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Recent Reviews and a lot of bad news for Thornton Park restaurants

Written By Scott Joseph On October 17, 2019

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews

Chef’s Table at the Edgewater

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I just spent a perfectly lovely evening at an old favorite I hadn’t visited in too long a time, Chef’s Table at the Edgewater.

Owners Kevin and Laurie Tarter were ahead of the Winter Garden renaissance when they opened their intimate restaurant in the historic Edgewater Hotel there in May of 2008. Eleven years later, the West Orange County hamlet is a hopping with good restaurants and evening entertainment. And the Tarters have expanded their domain with the addition of the Tasting Room, which occupies a space in front of the Chef’s Table’s dining room, and, earlier this year, the acquisition of the Attic Door.

But the Chef’s Table remains the jewel, a leisurely evening of three courses, with wine pairings if you like, served by a friendly and attentive staff.

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Tako Cheena

tako cheena interior

I can’t remember any restaurant taking as much time between announcing it would be moving into a new space and the actual move as Tako Cheena did. It was in July of 2015 that I first told you the popular fusion concept would take over the former Forbidden City Chinese restaurant space just a few doors away from its original Mills 50 location. Even the recently opened Delaney’s Tavern only took three years, and it included building a boutique hotel on top of the restaurant.

I suppose Kobe Japanese Steak House is still the “any minute now” champion – it has entered its second decade with a sign on the property where Barney’s Steak & Seafood once stood announcing that it is “coming soon.”

But anyway, Tako Cheena.

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Felipe Rodriguez Closed; Sale of Dexter’s Thornton Park Rumored

Felipe door

Felipe Rodriguez Tequila House, the Tex-Mex restaurant in Thornton Park, closed Sunday after just over five months in operation. In addition, Dexter’s of Thornton Park is expected to be sold to new buyers this week, according to someone with that restaurant.

Both businesses are owned by the same group of investors and both are advertisers on SJO.

A deal is said to have been reached with a buyer for the Felipe space. No details have been released, but it will almost certainly not continue as Felipe Rodriguez, which was named for a fictitious Mexican tequila maker.

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Shari is Closed

Shari overlook

Shari, the Thornton Park sushi lounge that opened in 2002, is currently closed.

According to a source familiar with the situation, the owner, Chris Mistretta, no longer wishes to operate the sushi bar and is seeking a buyer. The closing is being classified as “temprorary.” The source said that the lounge’s sushi chef may be interested in taking it over. Mistretta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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Dexter’s of Winter Park is Closed; New Standard in Previews Beginning Friday

Dexterswp bar

As of today, Dexter’s of Winter Park, the original of the Dexter’s group of wine bars and restaurants, is closed. Beginning Friday, Oct. 18, Dexter’s New Standard will begin serving customers by invitation when it soft opens at the Ravaudage Plaza at Lee Road and Orlando Avenue.


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Other Stuff

Bullet Point Buffet: Feasts and Famines

Field to feast18

  • The seventh annual Field to Feast will be Feb. 22. Why am I telling you this now? Because it always sells out and you need to get your tickets right away. The event, co-sponsored by Walt Disney World and Edible Orlando, is a fundraiser benefitting Second Harvest Kids Cafe and featuring chefs from Disney venues with beer, wine and cocktails pairings selected by George Miliotes. That’s the feast part. The field is at Long & Scott Farms in Mt. Dora. One of my favorite events of the year. Tickets at the Field to Feast event page.

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Join Scott on a Tour of Tuscany, May/June 2020

Il Borro Estate

Start planning now to join me on a tour of Tuscany May 30 through June 7 when I host an Art in Voyage journey to Florence and the Arezzo region.


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Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide | P.O. Box 568344 | Orlando | FL | 32856



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