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What a Year: A Look Back at the Restaurants that Opened, Closed and Made News

Written By Scott Joseph On January 2, 2018

Notable Openings
Muddy exteriorMuddy Waters — A second restaurant for the two chefs of Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar, at least briefly (see Notable Headlines below). MW brought the food and ambience of New Orleans to Thornton Park.

Hunger Street Tacos — The gourmet taco trend continues.

Reyes Mezcalaria — Jason and Sue Chin broke out of Baldwin Park to take over the Citrus restaurant location in the North Quarter.

Mai Bistro — New restaurateur Dat Dang’s recent eatery brings the fast-casual concept to Vietnamese cuisine.

Nonno’s Italian Restaurant — The LaCommare family is back with their comfort cuisine from the Old Country.

Luke’s Kitchen and Bar — A third restaurant from the folks who brought you Luma on Park and Prato.

Ace Cafe Orlando — The first North American franchise of a motorcycle and music themed restaurant in North London. I had fun visiting the newest and the original within a week of each other.

Mesa 21 — Mexican cuisine comes to the lakefront locale in the Ivanhoe District.

Laurel Latin Cuisine — Paris-Bistro’s closing made way for pan-Latin food with flair.

Paddlefish — The old Fulton’s Crab House (neé Empress Lily) has been redesigned from first deck to the top (insider’s tip: go to the top deck).

Polite Pig — The Petrakises of Ravenous Pig fame figured they’d have to behave themselves with their first restaurant at Disney Springs.

Orlando Meats — Technically a butcher and not restaurant, but it served me one of the best damn burgers I had all year.

Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen — The Ravenous Pig’s original location is now a seafood restaurant that locals seem to be embracing.

Also recently opened but not yet reviewed here (coming soon): Kadence, new sushi bar from the Kappo crew; The Glass Knife, an upscale cakerie in Winter Park; and El Buda, a Latin American and Asian amalgam.


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