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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On January 3, 2020

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews

Hungry Pants

Hungry Pants interior

I have no idea why it’s called Hungry Pants. It could just as easily have been named Famished Footwear or Starving Sweater.

I also can’t say what it is that makes these particular pants so peckish. That will just have to remain a mystery.

Hungry Pants is the project of Joey Conicella and Alex Marin who were the original owners of the Yum Yum Cupcake Truck, one of the early entries in Orlando’s food truck scene. They describe Hungry Pants as offering “a plant-curious menu in a fast-fine setting.”

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Tap Room at Dubsdread, a Guest Review

taproom corner

As has become an annual tradition, I participated as a silent auction item at the Orlando Shakes gala. The prize is for a couple to join me at a restaurant and help me review it.

And as has also become a tradition, the successful bidders were John and Rita Lowndes. And so we gathered at Tap Room at Dubsdread, whose owner, Steve Gunter, had graciously donated the meal to benefit the theater company.

We gathered at the restaurant on a Thursday evening and found it at full capacity, but our reserved table was waiting for us. Tap Room at Dubsdread has been known as a place for power lunches with the city’s movers and shakers gathering to see and be seen as much as to have a good meal.

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Other Stuff

2019 Best Restaurant Overall

Best Overall Image

Old Jailhouse in Sanford has been voted by readers of Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide as Best Restaurant Overall in our 2019 Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants. Old Jailhouse also received this year’s Best New Restaurant Foodster.

Coming in second was Bull & Bear, the elegant chophouse at Orlando’s Waldorf Astoria, and Soco in Thornton Park was third.

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Old Jailhouse Voted Best New Restaurant for 2019

Old Jailhouse extrior

The Old Jailhouse, the Sanford restaurant that brought the talents of chef Bram Fowler back to the dining public, has been voted Best New Restaurant in our 2019 Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants.

Fewer than 10 votes separated the second and third place winners, with Toledo, the Spanish restaurant on the top floor of the newly opened Gran Destino Tower, besting Terralina Crafted Italian restaurant at Disney Springs.

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Ritz-Carlton Debuts Newly Renovated Lobby Lounge

Lobby Bar bar

The one thing that was missing from the grand Ritz-Carlton at the Grande Lakes Resort was a grand lobby bar. There was a place for cocktails or a glass of wine but it wasn’t exactly a place you’d want to linger and soak in the luxuriousness of the hotel and its grounds. It was more a place to meet.

But now following a big renovation, the Ritz-Carlton has the Lobby Lounge, an appropriately resplendent space worthy of the hotel’s brand.

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Wine Dinner at La Luce Will Feature Virtual Reality


La Luce2015 final 243x300 copyFor those of you who are able to look past the next few days and are already anticipating events in the New Year, consider the first wine dinner of 2020 at La Luce at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creet.

The five-course dinner is Saturday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. and will feature pairings with Brancaia Wine. Cost is $175 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-597-3675 or emailing to [email protected].

And here’s an intriguing twist. According to information from the hotel: “During the evening’s wine experience, a small portion will be conducted via Virtual Reality goggles using YouTube technology. We ask that you come with the YouTube application downloaded on your smartphone in preparation of the festivitites.”

That certainly piques my curiosity.

Here’s chef de cuisine Alberto Navarette Arias’ menu for the evening:

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A Thank-You Letter from Scott

Dear Readers,

It might not look like it but it takes a lot to keep a website like this up and running. Much effort, yes, in term of research, writing and administrative duties, but also money. There are, of course, the costs associated with visiting each restaurant that is written about, and we all know how expensive that can be. But there also software costs and maintenance fees and ongoing payments to the hosting company that ensure the site is always online and can be seen and accessed.

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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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