Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Florida Film Festival 2014

The 23rd annual Florida Film Festival will take place in Maitland Florida on April 4-13, 2014. They always have great parties and food events during the festival so here is a summary:

Enzian is located at 1300 South Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32751

Opening Night Party:
Friday April 4th, 2014
Opening Night Film 7PM The Trip to Italy preceded by “Oh Sheep!” shown at Regal
Cocktail hour at Eden Bar: 7–8PM.
Food and cocktail bar inside theater:  8–11PM.

Party ONLY ticket price $95

Some great local restaurants are participating this year in the opening night party, there is always unlimited sampling and the lines are usually quite quick.

Cask & Larder
Ethos Vegan Kitchen
K Restaurant
Olea Grill
Sushi Pop
Smiling Bison

The Matador
The Courtesy

Locally Fresh! Farmers Market

Saturday, April 5, NOON-2:30PM at Lawn at Eden Bar FREE and open to the public

An afternoon tasting of local eats and a video sneak peek into the world of our nearby farming communities. Enzian goes down to the farm to learn where our food is coming from. Featuring food from these vendors: Lake Meadow Natural Farms, Palmetto Creek Farms, Olde Hearth Bread Co., and East End Market.

After "Locally Fresh!" there will be a farmers market on the lawn. Guests will get a chance to talk to the famers and other local vendors as well as purchase goods to take home to try.

Sunday Brunch Buffet

Sunday, April 6, 11AM-2PM at Eden Bar
$13.99--includes buffet & a mimosa
À la carte options also available

Also there will be a few films of interest to food centric folks


Le Chef

View trailer on Youtube(Link)
    Directed by: Daniel Cohen
    FRANCE/SPAIN, 2012, 84 minutes
    In French with English subtitles
    Rated PG-13

Toss together a veteran three-star chef, a new CEO who wants him out, a molecular gastronomist whom the CEO wants in, and an incredibly talented and obsessive young chef. Throw in a dash of Japanese high farce. Sauté with the flawless charm and great timing of French comedy and voila! LE CHEF. Jacky is a young chef who keeps getting fired from his jobs at ordinary restaurants where he expects extraordinary gastronomes. Béatrice is Jacky’s very pregnant girlfriend. Alexandre Lagarde (played by the fabulous Jean Reno, Leon the Professional) is a three-star living legend past his prime. Sweating his contract (that depends on his three stars), Chef Lagarde pits his wits against a new CEO who wants his traditional French cuisine replaced by molecular gastronomy. Sacré bleu! Jacky has been reduced to washing windows at a nursing home when the two meet and begin a brilliant collaboration. French, funny, food, love, LE CHEF has it all.

 After Winter, Spring

    Directed by: Judith Lit
    USA/FRANCE, 2013, 74 minutes
    In English and French with English subtitles
    Southeast Premiere

Trailer on Vimeo(Link)

This is an utterly gorgeous love story for the farmers in Perigord, France, which has been continuously cultivated for over five thousand years. One hundred years ago, half of the population of France were farmers. Now less that 3% are. Will the Perigord peasants be the last generation to employ and sustain the old methods? Will the world lose their “old peasant wisdom” of prudence, respect, and love of the earth? Filmed over four years, AFTER WINTER, SPRING is a treasure trove of great food and farming traditions. With fascinating detail, it captures the roots of farm-to-table and the tenacity of the people who have taken one season at a time for generations. The filmmaker, an American ex-pat and Perigord neighbor, was raised on her own family’s farm in Pennsylvania. Her bond to the land and the people who love it translates into an insightful, lyrical tribute to a way of life on the verge of extinction.

shown with the Short Film:

Faces from Places—Louisiana: La Boucherie

Laissez le bon temps rouler! Meet a Cajun butcher, watch a Cajun BBQ, go whole hog, and Party! 

Lombardi's Seafood Shop

Great selection of fresh seafood at Lombardi's in Winter Park. Lobster, rainbow trout, oysters, scallops, smoked fish dip, grouper, chowders & more! 

Lombardi's is reportedly moving their seafood warehouse to Fairbanks near 4 rivers BBQ.

