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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On December 20, 2018

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews

The Ramen

The Ramen ramen

 Why do I think of Edgar Allen Poe every time I hear that name?

Quoth The Ramen “Never pho.”

It wasn’t quite a midnight dreary that I walked downtown blocks so dreary. Though it definitely was in bleak December. And I had to walk past the even bleaker desolation of the deserted Orlando Sentinel parking lot. But The Ramen is anything but a dark and musty chamber. It’s actually quite bright and pristine.

The new restaurant sits on the corner of North Orange Avenue and Amelia Street. Something new in the wave of ramen restaurants that we’ve seen lately, The Ramen is quick-serve: Place your order and pay for it at the counter then take a number stand to a table of your choice. Someone will bring your food to you when it’s ready.

After considering the menu that one of the cheerful greeters gave me, I selected the Shoyu Ramen, which had Shoyu broth, chashu, aji tamago, naruto, menma, green onions and nori.


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Wine Bar George Revisited

Wine Bar George Ext

Now that Wine Bar George has been open for seven months or so, I thought it would be interesting to revisit and see how it is settling in to the Disney Springs community.

Actually, there was another reason to make another trip there. A Wine Bar George dining experience with me was offered as a silent auction item at this year’s gala for Orlando Shakes in Partnership with UCF. The dinner, donated by Rick Schell, was for two people to join me and Schell for an updated review. After a fierce bidding war in which two parties battled for the two seats, Schell graciously expanded the invitation to both couples.


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Final Dexter’s Location Sold

Dexter lake mary

The last of the four Dexter’s restaurants has been sold.

Hospitality Investment Partners, which may or may not call itself HIP, has acquired the Lake Mary Dexter’s from John Hoffmeister, who was a partner with founder Dexter Richardson in the restaurants. When we told you about the sales of the other restaurants in this article last month, Hoffmeister was vague about whether he would keep or sell the Lake Mary location. “I’m possibly selling everything but not 100 percent sure,” he said at the time. He said that if he did sell to a party that has shown interest, he would likely stay on as the general manager to run things. “I expect to be here another five to 10 years,” he said.

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Mauricio Colindres, Co-owner of Chatham’s Place, Dies at 71

ColindresNote: This story has been amended to add details on funeral arrangements.

Mauricio Colindres, one of the two owners of Orlando’s venerable Chatham’s Place restaurant, died Saturday. The cause was cancer, according to a coworker. Colindres was 71.

Colindres had been working at restaurant in Dr. Phillips for several years when owner Louis Chatham expressed a desire to sell the business. 

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MagDinMo Served a Lot of Diners and Raised a Lot of Dineros

Magdinmo check

A record number of people dined at participating Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month restaurants this year, 251,766 to be exact.

How do I know that? Because for each dinner sold from the special $35 three-course menu, the restaurants donated one dollar to charities chosen by Visit Orlando to benefit from the proceeds. This year the dining program raised $251,766, more than any previous year.


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Other Stuff

Chef Lineup Taking Shape for Inaugural Wine Event

Winefest chefs.001

A new batch of chefs has been announced for the inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, and the lineup is starting to look pretty impressive.

The event will be March 15-17 and is sponsored the Orlando Magic to benefit the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation. Most of the events will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. The weekend will feature wine dinners in private homes; a grand tasting of wine and food prepared by local and nationally recognized chefs; an auction; and a dinner hosted by a celebrity chef. The weekend will culminate with the Magic’s home game on Sunday evening.

Newly announced chefs are:

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What is the Best New Restaurant?

Reyes exteriorReyes Mezcaleria in the North Quarter District was named Best New Restaurant of 2017

The restaurants listed here are nominated for Best New Restaurant in Scott Joseph’s Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants. The nominees were chosen from among the notable restaurants that opened within the past 18 months.

Voting ends Jan. 2.

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What is 2018’s Best Restaurant Overall?

MMOmakase interiorMorimoto Asia at Disney Springs was Best Restaurant Overall for 2017

The restaurants listed here are nominated for Best Restaurant Overall in Scott Joseph’s Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants. The nominees were chosen based on past performance and critical review, previous nominations and votes, and standing in the culinary community.

Voting ends Jan. 2.

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