a restaurant and hospitality background with Radisson; Mihatovic is a real estate investor. (And it should be mentioned that I own a condominium in a complex that Mihatovic developed.)
The terms of the sale stipulated that the name of Fischer’s uncle come off the building, and so now it is simply The Surf Bar & Grill. Yet it clings to the history that has made it the destination restaurant of the Space Coast for so many decades.
Saronja and Mihatovic have made only minor changes, both in décor and on the menu. Many old menu items remain, as do for that matter many of the staff who have cooked and served them over the years. And while there are aspects of the dining experience that would prevent it from being a top-tier restaurant if it were located in Orlando, the food is good enough to qualify it as one of the better restaurants on the Central Florida coast, and not just by default.
Seafood is still a prime focus here, and the pompano amandine ($25.99) was one of my favorites. It featured a grilled fillet topped with slivers of almonds toasted under a broiler so the edges had just started to turn a deep brown. The nutty taste was a nice counterpoint to the flaky white flesh of the moist fish.
Raspberry tuna ($26.99), which I’ll admit sounds horrible, was actually quite enjoyable. The seared steak, cooked medium-rare at the request of my guest, was topped with a raspberry sauce that appropriately unsweet. Instead, the fruit added just the right grace note to the fresh-tasting tuna.
While seafood is a forte, nonfish items are not given short shrift. Blue cheese crusted filet mignon ($26.99), a holdover from the previous menu, was a lovely steak topped with a tangy blue cheese sauce that gave it a wonderfully salty edge. And the prime rib ($22.99) was a gorgeous 22-ounce cut with an herbed crust and juicy, tender meat. It was served au jus with creamy horseradish sauce on the side.
Scallops mignon ($9.99) was a satisfying appetizer. Big, plump scallops were surrounded by rashers of bacon, grilled just long enough to cook the bacon and served with a touch of teriyaki sauce. The crab cake, ($7.99), however, had too much breading and not nearly enough crab. Fried calamari ($7.99), on the other hand, had only the slightest bit of breading covering the rings of squid, which were fried perfectly so that the breading was a light brown but the calamari hadn’t become chewy.
Dinners come with a salad, which can be upgraded to a Caesar for an additional $4.99. The menu touts tableside preparation for the Caesar, and indeed it is assembled there. But it seemed the server was only making a show of it, grinding a clove of garlic in the wooden bowl then adding the romaine lettuce and previously-made dressing. My salad tasted primarily of raw garlic.
Bernard’s Surf was one part of three entities that also included Fisher’s Seafood and Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. Now it’s just The Surf Bar & Grill on one side and, down a couple of steps from the bar, The Surf Seafood & Oyster Bar. When I stopped in at the informal oyster bar one afternoon, I found a lone bartender laboriously shucking oysters, each one taking about a full minute to coax open. Although she looked up and saw me, she did not acknowledge my presence. Seeing that she had a long way to go to complete a dozen, I decided to leave and go to the bar next door. As far as I know, the menu was the same, and I figured I was better off there as long as I didn’t order any raw oysters.
I had a cup of clam chowder ($3.99), which had a not-too-floury base and lots of al dente potatoes, and a grouper sandwich ($9.99), a good-sized fillet on a soft bun.
Although The Surf boasts several longtime servers, the overall quality of service is lackadaisical. But that’s likely just a side effect of being in a beach town.
The main dining room has fresh paint and new lighting, but it seemed that renovations were still in progress. Tablecloths have been added but I never had the feeling I was in a fine dining venue.
One piece of the old décor has been kept: a window etched with the old name and photos of the restaurant. It’s the old photos, which can still be seen on the restaurant’s Web site, that give the place a sense of history. The parades of astronaut heroes in open convertibles riding by remind us that these pioneers lived, worked and dined in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. I thought it poignant that my first visit was on the evening of a recent shuttle launch. The young woman who seated me asked if I had seen it go off, when I told her I had she just shrugged and said it was no big deal to her because she grew up watching them.
Luckily, there are still people who don’t take the past for granted.

The Surf Bar & Grill is at 2 S. Atlantic Ave. (Minuteman Causeway), Cocoa Beach. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. Here's a link to the Web site. The phone number is 321- 783-2401.

