Newsy Nuggets: The Drake, H&H Bagels, Voodoo Bayou, Short Stroll to Sip & Savor, and cruising with Collantes

Written By Scott Joseph On February 28, 2024

Drake barrels

The Drake Kitchen + Bar, from chefs and co-owners Heberto and Rona Segura, officially opened last week at the Radius apartment following a ceremony by mayor Buddy Dyer. You can’t get any more official than having the city’s top official officiating.

I’ll have a full review coming up, but I can tell you that it’s a lovely space with food brought to you from chefs with street cred (the street being wherever they parked their popular food truck). Here’s a link to the website.

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Orlando Wine Festival and Auction already a sold-out success

Written By Scott Joseph On February 26, 2024

Orlando wine festival and auction

The Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, the annual food and wine event benefitting the Orlando magic Youth Foundation, will be March 1 through 3 at its new home, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. As in past years, the event begins with a series of dinners in private homes on Friday, each headed by one of the featured chefs, then continues on Saturday afternoon with an outdoors grand tasting paired with foods from those same chefs.

Things move inside at 5 p.m. for the live auction, featuring vacations, winery tours, sporting events and other high-ticket items. Then a sit-down dinner and entertainment. Things wrap up on Sunday with a Magic home game (that’s played at Kia Arena, not at the Four Seasons.

This is where I would normally tell you how much it costs and give you a link to purchase tickets, but there’s no need to do that.

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Newsy Nuggets: Wine tastings at Judson’s, Boucherie, Grazie and more

Written By Scott Joseph On February 19, 2024

George Milotes

I recently told you about the fabulous new Judson’s Live, an intimate music room at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Most evenings will be filled with music groups and soloists, but on Sundays, plans are in the works for master sommelier George Miliotes to host a wine tasting brunch from the stage. No specific details yet; I’ll let you know. The wine tasting brunches are not intended to offer music. But Miliotes has been in the restaurant business most of his life, so surely he knows how to sing the blues.

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Michelin announces 5 Central Florida additions to 2024 guidebook

Written By Scott Joseph On February 14, 2024

Chuan Fuexterior
Chuan Fu, Winter Park

With the beginning of Lunar New Year just a few days ago, perhaps it’s fitting that Michelin Guide’s announcement Wednesday of the Central Florida restaurants that will be added to the Florida guidebook this year are all Asian.

Of the 19 additions for the Miami, Orlando and Tampa guide, five are from Greater Orlando. They are: Zaru, Sushi Saint, Natsu, Camille and Chuan Fu.

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Field To Feast raises record amount

Written By Scott Joseph On February 13, 2024

Field to Feast 24 crowd

Field To Feast, the annual fundraiser sponsored by Edible Orlando, went on last weekend even though Edible Orlando ceased publication with its fall edition. While a new publisher and editorial team are sought, the original publication crew of Kendra Lott, Katie Farmand and Pam Brandon teamed up once again with the chefs of Walt Disney World Resorts to hold the popular event at Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora.

It was a perfect afternoon, and a couple of hundred attendees wandered under and around the pavilion next to the cornfield nibbling, tasting, sipping and listening to the live band.

A record $43,022 was raised from ticket sales and a raffle. Proceeds go to Second Harvest Food Banks Kids Cafe program.

Scroll through the gallery below to see some of the highlights.

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Newsy Nuggets: Bem Bom, The Drake, Marlin Bar, Satori and Steak and Ale

Written By Scott Joseph On February 7, 2024

Bembom bar

Bem Bom, which started as a food truck and then became a popular restaurant in Audubon Park, has closed. 

Bem Bom was the concept of Francisco Mendonça, known as Chico, and his wife, Dee. They were early participants in Orlando’s food-truck scene, starting in 2012 with a menu based on Portuguese cuisine. They opened a brick and mortar version in a freestanding building on Corrine Drive in 2018, earning a mention in USA Today as one of “10 Best Value Venues in Orlando.”

But Mendonça was diagnosed with cancer and died in May 2021 at the age of 57. His loss and the pandemic apparently created hardships too great to overcome.

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Some Valentine’s Day (and beyond) specials to love

Written By Scott Joseph On February 2, 2024

Valentine generic

Here it comes. There’s no stopping it.

Valentine’s Day.

The yearly dilemma of finding the right place for a romantic dinner for just you two. Well, I’m here to help, because I love you. (But don’t expect me to buy you dinner.)

Here are what some of our friends are offering on Valentine’s Day, which falls on Feb. 14 this year.

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While you wait for spring to arrive, plan for some great dinners and brunches at Grande Lakes Orlando

Written By Scott Joseph On January 31, 2024


Grande Lakes Logo

Is it spring yet? Nearly so, and our friends at the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott at Grande Lakes Orlando have a bevy of vernal events planned over the coming months.

Beginning with Valentine’s Day, which technically isn’t spring yet but it’s close.

At the Ritz, both Knife & Spoon, the Michelin-starred steak and seafood restaurant, and the southern-inspired Highball & Harvest will be offering special Valentine’s Day menus in addition to their regular fare. And you can make it extra special with a pre-dinner paddle boat ride at sunset on Grande Lake.

Across the way at the JW, Primo will host “Mangi con Amore,” with a special V-Day a la carte menu for two.

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Newsy Nuggets: Super Brunch with Blais, wine dinners and a standin-O for Edoboy

Written By Scott Joseph On January 30, 2024

Brunch with Blais

Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen will offer Super Brunch with Blais on Sunday, Feb. 11, which happens to be the same day as the Super Bowl. Blais will be part of the starting lineup for the brunch, which will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include a noshing table and raw bar; slider station, with egg salad and caviar, braised oxtail, lobster roll and others; tailgate station, which will feature signature items from the two participating teams (I’m betting on Kansas City steak on sourdough bread; maybe not); ricotta pancake station; and myriad small plates, such as bacalaito benedict and NOLA barbecue shrimp and grits.

There will be a dessert bar, too, and an option for bottomless bloody marys. Cost is $95; $45 for kids. Make your reservations here.

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Next Dinner Party at Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar

Written By Scott Joseph On January 26, 2024

Rocco with wine

I’m pleased to announce that the next Scott Joseph’s Dinner Party will be at the esteemed Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar in Winter Park. The date is Thursday, March 7, and we’ll gather for a reception at 6:30 p.m. with seated dinner at 7. Tickets are $175, including tax and gratuity, and may be purchased by calling the restaurant at 407-644-7770.

Our host, the chef and owner Rocco Potami, has put together a delectable five course dinner, each selection paired with a perfect wine. Here’s a look at the menu:

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