Feb 092016

Get ready to freshen up for dinner at Swine & Sons! The restaurant is teaming up with Frog Song Organics as an official pickup site for their Community Supported Agriculture, where community members can pick up tasty and seasonal produce.

To kick off the new partnership, Swine & Sons is hosting a three-course dinner priced at $50 (plus tax and gratuity) on Wednesday, February 17 at 6:30 p.m. Designed to be an educational experience, guests will receive a complimentary glass of champagne and be cultured on all things fresh, plus the benefits of a CSA membership by Frog Song Organics owners and farmers, John and Amy. For reservations, call 407.636.7601.

And as a bonus to this dinner announcement, Alexia Gawlak, Chef/Partner at Swine & Sons, recently spoke to us about Frog Song and their budding partnership. Additionally, we spoke with Amy Van Scoik, Frog Song farmer and co-owner to get the scoop on their farm, CSA memberships and more. Happy reading!


Alexia Gawlak, Chef/Partner at Swine & Sons:

Do you always purchase produce for Frog Song Organics? And which dishes feature produce from the farm?

  • We almost always feature items from Frog Song on the menu at Cask & Larder, and also occasionally at Swine & Sons. At Cask & Larder we feature Crudite, Tilefish, Tomato Salad and Beans & Greens and at Swine & Sons it’s the Strawberry Shortcake.

What inspired you to become a pick-up location?

  •  Our relationship with Frog Song Organics is long running, so this partnership happened pretty organically. We’ve always wanted to offer fresh produce to our customers, but didn’t want to assume the risk of spoilage. This is a win-win partnership. We keep the boxes in the cooler until guests arrive for pick up. Simply ask any Swine team member to grab it for you!

What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable to cook with during the spring?

  •  I love Florida strawberries. I think it’s so cool that we live in one of the very few places in the United States where strawberry season starts so early in the spring. We recently pickled a bunch of Frog Song’s green strawberries for the menu at Cask so we’re already putting them to use, even this early in the season!

Amy Van Scoik, Frog Song Co-Owner:

Where is your farm located?

  • Our farm is a two-hour drive north from Winter Park.  Our location gives us a “real” winter time and allows us to grow a wide diversity of crops.

Farm Frog Song

What should guests expect to learn from the dinner at Cask & Larder?

  • We love what we do, and we hope to share some of our passion for producing food. Guests will learn what crops are being planted now for our spring harvest and how we deal with challenges such as the weather. Guests will also learn about a concept called Community Supported Agriculture, which has been growing in popularity as a way to partner with a farm and support the existence of agriculture in your community.

Red Cabbage

How many pick-up locations are there in town? Where can readers found out more?

  • We currently have pick up locations at Swine & Sons on Wednesdays, and the Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. We also have the ability to set up a workplace or school delivery for groups of twelve or more.

What are the benefits to purchasing from your farm?

  • I would say that the most consistent feedback from customers is that they choose our products specifically because of flavor and freshness. For our CSA members, there is an experience of getting new varieties that you cannot find in a grocery store and learning what is really in season.

Frog Song Photo 2


Photo Credits: Frog Song Farms

Feb 082016

From tacos to champagne and some BBQ in-between, our culinary adventures last weekend spanned from coast to coast. So, if you’re already dreaming about next weekend, be sure to add some of these spots to your weekend plans.

Black Rooster Taqueria: Opening this week along Mills, Chef John Calloway’s modern take on Mexican cuisine is a culinary celebration of the country’s culture and history. Every dish is a twist on Latin flavor and made from the highest quality ingredients. Be sure to order their ceviche and their pork tacos that are slow roasted in banana leaf with pickled onion, cilantro and salsa, all wrapped up in hearty corn tortillas. So skip the big burritos this week and check out Black Rooster for your Taco Tuesday fix.


The Guesthouse: Located adjacent to Black Rooster, this laid back hipster bar is just what Mills needs. Open seven days a week from happy hour to late night, this understated spot serves up wines by the glass and retro cocktails. Here, you’re sure to unwind and run into an unexpected friend or two.



Pig Floyd’s: The secret is out….Pig Floyd’s is no longer a “hidden” gem. Sure, it’s still a gem, but at 9 p.m. on a Friday this place was packed with hungry patrons. You must order their Barbakoa Bánh Mì, a twist on the traditional Vietnamese version, this sandwich is layered with oakwood smoked pulled pork, lucky dragon sauce, ginger-garlic aoli, pickled vegetables, jalapeños and cilantro on a sub-like roll. After one bite you’ll find yourself craving this delectable sandwich.



