I would say that Kadence is one of the best restaurants in Central Florida but I’m not sure that it is. A restaurant, I mean.
Sure, it meets most of the criteria: It prepares and serves food for which customers pay; beverages are available; full service is provided.
But those components are applied in such a way as to produce something unique.
For starters, you don’t so much as make a reservation to dine here as you do buy a ticket. You essentially pay for your meal in advance and your purchase is nonrefundable, just as it would be if you were buying a ticket to a performance, which in a way you are. The policy helps to cut down on the number of no-shows and lessens the pain if a booked seat goes empty.
Because there are only nine seats in the place.
I first wrote about 903 Mills Market in 2003 when original owners Jim Ellis and Nick Massoni took over what had previously been known as Max’s Market and made it a Lake Davis neighborhood hangout.
Since then, I’ve conservatively driven past the corner cafe more than 2000 times — I live nearby, but given the vagaries of a restaurant critic’s life, casual, nonprofessional meals are something of a rarity.
But on a recent Sunday morning, not wanting to make breakfast or drive far away, I grabbed the other half and the dog (the other quarter?) and we took a stroll to the corner of Mills Avenue and Gore Street.