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Café D’Avignon, Expands with All-New Orlando Location

3260 Margaritaville Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL, 34747
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Café D’Avignon, a local NYC bakery and café best known for its artisanal, always-fresh, handmade breads and pastries, opens its doors for Orlando locals and tourists Wednesday January 22nd.

Café D’Avignon was established in 2012 at the historic Plaza Hotel. It was created by the same team behind Pain D’Avignon, an artisanal bread bakery that has been supplying Michelin starred restaurants and top hotels from New York to Boston for the last 25 years.

Café D’Avignon operates five retail stores throughout New York City, and will be opening five new locations in Orlando, Fla. beginning early 2020.The first new store is located in the heart of Kissimmee at Central Florida’s most sought-after entertainment complex,Margaritaville’s Sunset Walk.

This location is the first Café D’Avignon store outside of New York City. “The Café D’Avignon brand is the perfect complement to the serene resort lifestyle of Margaritaville Resort Orlando,” said Alex Nikitin, a partner of Café D’Avignon Orlando. Committed to quality, the bakery uses top of the line, carefully selected and sourced ingredients to ensure the finest and boldest flavors possible with guaranteed freshness.


Guests can indulge in a range of signature sweet and savory items including quiches, scones,tartines, croissants, breakfast sandwiches, cookies, and more. The menu mixes authentic French dishes like Croque Monsieur and Quiche Lorraine with American classics like a Turkey Club and Avocado Toast.


The cafe’s bold stand-out crossovers, such as the Baklava Croissant and Croissant Bread Pudding, demonstrate Café D’Avignon’s expertise for innovation and delicious precision.

The Orlando cafe also offers the best smoked salmon from one of NYC’s oldest, and highly revered, gourmet shops, Russ & Daughters. These high-end breakfast and lunch offerings are made fresh out of the oven on-site daily. Additionally, Café D’Avignon crafts classic espresso-based drinks using premium Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

The menu features a range of specialty lattes, iced coffees and teas. By offering Stumptown coffee blends, café guests will sip the highest quality coffee that has been sourced and roasted to perfection for outstanding flavor.

The Orlando location invites guests to enjoy menu favorites in a modern, comfortable venue that is furnished with plentiful seating, custom marble work and state-of-the-art equipment.

Located at 3260 Margaritaville Blvd. in Kissimmee, the new cafe is right in the middle of the vibrant and entertaining Sunset Walk, overlooking the stage at Sunset Square.

Café D’Avignon is open everyday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit www.cafedavignon.com for updates and more information about Florida’s newest bakery.
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The Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Fest returns for 2020

Grand Tasting Village
13th Street & Ocean Dr.
Miami Beach, FL.
(866) 271-8540
View Website Here


Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Fest returns for 2020. Presented by Capital One with an impressive lineup of events.

The Festival Returns to EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. February 19th to the 23rd, 2020 to Miami Beach, Florida, Widely recognized as one of America’s favorite gourmet gatherings on the beach, the 19 th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF ) returns for 2020 to EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE.

The recently unveiled line-up includes more than 100 events spanning Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, with 100% of the net proceeds benefiting the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University. Since its inception, the Festival has raised more than $30 million to support the education of the future leaders of the hospitality industry.



“We are pleased to unveil the robust line-up of events that make up our 2020 Festival program,” noted Festival founder and director Lee Brian Schrager, who also serves as senior vice president of communications and corporate social responsibility for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. “Once again, fans have a diverse collection of more than 100 events showcasing esteemed culinary talent from around the world and premier wine and spirits selections to choose from.”

The Festival’s signature fan-favorite tastings nestled on the sands of Miami Beach return to showcase the cuisine from some of America’s most talented chefs and lifestyle personalities.

This includes iconic events like: Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village featuring Grand Tasting Tents, Publix Culinary Demonstrations sponsored by Sub-Zero Group Southeast (Saturday, February 22 and Sunday,February 23).

Italian Bites on the Beach sponsored by HCP Media and the Miami Herald Media Company hosted by Giada De Laurentiis and Dario Cecchini (Thursday, February 20).

Heineken Burger Bash presented by Schweid and Sons hosted by Rachael Ray (Friday, February 21).

Beachside BBQ hosted by Guy Fieri (Saturday, February 22).




BACARDI’s Beach Carnival hosted by Andrew Zimmern (Sunday, February 23)


On Saturday, February 22, the Festival’s host hotel Loews Miami Beach will once again serve as the setting for the annual Tribute Dinner presented by Capital One, part of The NYT Cooking Dinner Series.

