F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On July 27, 2023

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen Curry Ford exterior

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen on Curry Ford Road was the first of what is now three locations for the local restaurant group. It opened in 2018 in a building that over the past few decades has been home to numerous restaurants. Most of the previous tenants apparently faltered because the small space made it difficult to turn a profit. But F&D seemed to be making a pretty good go of it.

Then the developer, National Real Estate (which despite the name is locally owned by husband and wife team Giovanni Fernandez and Elise Sabatino) decided what that block really needed was a multistory, mixed-use building – developers gotta develop, right? – so F&D would have to move. It closed in April of last year.

Southeast 9 23 Bosch

But the developers didn’t kick them out outright. Instead, they purchased a plot of land down the block that had a visibly rundown building on it and set about renovating it (more developing!). They turned the existing structure, which over the years has been, among other things, a garden center, a doggie daycare, and a church, into F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen’s new home. So what was the chainlet’s first location is now its newest.

The capacity is nearly double what it was, thanks mostly to a spacious front covered patio, but it retained its overall look and feel, including the coziness, of the old place. The mural of multiple images of a woman with flowers in her hair, the woodburning oven and a bar (now with full liquor) feel familiar. Inside dining is slightly separated between the bar area with hightop tables and a main room, all under large wagon-wheel chandeliers.

And the food, from a slightly altered menu, is of the same good quality as before. 

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen Curry Ford stuffed mushrooms

I felt a pang of nostalgia seeing stuffed mushrooms under the appetizers. There was a time when stuffed mushrooms were the fried calamari of the day: every menu had them. (And I grew weary of writing about them.) So of course I had to get an order. These had the medium-sized caps filled with chopped artichokes and creamed spinach and topped with melted fontina cheese. Just like the old days. (By the way, fried calamari is also on the menu.)

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen Curry Ford veal marsala

My dining companion had the veal marsala, which was made with strips of veal instead of scallopine, in a dark sauce that featured mushrooms and spinach sweetened with the fortified wine.

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen Curry Ford pizza

I went with pizza, choosing the due carni, with Italian sausage (uno) and pepperoni (due) on a crisped crust smeared with red sauce and topped with mozzarella. Not a prizewinning pie but good.

Service was friendly and efficient and the staff was accommodating, especially given that I had mistakenly made my reservation for the Winter Park location. 

This newest/oldest F&D opened only last month and is still enjoying the popularity of a newly opened restaurant. But this time it feels more familiar than new.

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen is at 2635 Curry Ford Road, Orlando (map). It is open for lunch on Sunday and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-270-7863.

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