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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On March 12, 2020

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News from the Flog  

Recent Reviews

Mia’s Italian Kitchen

Mias interior

A whole Chargrilled Branzino isn’t the sort of dish I’d typically order at a place called Mia’s Italian Kitchen, a newcomer to the I-Drive collection of restaurants. But when one was placed in front of me to try, I found myself wanting to forsake everything else on the table. And just about everything else was worth eating, too.

Mia’s is owned by Alexandria Restaurant Partners of Alexandria, Va., which also owns the nearby Cafe Tu Tu Tango. (Remember when that opened in 1994 and we expected it to be a national chain one day? It’s the only remaining one.)

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Shoufi Mahfi

Shoufi view

Hey, what’s up?

Or should I say Shoufi Mahfi? Because that’s what’s up for today. And that’s the translation.

Shoufi Mahfi is a charming little Mediterranean restaurant in South Orlando near the intersection of Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway. It’s a counter service operation, but the staff is so warm and welcoming you might think you’re dining in a full service restaurant.

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Orlando Wine Festival & Auction Postponed

Orlando wine Festival logo

The second annual Orlando Wine Festival & Auction scheduled to take place this weekend has been postponed indefinitely due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

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Plan for Smith & Wollensky on I-Drive Falls Through

SmithWollensky renderPreliminary artist rendering for a Smith & Wollensky that had been planned for International Drive.

Renderings were drawn, interior designs were planned, and Josh Wallack was being introduced as the landlord of an Orlando location of New York steakhouse Smith & Wollensky. But after a year of negotiations and preliminary expenses, the parent company of the high-end restaurant decided not to go forward with what had seemed like a done deal.

“Of all the deals I’ve done in Orlando, this is the one that slipped away from me,” said Wallack, of Wallack Holdings, which owns Mangos Tropical Cafe on International Drive and Hollywood Plaza with the recently constructed parking garage next door with a prime top-floor restaurant space that was intended for Smith & Wollensky.

Wallack blames Las Vegas.

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Other Stuff

Best Tacos 2020

Taco generic

Here are the finalists for the 2020 Best Tacos Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants.

Voting will continue through March 20. The winners will be announced on March 23. Click Read More to see the finalists and place your vote.

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Bullet Point Buffet: On and Off the Avenue

Brunch on the avenue

  • Brunch on the Avenue will take place March 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Gaston Edwards Park, which makes one wonder if the organizers know what brunch is, or an avenue, for that matter. It will feature a four-course “breakfast for dinner” menu served at a long and winding table along the Lake Ivanhoe park’s path. So, Brunch on the Path, maybe? Bottomless Bloodies and Mimosas. Cost is $100 per person or $150 for two. Tickets at ivanhoevillage.org.
  • March 28 is also the date for the fourth annual Beard in Baldwin, a walkabout tasting event benefitting the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship fund and it actually does take place on an avenue. Or street, to be exact. Forty eight local restaurants and 18 beverage vendors will be on hand. Organizers have also invited three Chicago chefs, which is so Beard-like. Event is from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $110 for general admission. Tickets here.

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Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide | P.O. Box 568344 | Orlando | FL | 32856



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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