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Recent Reviews and Orlando’s Michelin stars

Written By Scott Joseph On June 10, 2022

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News from the Flog  

Recent Reviews

Winter Park Biscuit Co.

WPBC sign

I smiled when I first walked into East End Market and up to Winter Park Biscuit Co. Yes, East End Market is in Orlando, not Winter Park, but if we niggle about that we’ll also have to bring up WP-based Orlando Meats and we just don’t have enough time.

Anyway, on the wall over the counter of this quick-serve operation is a banner that reads: “To Order: Line Starts Outside” and includes a pointing finger just in case you can’t see where the door is.

What made me smile was that several years ago, John Rivers told me that when he opened his first restaurant that would lead the way to his 4 Rivers Smokehouse empire, in the free-standing building on Fairbanks Avenue where Hunger Street Tacos now resides, he engineered the space so that there would always be a line outside, even if there were just a few customers waiting to order.

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Chez Denise: My Paris Place

chezdenise22 table

PARIS – I wish for you to have a place like Chez Denise in your life. A small cafe, unassuming and unpretentious but comfortable, where you’re known and greeted as a regular. A menu that is always familiar and food that is always, always first rate.

Even better if it is in Paris.

I don’t remember what year I first started to come to Chez Denise; it must have been more than 25 years ago. But I remember the first time vividly, a cold day in November.

Chez Denise, which is also known as La Tour Montlhéry, does not cater to tourists. Its menu, written on a chalkboard, is in French (be sure to have your smartphone’s translator app handy because there is no English version). And it wasn’t until recently – six years ago, to be exact – that we found a waiter who spoke English. But I’ll come back to that.

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Michelin Guide announces restaurants for its first Florida edition

Four Orlando restaurants awarded stars

KnifeSpoon interior

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Miami was the only restaurant to be awarded two stars in Michelin Guide’s first Florida edition, which includes restaurants in Orlando, Miami and Tampa. Fourteen restaurants, including four in Orlando, received one-star ratings; none were honored with the guide’s ultimate three-star designation. No Tampa restaurants received a star.

The announcement was made Thursday evening at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, home of Knife & Spoon, one of the area’s newly starred stars. Also earning the single star were Capa, the steakhouse at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, and two of Central Florida’s celebrated omakase restaurants, Kadence and Soseki.

Seven area restaurants were given the Bib Gourmand designation, which, according to the guide, represents “great food at a great value.” (The criteria for Bib Gourmand, which is named for Bibendum, the official name of the puffy Michelin Man mascot, includes being able to have two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for under $49, something one wonders is still possible.) Orlando’s Bib Gourmands are:

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Newsy Nuggets: Rum bars, cooking classes, chicken and rumors

Rum Bar

The Caribe Royale resort has opened a rum bar. It’s called Rum Bar. Actually, the official name is apparently Rum Bar Featuring Bacardi Rum. It features Bacardi rum. It will also feature “Cuban-inspired bites,” which I hope means food.

Ah, yes, I see now in the press release: “In addition to cocktails, guests may also indulge in a selection of Cuban-inspired tapas, including beef empanadas paired with salsa pique and salsa criolla, ropa vieja flatbread made with slow simmered pulled flank steak, roasted peppers, tomatoes, onions, salsa criolla, sour cream and cilantro aioli, and Abuela Cruzitas flan served with seasonal berries and whipped cream.” I’m pretty sure that’s more than one tapa.

The Rum Bar (etc.) is part of a $127 million renovation at the resort (it wasn’t all spent on the bar). The resort is also relaunching the popular Venetian Chop House (nee Venetian Room). So it will be nice to see that very good restaurant back online.

I don’t know if the Venetian Chop House will get a mention in the upcoming Michelin Awards announcement but we’ll find out on June 9. The ceremony, at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Lake Orlando is not open to the public, but I’ll be there and I plan to do a live stream. Watch for details.

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Other Stuff

2022 Best Pizza Foodster Award

Tornatore pizza

Tornatore’s, the popular College Park restaurant and pizzeria, has been voted first place in our 2022 Best Pizza Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants.

Bella Roma of Saint Cloud was second and Stone Fired Pizza, Edgewood, came in third.

“Tornatore’s reminds me of New York,” wrote Ross Recchion after placing his vote. Wendy N. Lowe said: “The product is always very fresh and delicious. The staff is amazing. Best around.”

Rosa Jimenez called Bella Pizza “awesome” and mentioned the “great service.” “We enjoy it there every time,” she wrote in her comment. Kaitlyn Gardner said, “Stone Fired is fairly priced and delicious.”

Read more comments on the winners and the other finalists here.

Congratulations to all the participants.

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Compliments of the Chef: Chicken Biryani from Tabla

Tabla Biryani

In this edition of Compliments of the Chef, Sajan Prem demonstrates how to make the popular Chicken Biryani from Tabla. It’s a pretty straightforward process and Prem gives easy-to-follow instructions.

Prem mentions in the video that you can buy a masala to use instead of making the ground spice blend, but you should give it a try for the full effect.

I wish you could smell the aromas in this video.


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We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.


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We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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