Aug 262014
 

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining MONTH! Some cities have a week, but we get all month long. If you’ve never been, it’s the perfect time to try a fancy new restaurant or snag a deal on an old favorite. Our favorite magical dining spots include:

Last night we got a sneak peak from Yelp including Siro Urban Italian Kitchen and Cuba Libre. Here’s a mini virtual food tour from Yelp’s Magical Dining event. Click here for a list of all of the restaurants participating in Magical Dining Month. Now go make some reservations!

photo 1 (5)

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar {Fabulous mojitos}

photo 2 (6)

Siro: Urban Italian Kitchen {Greens – divine!}

photo 3 (5)

Chocolate for days from Puff ‘n Stuff catering

photo 1 (3)

Gorg Church Street Ballroom florals

 

Aug 232014
 

Nestled behind Park Avenue is a hidden gem and mini oasis. Step behind the iron gates and you’re transported into a quaint courtyard that houses The Ancient Olive.

Last week we stopped by for a visit and after sampling real olive oils I’ll never go back to the Publix brand. The Ancient Olive houses over 60 different types of olive oils, a handful of balsamic vinegars and exceptional local gourmet food and condiments.

Before our visit I was clueless to the complexity and care required for high quality olive oil. Most people avoid cooking with olive oil and opt for butter, but once you taste these flavors you’ll toss your butter sticks. Most of the olive oils here are imported from Italy. Before arriving, each variety is evaluated and confirmed as the world’s highest quality as set by their UP international rating scale. The shop houses a number of olive oil flavors created by crushing olives and whole fruits such as blood oranges and Baklouti peppers. The flavors are natural, plant derived and will radically change your cooking and marinades.

During our time here we tasted a mix of flavors including Herbs de Provence olive oil (my favorite) and Espresso Balsamic. The best part of the tasting was combing the infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The combinations are endless and can be used for everything from salads to pancakes and even homemade popcorn. The Cinnamon-Pear Balsamic and Blood Orange olive oil was incredible and such a great alternative to balsamic vinegar dressing, which turns boring after a number of salads.

After indulging in layers of flavor we moved to the gourmet food side of the shop. I was thrilled to see SO MANY local food artisans like Bungalow 23’s drink mixes and Fat Cat’s hot sauces. We also sampled carrot cake jam and beer jelly and now I’m officially over grape jelly. The Ancient Olive is a treasure trove of flavors and we are hooked! Next time you’re on Park Ave, head north and start your collection of authentic olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Your kitchen (and family) will thank you. The Ancient Olive is located at 324 North Park Avenue in Winter Park’s Hidden Garden.

photo 2

photo 5

photo 4

photo 4

photo 3

photo 1

photo 5

photo 3

photo 1

photo 2

The Ancient Olive on Urbanspoon

Aug 192014
 

We’ve always been fond of the Mouse, especially once we discovered the fine dining side of Disney and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. If you missed our review of the Chef’s Table at Flying Fishclick here.

Orlando has been anxiously waiting for the arrival of Four Seasons. The luxury resort is finally open and filled with dining options including Capa, set to open in September. Even more exciting is the announcement today for a new overnight package that includes Walt Disney World park tickets. Park tickets of your choice are included in this hotel package, available for a four to seven night stay. Of course, in true Four Seasons style you can say goodbye to those dreaded Disney buses. Four Seasons guests will ride in a motor coach to the parks! Click here for full package details and say goodbye to ticket lines and crammed buses.

I’d say this is the perfect excuse to book that staycation during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. Have a magical day!

ORL_092_aspect16x9

Aug 192014
 

Everyone loves a fried potato, it’s un-American to hate the french fry. I’ve always craved sweet potato fries, waffle fries and America’s favorite from the golden arches, but now it’s time to add a new favorite to my growing list of french fry cravings. Bem Bom, an authentic Portuguese food truck, serves gourmet tacos, pastries and “The Bomb” from Chef Chico Mendonçain in various Orlando locations.

We recently spotted Bem Bom at Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District. After surveying a handful of trucks, we couldn’t refuse these glorious fries, especially after we noticed every other person placing a fry order. These “Bomb” fries are tossed in Thai Chiles, Thai Basil, white truffle oil and topped with finely shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. I’m pretty sure I fried the roof of my mouth as I shoveled multiple fries onto my taste buds, they were just that good! The basil added an interesting depth of flavor and balanced out some of the Chile spice. The Parmigiano Reggiano was divine, shaved to perfection and rounded out the white truffle flavor which can sometimes be overpowering. Bem Bom rolls around town on four wheels, but follow them on Twitter (@BemBomFood) for menu and location details!