This year, Master of Ceremonies Andrew Zimmern will oversee an evening paying homage to the outstanding accomplishments of the culinary community’s beloved Chef Marcus Samuelsson and beverage industry’s revered leader Jim Clerkin. Samuelsson is a highly-acclaimed chef and international restaurateur with over 30 restaurant locations spanning the United States, England, Sweden, Norway, and Bermuda, bestselling cookbook author, and popular culinary television personality.

Clerkin currently serves as president and CEO of Moët Hennessy North America and will transition to a new role as president of Moët Hennessy strategic development,

In addition to several popular events returning for the 19 th annual edition of SOBEWFF, a variety of new events will make their debut as part of the 2020 line-up. 

This includes:

Chef Mash-up presented by HoneySpot App hosted by The Naughty Fork (Thursday, February 20).

Gospel and Falafel hosted by Zak the Baker (Thursday, February 20).

SLICED: A Genuine Pizza Party hosted by Michael Schwartz (Friday, February 21).

Sips and Dips hosted by Adam Richman (Saturday, February 22).

Nu Deco Ensemble Concert featuring Special Performance by Rev Run
and Late-Night Bites by Politan Row Miami (Saturday, February 22).

The diverse weekend of culinary and beverage celebrations will also include the Festival’s featured wine seminars, themed walk-around tastings, more than 30 intimate dinners featuring world-renowned chefs and celebrated winemakers, a more expanded selection of hands-on master classes and family-friendly options.

Also the CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series presented by My Fort Lauderdale Beach, select events in Palm Beach County – including dinners hosted by acclaimed Chef Mauro Colagreco and lifestyle icon Martha Stewart –and more.

SAVE THE DATE: Capital One cardholders will enjoy exclusive presale access to tickets for all SOBEWFF events. Only Capital One cardholders can purchase tickets to the following exclusive events:

Dinner hosted by Anne Burrell and Scott Conant (Thursday, February 20)

Dinner hosted by Ashley Christensen and Mike Lata (Friday, February 21)

Dinner hosted by Bobby Flay and Tommaso De Simone (Friday, February 21)

Pie-Making Master Class hosted by Pink Pie (Saturday, February 22)



The complete line-up of events for the 19 th annual Festival is available online at sobewff.org. Ticket sales have already opened to the general public. Stay up to date all year long by following along with the #SOBEWFF hashtag on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

About the Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Festival presented by Capital One:

EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. All proceeds from the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management who also assist Festival organizers with sponsorship fulfillment, restaurant and exhibitor recruitment,
logistics, and inventory as well as working alongside some of the world’s greatest celebrity chefs and winemakers.

To date, SOBEWF has raised more than $30 million for the School. In September 2018, BizBash named the Festival the #1 Food and Restaurant Industry event in the United States for the sixth year in a row.

Visit sobewff.org or call 877-762-3933. For more information about Florida International University visit fiu.edu, for the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
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2020 NYE Shamrock Drop and Block Party at Liam Fitzpatrick's

Market Promenade Ave.
Lake Mary, FL 32746
(407) 936-3782
View Website Here

Celebrate the New Year at the Biggest Block Party in North Orlando, Featuring a Live Band, Three DJs and Liam Fitzpatrick’s Legendary Shamrock Drop.

The time has come again for Lake Mary to turn into Times Square with an iconic symbol to ring in the New Year as Liam Fitzpatrick’s Restaurant and Irish Pub invite Central Florida to count down to 2020 at their epic, annual “Lake Mary New Year’s Eve Block Party” taking over Colonial Town Park on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 from 8pm to 2am.

Joined by plaza neighbors Graffiti Junction and Dexter’s of Lake Mary, guests will enjoy live entertainment by The Six Million Dollar Band, three DJ’s and Liam’s highly anticipated “Shamrock Drop” countdown outside the lively plaza.

General Admission, VIP tickets and special drink packages are available at www.LakeMaryBlockParty.com. A portion of proceeds will support Orlando City Youth Soccer, the preeminent youth club in Central Florida.

“It’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close, and we could not be any more excited and grateful to celebrate an amazing year and welcome a new one,” says General Manager Dominick Coloni. “Our block parties continue to get bigger and better, and New Year’s Eve will be no exception. We look forward to seeing everyone come out and join us for another memorable block party, and we promise many more to come.”

