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Best Indian Foodster Winner and Recent Restaurant Reviews

Written By Scott Joseph On September 26, 2019

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News from the Flog  

Here are the Winners of the Best Indian Foodster Award

Tamarind interior

Tamarind, the Indian restaurant with locations in Winter Park and near UCF, has been voted Best Indian in our Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants by readers of Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide.

Saffron Indian Cuisine on Sand Lake Road was second and Kohinoor, Altamonte Springs, was third.

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Recent Restaurant Reviews

Hook & Reel

HookReel exterior

Hook & Reel has set up shop in a former Logan’s Roadhouse on the west side of town. It’s a restaurant company that started in Lanham, Maryland, but is now based out of Flushing, N.Y. Any restaurant based in a place called Flushing is just asking for it if it doesn’t serve good food.

Luckily, H&R does serve good food – seafood, in case you hadn’t already deduced – in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

The menu is Louisiana accented. In fact, the sign out front declares “Cajun Seafood & Bar.” The highlight of the menu is a seafood combo that is served in a poofy, clear plastic bag that sort of looks like a transparent Jiffy Pop. I had to order one after seeing several go by my table. But I’ll come back to that in a moment.

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Due Amici

Due Amici exterior

The first time I visited Due Amici, a new Italian restaurant in College Park, it didn’t quite have all of its stuff together. It also didn’t have its beer and wine license. So one of my dining companions hiked over to Publix and brought back something for us to sip on. In fairness to DA, it had softly opened only a week earlier.

Two months later, its stuff is still a bit disarrayed, though the beer and wine issue has been resolved. But I was a tad flummoxed when I arrived at noon ahead of my lunch companion to find the doors locked, even though it clearly stated out front that the restaurant opened at 11 a.m. What’s more, I could see someone inside with her back to the door, and she did not respond to my knocking.


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Other Stuff

Join Scott on a Tour of Tuscany, May/June 2020

Il Borro Estate

Start planning now to join me on a tour of Tuscany May 30 through June 7 when I host an Art in Voyage journey to Florence and the Arezzo region.

We’ll spend three nights at a five-star hotel in beautiful Firenze while we take a private food tour of the city, visit farms and markets, take cooking classes with local chefs, and of course drink wonderful Italian wines.


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What’s New at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and What’s Worth Trying

Epcot Large sign

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is in full swing at Walt Disney World, continuing through Nov. 23. And with relatively cooler weather coming in, now is the time to start planning your visit.

As for what’s new to eat and drink, I spoke to members of the festivals food and beverage team at a media preview, so I’ll let them tell you about it in the video below.


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Bullet Point Buffet: Asian Oktoberfest, Wine Dinners and Dinner for Breakfast

MorimotoFest 2

  • Morimoto Asia is hosting MorimotoFest, an alternative to the annual German celebration, Sunday, Oct. 6 (or Okt. 6, if you prefer) from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Just as in Munich, MorimotoFest will feature beer, these being from 10 local microbreweries. Unlike Munich, the food will highlight M.A.’s pan-Asian cuisine, including sushi, ramen, dumplings and spare ribs. It’s a walkabout event with multiple food and beer stations. Cost is $55 for adults and $25 for kids age 4-12 (no beer for them). Entertainment, too, so I’m hoping for at least a little oom-pah-pah. Tickets at morimotoasia.com.
  • Tapa Toro is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month now through Oct. 15 with special $16 sangria flights. And Sunday, Sept. 29, is Flamenco Night, with performances at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. You’ll want to get reservations for that.
  • Thursday, Sept. 26, you can eat Breakfast for Dinner at First Watch in Mills Park. You’re probably thinking you can eat breakfast for dinner any time you darn well please, but on this particular date you can also benefit Edible Education Experience, a program of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden. And besides, First Watch isn’t usually open for dinner, so it’s extra special. You can choose your time and buy your tickets at this link.
  • Soco Thornton Park is hosting a wine pairing dinner featuring Cambria Estate Winery on Wed., Oct. 9. Five courses, five wines, $95 plus tax and gratuity. Contact the restaurant to reserve, 407-849-1800.
  • Disney Springs restaurants Raglan Road, the Boathouse and House of Blues were all named to OpenTable’s list of the 50 Most Kid-friendly Restaurants in America. 

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Next Supper Club a Harvest Dinner at Raglan Road

raglan dancers

I’m pleased to announce that our next Supper Club will be a Harvest Dinner at Raglan Road, Disney Springs. We’ll convene at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, for a cocktail reception followed by a multi-course meal of Irish inspired cuisine with pairings of ales, lagers and ciders.

This will be a good chance to meet Raglan Road’s new executive chef, Mark O’Neill, and to see (and taste) his vision for the popular restaurant’s menu. O’Neill, as I told you in an earlier article, is a native Irishman who has cooked in top restaurants in Ireland, Europe and Britain, including the two Michelin-starred Green House in London.

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