And next time you venture to Tasty Tuesdays, don’t park in the surrounding business lots. They are serious towers. After a $140 ATM withdrawal and a trip to OBT, I reclaimed my car. Oops! Tasty Tuesdays occurs weekly at 2424 E Robinson St, Orlando, Florida. Visit @TastyTuesdaysFL on Twitter for tonight’s eats!

Capture

 

Bem Bom Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Aug 182014
 

Happy birthday to The Ravenous Pig! One of our favorites, this award winning restaurant was serving up gastropub and Southern food waaay before it was “on-trend.” To celebrate, they’ve added new shareable menu items and are debuting an updated logo.

“In pig years turning seven years old usually means you’re already bacon, so you could say we’re just happy to still be around,” said Ravenous Pig Owner/Chef Julie Petrakis. “In all seriousness though, we’re humbled by the support Central Floridians and visitors have shown us since day one. We couldn’t be more excited about putting some new lipstick on The Pig and we look forward to continuing to contribute to the region’s thriving culinary scene.”

Starting today, the menu will feature a variety of culinary “boards.” Selections will include spreads of handcrafted seafood crudos, artisanal cheeses, house made charcuterie and more; there will also be a dessert board for something sweet. {Hooray!}

See you at The Pig! 1234 N. Orange Avenue, Winter Park, Florida, 32789.

image
TRP-NEW

The Ravenous Pig on Urbanspoon

Aug 152014
 

The last weekend of summer is always mixed with emotions. Kids will miss their freedom, but are excited about seeing their friends. Parents either relieved or sad to see their little ones growing up so fast. Either way, everyone wants to savor this last weekend of fun and freedom. What better way to celebrate than with The Sweet Shop’s newest line of sweets. Say farewell to summer, grab the family and head to 4 Rivers Sweet Shop for these exclusive flavors.

The Sweet Shop Vocabulary

A. Apple Jacks Whoopie Pie

B. Cocoa Pebble Coffee Brownie

C. Peanut Butter Captain Crunch Milk Cookie

D. PB+J Rice Krispie Treat

E. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bar

F. Fruit Loops Cupcake

Click here for all Sweet Shop locations and visit them online at 4rsmokehouse.com. These sweet treats are available starting tomorrow!

image001

 

 

Aug 152014
 

Ritz Carlton, the ultimate luxury hotel, king of relaxation and exceptional service. With the opening of Highball & Harvest next month, it’s time to add “culinary superiority” to their list of accolades. In the coming weeks, the Grande Lakes location will open H&H serving up Southern comfort food and design featuring seasonal Low Country and Cajun-inspired cuisine from Chef de Cuisine Mark Jeffers. Mark was raised the South and will soon be serving hyper-local dishes infused with Floridian citrus and ingredients from the resort’s own 7,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm.

In a few weeks Spork is getting a sneak peek of H&H! We’ll be sure to share all that we can, but in the mean time here are a few highlights coming to a Ritz near you.

This casual “come as you are” restaurant will feature interactive dining, handcrafted cocktails and a creative, playful menu. H&H’s railroad-inspired design will feature communal seating, a large bar/lounge area, a raw oyster bar (with chefs shucking oysters by hand) and custom hand painted dishware.

Their signature dishes will include H&H Pig-n-Potatoes, a decadent all-day breakfast dish, house-made beef jerky, dips with pickled veggies and a signature H&H Hot Sauce made from Whisper Creek Farm peppers. We can’t wait to try their Parker House Rolls made from old-world Khorasan wheat, served warm and made in-house.

Most intriguing is the interactive cocktail table, where bar Chefs will muddle ingredients while instructing over carefully curated and personalized cocktail classes. H&H will offer a hand-crafted, seasonal cocktail menu—signature cocktails include: the Moonshine “Whistle-Stop,” the refreshing “Green Acres” with house ginger beer and jasmine tea and a “Cranberry Cobbler” mixed with honey from the resort’s on-site collection of beehives.

Most cocktails will be served on the rocks with hand-carved ice, sculpted bar side with a Japanese ice saw and infused with herbs and citrus from Whisper Creek Farm. H&H will also feature Central Florida’s largest selection of wines from the cask, carefully selected by Advanced Sommelier Kris Soto, to ensure perfect temperature control and freshness.

Hungry yet? We can’t wait to sink our taste buds into these Southern flavors. More pictures to come after our sneak peek of H&H. www.highballandharvest.com

BpK1qqQCQAAzp_F

BtwXXX-IYAAPdfs

Capture

os-highball-harvest-ritz-carlton-grande-lakes-orlando

quiona

Photo Credit: Highball & Harvest

Highball & Harvest on Urbanspoon