Announcing Scott Joseph’s Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants, designed to recognize excellence in Central Florida’s nonchain culinary community. The first categories will launch soon, and you’ll be invited to vote for your favorites for Best Burger and Best Cocktails.
Among the three troubled restaurant spaces that came with the opening of the Sanctuary condominium complex, nine or so years ago, the middle one seemed to be the troubledest.
It started as Fifi’s Patisserie, a French style cafe that had a very short life, then became Sanctuary Diner, and Nick’s Italian Cafe after that. In the time since Nick’s closed — more than three years ago — there have been at least three concepts announced that never came to fruition. They were Honey, Pagne and Wallace Grill. People talk about certain spaces that are cursed because restaurants close so soon after opening. What does it say about one where so many don’t even open?
We had our second Supper Club at Hamilton’s Kitchen at the Alfond Inn recently but the first one under the new chef, Jason Klingensmith. It was a chance for us to check out his cooking style, and he impressed us all.
We began the evening with a reception on the hotel’s courtyard patio enjoying some passed hors d’oeuvres and some wine. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we were all a little disappointed when the staff invited us to go inside. But then we discovered that the doors of our private dining room had been flung open so we were able to enjoy the night air.
A few years ago, I visited an Indian restaurant in south Orlando, along a stretch of South Orange Blossom Trail that has been seeing a surge in Indian, Middle Eastern and other ethnic cuisines. Some are quite good; others are meh. This one was meh.