Txokos Basque Kitchen

After much anticipation Txokos Basque Kitchen opened in Orlando this month in the building housed by East End Market. I've been hearing about the plans for Txokos for what seems like years. I have eaten at it's sister restaurant, Spanish River Grill, in New Smyrna Beach a couple times and was really impressed.

I got there at 5:30 just after opening without a reservation and I was the only guest, I saw some familiar faces among the staff which was nice. I sat down at the bar and ordered one of the Spanish Beers. They had a good selection of beers most of which I hadn't heard of. They also had a couple cidras that according to the staff are similar to ciders but not as sweet and drier. I ordered the 1906 beer which was a darker beer and it was quite good. When I visited Spain about 5 years ago their beer selection was quite poor in most places, with the only beers I could find were Estrella Damm and Mahou, both of which are not very good beers in my opinion. As a result during the trip I would order sangrias instead of beer. It was great to find that the staff had made such an effort to find good Spanish beers to serve at Txokos.

After my date arrived we moved to a table with a view of the wood burning Asador grill. The wheels you see on the top allow the grill plates to be raised and lowered. This is my one complaint about the evening, while the Asador is very visually appealing the grill created a lot of smoke, so the room got a bit smoky at times. I'm told they are working on putting some equipment in to alleviate this. Also we were there when they had just recently started the grill so the smoke was probably thicker than it would be later in the evening.

The name Txokos comes from the Basque region where Spain and France meet and refers to gastronomical societies or groups of friends who get together to cook, sample and talk about food and drinks.

From Wikipedia: "During the Franco years, txokos became increasingly popular as they were one of the few places where Basques could legally meet without state control, speak Basque and sing Basque songs as the constitution of the txokos prohibited the discussion of politics on the premises"

If you are interested in learning more about Txokos and the Basque region, this book: The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky (Amazon link) is required reading by the staff of Txokos.

The Txokos logo also reflects it's Basque influence with the 7 pointed star and the Harpoons in it's logo. The Basques were the first to commercially hunt whales. The 7 pointed star in the logo represents the seven provinces of the Basque region.

We started our meal with the Manchego and fig appetizer $4. Quite simple and delicious. I loved the sweetness of the fig with the mild flavor of the cheese. It was topped with a sherry dressing. Well worth the money.

Next up was the Marrow Bone appetizer $13. Canoe Cut roasted beef bone. Anchovy Vinaigrette, Aioli. This was a superb dish and the bread slice which had a slight char to it was a perfect pairing. The aioli sauce was quite rich and flavorful.

For the main courses, I ordered the Oxtail while my companion ordered the pasta.

The Sherry braised Oxtail "Matador" with pimentón, mire poix, served over Drunken Goat cheese stone ground grits. $23. The sauce had a rich flavor but it took a little work to get all the meat off the bone. I loved the grits.

Fideo Bolognese $23 - Toasted pasta, brisket, foie, Serrano, wild mushrooms. This dish looks rather simple but the taste was excellent.

For dessert was shared the tart, Gateau Basque - Almond Custard Tart, Bordeaux cherries, red wine-cherry gastrique $8

All the food was wonderful and there wasn't a dud in the bunch.

There were many other dishes I will be going back to try, the ones that caught my eye:

"Caldo Gallego" - traditional heary stew with beef, pork, beans and greens

The Foie - Duck two ways, liver, egg, porcini, potato puree

and the Wagyu Brisket.

Txokos is a great place to stop in for a drink or to take a date for dinner. It's a great addition to the East End Market. 

Here are some menus:

Txokos Basque Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spacebar Beer Pairing dinner with Fork in the Road

On Monday March 31st Spacebar and Fork in the Road food truck are having a Unibroue beer pairing dinner.
Monday, March 31 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Spacebar, 2428 E Robinson St, Orlando, FL
This is a limited engagement. Only 48 tickets will be sold to this exclusive Beer x Food tasting. Come enjoy some of the worlds finest beers from Unibroue pared with the talents of Chef Bryce from  the award winning food truck Fork in the Road. 
Unibroue Tasting:
Blanche De Chambly Ceviche, Nasturtium, Citrus Maudite King Salmon, Maple Glaze, Pickled Heirloom Beets, Horseradish
La Fin Du Monde  Porkbelly, Barley Risotto, Braised Greens
Trois Pistoles Crawfish polenta "Fries", Etouffée Sauce
Terrible  Beef Shortrib, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Balsamic Cippolini Onions
Ephemere Hazelnut Sponge Cake, Vanilla Bean ice cream, 17 grande reserve redux

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Artisans Table Downtown Orlando

Brand new restaurant that took over the space that was formerly 22 Pine Burgers downtown:

One reviewer mentioned a Kalbi Cheesesteak which sounds really great!
Another interesting item was a wrap with octopus, chorizo sausage?!!

