B&B Junction is taking the “farm-to-table approach to the classic American burger joint,” says owner Aaron Quinones. They’re sourcing grass-fed beef from Nine’s Mine Ranch in Kissimmee, chicken and eggs from Lake Meadow Naturals in Ocoee, dairy from Winter Park Dairy, produce from 3 Boys Farm in Ruskin. The fast-casual restaurant takes over the former 4 Rivers Smokehouse spot at 2103 Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park, and offers “the best craft beers from all over the U.S.,” says Quinones, plus wine from small, family-owned sustainable wineries. (407) 513-4134. • Fresh. The name says it all for this new Winter Park restaurant where food is “globally inspired and locally sourced,” says chef and owner Gina Bugayong, a successful caterer who wanted to open a small space to expand her repertoire. With just a handful of tables (inside and out), Fresh is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Try the Just Peachy salad with grilled peaches and fresh mozzarella. 535 W. New England Ave., Winter Park; (321) 295-7837. • Atlanta hotspot Taqueria Del Sol opened its very first Florida location in Orlando. The James Beard–nominated fast-casual restaurant has weekly blue plate, seafood and taco specials that keep fans coming back, and Garden & Gun magazine listed the turnip greens as one of the “100 Southern Foods You Absolutely, Positively Must Try Before You Die.” Open daily for lunch and dinner. 3138 South Orange Ave., Orlando; (407) 412-5952. • Two Culinary Institute of America grads have opened RusTeak Restaurant & Wine Bar in Ocoee, sister to Teak Restaurant in MetroWest. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday; try the grilled mahi over creamed spinach and blue crab topped with grilled asparagus. 1568 Maguire Road, Ocoee; (407) 614-3765. • Marlow’s Tavern at Pointe Orlando is wowing with early reviews, the first location outside of Georgia for the franchise. Exposed Chicago brick and dark woods create a clubby feel, with local produce, hefty burgers and classic cocktails made with freshly squeezed juice. 9101 International Drive, Orlando; (407) 351-3627. • La Sirena Gorda Cabana, or The Fat Mermaid, opened in Sanford, a promising independent with Mexican cuisine, lots of art and a friendly vibe. 118 S. Palmetto Ave., Sanford; (407) 391-3955. • Seeds Natural Market is the newest grocery in Winter Garden, where proprietor Sharon Williams sells organic meats and produce. The store features a kid’s lunchbox section with healthy alternatives, and has its own version of a co-op. 2 W. Plant St., Winter Garden; (407) 614-8753. • Heavenly Flan is now in Sedano’s throughout Florida, says proprietor Marisel Fernandez. She uses Lake Meadow Naturals cage-free eggs, local vanilla from Mannix Vanilla in Winter Park and pure cane organic sugar. And it’s gluten-free. You also can order and pick up at 1076 West SR 436 Suite 1150, Altamonte Springs. (407) 580-8679. • Look for Santiago’s Bodega to open in February 2103 in the former Logan’s space (802 Virginia Drive). Owner Jason Dugan says they’ll source locally as much as possible for their tapas menu. Orlando is the second location for Santiago’s — the first is in Key West.
Orlando’s first winery is open in the Mills 50 district—Quantum Leap sells environmentally friendly wines from around the world and also blends and bottles with a sustainable focus in a high-end, 17,000-square-foot space that’s open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 1312 Wilfred Drive, Orlando; (407) 730-3082. • Orlando’s Imperial Wine Bar & Beer Garden (1800 N. Orange Ave.) has a new outpost, Imperial Sanford, serving small plates and classic cocktails, including artisan rum, whiskey and vodka from Palm Coast’s Flagler Spirits. The dramatic setting is amidst John Washburn’s eclectic Asian furniture—yes, everything is for sale. 116 E. 1st St., Sanford; (407) 322-1449. • Taps from Scratch bills itself as a “community tap room and neighborhood brewery,” says owner David Brunson. “We teach and educate people about the art of home brewing, one barrel at a time.” With 13 taps, there’s always something to taste, usually made on premises by a home brewer. 1809 E. Winter Park Road, Orlando; (407) 637-0553. • Courtesy Bar is open in downtown Orlando with vintage cocktails, beer and wine—try one of the orange-fennel or blueberry-lavender sodas crafted by Chef Kevin Fonzo. Open nightly, 114 N. Orange Ave., Orlando; (407) 704-9288.
A new tasting menu takes the Ravenous Pig to new heights with six courses that will change with the seasons. For fall, it’s foie gras and rabbit terrine, pumpkin risotto, flounder, pork three ways . . . with wine pairings, it’s an indulgent evening. 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park; (407) 628-2333. • Dandelion Communitea Cafe now offers a Design It Yourself Dish, says proprietor Julie Norris, which gives Dandy more flexibility to add seasonal, local items. You choose wrap, salad or quinoa bowl or sandwich, then pick three ingredients, a topper and a sauce or dressing (a dizzying array of more than 50 combos). They’ve also expanded the kids’ menu with a bento box and kid-size parfait. 618 N. Thornton Ave., Orlando; (407) 362-1864. • Cocina 214 spiffed up its Tex-Mex menu with tamales (a recipe from the Mexican mother of one of the chefs). And they’ve added a box garden outside the back door for tomatoes, peppers, limes and herbs, says owner Lambrine Macejewski. Also new on the menu: spicy fried rock shrimp quesadillas with shrimp sourced at Port Canaveral. Guacamole is hand-mashed twice a day, and tortillas made fresh every morning. 151 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park; (407) 790-7997. • McCoy’s Bar & Grill at the Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport (pictured at top of page) has a new emphasis on locally sourced products with its new menu (and new look) celebrating 20 years: lettuce from Apopka, Canaveral Royal Red shrimp from Wild Ocean Seafood Market, hens from Lake Meadow Naturals in Ocoee, pork from Palmetto Creek Farm in Avon Park and clams from Pine Island all are a good excuse to book a flight. Kudos for the kids’ menu created in collaboration with Alice Waters and the Partnership for a Healthier America. (407-825-1234) • Levy Restaurants intros “New Season New Dishes” at the Amway Center, with cleverly named “Mills 50 Dog” and a “Sloppy Jane” made with tempeh. The Thai chili burger is made with Niman Ranch beef, and they’re and sourcing Florida fruits and veggies such as okra from Pompano Beach, avocados from Miami, hearts of palm from Hawthorne and Central Florida citrus. Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., Orlando.
Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events is joining the lineup at East End Market. Chef Jamie McFadden says he loves the East End synergy, and the exhibition kitchen on the second floor with seating for up to 150—“a great opportunity to showcase talent and entertain with ease,” says McFadden. 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando. • Redlight Redlight is in its new home in the Audubon Garden District in the vintage Carrier building that’s been re-imagined by owner Brent Hernandez for “cold beer, hot food and loud music.” You’ll find 23 drafts, two beer engines and about 200 bottle choices. Open at 5 p.m. seven days a week. 2810 Corrine Drive, Orlando; (407) 893-9832.
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