In this week’s Orlando dining news round-up: new menus, new openings, and several closings. Are you hungry? Let’s dive in…
After seven years, Portobello Italian Trattoria has closed at Disney Springs, and is currently undergoing renovations. James Beard award-winner and Top Chef Master, Tony Mantuano, is leading the development of the restaurant, which will still offer Italian cuisine. The revamped eatery, still operated by Levy Restaurants, is set to reopen Fall 2017.
Orlando Main Streets is hosting its second Main Street Restaurant Week to promote its culinary members July 30 though August 13, 2016.
During this two week period, participating restaurants will offer a select prix fixe menu with price points of $5, $10, $20 and $30, determined by the restaurant’s normal pricing and the menu they put together.
Take note foodies of Orlando…there’s a new restaurant week coming to Orlando.
Mainstreet Restaurant Week will take place August 1 through 8, and will feature the culinary chops from eight districts in Orlando: Audubon Park, College Park, Church Street district, Downtown South, Gateway Orlando, Ivanhoe Village, Mills 50 and Thornton Park District.
The Fresh Market continues its Central Florida expansion with opening of its newest upscale grocery store in Orlando at 1500 N. Mills Ave (near Virginia Dr).
Doors will open at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, and grand opening activities will include chef demonstrations, outdoor grilling, food sampling throughout the store, and drawings for The Fresh Market gift cards. A sample-sized bag of the company’s gourmet coffee will be free to the first 1,000 customers and a reusable shopping bag will be free to the first 3,000 customers
The new store will house over 24,000 square feet of culinary delights, including a bakery that produces 30 freshly baked breads and 14 different pie varieties daily, a full service meat counter with freshly ground beef, a wide selection of ready-to-serve entrées, fresh seafood delivered to the store several times per week, and more than 200 imported and domestic cheeses, as well as a produce department with more than 400 items and a large organic selection.
The company has also announced they are already planning to open another Central Florida location in Winter Springs (5920 Red Bug Lake Rd), it’s 36th in the state. No opening date has been announced.
Have you shopped at The Fresh Market? I sometimes shop the location in Dr. Phillips, when they have special promotions or events happening.
Admission is $5 for those in radical 80s attire and $10 in “normal boring clothes” – cash only at the door. As added incentive for getting dressed up, there will also be a costume contest, with prizes for best male, best female, and best couple.
After the party, your wristband will also get you happy hour prices at nearby BART (1205 N. Mills) all night.
Start your Christmas partying early with the 2012 Twelve Pubs of Christmas Pub Crawl on December 8.
The event is a joint effort between the Mills 50 and Ivanhoe Village districts in Orlando, and features many of their most popular nightlife spots.
Only $10 gets you a wristband that allows drink specials all night at Funky Money Wine Co, Lil Indies, BART, The Peacock Room, Will’s Pub, Wally’s, Hideaway, The Venue, The Imperial, White Wolf Cafe, The Caboose, and the Savoy.
Bart is a family owned-and-operated bar, arcade, and gallery that has recently opened in the Mills 50 district of Orlando.
Chris and Adrian Brown have blended finely crafted beers with local art and classic arcade games. The name itself is a hybrid of Bar and Art.
Among the beers served at Bart are Abita, Dogfish Head, Angry Orchard, Harpoon, Cigar City,and Sierra Nevada. I wonder if they serve Leinenkugel’s…anyone know? They do also carry popular brews like Yuengling, PBR, and Miller 64.
The games are classics like Pac-Man, Centipede, Frogger, and, my personal favorite, Galaga.
Bart is located at 1205 N. Mills Ave and the phone is 407-796-2522. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 4pm to 2am.
Two quick dining notes of area restaurants on the move:
Anthony’s Pizzeria, formerly located at the corner of Mills & Colonial, has moved to a new location at 1206 E. Colonial. The new place has a larger dining room for patrons. Call 407-898-7797 for more info.
Ethos Vegan Kitchen is pulling up stakes from their Ivanhoe location to new digs at the corner of Fairbanks and New York in Winter Park (one block west of Park Ave). Reps say the new location will have improved parking, expanded hours and a new menu as they migrate from a counter service format to a table service one. They expect the move to be completed by the end of July 2012. Until then, they will still be located at 1235 N Orange Ave.
Starting in March, ten utility boxes located throughout the district will be transformed into vibrant works of art by local artists.
Arts councils and business improvement districts in cities like Minneapolis and San Diego are already doing something similar. Mills 50 will be the first of the five Orlando Main Street Districts to implement this project.
As you can see from the photo of this utility cabinet from a similar project in Somerville, MA, it really brings out the vibe and character of the neighborhood. I really like it and am curious to see what our local artists can create.
I’m not sure what process they will be using to select the artists used, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the finished project.
Bringing beauty to the mundane – always a good thing. What do you think?
Here’s a quick round-up of some events that you might want to check out this weekend.
Bill Bellamy at the Orlando Improv – This actor/comedian has appeared on TV as a MTV-VJ, as well as in movies like Love Jones, The Brothers and Any Given Sunday. He’s currently the host of TV One’s “Who’s Got Jokes?” Showtimes are at 8pm and 10:30pm. Tickets are $22.
Retro Game Night at the Orange County Regional History Center – Enjoy classic games such as Parcheesi, Chinese Checkers, Clue, Battleship, Scrabble and more. Games begin at 7pm, with free nostalgic snacks, cash bar and tunes from Sunny 105.9. Free for members and $5 for non-members. Ages 18 and up; Retro attire encouraged.
Bill Bellamy at the Orlando Improv – This actor/comedian has appeared on TV as a MTV-VJ, as well as in movies like Love Jones, The Brothers and Any Given Sunday. He’s currently the host of TV One’s “Who’s Got Jokes?” Showtimes are at 7:30pm and 10:15pm. Tickets are $22.
Marc Anthony at the Amway Arena – Multi-platinum, Grammy® Award winning, and internationally-acclaimed artist Marc Anthony returns to Orlando to promote his latest CD, “Iconos,” of all-Spanish ballads.
Bill Bellamy at the Orlando Improv – This actor/comedian has appeared on TV as a MTV-VJ, as well as in movies like Love Jones, The Brothers and Any Given Sunday. He’s currently the host of TV One’s “Who’s Got Jokes?” Showtime is at 7:30pm and tickets are $22.
30th Anniversary of Whole Foods Market – It’s been 30 years since the first Whole Foods opened in Austin. The Winter park store will be celebrating with samples and specials from 1pm to 4pm.