Experience the 2020 Lake Mary New Year’s Eve Block Party hosted by Liam Fitzpatrick’s Restaurant and Irish Pub at Colonial Town Park located at 951 Market Promenade Ave., Ste 1115, Lake Mary, FL 32746. For more information and tickets, visit www.lakmaryblockparty.com.
About Liam Fitzpatrick’s Restaurant and Irish Pub:

Successfully operating since April of 2008, Liam Fitzpatrick’s welcomes guests with it traditional Irish pub exterior, rich wood furnishings and accents, large dining room, fully stocked bar and pub area and private dining room.

Lively and festive day to late night, Liam’s provides the perfect setting for any occasion whether it’s a business lunch, a gathering with old friends or a celebration with new ones.

With a wide-ranging menu of great home-cooked food to suit every taste and pouring some of the best beers and wines in the world, Liam’s delivers an unmatched experience in the warmest hospitality. Liam’s is open daily for lunch, dinner and happy hour and offers Saturday and Sunday brunch service.

Hours of operation are Monday 11am-11pm, Tuesday through Thursday 11am-12am, Friday 11am-2am, Saturday 10:30am-2am and Sunday 10:30am-11pm. For more information, call 407-936-3782 or visit www.liamfitzpatricks.com.
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OX Grill, I- Drives Newest Event Space and Restaurant is Open

8441 International Dr.
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 730-5282
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One of International Drive’s newest restaurants is expanding. Ox Grill, located in ICON Park, is now taking reservations for its brand-new events venue.

The more than 4,000 square foot space made its debut on December 16th for corporate meetings, family celebrations and office parties.

Features include a 9’x16’ LED television, sound system and professional lighting, allowing the space to be transformed from a meeting display to a DJ stage.

“At Ox Grill, we treat our guests like family. We will customize each meeting or party to make the event as special as possible,” said Ox Grill owner, Josefina Muñiz. “We strive for the highest quality food and service at the restaurant and we want to bring that experience to events.”

The venue features space for more than 200 guests. Ox Grill’s total 7,800 square foot space can be bought out for events. For more photos of the events venue, courtesy of Ox Grill, click here.


The restaurant, which opened in November, features an in-house mixologist manning the bar and the finest cuisine from around the world. The concept is a joint effort between Muñiz, and Brazilian-born Chef Marcelo Benegas, who was once named “Chef of the Year” in France.

Top dishes from the scratch kitchen include spiced chocolate lamb chops, a tomahawk steak and a pork shank that falls off the bone.

About Ox Grill
Ox Grill features Latin American cuisine, as well as favorite dishes from around the world. The concept, which opened in fall 2019 at ICON Park in Orlando, is a joint effort between entrepreneur, Josefina Muñiz, and Chef Marcelo Benegas.

The sit-down restaurant highlights specialties such as spiced chocolate lamb chops, mofongo and vatapa, in addition to a gourmet salad bar. The extensive wine list, features wine by the glass for a maximum price of $12. The 7,800 square foot space includes a venue for corporate meetings and special events.

Guests will be treated to exceptional service, as well as complimentary valet parking nearby. Ox Grill is located at 8441 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. Visit Ox Grill’s website at oxgrillrestaurant.com.
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Kona Poké Announces Week-Long Grand Opening Celebration Of Its New Sanford Location

1813 WP Ball Blvd.
Sanford, FL 32771
(321)-363-4171
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Seminole County’s popular Poké restaurant commemorates its newest location with daily specials leading up to the official grand opening. 

On Friday, December 20th they will have a ribbon cutting ceremony with a BOGO 50% off Bowl Deal and free Kona Beer all day.

The time has arrived for the popular, fast-casual, fresh food concept Kona Poké to welcome its second location in Sanford, Florida this month.

To commemorate the exciting opening, Kona Poké Sanford will celebrate all week long offering the following daily specials (11am-9pm):

Monday, December 16th - First Responders receive 50% off one bowl.

Tuesday, December 17th – Tuna Tuesday $9.99 tuna bowl and fountain drink.

Wednesday, December 18th – Teachers receive 50% off one bowl.

Thursday, December 19th – Students receive 50% off one bowl.

Friday, December 20th – Ribbon cutting at 11am, followed by BOGO buy one bowl, get one bowl 50% off and complementary Kona beer all day.


“We are thrilled to open our second location in Sanford less than a year after opening in Lake Mary and kick off the tremendous growth for the Kona Poké brand, says Owners Matthew Ting and Ernie Falco III. 

