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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On June 24, 2021

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News from the Flog  

Recent Reviews

Illume

Illume orchid view

The nightly fireworks shows return to Walt Disney World on July 1, but if you can’t witness them at one of the parks, you should definitely try to see them at Illume, the gorgeous new rooftop venue at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek. From the moment you step off the express elevator to the ninth-level restaurant and lounge, everything is a WOW.

Illume deck

Beginning with the view. Step out on the terrace and you can start identifying the Disney landmarks. Walk to the far end and you’ll have a full 180-degree vantage, east to north to west.

The wowness doesn’t end with the view; it’s extended through the inventive cocktails and Asian-inspired menu overseen by chef Myra Buerkle. David Tsan, formerly with Kabooki, is the sushi chef.

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Road Trip Redux: Atlantic’s Edge, Islamorada

Atlanticedge beach

It wasn’t until the day after I had checked in to Cheeca Lodge, the waterfront resort in Islamorada, and after I had made reservations to dine at its premier restaurant, Atlantic’s Edge, that a feeling of deja vu came over me. It felt like I’d been there before.

So I fired up the Wayback Machine – it’s a strange thing to Google yourself – and discovered that I had been there before, nearly 19 years ago, on assignment for the Orlando Sentinel.

 

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 News

CSI: Criminal Salad Investigation

Trespass

New details have come in regarding the alleged Saladgate incident at Hillstone recently. As I told you in Wednesday’s edition of Newsy Nuggets, Winter Park Police were called to the restaurant during Tuesday’s lunch hour because a customer had requested a salad to go.

The customer, Bruce Woodburn, posted about the incident on his Facebook page and recounted his version of what happened in a video. Basically, as I understand it, Woodburn was dining at the lakefront restaurant with another person and asked to purchase a salad to take with him. The restaurant said no. He then asked for a salad to eat at his table, but again was told no. Apparently management was on to his little ploy and suspected that as soon as the salad was delivered to the table he would request a box for the “leftovers.”

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Other Stuff

Newsy Nuggets: Frenchy’s, Willy’s, and of course a new chicken franchise

Willys Frenchy Logo Proof copy

The team behind Big Fin Seafood Kitchen and Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe plan to open two new prototype concepts next month in the Gatlin Hall Brewing food market on South Orange Avenue and Gatlin Avenue.

Frenchy’s Wood-fired and Willy’s Original will join another tenant, Da Kine Poke, and the beer-tapping bar when the facility finally opens. It has faced delays – I told you in January that it had completed permitting and planned a March open – but now is aiming for just after the Fourth of July.

 

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Newsy Nuggets: New chef at JW Marriott BC, 808 in the 407, Fleming’s gas problem fixed, and don’t ask for a salad to-go at Hillstone

SearSea verandah

Melissa Sallman has been named executive chef for the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek and will take over duties at Sear + Sea, pictured at top, the indoor/outdoor steak and seafood restaurant overlooking the actual Bonnet Creek. Sallman, left, has been with the Marriott organization for 20 years, most recently as executive sous chef at the JW Marriott Marco Island. By the way, Illume, the new rooftop restaurant and lounge at the JWM Bonnet Creek is now open and I’ll have my review tomorrow.

 

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