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Recent reviews and restaurant news

Written By Scott Joseph On June 14, 2019

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews


Sette exterior

Tasting Table is a collaboration between Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide and WFTV-Channel 9’s Inside Central Florida.

Sette, one of the year’s most anticipated restaurants, has opened in Ivanhoe Village. The reason for the excitement is that it is the first full-service restaurant from Trina Gregory-Propst and Va Propst, owners of the popular Se7en Bites bakery. It took over the space that was previously Stir Restaurant & Bar, NOVA and Elliott’s Public House. All of those were startlingly short lived, so most people still thing of it as the location of Brian’s, a popular greasy spoon.

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Lotte Plaza Market

Lotte Market exterior 1

Every now and then you need to break up your routine, step outside of your comfort zone and look beyond your narrow horizon.

I recommend you follow this advice the next time you go grocery shopping. Instead of automatically going to, say, Publix, try something different. And I don’t mean Winn-Dixie or Lucky’s. I mean something like Lotte Plaza Market.

Lotte is a small chain of 10 Asian markets out of Maryland and Virginia, of all places. Earlier this year an Orlando location, the first in Florida, opened near the corner of John Young Parkway and West Colonial Drive.

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First look at the new Wally’s

Wally new bar

FIRST ON SJO — Wally’s Mills Avenue Liquors is scheduled to reopen later this month with a new owner and a refreshed look. Yes, some of the old wallpaper is still there but much of it was crumbling after years of damage from cigarette smoke.

What remains will have a better chance of surviving for years to come because of one major policy change: The new Wally’s will be a nonsmoking bar.

That may disappoint many of the barflies that sat on the stools around the three-sided bar chain smoking and sipping the notoriously stiff cocktails. But it should also delight others who wanted to patronize the popular bar but decided they didn’t want to damage their lungs along with their livers.

There’s something else you should know about the new Wally’s: it is no longer a dive bar.

It’s actually kind of gorgeous.

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Copper Canyon Grill closes; Brazilian steakhouse set to move in

Rodizio Grill Orlando Rendering

Copper Canyon Grill served its last Big Meatloaf Stack in Orlando Wednesday night. The small Maryland based restaurant has closed its Pointe Orlando location after 12 years.

A new tenant, Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse, has already signed on to take over the space.

Erick Cooper, Copper Canyon Grill’s director of operations, said Thursday that the company’s lease was up at the end of June, and after initially considering renewing the lease, the company chose to close instead. Cooper said that managers at the Orlando location knew about the decision a few days ago; the rest of the 45-person staff found out Wednesday evening. “It all actually happened fast,” Cooper said.

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Other Stuff

Compliments of the Chef: Tempura Avocado from American Kitchen

Tempura Avocado

One of the best things I sampled when I recently reviewed American Kitchen at B Resort Orlando was the Tempura Avocado appetizer. It featured firm wedges of avocados in a light tempura batter topped with a tangy jam made with tomatoes and chipotle peppers.

I liked it so much that I asked executive chef Venoy Rogers III for the recipe. He presents it here with his compliments.

Watch the video that start heating your oil. Or stop by American Kitchen and sample these tasty tidbits yourself.


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Bullet Point Buffet: Tacos for a cause and a better burger

Pulse foundationMX logo

  • MX Taco donated the day’s profits on June 12 to the One Pulse Foundation in commemoration of the anniversary of the massacre. It’s a nice thing to do.
  • Central Florida is well represented in this year’s Blended Burger Project, which challenges restaurants to create a burger that uses chopped mushrooms with beef. The Mushroom Council is a sponsor of the event. The goal is a more healthful and sustainable burger. American Kitchen Bar & Grill has submitted an entry called La Vaca Trufa (the truffle cow), with house-ground angus beef and Kissimmee River Mushrooms (pictured). 
  • Soco restaurant in downtown’s Thornton Park is hosting a collaborative dinner with Sagamore Spirit Master Distiller on Tuesday, June 25. Pre-dinner drinks (whiskey based, of course) will be served at 6:30 p.m. A five-course dinner by chef/partner Greg Richie will follow. Cost is $95 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reserve your spot by emailing at this link.

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