Wine 4 Oysters Bar & Bites is a charming little restaurant on South Alafaya Trail in the Shoppes of Eastwood. It’s a small storefront space with a few tables and chairs along one wall and a bar on the other. That the spaces at the bar seem to fill up before the tables lets you know that this is a neighborhoody kind of place.
It’s a mom and pop operation run by Tatiana Golenkova and Andrey Makhotin, who are mom and pop to Nikolay, who also works at the restaurant on weekends.
As the name suggests, oysters are a forte here, but this is not your divey kind of oyster bar with a concrete counter and shuckings scraped on the floor. The wine part of the name conveys its more boutiquey atmosphere, which may be one of the reasons that women made up most of the guests on the evening I visited recently.
The France pavilion at Epcot has reopened its boutique restaurant Monsieur Paul, which had been shuttered since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. It returns with a new concept that is ambitious both in scope and price, especially considering its location within a theme park.
It is presenting the “gastronomic meal of the French,” a festive meal that celebrates special occasions that in 2010 was inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It doesn’t get much grander than that.
In more simplistic terms, it is a multi-course, prix fixe dinner that according to the dictates should begin with an apéritif, end with liqueurs and feature in between at least four courses – a starter, fish and/or meat with vegetables, cheese and dessert.
That’s all there, and more, at Monsieur Paul. Plus the added fun of having fellow diners in shorts, t-shirts and the occasional Minnie Mouse headdress. A note on the restaurant’s web page reads: “Guests are expected to dress accordingly in attire that adheres to the restaurant’s sophisticated and upscale aesthetic. Please no swimwear.” So at least there’s that.