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.
Earlier this week we attended a media social at the new Soco restaurant in Thornton Park where we sampled a few things from the menu.
Our first appetizer was the Crab-stuffed Deviled Duck Eggs with bacon and truffle oil ($12). The dish was well-balanced but very rich and creamy. One or two of these would do as a meal starter.
Next up was Cornmeal Crisped Oysters on a bed of chicharrones, with pickled green tomato relish and herb cream ($9). If you love oysters, you’ll love this different take on them. The dish really works if you can manage to get all four components in the same bite.
The third annual Overchuck Law Firm Cause 4 Paws Puppy Pub Crawl will be taking over Thornton Park downtown on Saturday, April 12, to raise money for a good cause.
The event starts at noon at Anthony’s Pizza, moving from there to Wildside’s Bar & Grille and then on to Burton’s Bar. Finally, the crawl will end at Graffiti Junktion.
Admission is a $20 donation in advance, and $30 at the door, with proceeds from the event going to one of the only NO KILL animal rescue facilities, A Forever Home Animal Rescue, Inc.
In addition to helping out a great cause, your donation gets you one free drink at each stop on the crawl, along with dog treats for your pooch, and more.
For more information or to donate in advance, visit the event’s Facebook page.
There are Halloween parties that take place in buildings or back yards, and then there are parties that cover entire city blocks. Thornton Park Halloween Block Party is in the latter category.
It takes place Friday, October 25, from 9pm to 2pm, in the Thornton Park district near downtown Orlando.
There will be four full liquor bars provided by Graffiti Junktion, Dexter’s, Wildside BBQ & Grill and CityFish Restaurant. There will also be live entertainment with Baby Blue Star and dancers, Independent Bar’s DJ Smilin’ Dan spinning tunes, classic horror films projected outdoors, and a costume contest with cash prizes.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit the Thornton Park Facebook page.
I was sad when Urban Think! in Thornton Park closed. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the store and attending the events it hosted.
Well, Urban ReThink has emerged in its place.
Billed as a “hub for creativity, collaboration and transformation,” the space has been recreated to allow for meeting rooms and event space for creative ventures.
It also houses an outlet of the Virgin Olive Market restaurant.
On February 16, Urban ReThink will host a Burrow Press book release party for Fragmentation + Other Stories. Local authors, photographers and musicians will be on hand to promote this collaborative project. The event runs from 6pm to 8pm.
Urban ReThink is located at 625 E. Central Blvd.