Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Magical Dining Month 2013 at Luma

Famed Winter Park restaurant Luma is one of the featured restaurants for Magical Dining Month which runs throughout the month of September. We recently attended a preview dinner for the 3 course prix fixe meal that will be offered for $33. Below is the Menu and some of the selections.

3 Course prix fixe menu
Vidalia onion eggplant soup with pimenton on creme fraiche and chive
Ashley Farms Chicken breast - Rabbit Run Farms Pole Beans, baby fennel, currants, marcona almonds, salsa verde
Pompano Beach swordfish forbidden black rice Anson mills red sea peas, Serrano butter sauce, pickled sweet peppers
Crispy grit cake with royal red pickled shrimp, tasso ham, green tomato chutney
Lemon olive oil cake. Cherry compote, lemon curd, house made vanilla ice cream
Malted sponge cake. Peanut caramel, milk chocolate cremosa, Maldon salt.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Smiling Bison Restaurant & Bar

The Smiling Bison(WebsiteFacebook) opened this week. It takes over the old Redlight Redlight space on Bennett Road in Orlando across from The Roxy nightclub. Chef Josh Oakley formerly of Ravenous Pig and Enzian founded this restaurant with the theme of house made sausages and kielbasas, but as you'll see from the menu it's much more than that, lots of great food and beer selections and not just a sausage party.

The space has been painted and redecorated very nicely the only remnants from the old Redlight are in the mens room, one of the walls still has all those old beer ads and posters, it's nice to remember your history.

The staff was all dressed up in their signature Smiling Bison shirts and the decor has a nice uniformity and the chosen light brown/tan is a calming color choice. A stage is set up in the back corner for bands and I'm sure the Cook Trio, a mainstay from the olden days, will be making some appearances.

They also have a great outdoor patio with picnic tables so you can watch the world go by or have a smoke.

Parking always has and will be a hassle on busy nights, their actual lot can only fit about 10 cars but the street behind it along the curb and in the dirt there is usually a space to be found. I don't recommend parking in the Boston Market parking lot or the doggie day care, just to avoid being towed.

The beer menu is small but lots of good choices, sometimes 100 beers to choose from can be too overwhelming. It's nice to focus on a dirty dozen or so and really find which one is your favorite. Also you should notice that they are serving Cask & Larder beers by local brewer & beer guru Ron Raike (Orlando Weekly Article)

The evening I attended the full kitchen was not up and running but it should be by this Tuesday the next day they are open, closed Sunday and Monday. I believe the hours are going to be Tues-Thurs 5-midnight, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am.

The sausages are all made in house and each of them is served with a side selection of your choice, Watermelon Basil Salad, Lemon Kale Salad or house made BBQ potato chips.

Watermelon Basil Salad

Some of the other menu items I didn't get a picture of or that weren't served were the Soft Pretzel, people seemed to love this. Also they will be serving pizzas, the Duck Pizza sounds especially great. You can see pictures of these on their Facebook page.

Poutine $7 - Crispy potato wedges, gravy, cheese curds, pickled Maitake mushrooms

Pickled Red Hots - these seemed to cause some confusion with lack of description on the menu, they were served room temperature and had a great smokey flavor

Curry Wurst $10 - Sweet curry Sausage, mushroom ketchup, caramelized onions

Buffalo Chicken Dog $10 - Chicken Sausage, Frank's Hot Sauce, blue cheese, pickled carrots

The Smiling Bison Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Cask & Larder's Beer vs. Whiskey Dinner - 8/19

On Monday, August 19, Cask & Larder Brewmaster Ron Raike and Bar Manager Larry Foor serve up a four-course battle–beer vs. whiskey showdown with house-brewed Cask & Larder beers and Brewmaster favorites paired head-to-head against selections from the Brown-Forman Family of Fine Whiskies in Florida. Starting with a reception at 5:30 p.m., the four-course dinner will offer guests the chance to taste a flavorful selection of beers and whiskies alongside Cask & Larder’s acclaimed kitchen creations. Reservations are now available for $65 per person, including tax and gratuity. For an additional $10, each guest can also receive a copy of Chef Owners James and Julie Petrakis’ signature cookbook, The Ravenous Pig: Seasons of Florida. For reservations, call (321) 280-4200.

Before the dinner, Whiskey Brand Champion and Certified Spirits Specialist Michael Ring, as well as our contenders Ron and Larry are available to “talk smack,” answer questions about the great beer vs. whiskey debate, and offer tasting notes on what diners should seek out in pairing great food with great drinks. 

Dinner Menu:

Reception with Hand Passed Hors d’Oeuvers
Beer: Berliner RogenWeiss (3.3% abv) – Refreshing German-style sour with Rye and Wheat | Whiskey: Jack Daniels “Gentlemen Jack” TN

First Course: Cucumber Gazpacho
Chilled Lobster Ceviche, Hearts of Palm, Charred Mango, Lemon Verbena
Beer: Olde Southern Wit (5% abv) – Brewed with Coriander, Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit Zest | Whiskey: Old Forester Bourbon KY

Second Course: Chicken Liver Spedini
Southern Stone Fruit Bread Salad, Bacon Sorghum Vinaigrette
Beer: White Oak Barrel Aged Trois Mois Saison (7.1% abv) | Whiskey: Jack Daniels “Single Barrel Select” TN

Third Course: Pork Cheek Dumpling
Calico Bay Scallop-Beet Ragu, Fennel-Olive Slaw
Beer: Jack Daniels Barrel Aged St. Kate’s Stout (5% abv) | Whiskey: Woodford Reserve Bourbon KY

Fourth Course: Peach Cornmeal Upside Down Cake
Beer: Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Porter (9.2% abv) | Whiskey: Woodford Reserve Double Oaked KY

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Brown's New York Deli in Maitland

Brand New Deli in town:

Brown's New York Deli in Maitland, in the same plaza as Copper Rocket.

Word is they make their own Brisket in house.

Check out some pictures here on Yelp:

Menu here:

Menu includes Stuffed Cabbage, Knish, Smoked Nova Scotia Salmon, Matzo Ball Soup

Brown's New York Deli on Urbanspoon

Fresh Market Orlando Mills Park

The new Fresh Market opened this past week at the intersection of Mills & Virginia. It's very popular and parking is a bit of pain, but hopefully once the rest of the plaza is completed there will be enough parking spaces.

It's a very nice space with lots of variety the prices seem slightly high but not as bad as Whole Foods. They have a small section where they sell local sauces and dressing among other products.

The Fresh Market on Urbanspoon

Pâté & Mousse


Produce and Fruits


Dried peppers






Steaks & Beef




Fresh Salad Bar $6.99 a pound

Salad Bar

Olive Bar




Blood Orange Juice from Italy

Dairy Section

Dried Spice Powders

Beer Section, decent selection


Can you tell I like Beer?

Wine Section

Nut Bar

Fruit, Apples


Shellfish, Scallops and Lobster Tails

Seafood Salad Bar, Seaweed Salad, etc.

Preseasoned Seafood Items

Smoked Whitefish and Salmon

Twice Baked Potato & Salads

Premade Salads

Baby Back Ribs

cooked Wings & Rotisserie Chicken

Sriracha Sauce

Almond Butter Machine

Local Vinagrette Dressing Maker


Huge grilling Sandwich

Premade Slaws and Salads

Premade Slaws and Salads

Heirloom Tomatoes from Canada

Heirloom Tomatoes from Canada :(