Friday, January 27, 2012

Prato Winter Park

Prato just opened last week, I heard about it on the Twitter of a local food writer, Rona Gindin. @ronagindin

Prato is from by the same people who own Luma just down the street, it took over the space formerly occupied by Ann Taylor, right next to Kilwin's Chocolate Shop.

The interior is strikingly beautiful with lots of dark wood color and an open ceiling, well decorated with a huge beautiful bar on the left and lots of booth seating along the right wall. In the back area there is an open kitchen with some tables that would be pleasant to sit at and watch them prepare the food. Between the bar and the kitchen is a wood burning oven where they prepare the pizzas.

The staff uniforms are plaid button up shirts, I guess they are going for  a farmhouse type look with that.

The menu changes a few times a week.

It's still early and they have some kinks to work out so don't expect everything to be perfect, if you are highly strung you may want to wait a few months until they get on their feet and are running smooth.

The staff were all great, from the managers to the servers. The manager visited our table regularly to check how our courses were.

We started off with the House Cured Lonzino($9) which is similar to prosciutto, very thinly sliced over Frisse type lettuce, it was decent.


I tried a bite of the Duck Bolognese Tagliatelle Pasta, is not really my thing but it tasted pretty good. You can order a half($9) or full($16) order of pasta, the full wasn't huge.

Next I ordered the Waterkist(a local tomato grower) Heirloom Tomato Salad($12). It was described by the waiter as Caprese style but it came out over Frisee and a few other somewhat bitter lettuces and one piece of Mozarella. The tomatoes were very tasty as were the 2 croutons on the salad, those were delicious but I would have preferred a few more. The menu mentioned a Gorgonzola dulce, which I assumed was a dressing. It wasn't a very obvious flavor on the vegetables but afterwards I was able to get some of the flavor of the sauce/dressing on some bread dipped in the sauce left on the bottom of the dish.

The bread they served was a delicious Foccacia, they weren't very generous with the amount of bread but don't be afraid to ask for more.

For my main course I had the Porchetta which was similar to a baked pork tenderloin sliced in large pieces. It was mixed with some wonderful earthy roasted root vegetables. The broth it sat in was light but had a great flavor. Also mixed in were Farro which resemble Barley. Upon first look I did not expect to love this dish as much as I did, but once I ate it, I really loved it.

I finished with Olive Oil Gelato, which just tasted like vanilla bean ice cream. I couldn't taste the oil flavor at all.

There were a few other items that looked really interesting:
Roasted Butternut Squash with Mozzarella, Pistachio and Red Onions.
Roast Pumpkin Soup
Grilled Hanger Steak with Gorgonzola Polenta and Salsa Verde

After they smooth everything out this will be a truly great place to eat, it has a wonderful atmosphere and played a lot of mild 80's music. Glasses of wine were $7-12. Appetizers were about $10-12,  Main courses were about $18-24.

124 N Park Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789 Google Map
Neighborhood: Winter Park
Dinner Mon-Sat: 5:30pm-11pm Sun: 5:30pm-10pm


Prato on Urbanspoon

The Briarpatch Winter Park, Park Ave

Briarpatch Restaurant

252 N Park Ave Winter Park, FL 32789

(407) 628-8651

Mon-Thu 7 am - 9 pm
Fri-Sat 7 am - 10 pm
Sun 8 am - 5 pm
I've heard a lot of bad things about Briarpatch, mostly online reviews, my recent experience there was excellent though so it makes me think maybe those reviews were some ex-employees or something.

I was really impressed with everything myself and my friends ordered from the Zucchini Bread with cream cheese to the Huge Brie and Raspberry French Toast.

My own breakfast was an delicious combo of Cheese Grits, fried green tomatoes, eggs and candied bacon.

The bacon was cooked so perfectly, it was crispy just like I like it not chewy  and pretty salty.

The service was great, attentive and fast.

Briarpatch Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Meat House Winter Park

The Meat House

Categories: Butcher, Grocery
669 N Orange Ave Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 629-6328

Really great selection of meats and some other groceries like cheeses.

They sell prime beef in addition to regular cuts. They have a lot of meats already marinated and some really tasty samples of the different meats. I tried the sweet steak tips and they were tender and delicious.

The neverending staff is a bit overzealous about trying to help you, but I'll cut em some slack since they just opened.

It is part of a chain if that sort of thing is important to you but I believe it has a local owner.

The prices were a little cheaper than you would find at Whole Foods and some things were on par with Publix prices but others were a little more.

They also had some good looking seafood. Go check em out they are caddy corner from Fiddler's Green on Orange Ave in Winter Park.

Now you've got a nice little area where you can buy produce(Eat More Produce), Seafood(Lombardi's) and Meat(Meat House), the area should add a cheesemonger and a few ethnic stores and we'd have a awesome little food shopping district.

Gelato @ Italian Village Cafe in Winter Park CLOSED


Had some delicious Home Made White Chocolate and also Coffee Gelato last night at Italian Village Cafe in Winter Park a real Hidden Gem, they also have a lot of Paninis and other Italian foods. They have about 20 kinds of Gelato and all variation of shakes and smoothies too.

601 north Orlando ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Hours Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm



The Italian Village Café on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gnarly Barley

New pub and grill The Gnarly Barley, South Orange ave at the intersection of Nela, near Belle Isle, a mile or so north of SandLake

The menu sounds tasty.

They are having a pig roast today Saturday Jan.14th at 3pm Facebook Event Link

They also have tacos: "Soft corn or flour tortillas filled with roasted, chipotle brisket, or shredded chicken, pico de gaillo, sour cream, and monterey jack cheese.

*Make your taco a HELL TACO by adding our jalapeno-habanero relish. It's delicious, but definitely not for the faint of heart!"

Beer Selection:
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale $4.5 5.6% ABV
Abita Purple Haze $4 4.2% ABV
Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA $5 6% ABV
Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils $5 5.3% ABV
Brooklyn Winter Ale $5 6% ABV
Southern Tier 2x IPA $4 8.2% ABV
Blue Point Toasted Lager $4 5.3% ABV
Drifter Pale Ale