1921 by Norman Van Aken in Mount Dora Now Accepting Reservations

1921 by Norman Van Aken now open

Florida’s own James Beard Award-winning Chef Norman Van Aken is launching his long anticipated 1921 by Norman Van Aken restaurant in Mount Dora this month, with reservations available beginning today, Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

Situated in a converted home built in 1921 (hence the name), the restaurant serves up Chef Van Aken’s take on modern Florida cuisine.

“With close access to some of the best local produce, meat, and seafood Florida has to offer, Mount Dora is a fitting location for us in terms of sourcing ingredients for our menu and connecting the restaurant with the local community that shapes our philosophy,” said Chef Van Aken. “I will be working directly with Chef de Cuisine, Camilo Velasco, to celebrate modern cooking while also incorporating time honored traditions of Florida.”


Menu offerings at 1921 will change regularly, providing guests the opportunity to experience a wide selection of fresh Florida flavors. Menu items range from snacks and starters such as the Grilled Okeechobee Mushroom Tostadas ($9), to flatbreads and salads like the Smoky Maduro Plantain Flatbread ($14) and Florida Avocado and Summer Squash Salad ($11).

Main plates include the Wood Grilled Eye of Ribeye with red chimichurri marinated sweetbreads, ember roasted carrots & tomatillo ($36), and the Sour Orange Mojo Roasted Cornish Hen ($24), cooked in 1921’s wood oven.

The restaurant will work closely with local farms and purveyors within Mount Dora and the surrounding area, maintaining an allegiance to the local growers, producers, and food artisans of Florida.

1921 by Norman Van Aken now open


The restaurant will also feature a variety of unique spirits, as well as cocktails, including barrel-aged, carbonated on tap, and seasonal creations. Draft beers from multiple Central Florida craft breweries will be highlighted, as well as a variety of bottled and canned beers from around the world.

1921’s Wine Director, Scott Geisler, will work closely with Chef Velasco to complement the menu’s offerings, selecting from the restaurant’s list of global wines.


Located in the elegant Mount Dora Modernism Museum complex, the restaurant features an extensive collection of artwork, with select pieces on loan from the museum.

The launch of 1921 kicks off a series of new projects in 2016 for Chef Van Aken including the opening of his cooking school – In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken – in Miami (fall 2016), and the release of his sixth cookbook, Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen, with his wife Janet (late 2016).

1921 by Norman Van Aken is located at 142 East 4th Avenue, Mount Dora, FL 32751. For reservations, please call 352.385.1921, or for more information visit 1921nva.com.

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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