Nonna Trattoria ed Enoteca

Written by Scott Joseph on .

I wonder how many Central Floridians, or even College Parkers in particular, remember when the restaurant at 1710 Edgewater Drive was known as Joann’s Chili Bordello? I have a hard time wiping it from my memory because the dining room, which was the living room of an old home, had thick shag carpeting that was so greasy-filthy that I had to eat my entire lunch with my feet raised off the floor.
It’s been a long while since that restaurant of ill repast darkened the dining scene. It closed in the ‘90s, and five other eateries – all using the restored wood flooring, thank you very much – have called the old house home since then.
The most recent occupant, and longest lasting of the group, was Babbo, a casual wine bar and trattoria that was owned and operated by some of the original owners of Bravissimo on Shine Avenue. It never set its aim too high and therefore was usually on the mark. It was a comfortable, reliable place to get a bite to eat, if not to dine.
The new tenants want to change that, it would seem.
Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and Wine Bar a few blocks to the north, has taken over the restaurant and renamed it Nonna Trattoria ed Enoteca. This time he’s taken a partner with whom he has shared a house before: his brother Greg. A sister, Lori, also works at the restaurant as the bookkeeper.
The Brothers Fonzo have kept the Italian theme started by the Babbo owners but seem to be striving for a more ambitious menu from what I recall of Babbo’s bill of fare. Still, there isn’t anything on the regular dinner menu priced over $21, something that will surprise fans of K, where entrees range from $24 to $36.
Nonna’s menu lists its appetizers as primi rather than antipasti, and entrees are grouped under carne and pesche instead of secondi. The best dishes I sampled here were the starters, and primo they were.
I loved the frito misto ($10), which had calamari, white fish and shrimp in lightweight jackets of crisply fried breading, served with a tangy lemon aioli.
“Our family” meatballs ($6), parentheses provided by the Fonzos, were bocci ball-sized orbs of beef, veal and pork, culled from a recipe of the boys’ nonna, or grandmother, although Kevin says he’s tweaked the recipe to use three meats instead of two and uses more bread. The result is a firm but not dry meatball that was delicious in the piquant tomato sauce with melted mozzarella.
Lobster sambuca risotto ($12) was a deftly executed dish with nutty nuggets of rice and huge, succulent hunks of lobster meat. I would have been thoroughly satisfied with this as my entrée.
In fact it would have been better than the pan-fried breaded veal Milanese ($21) I had on my first visit. Veal Milanese is one of my favorite Italian dishes, mainly because I love the tangy taste of arugula against the milky flavor of tender veal. But the Nonna version was virtually arugula free. A sprinkling of parsley (!) appeared to have been used as a substitute, and the meat was topped with a green olive relish, which had no business being there at all. But a proper presentation wouldn’t have saved this one because the breading was soggy, too.
Roast pork tenderloin (418), on the other hand, was a delicious offering of tender medallions in a mushroom and balsamic sauce, accompanied by gorgonzola infused polenta.
Sauteed swordfish ($21) was a tad dry, but I liked the preparation, which includedroast eggplant, fennel, tomato and artichokes, sauteed with white wine and olive oil.
I also tried the fiocchi ($14) from the list of pastas. This dish would not have satisfied as a stand-alone entrée, but the fontina cheese, and prosciutto tossed with the white beans and escarole made for a tasty side dish.
I enjoyed the desserts I tried. The bread pudding ($7) was fashioned out of panettone, the sweet bread of Milan traditionally served at Christmas. And torta Nonna ($6) was a dense sponge cake with almonds and apricot jam.
The house setting is quite small. The inside dining areas can be cramped and noisy. Most people seem to prefer dining on the porch that wraps around the front and part of the side of the house. (Maybe they remember the shag carpeting inside, too.) Kevin Fonzo says more renovations are to come.
In the meantime, he and Greg are cooking in the small kitchen, Kevin as the chef de cuisine and his brother as the sous chef. It’s a tight area for two chefs, perhaps tighter for siblings. But Kevin says that if there are any fights, “Mom is just a phone call away.”

Nonna Trattoria ed Enoteca is at 1710 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch Tuesday-Friday and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. This link will take you to Nonn'a Web site. The phone number is 407-649-9770.