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Holidays at Grande Lakes, plus recent restaurant reviews

Written By Scott Joseph On November 5, 2020

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News from the Flog  

Full array of holiday events lined up at Grande Lakes Orlando


Grande Lakes Holiday guide

There’s no doubt that the holidays are going to be a bit different this year. But at least we can still rely on Grande Lakes Orlando to put on its always fun array of holiday happenings in and around the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott.

And this year there’s a new restaurant joining in all the reindeer games – though considering it’s Knife & Spoon, I wouldn’t get too close if I were a reindeer, if you know what I mean.

Knife & Spoon will be among the resort’s restaurants that will be offering Thanksgiving dinner this year. And if you haven’t already experienced the high quality of food it’s putting out, this would be a dandy excuse to visit.

The restaurant will offer a $125 four-course menu that will include buttermilk-brined turkey. (And to get a taste of executive chef John Tesar’s method of dry aging beef, you can add prime rib for another $15.)

Also for Thanksgiving, the Ritz will offer a Turkey To-Go option for those who want to dine at home without having to do the cooking. For $265 you get Whisper Creek Farm Seminole pumpkin soup, a 14-16 pound roast turkey, dressing and side dishes, plus dessert. It’s enough to serve up to six people (unless you invite that certain uncle; you know the one).

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Recent Reviews

Capone’s Coal Fired Pizza

Capones ext

The thing I like most about a coal-fired pizza is the crust. Not the thickness or the crispiness of the circumferential edge, though those are certainly important factors.

But what I really like about the crust of a coal-fired pizza is its blackened bottom, a fine bit of ashiness that gives the dough a delightful earthiness.

The crust was perfect on the pizza I sampled recently at Capone’s Coal Fired Pizza at the Promenade at Sunset Walk. It’s a second location for a Ft. Myers restaurant and a welcome addition to the entertainment complex.

My dinner companion and I dined recently at one of the well-spaced tables on the patio outside the restaurant. Inside, the decor is reminiscent of Prohibition-era Chicago, with red brick walls, tin-like ceiling and gilded light fixtures.

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Naradeva Thai

Naradeva duck

It hardly seems possible that it’s been almost 10 years since I reviewed Naradeva Thai, shortly after it opened in the Millenia area. (It replaced something called Bear Rock Cafe.) Not only am I surprised at the passing of a decade but also that the restaurant is still there.

I don’t recall being particularly whelmed by my experience. And Naradeva’s opening came at a time when Central Florida was seeing a wave of new Thai restaurants. I figured it would be consumed in the tide.

But it persisted. And it seems that its food has improved along the way, at least by my recent samplings.

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Other Stuff

Big Fin’s Support Locals menu aims to keep the magic in dining

BF Supports Locals

Magical Dining has finally come to an end. Originally set to run from Aug. 28 through Oct. 3, Visit Orlando, the sponsor of the annual dining promotion, extended it through October.

The folks at Big Fin Seafood Kitchen don’t think that was long enough, so they’d like to extend it even further, through Dec. 30, in fact.

However, the name Magical Dining belongs to Visit Orlando. So 

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Newsy Nuggets: Feeding the Need with love and barbecue

FeedNeed logo

Feed the Need Florida continues to distribute meals to individuals and families facing food insecurity due to the pandemic. The nonprofit expects to serve 4000 meals in Central Florida – adding to the 1.5 million already distributed statewide – Friday, Oct. 30 and Tues., Nov. 3.

Today’s locations include:
11:30 a.m.—1 p.m.
The Plaza LIVE, 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando, FL 32803

11 a.m.—1 p.m.
Pine Hills Community Center, 6408 Jennings Road, Pine Hills, FL

10 a.m.— 1 p.m.
LiVe Church Orlando, 4655 Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32811

Tuesday, Nov. 3*
11 a.m.—1 p.m.
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road,
Orlando, FL 32819

Anyone – anyone – in need will receive a prepared meal and a bag of produce. If you’re among the fortunate who have not lost income and are not facing food insecurity, you can help with a donation to Feed the Need Florida.

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Click Here to See Thanksgiving Dinner Options


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Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide | P.O. Box 568344 | Orlando | FL | 32856



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