I recently stopped in for breakfast on a Monday about 9 am. I had the place all to myself which was nice and I got to talk to Chef Scott Copeland who I knew from Antonio's La Fiamma in Maitland.

He started Artisan's table with some partners, and I hope they are successful as I know he's a great chef from the food I ate this morning and on my previous visits to Antonio's.

Artisan's Table Interior

Grits and Gravy

Maple Bacon

Hash Browns

French Toast Muffin

Breakfast Bowl Menu

Drip Coffee Maker

Artisan's Table on Urbanspoon


Friday, March 7, 2014

South + York

South + York is located in Winter Springs at the north end of Tuskawilla Road at 434 in the Publix plaza. It's a gourmet farm to table restaurant in the former location of Hollywood Bistro. South + York opened in late 2013.  Their menu changes daily and with the seasons using whatever ingredients local farmer's have available.

Chef Edgar Cruz was born in New York and did his culinary training in the South where he met his wife, hence the name South + York. 

The decor is very pleasant with a mix of stand alone tables and some leather booths, atmosphere is modern and simple yet well done.

For dinner we ordered the following dishes:
Tempura Goat Cheese with Cracked Black Pepper & local Honey $8 - This was excellent I would have preferred something to to eat the goat cheese with like a cracker or toast points, they are very soft and delicious but something more firm to counterbalance it would be great.

Arugula Salad - Blackberries, Pine Nuts, Red Onion, Sweetgrass Dairy(link) green hill cheese $9 - The cheese was from Georgia, and is a double-cream Camembert-style cheese. Very good.

Mussels - House made Fettuccine, Swiss Chard, Fennel, Onion, Saffron Broth $22 - Superb seafood flavor, the mussels are served without the shells and the broth had a wonderful bite to it. I was spooning up every last drop of the broth at the end.

South + York Burger - bacon jam, pimento cheese, fiery pickles, fried green tomato, truffle fries $15 - Burger was made medium rare with Wagyu beef. The pickle had a great homemade flavor. The truffle fries were very large I'd call them potato wedges. They had a nice crisp crust on them and the truffle flavor was quite strong.

Another interesting item they had which I didn't get a chance to try was the Fried Green Tomato Oreo which was served with the snapper, I'll have to order that another time. I also hear great things about the seared scallops, see a picture here from their Instagram link

For dessert I had:
Bread Pudding - dried cherries, golden raisins, vanilla ice cream, ginger raisin sauce $7 - strong and sweet flavor, you must like raisins and dried cherries to enjoy this dish.

Overall I'd say my experience was excellent as was the food. I think South + York is a great addition to the Tuskawilla area, the only other restaurants of note anywhere nearby are Stefano's Trattoria & Thai Basil a few miles south. The lack of great dining choices in the area and the excellent food at South + York should be the recipe for success. The location is a little hard to see from the road, hopefully they can get the word out, as we all know good news travels fast.

They also have a decent beer selection, I had a very nice Swamphead IPA from Gainsville, not as hoppy of an aftertaste as I would have expected.

South + York serves breakfast on Saturdays and Brunch on Sundays where you can order unlimited mimosas!

Here are the pics of the food:

Arugula Salad - Blackberries, Pine Nuts, Red Onion, Sweetgrass Dairy green hill cheese $9

Tempura Goat Cheese with Cracked Black Pepper & local Honey $8

Mussels - Handmade Fettuccine, Swiss Chard, Fennel, Onion, Saffron Broth $22

Truffle Fries

Burger with Truffle Fries

South + York Burger - bacon jame, pimento cheese, fiery pickles, fried green tomato, truffle fries $15

Bread Pudding - dried cherries, golden raisins, vanilla ice cream, ginger raisin sauce $7

Dinner Menu
 Breakfast Menu
Check out their website:

Yelp Reviews:




South + York on Urbanspoon