“With the holiday season here, we wanted to give back to the community that’s been so welcoming to us by providing different specials all week long. We are excited to celebrate with everyone, and we look forward to continuing to expand and more and more people experiencing just how insanely delicious Kona Poké is.”
 

Guests of Sanford’s 1,300 square foot restaurant will enjoy Kona Poké’s healthy and delicious Hawaiian-style poké bowls with fresh sushi-grade fish, house sauces and over 40 fresh toppings to choose from, plus vegan, gluten-free and cooked options available.

They can also choose from a variety of Signature Poké Bowls, Build Your Own Bowls, Soup, Salads and Mochi Ice Cream, which they’ll savor inside Kona’s contemporary, relaxing restaurant vibe with subtle elements of poké’s Hawaiian heritage.

Enjoy Kona Poké Sanford located at 1813 WP Ball Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32771 and Kona Poké Lake Mary located at located at 242 Wheelhouse Lane, Unit 1230, Lake Mary, FL 32746. Hours of operation are Monday thru Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-8pm. For additional information, future locations, menu and more, visit www.konapokébowls.com.

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Taste Of the NFL is headed to South Florida


3555 S Ocean Dr.
Hollywood, FL 330193
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The Big Game is coming to South Florida in 2020, and so is a big party that cannot be missed – Party with a Purpose® by Taste of the NFL (TNFL). 

TNFL’s annual event traditionally takes place on the eve of the Super Bowl. For its 29th year, it will be held on Saturday, February 1st, 2020 at The Diplomat Beach Resort in  Hollywood, FL.
This year’s star-studded fundraising event brings together exceptional cuisine, prominent chefs from around the country, NFL players, coaches, legends and more, all to support the fight against hunger.

“When we began in 1992, our goal was to raise money in order to provide meals to those in need,” said TNFL Founder Wayne Kostroski. “Many of the recipients are children and seniors who rely on their local food banks for assistance.”

Since its inception, TNFL – one of the few organizations sanctioned by the NFL – has gathered the country's top chefs and the NFL's greatest players to fundraise in support of food banks throughout the United States.

To date, TNFL’s programs and events have raised and donated over $26 million for food banks and hunger-related nonprofit organizations in all 32 NFL cities, resulting in more than 220 million meals distributed nationwide.

This year’s team of guest hosts includes the legendary Coach Don Shula serving as the National Honorary Chair; Chef Andrew Zimmern – National Culinary Host; Chef Adam Richman – Florida Culinary Host; and Ben Leber as the National Player Host.



Tickets for Party with a Purpose® on Saturday, February 1, 2020 are now on sale at https://www.tasteofthenfl.com/tickets. General admission is priced at $700 per person. Those interested in the seated VIP section with extra perks, tables of 10 are available at $10,000.

Sponsorship opportunities are available including a special top-tier level, Hunger Heroes Partners. This limited designation features an elevated experience with exclusive perks including early admittance to the event, table in the VIP section, tickets to the invitation only Friday Night Huddle event (thank you party for chefs, players and sponsors), and many more benefits. For more ticket and sponsor information, please visit: www.tasteofthenfl.com.

Coinciding with the beginning of the football season in September, the fundraising campaign spearheaded by TNFL, aptly named Kick Hunger Challenge (KHC) kicks-off. The entire month is designated as Hunger Action Month – an initiative benefitting Feeding America – and it serves as an ideal launching point by bringing awareness to KHC.

This friendly “competition” pits fans of all 32 NFL teams against each other to raise money for food banks in NFL communities nationwide. KHC continues throughout the 2019 football season including Super Bowl Weekend. During this time fans will have the opportunity to support the NFL team of their choice and directly impact the donation of thousands of meals to food banks in their team’s community.


Leading the charge locally, are some key players representing South Florida, including James Beard Award winner Chef Allen Susser; The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Chef Paula DaSilva – on behalf of the Miami Host Committee; former Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl; and former Dolphins safety Dick Anderson – NFL Player Rep for Shula’s American Steakhouse and Dolphins’ Perfect Season.

South Florida chefs will be competing for the opportunity to represent South Florida and take part in Party with a Purpose®. To win one of the coveted spots at the event, chefs/restaurants will be raising funds for the Kick Hunger Challenge which directly benefits Feeding South Florida.

The top three fundraisers will secure their participation in this not-to-be-missed party. These fundraising efforts will come from a multitude of promotions beginning in September at the start of the football season and continuing until December 31, 2019. To learn about local KHC initiatives for the Dolphins, please visit: www.kickhungerchallenge.com.