Clearwater Beach Uncorked: Despite the pouring rain this two-day food, wine and craft beer festival drew a large crowd to its 30,000 square foot tent in the sand. Located just two hours from Orlando, we made the short trip to the sea Saturday and sampled ample champagne and craft beer. Our favorite stop? Chandon! Three cheers for champagne on the beach. If you missed the celebration this year, be sure to mark your calendars for their sixth annual event next February!



Santiago’s Bodega: Flaming cheese, cronuts and sangria. Need we say more? This vibrant spot is always fun and filled with endless choices for noshing. In addition to the cheese that catches on fire, we’d recommend ordering the hummus trio and beef tenderloin that’s topped with a blue cheese butter. More please!




Photo Credits: Black Rooster, The Guesthouse, Santiago’s Bodega

Feb 052016

Chef Austin Boyd of Seito Sushi, Chef Greg Richie of Baoery Asian Gastropub, and Chef Chau Trinh of Sushi Pop Restaurant will battle each other on Monday March 7th from 6:00pm  – 9:00pm in Orlando’s first Ramen Rumble.

 Ramen, the Japanese noodle dish that has continued to grow in popularity in Orlando, will be made by the chefs from scratch from the broth to noodles.
The event is organized by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com in partnership with Jason and Sue Chin of The Osprey Tavern to bring together local chefs and the local Orlando community. The proceeds from the event will be donated to the winning chef’s choice of charity. The ticket prices are $30 and will feature a tasting bowl of ramen from each chef, 1 draft beer, and house-made sweet desserts.
For tickets, visit http://ramenrumble.bpt.me

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Feb 042016

Roses are red, violets are blue, don’t wait to make a reservation because the joke will be on you! Not my joke, but a pretty good one nonetheless…bottom line, don’t forget to make that all important Valentine’s Day reservation, February 14 is swiftly approaching.

  • Make this Valentine’s Day a sweet one–The Sweet Shop, that is! Pop into any 4 Rivers Smokehouse,  (1600 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park) for sugary treats—try the 6-inch Black Tie Cake ($19.99); double chocolate cake frosted in buttercream, drizzled in chocolate ganache and topped with chocolate-covered strawberries. Craving cake without the commitment? We recommend the Sweetheart Cakeballs ($8.99/dozen); Red Velvet cake dipped in white or milk chocolate and garnished in pink and white.
  • This year, Tapa Toro (8411 International Drive #260, Orlando) is spreading the love with celebrations for family and sweethearts. Table for two? They’re serving up a prix fixe ($75.00/couple, available FridaySunday) featuring courses of Sopa de Tomate, tomato soup with serrano grilled cheese; Ensalada de Fresas, strawberry, orange, red onion, cucumber and queso fresco; Short Rib & Shrimp-Chorizo Pincho, with carrot puree and asparagus; and Pina a la Parilla, grilled pineapple and lime with toasted cake, pistachio yogurt ice cream and molasses.  Can’t get a sitter? They have you covered! Tapa Toro is offering fun for the whole family on Saturday, February 13 with a kid-friendly prix fixe. Balloon artist, magician, arts & crafts and cookie decorating (11 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • It’s love at first bite at Taverna Opa Orlando (9101 International Drive #2240, Orlando), where couples are invited to share a prix fixe of favorites such as House-made Hummus; Saganaki, kasseri cheese flamed tableside with brandy; 22 oz. Porterhouse; 7 oz. Lobster Tail; and Loukoumades,Greek-style beignets topped with Nutella and strawberries ($85.00/couple, available FridaySunday).
  • Fall in love at Bento Café: Asian Kitchen + Sushi (151 S Orange Ave., Orlando) with the XOXO Roll—spicy tuna, krab delite, jalapeno and tempura flakes, topped with creamy sweet chili and red tobiko, wrapped with soy paper, tilapia and tuna ($9.50).
  • This Valentine’s day, do more than just dinner—share a meaningful experience with your special someone! Dragonfly Robata Grill + Sushi (7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando) hosting a special couples-only Valentine’s day sushi class from 11:30 – 1:30. At the class:
    • Enjoy unlimited Valentine’s Day Mimosa’s
    • Enjoy complimentary Valentine’s day aperitifs and passed hors d’oeuvres
    • Learn a brief history of sushi
    • Work with tools of the trade—both ancient and new
    • Make the perfect sushi rice, sushi and hand rolls to share with you partner

Happy February 14!