We’re going to do something a little different and a lot of fun for our next Supper Club on Friday, August 19.
It’s going to be a progressive dinner that starts at Old Hickory Steakhouse and then moves to MOOR restaurant. And since they’re both at Gaylord Palms Resort, we don’t even have to go outside to get from one to the other, just walk through the atrium. (It’s a pretty big atrium, however, so we may end up calling Uber.)
This is a chance to try — or retry — two very good restaurants. Old Hickory is an fine-dining steakhouse in an Everglades setting. MOOR is the seafood specialty restaurant I reviewed not long ago that features a tall ship dining area (also entirely indoors).
I’m trying to find the right balance of words to tell you about Las Cazuelas, a small market and Mexican eatery on Conway Road. My tendency is to go a bit overboard with praise, but I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression that this is pinnacle-style dining.
But the bottom line is that I liked Las Cazuelas very much. And it would get very high marks — if I gave marks — in all three areas listed in the Restaurant Reviewers Handbook: food, service and ambience.
Let’s start with service. The young woman who greeted me, took my order, processed the transaction and delivered the food to my table couldn’t have been warmer or more welcoming. She seemed genuinely proud of the food food she was serving.
And why not? It all adheres to Mexican authenticity and has a just-made-from-scratchiness that makes it taste all the better.
It’s clear that Rome’s Flavours, a cafe just off Winter Park’s Park Avenue, pays extra special attention to the house-made pasta.
That was evident when I visited recently. Shortly after my guest and I were seated, a gentleman I assume is the owner invited a young woman and her party from another table to join him at the pasta-making station in the back of the small space. There he guided her — wearing plastic gloves — through the process of running the dough through the rollers of the electrically powered pasta machine to create smooth sheets of just the right thickness, then through the die rollers to cut it into the various widths that comprise the myriad pasta types. Finally the fettuccine, spaghetti, pappardelle or whatever were draped over wooden dowels to be dried a bit before a plunge into boiling water.
PARIS — This is how the world has changed for us, we who live in Central Florida.
I’ve been fortunate to travel extensively, including at least a once-a-year trip overseas. I enjoy discovering new places, experiencing other cultures and, of course, trying the local cuisines. It’s fun to meet new people, even if, as it does here in one of my favorite European cities, that means picking my way through a conversation with only a menial grasp of the language. To be honest, even though a majority of French citizens seem to have a good base of English as a second language, I enjoy trying to have a dialogue in French.
Inevitably, the conversation will arrive at the same question: Where are you from? As anyone from the middle part of the state knows, the answer has the potential to dictate the rest of the conversation.