Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On December 1, 2022

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There’s no place like STK for the holidays


STK sign

Here’s the good thing about STK Steakhouse – well, there are many good things about the upscale Disney Springs restaurant that opened in 2016. But at this time of year the really great thing is that you don’t have to be concerned about whether you’re on the naughty or nice list – you’ll be just fine here either way.

STK, of course, is the high-end steakhouse with popular locations in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. The Orlando location is sumptuous and spacious and it’s one of the few that touts a rooftop venue. In my review shortly after STK opened, I noted how impressive the food was, and not just the steaks, which as the name would lead you to expect are a particular forte. The kitchen does equally well with seafood – scallops and octopus were especially memorable – as well as the various side dishes that complete a steakhouse experience.

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Recent Reviews

Mu Restaurant & Grill

Mu cow

When I drove to New Smyrna Beach, in 2002, to check out a new restaurant I’d heard about called Spanish River Grill, I pulled up in front of the place and almost didn’t go inside. It was in a corner of a nondescript strip mall and nothing about the outside made me want to go inside. But go inside I did – it was a long drive back to Orlando – and of course I ended up eating at one of Central Florida’s best restaurant, one where the chef would eventually be nominated for a James Beard Foundation award multiple times.

I was reminded about all this recently when I visited Mu Restaurant & Grill in Kissimmee. Its location and exterior might also cause you to raise an eyebrow. It shares a building with a Shell gas station and its mini mart, occupying a space accessed at the rear. Don’t turn around, don’t drive away, because inside you’ll find charming surroundings and a most gracious and welcoming staff.

You’ll also find some pretty excellent food.

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Salsas Cocina Oviedo

salsas int

Took a trip out to Oviedo one recent very rainy evening and took refuge in Salsas Cocina Mexicana & Cantina, a popular Eastside restaurant.

It’s a lively place with a colorful interior that features bright paintings and Mexican star light fixtures hanging over the tables and booths.

In the American tradition of Tex-Mex restaurants, a bowl of tortilla chips and dish of salsa was offered when my guest and I were seated. I sipped on the house margarita, which was flavorful with its Gran Gala, triple sec and orange juice but did not affect my ability to drive after.

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Notes from Barcelona

Barcelona roof

A recent cruise in the Mediterranean dropped me off in Barcelona, a city I hadn’t been back to in a long time. So instead of heading from the cruise port to the port of air, my companion and I decided to spend a couple of days in town.

Barcelona Celler ext

On our first night, we strolled from our hotel looking for a bar, Paradiso, that we’d heard was supposed to be good. We found it, but the line was long and we didn’t want to wait. Just around the corner we found an outdoor tapas bar, Celler de la Ribera, and grabbed a couple of seats.

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Tap Room

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Newsy Nuggets

Newsy Nuggets: C is for closing, long-awaited Filipino project opening

Pie exterior

P is for Pie, the alphabetically correct bakery in Audubon Park, will close after the last Thanksgiving pie is picked up sometime Wednesday. A post on its Facebook page from owners Stacey and Ed Tomljenovich stated: “Unfortunately, we are facing insurmountable staffing challenges, continued supply chain difficulties, increased cost of goods, and persistent inconsistent product quality; we simply cannot go on. Please trust that we have made every effort to avoid this outcome and this decision was not made without many sleepless nights and lots of tears.” The news comes shortly after another neighboring business, Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux, announced that it, too, would close.

Kaya, the Filipino restaurant from Lordfer Lalicon, one of the founders of Kadence, is finally poised to open in the Thornton Avenue space that was formerly home to Dandelion Community Cafe in the Mills 50 District. Kaya would have been open much sooner but it is within the Orlando city limits, which means it was subject to its perplexing permitting process. The restaurant is currently serving to friends and family and its official opening has not yet been declared. Lalicon first announced the new project almost exactly two years ago and left Kadence in July shortly after it was awarded a Michelin star.


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Newsy Nuggets: New Credo, drinking in public at Publix and other stuff

Credo Logo

Downtown Credo, the name-your-price coffee shop with locations in Health Village and North Quarter, will take over the cafe space in the Downtown YMCA that was long held by Tropical Smoothie.

Tropical Smoothie always seemed to do a good business with Y members – and even people who would stop in just to visit – selling not only smoothies but sandwiches and other foods. A lot of members would stop in after a workout to get something to eat.

Downtown Credo isn’t known for its food. It serves pastries, which isn’t exactly a post-workout meal. Perhaps this will be the first one to venture into more prepared foods? No one at DC or Y could be reached, but a whiteboard on an easel in front of the cafe space announced the new tenant would be offering Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, tea, pastries “and more.” We’ll just have to wait to see what the and more entails.

Publix is adding a feature called Publix Pours to select supermarkets. Essentially bars, the Pours will feature coffee, kombucha on tap, açai bowls, smoothies and beer and wine. 

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Other Stuff

Supper Club at Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe is Dec. 8

Russells sunset

The next Supper Club, a Gastronomic Dinner at Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe, has been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ivanhoe Village restaurant, 1414 N. Orange Ave., Orlando.

Cost of the dinner is $175 per person (the price includes tax and gratuity). Reservations are required and can be made by calling the restaurant at 407-601-3508. Tell them you want to reserve a spot for Scott Joseph’s Supper Club.

As always, Scott Joseph’s Supper Club does not require membership. The only requirement is that you appreciate fine food and wine. And single diners are always welcome to join us.

Click Read More to see the menu:

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Field to Feast raises record amount Kids Cafe project

F2F22 camilo

The eighth annual Field to Feast took place earlier this month on the grounds of Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood. The event, sponsored by Edible Orlando in conjunction with Walt Disney World Resort, has become one of the calendar’s must-do food and wine events.

In fact, according to Edible’s Pam Brandon, F2F attracted 200 guests this year, double the number that attended the first one. The proceeds from ticket sales and a cash raffle raised a record $42,000 for the Kids Café Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

The walkabout event featured an array of Disney World culineers cooking under a large pavilion surrounded by the farm fields. A live band played, and the foods were enhanced by wine pairings selected by master sommelier George Miliotes of Wine Bar George in Disney Springs (and the new Terminal C at MCO).

Some highlights included:

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Give the gift of a fine meal

gift certificate copy

So gifting season has finally arrived. For those hard-to-please people on your list, the ones who annoyingly buy things for themselves instead of giving you hints, consider a gift certificate to a restaurant – everyone appreciates a nice meal out.

And it’s also a way to support local businesses.

If you need a recommendation, just take a look at the banners at the top and down the sides of this page. Only restaurants that meet our quality requirements may advertise on SJO, so you know they’re already highly recommended. Any of them would be happy to sell you a gift certificate.

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




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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