In February I paid a visit to Italian House Pizza & Restaurant, a Curry Ford West District eatery that had been in the converted Pizza Hut hut it called home for many years. In my review, I noted that the food was so-so and the service less so, but noted that it must have a loyal fanbase to have such staying power.
The leaving power was stronger – Italian House has closed and a new business, Smokemade Meats + Eats, is moving in. Smokemade’s maker is Tyler Brunache, who has been serving his Texas style barbecue at popups around the area and will continue to do so at least until the location on Crystal Lake Drive is open. (He’s popping up Sat., Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. at Hoods Up on the corner of Bumby Avenue and Robinson Street. He’s also offering a pit master master class on brisket and rib prepartion at the future restaurant’s site on Sat. Oct. 7; $450 per student.)
No date yet for the restaurant’s opening.
Also coming to the Curry Ford West District, at the Hourglass subdistrict, is Crispy Cones, an ice cream concept that comes to us from the Czech Republic via Idaho. It’s opening date, inside the Hourglass Social House at Curry Ford Road and Bumby Avenue, has not been announced.
Nami, a new Japanese restaurant that according to its website “sparkles with European elements,” opens to the public on Thursday, Sept. 28. It’s a Tavistock restaurant situated in the Lake Nona Wave, the hotel-cum-art museum. Expect high-end sushi, seafood and robata-grilled meats. There is also a 10-seat omakase counter. Jason Beliveau is chef de cuisine under culinary director Freddy Money; Christopher Bugeya is general manager. Interesting to see Stuart Whitfield’s name as part of the culinary team. Whitfield had been the opening chef at the Glass Knife but left that Winter Park desserterie in September of 2021. He’s now Tavistock Restaurants’ corporate pastry chef.
If you’ve ever wondered what College Park tastes like, you can find out at Taste of College Park, Thursday, Oct. 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Historic Dubsdread Ballroom. Tickets are $65 to $75 and can be purchased here.
Among the participants will be the Castle Irish Pub and Restaurant, which opened recently in the space that was ever so briefly occupied by Thai Farm Kitchen and RusTeak before that.
And Night Owl Cookies, a Miami chain, has opened near UCF. So we have Night Owl Cookies and Insomnia Cookies. What’s the association with cookies and sleeplessness? If I were tossing and turning in the night, the only cookie I’d want is one with Ambien tablets in place of chocolate chips.