Monday, November 21, 2016

Kona Grill is now open in Winter Park

Winter Park has another dining option today and the options just keep getting better and better. Kona Grill, now open, offers a modern, American take on Pacific rim dishes, including a complete sushi bar and several signature drinks.

Located in the new Lakeside Crossing shopping center across from Hillstone and near the recently opened Bulla and Chuy's. This is the first Kona Grill in Central Florida, and the fourth in the state.

I stopped in for a media preview Saturday, and I loved all the dishes I sampled, but the standout was surely the miso-sake sea bass. There's a nice patio out front, but it was rather loud with the traffic whizzing by on 17-92. I'm looking forward to returning to sample more offerings.

Kona Grill Winter Park
110 S. Orlando Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789

Friday, October 21, 2016

Been to Back Yard Burgers lately? They're celebrating the fall season with a new turkey burger and other goodies

It’s fall and time to talk turkey! Tennessee-based, Back Yard Burgers, has launched their latest limited time offer (LTO), the Autumn Turkey Burger. The burger is a third pound, all-white meat turkey – made with Jenny-O ground turkey – topped with herbed mayo, tangy orange cranberry sauce and white cheddar cheese, served on a toasted wheat bun. This seasonal LTO will be available through November 20.

Back Yard Burgers is also offering an Autumn-themed Pecan Cobbler, featuring the same flaky, buttery crust found in the regular cobbler but with a seasonal twist. This LTO, also ending November 20, is perfect for bringing to family reunions, holiday parties or Thanksgiving dinner. Also this fall is the Turtle Milkshake, creamy blend of chocolate, buttery caramel, pecans, ice cream and fresh milk.

“Our turkey burgers and fresh-baked cobbler have been guest favorites for years,” said David McDougall, CEO of Back Yard Burgers. “But we are excited to offer these delicious, seasonal options to bring a Fall ‘feel’ and Thanksgiving spirit to our better-than-ever menu.”

The better-burger chain first introduced turkey burgers in 2011. The Classic, Turkey Club and Wild Turkey burgers have attracted guests who seek alternatives to a beef burger.

There's one Central Florida location for Back Yard Burgers in Altamonte.

Back Yard Burgers
290 S State Rd 434
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
(407) 862-0660

Yes! Cows 'n Cabs is back this weekend in Winter Park

One of my favorite events of the year, Central Florida’s annual Cows ‘n Cabs, is set to return for its sixth year on Saturday, October 22 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Hosted by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue and 4 Rivers Smokehouse founder John Rivers, the event will be benefitting the Community Food and Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando. It will be returning to 150 North New York Avenue in Winter Park’s West Meadow and will feature more than 25 of Central Florida’s top restaurants. 

Prices include general admission tickets at $110 with VIP packages starting at $140 for early admission.

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit their website at You must be 21 and older to attend.


Set to open this fall, Hemisphere will set the standard for airport dining at Orlando International's Hyatt Regency

Neo-contemporary world cuisine lands in the Orlando culinary scene when the newly re-imagined Hemisphere restaurant set to open this fall on the ninth floor of Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.

Known for its epic sunrise to sunset views of the airport runway, the new Hemisphere features a $3 million re-design of the 3,000 square-foot restaurant and seats 164 guests. The stylish environment offers light wood finishes and flexible seating to accommodate groups, as well as, small parties and single diners in its signature setting. Custom wine cuvees and lounge-style seating highlight the center of Hemisphere’s unique layout.

“Hemisphere was created for travelers and locals in search of an unforgettable experience filled with dynamic views, thoughtful service, and memorable food and drinks,” noted Mark Bastis, general manager, Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.

“We have embraced the unmatched, panoramic views of one of the most active international airports as the focal point of Hemisphere. Guests are transported into a world of travel-rich sights, sounds and tastes. With a floor-to-ceiling glass wall facing the airport runway, guests will view planes etching through the starlit sky and rockets launching into space. Guests satisfy their inner curiosity with air and space travel among an upscale dining atmosphere,” continued Bastis.  

