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A Virtual Supper Club, plus recent takeout reviews

Written By Scott Joseph On April 16, 2020

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News from the Flog  

Join Us for a Virtual Supper Club

Soco magdine sign

I miss our Supper Clubs, and realistically it’s probably going to be a while before we can schedule another one. But I don’t want to wait.

So let’s get together for a virtual Supper Club. Here’s how it will work.

We’re partnering with Soco Thornton Park. On April 30, chef/partner Greg Richie will prepare the three-course dinner for pickup between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m. He’ll include instructions for reheating the main course – the appetizer and dessert will be room temperature. Also included in the package will be two bottles of wine chosen to pair with the courses.

At 7 p.m. we’ll log on to Zoom and enjoy the meal together. Chef Richie will be there to talk about the food and we’ll hear from some wine experts about the pairings. Maybe even from the winemakers themselves – how cool would it be to have the winemaker from Lexicon Wines Zoom in from New Zealand?

Cost for the food is $45 per person; the wines are priced at $20 per bottle. So cost for a couple would be $130. For an individual, it’s $85 (but you have the wine all to yourself). Tax is extra and so is the gratuity. We’re leaving the amount of the tip up to you but I recommend a minimum of 20 percent. (No the servers aren’t going to come to your house to clear your plates and do the dishes, but they’re working under extreme conditions, so please be generous.)

There is also an optional “welcome cocktail” you can order to sip on while we wait for everyone to join the Zoom room.

So who’s in? I’ll have exact ordering information soon, but for now, if you’re interested, send me a note at this link. It’ll be first come, first reserved. You can dress up or dress down, but we’re going to have to insist that you be dressed.

As for the menu, here are the details:

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Recent Reviews

Takeout Review: Tornatore’s Pizzeria

Tornatore togo tent

Tornatore’s, the College Park pizzeria and Italian cafe, was one of the first restaurants to use staff members to deliver food when restaurants were ordered to shut down dine-in operations. I appreciated that they seemingly adapted effortlessly.

I wanted to order takeout – I hadn’t had a chance to visit the restaurant before the lockdown to try newly hired chef Jason Wolfe’s food – but unfortunately my house falls a couple of miles outside the six-mile delivery radius.

So instead I phoned in my order for curbside pickup. I wish I had looked a little closer at the restaurant’s website because it has a nifty online ordering interface that would have made the process a lot smoother, even when it comes to the tip, which can be added at checkout.

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Takeout Review: Zaza New Cuban Diner

Zaza togo replate

Zaza New Cuban Diner has set up a nifty online ordering system for effortless and contactless takeout, at least to a point, but we’ll come back to that.

Zaza has four locations – Curry Ford Road, Waterford Lakes, Altamonte Springs and Lake Mary – so it’s a good choice for a large audience. And if you’ve tried Zaza before, you know that the food is good.

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First Watch Closing All Locations Nationwide

First Watch ext

First Watch, the chain of daytime cafes, is temporarily closing all of its corporate owned restaurants, including all Central Florida locations, beginning Monday, April 13.

In a letter posted Saturday on the company’s website, the CEO, Chris Tomasso, said the decision was made to protect the workers who have continued to offer food for takeout and delivery. “Our people are our most important asset, and their physical safety and health, as well as their mental wellbeing, are always our priority,” Tomasso wrote. “I carry that responsibility, and it is not something I take lightly.”


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Orlando Based Owner of Brio Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Bravo exterior

FoodFirst Global Restaurants, the Orlando headquartered parent company of Italian restaurant chains Brio and Bravo, filed last week for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

According to several sources, the company had been struggling with reduced sales and lower profits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The forced closures of most of the restaurants that were still in operation now brings into question how many of them will fully reopen when the mandate is lifted. Several, including the Brio at Mall at Millenia, are still open for curbside pickup during the pandemic.

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Other Stuff

An Inside Look at Knife & Spoon, Steakhouse Replacing Norman’s at the Ritz

knife and spoon copy

For those of you who are tired of hearing about the temporarily shuttered restaurants and are longing for the day we can all gather in one for a communal meal that doesn’t require logging on to Zoom, here’s something to look forward to.

In the short video below, Jon McGavin, area general manager at Grande Lakes, Orlando, gives a quick tour through the construction zone of Knife & Spoon, the restaurant that is taking over the former Norman’s space. At the top of this page, you’ll see the artist’s rendering of what the main dining area will look like, and in the video you’ll see the mossy hillock that will be centered in the room.

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