Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eating in Downtown Orlando keeps getting better and better: DoveCote has opened

DoveCote, the much anticipated new venture from Central Florida culinary visionaries Clayton Miller, Gene Zimmerman and James and Julie Petrakis, is now open on the ground floor of the Bank of America Center at 390 N. Orange Ave. The opening marks the completion of a yearlong renovation project, which transformed an iconic venue into a modern brasserie offering a casual, sophisticated dining experience in Downtown Orlando.

“DoveCote introduces an innovative take on the classic brassiere to Orlando, where guests can enjoy a quick bite, power lunch, after-work drink or a fine dining experience,” said Clayton Miller, DoveCote’s chef/co-owner. “We’re offering an elevated approach to all-day dining as well as culinary offerings found nowhere else in Central Florida.”

While developing DoveCote’s lunch and dinner menus, Miller, a past winner of a “Best New Chef” award from Food & Wine Magazine, drew inspiration from classic French cuisine to refine his take on dishes such as Cote De Boeuf, Steak Frites and Bouillabaisse. DoveCote also features a raw bar serving a curated assortment of oysters, shrimp, mussels, clams and other seasonal seafood selections.

Zimmerman, a wine industry veteran and owner of acclaimed Orlando cocktail bar The Courtesy, created DoveCote’s beverage program.

“We’ve compiled one of the most talented and knowledgeable bar teams in Orlando to oversee a cocktail menu that offers modern twists on drinks like the Sazerac and Vieux Carre,” said Zimmerman, who co-owns DoveCote along with Miller. “An equal emphasis was placed on our wine and coffee menus. The wine list leans toward boutique, family-owned vineyards that will be presented by a knowledgeable staff, seven of which are certified sommeliers, while expert baristas oversees the coffee operation.”

Cask & Larder head brewer Larry Foor collaborated with Zimmerman on DoveCote’s craft beer program. The rotating selection falls heavily into French and Belgian-style varieties, including the DoveCote Farmhouse Saison.

In addition to daily lunch and dinner service, DoveCote offers a coffee and pastry breakfast Monday to Friday beginning at 7 a.m. until supplies last. A craft coffee menu and barista service is available all day.

The redesign of the 5,000-square-foot venue was led by Drew White, whose firm, Lot 1433, also designed The Courtesy. DoveCote’s dining room can accommodate 184 guests, with street-side terrace seating for 36 guests as well as additional tables in the center’s lobby. The space is also available for private parties, special events and corporate meetings.

In addition to the redesign efforts from Lot 1433, local artist Brigan Gresh enhanced DoveCote’s European-style aesthetic with an original wall mural.

It was while sitting outside talking over ideas for the restaurant that the partners came up with the name DoveCote, which is derived from the medieval term for a structure that provides shelter for game birds.

“Some of the building’s architectural features, like the parapets, reminded me of ancient dovecotes seen in Europe,” said Zimmerman. “We started tossing the name around and it grew on us.”

Beyond its reference to a place of shelter, the name has further significance, Zimmerman said, since it offers a nod to the French term côte, which in the viniculture world means a hillside where grapes are grown.

DoveCote is open Monday to Friday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and closed Sunday.

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