Newsy Nuggets: Italian collaboration; 2 Chinese restaurants gone; master wine tastings; Indian Springs; and Michelin for lunch

Written By Scott Joseph On July 21, 2023

Denny Tornatore and Francesco Aiello
Denny Tornatore, left, and Francesco Aiello will collaborate on an operatic Italian dinner.

I love to see this sort of collaboration. On August 27, two of our favorite Italian restaurants – Tornatore’s Ristorante and Italian Market in College Park and Franscesco’s Ristorante and Pizzeria in Maitland – will join forces to create a special dinner. Chef/owners Denny Tornatore and Francesco Aiello are putting together a six-course dinner that will also include wine pairings, cooking demonstrations and operatic singers. It will be at the Maitland restaurant, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $175 per person and reservations can be made by contacting Tornatore at 407-937-8583.

Southeast 9 23 Bosch
Mei's Chinese restaurant in Orlando

Mei’s Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant I reviewed last August, has closed. (No, it’s not my fault; I liked the Taiwanese food quite a lot.) In its place in the Suncrest Village at University Boulevard and Dean Road will be Johnny’s Diner, which had been at University and Semoran Boulevards for many years. That plaza, however, has been razed. Also gone from there: China Garden, one of the area’s oldest Chinese restaurants. There is a China Garden on West Colonial Drive in Orlando that, according to someone who answered the phone, has been there “quite some time,” but she couldn’t say if the two Gardens were connected.

George Milotes

Down at Disney Springs, George Miliotes, the George of Wine Bar George and one of only 273 master sommeliers in the world, will host Summer Wine Experience: Learn How to Taste Wine with a Master Sommelier on select dates in August. Tickets for the 90-minute sessions, which will include blind tastings of six wines and visible cheese and charcuterie to nibble on, are $110. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of attending a tasting with Miliotes know that he has a relaxed and easy-going nature and an innate way of making the complexities of wines and winemaking understandable. Click here for the eventbrite page with dates and reservation links.

Eet logo

Also at Disney Springs, Maneet Chauhan, a judge on the Chopped television show, and her husband, Vivek Deora, will open a new Indian restaurant there to be called Eet.

I’ve probably mentioned this before but naming restaurants is really hard.

Soseki omakase restaurant

Beginning Saturday, Michelin-starred Soseki is is adding lunch service. The omakase restaurant will offer a six-course tasting menu priced at $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. (Dinners are $285 per person, so this is a relative bargain.) You can add a sake flight for $45 or .05 ounce of Petrossian caviar for $65. Hey, it’s Saturday; go crazy.

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