I’m not sure I would call F&D Cantina a sister restaurant to F&D Kitchen and Bar, the Lake Mary restaurant that opened in 2015. Other than the initials, which unimaginatively stand for Food and Drink, and, obviously, ownership, there aren’t many comparisons to be drawn. There isn’t even much of an effort to make a connection by the two entities, other than a small link on the Lake Mary F&D website to an Orlando Business Journal article about the “soon to open” Cantina.
The two are different concepts, which, for the Cantina, is a good thing. If you guessed that the concept here is Mexican, you’d be correct. But the way it is presented is a bit curious.
The menu is divided into sections with headings like “dip,” Social eats,” “Plates,” “Soups,” and “Greens.” Then there’s a separate section called “Mexican Stuff,” though there’s a Carne Asada under the “Plates” heading and another separate section called “Tacos.” Not sure why tacos aren’t considered Mexican but I do give kudos for not including the nachos among the Mexican Stuff. Points taken away, however, just for including nachos on the menu after the OBJ article quoted Charly Robinson, the F&D developer, that the menu would be authentic Mex, not Tex-Mex. (Complimentary chips and salsa are also proffered, a concept that definitely originated north of the wall.)
But let’s not niggle. You want to know how the food was.
By my calculation, Maddey’s Craft & Cru has been in the planning stage for about two years. Thursday, June 30, it finally opens officially in the former Church Street Station.
It is the project of Jason Schofield, who we last saw overseeing White Wolf Cafe and the opening of sister restaurant PizzaMia. At PizzaMia, Schofield showed a talent for lifting everyday dishes out of mundanity. He’s doing the same thing at Maddey’s.
I stopped in on one of the nights the restaurant was holding dress rehearsal. There were still plenty of kinks to work out, chiefly among the servers, but I’ll not pounce on that at this time.
Dustin Hulbert of Baoery in Thornton Park shares the recipe for the bar’s Geisha A Go-Go, one of the signature drinks. Watch the video above, then grab the recipe below and get mixing.
1 oz of Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka
1 ½ oz of Hakutsuru Excellent Junmai Sake
¼ oz of Ginger Syrup
Served in Cognac Glass with ice
Topped with Grapefruit Pellegrino
Garnished with Wide Grapefruit Peel
Orlando chefs Kevin Fonzo (K restaurant) and Jamie McFadden (Cuisiniers Catering) and other members of the Central Florida hospitality community will host Food & Wine Unite, a fundraiser to benefit the staff and volunteers of the Center of Central Florida, which was an invaluable resource immediately following the Pulse massacre.
The event will be on July 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando. This is a donation-only event but registration is recommended. Go to the event website to save your space.