New Tastes!


Cask & Larder

565 West Fairbanks Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: 321-280-4200

Tastes of Orlando finally got a chance to go to Cask & Larder for a Sunday Brunch.

If you are not familiar with the name, let me give you a brief history of this newer restaurant and its owners in Winter Park....

Cask & Larder is the the latest creation from James Beard nominated chefs, James and Julie Petrakis who are the Chef/Owners of The Ravenous Pig, and now Cask & Larder. In case you are unaware, The James Beard Foundation Awards is the nation's premiere recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries. The Ravenous Pig opened in 2007,  and has received much recognition for their ever-changing menu with home made ingredients and seasonal flavors. 

So it stands to reason that Cask & Larder might be a pretty good spot....

Cask & Larder calls itself a "Southern Public House". The term  "pub" is really just short hand  for a public house,  which is a house that is "open to the public", and not a private house. It is usually a drinking establishment that is central to the community and on occasion serves food. This place is way more than just a pub. They not only serve beer, they make it all themselves, and you better believe the food is not an occasional afterthought.

Cask Ale  is a cask-conditioned beer that has not been filtered or pasteurized. It is conditioned and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. 

All beer is house made in a sophisticated micro brewery by in-house brew master Ron Raike.

There are usually about nine rotating beers on tap with one true cask beer available at all times.

Don't worry if you are not sure of what beer you want, there is a Beer Flight available for $10 that gets you five brewers choice pours in four ounce glasses.

The Larder, was typically the coldest room in the house used to store meats and fish.

Cask and Larder has plenty of meat of every type available, and you can even get a whole Smoked Suckling Pig brought to your table if you wish....or even a whole Smoked Duck,  but no Larder is complete without fish. 

They have quite a large selection of fresh Oysters, Clams, Shrimp, Cobia, Trout, Grouper and Snapper available on the menu at different times.

For our brunch....we started with a split up Blueberry Corn Muffin. These muffins are made using cornbread as opposed to traditional flour. 

The fresh locally sourced Florida Blueberries were very flavorful and the muffin was good, however it was a bit drier than a traditional blueberry muffin. 

I ordered the Vanilla Pork Belly for a different twist on Pancakes with a side of Bacon. 

This dish is served with a chunk of fried pork belly sitting on top of a buckwheat pancake with cocoa nibs, espresso cream and smoked ice cream....yes smoked Ice Cream!

It was the ultimate Sweet and Savory mouthful of flavor experience in each bite.

My wife opted for the Creamy Grits.

These grits come topped with Asparagus, Ham Chips, Squash Blossom and a Coddled Egg.

Make no mistake, this was a great flavorful dish that worked all of the ingredients into a perfect flavor and texture. 

The size was a slight disappointment though. This is a main brunch dish served on a large plate, and the portion was appetizer size at best....

One of our companions ordered the Eggs Benedict. 

This was a hefty portion of Toasted Brioche, Smoked Ham, Mustard Greens, Soft Boiled Eggs and Hollandaise sauce.

Instead of poached  eggs on a traditional Benedict, you get soft boiled eggs.

The eggs were cooked just right with the white of the egg being partially cooked and the yolk still liquid. I would definitely recommend this dish, especially if they are offering it with the BBQ Spare Ribs the next time. 

Most of the time, especially for the brunch service on Saturday and Sunday and for most dinner services, reservations are recommended.

They do however have open seating at the bar on a first come, first serve basis.

The menu at Cask & Larder is seasonal and is dependent upon the availability of ingredients, so it is always changing.

They do have some select dishes that will remain constant, but the way the dish is prepared may change a little.

Dinner is available from 5:30pm to 10:00pm Tuesday through Saturday.

The Bar opens at 4:00 pm and the Late Night Menu is available after 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. They have some really good burgers available for a fair price.

Saturday and Sunday Brunch goes from 10:30am to 2:00pm. 

For some really good southern comfort food with a gourmet touch, Cask & Larder is the neighborhood spot. It's truly a Southern Public House, with really good beers, and a pantry full of groceries that is redefining southern cuisine. 

I am planning on returning for another round, but next time its either the dinner menu, or a stop by for a late night burger.

Prices are moderate. Most brunch dishes are mid teens, while dinner dishes start in the mid teens and go up from there.

Cask & Larder on Urbanspoon

Read more ...

Brooklyn Water Bagels

4026 North Goldenrod Road
Winter Park, FL 
(407) 681-4011

I recently stopped by the all new Brooklyn Water Bagels in Winter Park for breakfast on a Friday. This is the all new bagel and coffee concept that uses some serious water purification to get the coffee and bagels as close to the taste and flavor of the real deal in New York. They currently have 17 locations and are still looking for franchises to expand.

What Brooklyn Water Bagels is betting its success on is, that better water makes better bagels and better ice makes better iced coffee. Rather than import water from Brooklyn, they have developed a highly sophisticated filtration system that is on display as soon as you enter the store. The business motto is.."It's all about the water". This water is used in everything they make from bagels to coffee, and even coffee ice cubes.

The system is said to be proprietary. It consists of a reverse osmosis system that disinfects the water and then re-mineralizes it to create water of exceptionally high quality.

The inside is not very big at all. There are a few tables and chairs and a couple of bar seats. 

Although I opted for a Garlic Bagel, Brooklyn Water Bagels has plenty of other options such as, Three Egg Breakfast Sandwiches, Bagelwiches, Melts, muffins, and many different flavors of bagels from sweet to healthy.

The spreads are pretty simple. Plain, Low Fat, Scallion Cream Cheese, Veggie, Butter, Jelly and Peanut Butter.

I had the Scallion Cream Cheese with my Garlic Bagel.

I will be the fist to admit, I am no bagel expert. Sure, I have had many bagels from different places, but I have not officially had an "Authentic New York Bagel".

What I can share with you is this...  My Garlic Bagel was pretty dang good!

This bagel had a thin, crusty exterior that was toasted but moist and chewy in the center. It was also very filling and satisfyingly wholesome. I would have to say, its the best and biggest bagel I have had in Orlando so far. The Scallion Cream Cheese was loaded up and delicious too.

The iced coffee at Brooklyn Water Bagel is quite unique.

Its called  "The Cubsta" because The ice cubes are made of coffee. This is a neat concept, since we all hate that water based ice meting down in our drink and watering it down. When this ice melts, it makes more coffee.

All coffee is made with freshly ground and then roasted beans.

I must admit, that the coffee was very strong and flavorful, but less acidic than most coffee, probably because of the highly filtered water.

They have some specialty blends you can order, like Hannah Banana which is made with Banana liqueur and dark rum flavors blended with caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon and butter flavorings.

If you prefer to add your own ingredients, they have skim milk, whole milk, half & half  and sugar. They also have a variety of flavored syrups like Cherry Coke, French Vanilla, White Chocolate Mint and Simple Syrup.

Although it is a franchise, it is a pretty cool concept with really good coffee and really good bagels. I would definitely return and Tastes Of Orlando thinks you should check them out too!

If any of you have ever had a "Authentic New York Bagel" stop by Brooklyn Water Bagels and let me know what you think.

Brooklyn Water Bagels on Urbanspoon
Read more ...