New & Notable — Summer 2014


Sign up for the next Local Roots Brew Bus Farm Tours. Date is June 28, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., and farms include Ensey’s Tropical Fruit, Merritt Island (a mango farm with 37 varieties); Dragon Farm, Merritt Island (dragon fruit) and Wild Ocean Seafood, Titusville (cooking class and lunch). Cost is $65 and includes tours, Tampa Bay Brew Bus Beer on bus and a casual seafood lunch. (407) 790-7758; [email protected] or sign up at Local Roots Farm Store at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Dr., Orlando.  •  The beautifully redecorated Artisan’s Table is open in downtown Orlando in the former Pine Twenty2 spot. Breakfast served until 3 p.m., and at lunchtime Chef Scott Copeland serves up farm-to-table classics such as a house-made pork belly BLT or an heirloom tomato salad alongside Asian-inspired fare like the ramen bowl with duck confit, pickled shiitake mushrooms and soft-cooked egg. Dinner entrées include a poussin from Lake Meadow Naturals battered with orange blossom honey and strawberry vinegar as well as royal red shrimp with mussels and a spicy tomato sauce over fresh spinach pasta. Open daily from 7 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, 9 a.m. to midnight on weekends. 22 East Pine St., Orlando; (407) 730-7499;  •  Burger Craft recently opened in Clermont, proprietor Suzanne Bonham’s latest creation featuring crowd pleasers such as grass-fed short rib sliders with caramelized onions and truffle mayo, and a bone-marrow burger with onion rings, cheddar and micro-greens on a brioche bun. Bonham is sourcing from local farms including Lake Meadow Naturals in Ocoee, Palmetto Creek Pork in Avon Park, Waterkist Farm in Sanford and Chatterson Farms in Clermont. Open lunch and dinner daily. 2447 S. Hwy. 27, Clermont;  •  At press time, Phase 1 of Artegon Orlando Marketplace on International Drive was about to debut the 20,000-square-foot Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill restaurant in June, and in October plans to open The Berghoff German restaurant, also 20,000 square feet. A cross between a traditional mall and an artisan marketplace, Artegon Orlando includes Bass Pro Shops, Ron-Jon Surf Shop and Shepler’s Western Wear. Still to come in Phase 1: Revolutions bowling/entertainment and the first tenants for the artisan marketplace. Phase 2 in late 2015 will include more artisans plus Oak Ridge farmers’ market, says developer Steve Sless. A glass-blowing studio/art gallery is part of the plans.

Chef Marc Kusche

Chef Marc Kusche  •  New executive chef at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park is Marc Kusche, who will add his own signature dishes to the menu at Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant. Chef Kusche comes to Central Florida from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, as well as other luxury properties. Most recently, he was executive chef at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif. 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park; (407) 998-8090;  •  140 draft beers are on tap at the new 14,000-square-foot Yard House on International Drive, chilled by miles of overhead steel and nylon beer lines to a central island bar. The glass-enclosed keg room, kept at 34–36°F, houses up to 5,000 gallons of beer, including beers from Florida Beer Company and Cigar City Brewing. The menu features more than 145 items including burgers, tacos, salads, seafood and steaks. Open daily. 8317 International Dr.;  •  Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops has a new name—it’s now The Pop Parlour, in the same Thornton Park location. The frozen treats are made on site from local, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. Open daily. 431 E. Central Blvd., Suite C, Orlando; (321) 348-7677;  •  Authentic French cuisine on Restaurant Row at new Bistro CloClo, with classic dishes such as croque monsieur, crêpes, steak frites and tarte tartin. Chef Julien Bouchet adds a modern twist, plus vegetarian and gluten-free options. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 22; (407) 745-5045;  •  First Central Florida location for award-winning Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants open at Waterford Lakes Town Center. It’s the second Florida location (the first is in Tampa), and the first of two to open in Orlando this year. The menu features dishes such a pistachio-crusted grouper and red-wine-braised short ribs with bin numbers listed next to each for matching wine. Wine-

Asian pork belly tostadas from Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Asian pork belly tostadas from Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

of-the-month club. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 529 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando; (407) 374-2464;  •  Chef Greg Richie’s new menu for Cityfish Restaurant includes oysters (raw, steamed or grilled), shrimp and oyster po’boys, shrimp toast and crab cakes. Updated beer, wine and cocktail list. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 617 E. Central Blvd., Orlando; (407) 849-9779;  •  UCF and Rollins grads are the brains behind Onli, non-alcoholic sparkling beverages that come in seven flavors—the newest is bubbly Espresso Swiss Hazelnut. Onli is sold at Whole Foods and Publix as well as small retailers, spas and VirginBottle-vert-gradnt3-PRR-51restaurants.  •  New from Palm Ridge Whiskey in Umatilla: micro-batch Palm Ridge Virgin, with all the taste of the grain just as it comes off the still. Distilled in a 60-gallon copper still from a mash of Florida corn, barley, malt, rye malt and flaked rye, Palm Ridge Virgin has an “intense grain-forward flavor,” says maker Dick Waters, “gently touched by oak and bottled at 100 proof.” Their original Palm Ridge Reserve whiskey recently won a bronze medal at the American Craft Distillers Association in Denver, Colorado, and a silver medal best in category at the American Distilling Institute spirits competitions in Seattle, Washington.  •  A new book from University Press of Florida, Fed Up, the High Costs of Cheap Food, tells the story of Florida farm workers based largely on personal interviews and oral histories of the farm workers who worked for decades on the vegetable farms on Lake Apopka. Author Dale Slongwhite worked for more than four years with the farmers and the Farmworker Association of Florida. “Poignant, gut-wrenching, and real, this book should be required reading for everyone who eats,” says Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.  •  Gabby Othon Lothrop recently was elected as Slow Food USA Regional Governor for Florida and Georgia. The Slow Food USA Regional Governors are a team of 19 former chapter leaders who work to grow Slow Food’s presence and to support the region’s chapter leaders. A “region” is typically 10 or more chapters in a geographic area, and governors serve a four-year term.  •  Anne Valdes, vice president of Coffee for Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen, is one of only five Americans chosen as an international judge for the Cup of Excellence in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The Cup of Excellence recognizes the work of individual farmers in a competition managed by the United States–based, non-profit Alliance for Coffee Excellence.  •  Big changes are under way at Grande Lakes Orlando: David Serus is new executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton Orlando. A Master Chef of France and a 12-year veteran of the company, Serus comes to Orlando from The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. Whisper Creek Farm soon will extend its farm-to-fork ethos to beer with the launch of  Whisper Creek Farm: The Brewery. A half-barrel system located in the banquet kitchen at the JW Marriott will produce about 15 gallons per week, including a flagship brew made with honey from the property’s own hives. Beverages and local bounty will get equal billing at Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton, which will replace The Vineyard Grill. The rustic space will include a communal table for enjoying handcrafted cocktails, and a Southern-inspired menu featuring seasonal ingredients from local farms, including the 7,000-square-foot garden at Whisper Creek Farm. Both the brewery and restaurant were scheduled to be completed in late August. More info at  •  Edible Orlando contributor Alexia Gawlak is the new Chef de Cuisine at Siro Urban Italian Kitchen at Orlando World Center Marriott. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, Gawlak is the owner of Cuts & Craft Artisan Meats along with her husband Rhys, and was previously the sous chef at The Ravenous Pig and Luma on Park. 8701 World Center Dr., Orlando; (407) 238-8619.

—Pam Brandon