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F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen plans for Longwood expansion


1000 W State Rd 434
Longwood, FL 32750
View Website Here


F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen is bringing Central Florida’s best pizza, pasta and more to Longwood.

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen is scheduled to open spring 2020 in Longwood on state road 434, in the old Bayridge Sushi location. This is the first of several openings planned for next year.

When F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen first opened its doors in Orlando’s new emerging hot spot, the Hourglass District, in 2018, the local community and beyond was overjoyed to try this eatery’s amazing Italian cuisine. And it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Known for hip, comfortable decor and incredibly friendly service along with its Neapolitan wood fired pizza and tried and true pasta recipes, F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen has earned a place in every Orlandonian’s heart. 


The restaurant only uses the finest, freshest and natural ingredients in every dish. All pasta is made from scratch at Trevi Pasta in Winter Park. Corners are never cut and quality is present in every bite. Perfection is never rushed at the eatery, as proven by its mouth-watering “36 Hour Dough.”

“F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen has quickly become a classic name in Central Florida’s pizza and Italian food scene because we deliver our passion in every single dish we serve,” said Charly Robinson, owner and founder of the F&D family of restaurants. “We’re so glad we have the opportunity to give our fans what they want and expand our concept to Longwood.”


Along with its delicious eats, F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen is proud to offer daily specials, carryout deals and weekend brunch. It boosts an impressive selection of beer and wine, including wine-based cocktails and the eatery even offers vegan pizzas to suit all guests’ tastes.

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen is a part of the F&D family of restaurants. Other concepts include F&D Kitchen and Bar in Lake Mary, which serves a modern twist on American fare, and F&D Cantina in Lake Mary, which serves scratch-made, comfort Mexican food.

For more information about F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen, click here.

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Tornatore's Pizzeria


3818 Edgewater Dr.
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 292-2248
View Website Here

Back in 2015, Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine gave Tornatore’s a makeover on the Food Network’s Ambush Episode of Restaurant Impossible.

Sometimes these restaurants will stay open for a bit, then close, because the ownership reverts to their old ways. This is not the case with Tornatore’s Pizzeria, as owner Denny Tornatore and his staff have continued with the changes Chef Irvine recommended and are turning out some pretty darn good Italian eats.

At Tornatore’s, they stress the importance of making everything from scratch, including homemade pastas and even fresh mozzarella by hand.

The menu here is filled with delicious signature dishes like Tortellini Tornatore, Chicken Riggies, Lasagna, Veal Parmesan, and a wide variety of specialty pizzas all made fresh. “Everything from Scratch” is their unique point of difference. 

Of course we had to start with Garlic Knots. These were very large, but nonetheless light and airy with plenty of fresh garlic, oil and a side of marinara for dipping.

The Antipasto Plate was very good, with capicola, salami, prosciutto, roasted red pepper, fresh burrata mozzarella, tomatoes and kalamata olives.

We enjoyed the Fried Calamari that was very tender, lightly breaded and fried golden, served with banana peppers and roasted red peppers.

While waiting for our entrees to arrive, we ordered a slice of cheese pizza. Tornatore’s has quite a reputation for good pizzas, like those you would get in New York, and I can see why. This was a thin and crisp cracker like crust that held up really well and was delicious. Next time we are definitely ordering a whole pie… maybe a Leah’s Pie with Mozzarella, sausage, roasted red pepper, caramelized onion.

Our first entree was the Capellini Primavera with homemade capellini pasta, carrots, broccolini, spinach, onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, peas & cabbage in a garlic and oil sauce. This had great flavors and was very rich, while also not being a too hearty pasta dish.

We also ordered a side of Broccolini & Fresh Garlic sauteed in oil that was a tasty treat along with our pasta dishes.

Admittedly, I was a bit upset to learn they were out of Veal Parmesan, but my back up order of Rigatoni with marinara sauce and an incredibly delicious Italian sausage made me pretty happy.

Stop in to Tornatore’s sometime, you can watch them make pasta the way it’s been done for centuries in the time honored traditional way. They also have plenty of traditional Italain desserts as well. The food here was exceptional, and we loved the quaint small hometown atmosphere.

Tornatore’s is closed on Monday, Tuesday to Thursday they are open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday they are open till 10:00 pm, Saturday from 4:00 pm 10:00 pm, Sunday 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Tornatore's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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