Paper Planes – Local Art Installation

Following a local artist search, Damon Dewitt was hand-selected to craft the signature entryway art installation at the re-imagined Hemisphere restaurant. Paper Planes is physically and metaphorically light and reflective evoking a nostalgic flight experience and embracing the sense of wonder and travel from a simpler time.  The art installation is showcased in the new entry of Hemisphere and follows the curvature of the signature spiral staircase to the Upper Deck.  The handcrafted “paper” airplanes float on 15 rows of vertical, stainless steel wiring for a sleek yet simple display.

Food & Beverage

Led by Executive Chef Jeffery Powell, Hemisphere’s culinary team has designed a menu that infuses robust international flavors and seasonal local ingredients. Dinner highlights include Moroccan-inspired, dukka-crusted Lamb Chops, Grilled Gulf Prawns and a Wagyu Grass-Fed Beef Burger.

The Hemisphere beverage menu complements the world kitchen concept with a carefully curated collection of wines and cocktails from each hemisphere. The wine cuvees are filled with 16 wine varietals from different regions around the globe. Wine Flights rotate daily and guests may simply select a direction to travel:
· Up North – A selection of wines from the northern hemisphere
· Down South – A selection of wines from the southern hemisphere

Guests will enjoy thoughtful arrangements for an easy and grand sense of arrival into Orlando with direct access into the OIA valet motor court and a brief elevator ride to the ninth floor and into Hemisphere. Complimentary valet parking is available for all Hemisphere guests. Monthly wine dinners and seasonal brunches will be announced soon.

About Hemisphere

Hemisphere offers an active, upbeat environment that engages guests’ senses.  Seasonal menus feature hand-crafted dishes that infuse fresh, local ingredients with modern world flavors.  Hemisphere is located on the ninth floor of the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport with convenient access to downtown Orlando, the Interstate 4 business and tourism corridor, as well as the neighboring Lake Nona community. Hemisphere will be open for breakfast, dinner and special events.

It's time to Create Your Nature at Winter Park's new acai cafe

Tasty dishes for your mind, body and soul have arrived, Winter Park. Create Your Nature, a new quick-service café concept, debuted Oct. 20, offering a menu that boasts healthier options and centers around acai bowls and oatmeal blends, as well as salads.

The approximately 1,300-square-foot café is located at 1284 Orange Ave. in one of Winter Park’s oldest garage buildings – State Auto Body. The building was recently renovated into a modern retail complex featuring a variety of local businesses, including The Bear and Peacock Brewery, Foxtail Coffee Company and Dolce Vita Salon.

Husband-wife team Dan and Kim Dill own and operate the new café. Both working professionals, passionate about a healthy lifestyle, and parents of two young girls, the Dills are not your typical café owners. Dan is a successful trial lawyer who owns The Dill Law Group, and Kim is a former insurance defense attorney leading the family’s new venture.

“When we first announced plans to open, we were overwhelmed by the response from our friends and the Winter Park community,” said Kim Dill, owner. “This is something we have dreamt about and now it is becoming reality. We’re looking forward to sharing our love for acai and healthy eating in a rustic, casual café setting.”

After falling in love with the acai bowl concept while away celebrating their anniversary, Dan and Kim quickly learned acai boasts several health benefits and began experimenting with recipes for their friends and family.

General Manager Julie Wilson, a cookbook author and all-around fitness lover, joins the Dills in building an already award-winning menu featuring acai bowls alongside oatmeal blends and salads. As the namesake implies, guests have the option to create their own of any of these offerings.

Earlier this year, Create Your Nature’s All American Acai Bowl took home the award for Best Healthy Dish at the 31st Annual Taste of Winter Park.

Open Monday through Saturday, the quick-service café caters to everyone – business professionals on the go, busy moms, those with active lifestyles and more.