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Newsy Nuggets: Wine Quest; Aurora hire; Epcot sushi; Camille; and Homeward Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On May 24, 2023

Wine Quest logo

The 2023 edition of Wine Quest, the annual wine tasting and auction benefitting Quest, Inc., will be Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. each night at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.

Friday is the grand tasting event, a walkabout sampling of wines, hors d’oeuvres and craft spirits plus a silent auction.

Saturday is a sit-down, four-course dinner with pairings from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

You can do one night or both. The Friday tasting event is $250 per person and the Saturday dinner is $350. You can get both evenings for $500.

Or you could choose one of the group-ticket levels, such as the Bordeaux sponsor package, which gets you 18 tickets to Friday and 24 tickets to the Saturday dinner for just $30,000. Not sure how you break it to the six people not invited to Friday night, but that’s your problem. And true, you could buy 24 tickets to both nights for just $12,000 but the sponsorship level gets you lots more extras.

And let’s not forget that the proceeds go to furthering Quest’s mission “to build communities where people with disabilities achieve their goals.” You can find more information and purchase tickets here.

Southeast LG 2 24

Ibis Lopez 1 copyAurora at the Celeste has named Ibis Lopez its new executive chef, replacing opening chef Mike Trudnak, who took his leave move to the Daytona Grande (and took some of his Aurora staff with him). Lopez, pictured at left, is a native of Puerto Rico and previously worked at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and Ritz-Carton Grande Lakes.

The Japan pavilion at Epcot is clearing out the space where the restaurant Tokyo Dining used to be to make way for Shiki-Sai, a izakaya sushi restaurant. An izakaya is a casual eating and drinking establishment, sort of the Japanese version of a pub. Shiki-Sai is scheduled for sometime this summer.

One of the highlights of eating at Tokyo Dining was the view from the large windows on the second level of the pavilion overlooking the lagoon; one of the best views in the park. Quite different from Takumi-Tei, the windowless restaurant on the ground level where I spent a week one evening.

Camille, the upscale Vietnamese dining experience that has been operating as a sort of longterm popup restaurant, if that isn’t too much of an oxymoron, has moved to its permanent home in Baldwin Park. The restaurant, from chef Tung Phan, has poshed up the space that was formerly the home of Ocean Poke. It’s small, and reservations have already been snapped up for the month of June. Plan ahead.

Golden Corral is planning to open a chain of restaurants called Homeward Kitchen. It will be a fast-casual concept, which is different from Golden Corral’s, um, slow-casual dining. The menu will feature GC staples such as pot roast, fried chicken and meatloaf, but not in a buffet setting. The first Homeward Kitchen is expected to open this fall in North Carolina.

Good name – whenever I think of Golden Corral I always think of heading homeward.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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