The Peppy Bistro has taken over the College Park space that for several years was the Mexican restaurant Paxia. And just to clear things up right away, the name does not connote an emotion but rather the name of the owner, Jerry Peppy.
It wants to be known as a fusion restaurant but we’ve discussed this before and I won’t go into it again. Suffice to say that it has Italian, Mediterranean and American dishes with a fajita thrown in for good measure and none of it fused.
There are so few restaurants in the area that offer a kosher dining experience that when I hear of one I’m anxious to check it out.
So when I heard that Northview, a new off-campus housing complex at UCF, would feature a food service facility that would offer foods prepared following kosher dictates, I headed out to visit The Pantry at Northview.
Well, not right away. I learned a long time ago that one doesn’t just hop in the car and drive to the other side of Central Florida without first verifying that the destination restaurant is actually open. And especially as UCF’s semester came to an end. There are plenty of eateries on and around campus that close down for the summer session when there are fewer students to feed.
And indeed, many of my initial calls to the Pantry went directly to an answering device, and messages I left were not returned. The restaurant’s Facebook page offered no clues either because it was not regularly updated.
But then, last week, I finally got a live answer to a phone call and was assured that the restaurant was indeed open.
Kudos to our friends at Tap Room at Dubsdread for being named one of the country’s top 100 al fresco dining restaurants by OpenTable.
Tap Room was the only Central Florida restaurant to make the list. About a dozen others from Florida are on the list — with a preponderance of restaurants from Naples — mostly from South Florida and with “Waterfront” or “on the Bay” as part of their names.
Tuesday is Dan Kirby’s final day with Roy’s Restaurant in Orlando. Kirby has been with the organization, which was founded by celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi in Hawaii, for 24 years, the past 15 with the Sand Lake Road location. After so much time, what would prompt the change?
Jason M. Klingensmith has been hired as the executive chef for the Alfond Inn at Rollins and its restaurant, Hamilton’s Kitchen. Klingensmith was a longtime executive chef at the Country Club of Orlando and replaces Marc Kusche, who left the Alfond in March, ironically, to accept an executive chef position at the Country Club of Lake Nona.
Klingensmith, a Miami native and graduate of Southeastern Culinary Academy, says that he will be making changes to the popular Hamilton’s Kitchen menu, offering several new dishes that will “source as many local ingredients as possible and lighten the menu with the addition of salads, lighter sauces and half orders, while creating ‘Southern-inspired’ fare with a modern spin.”
Txokos Basque Kitchen, the full service restaurant that was part of the opening footprint of East End Market, has closed. According to sources, the current owners are looking to sell the assets and the lease.
Txokos was originally the project of New Smyrna restaurateurs Heny and Michele Salgado. Their NSB restaurant Spanish River Grille is a popular destination. Txokos was an homage to the cusine and culture of Spain’s Basque region.
It opened in 2014, but the Salgados decided to concentrate efforts on Spanish River Grille and and a new project, as yet unopened, in New Smyrna Beach. They sold the restaurant in September of 2015. After only a few months, the restaurant was sold again. The current owners were Armando Castelluci and Ricardo DiSilva.
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