New Tastes!


Seasons 52: Mini Indulgences Menu

At The Plaza Venezia
7700 Sand Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 354-5212
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Seasons 52, the fresh grill and wine bar that features a seasonal menu and an award-winning wine list... just got a little sweeter with the introduction of new Mini Indulgence Desserts.

The new selection of mini desserts includes flavors like Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte, Belgian Chocolate S’more and Blueberries & Lemon Curd.

The seasonal flavors being included are Toasted Almond Amaretto Crunch, Butterscotch Budino with Salted Caramel and Bing Cherry Crème Brulee.

Seasons 52 will offer a total of nine different Mini Indulgence options with a changing selection so guests can always discover something new. The Mini deserts are a perfect way to end your dining experience, with a selection of classic dessert flavors in smaller portions, made with top quality ingredients.

The Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte begins with chocolate cake baked in-house. The rich cake is layered with chocolate sauce, peanut butter mousse and chocolate peanut crunch, then garnished with a tuile – a house made peanut crisp.

The Belgian Chocolate S’More is Seasons 52’s take on the classic campfire treat. This new Mini Indulgence features chocolate cake layered with chocolate mousse and chocolate chips, then topped with a toasted marshmallow and a chocolate dipped graham cracker.

The Fresh Blueberries & Lemon Curd mini features vibrant, creamy lemon curd slow-cooked in-house at Seasons 52. The curd is mixed with blueberries, topped with whipped cream, and finished with a sprig of Chervil.

The Butterscotch Budino with Salted Caramel – is a rich butterscotch custard topped with caramel, finished with Hawaiian black sea salt and a dollop of sour cream.

The Toasted Almond Amaretto Crunch – is made with almond cake soaked in Amaretto DiSaronno, layered with glazed Marcona almonds, vanilla mousse and a pipette of amaretto.

Bing Cherry Crème Brulee – Bing cherry compote topped with house-made vanilla custard cream and a bruleed crisp sugar top.

No trip to Seasons 52 is complete without sampling some of their great wines, especially since George Miliotes is the restaurants Master Sommelier. George Miliotes is the 152nd Master Sommelier in the entire world and is a Certified Wine Educator.

Each location offers 100 selections of wine with 60 varieties offered by the glass. We were treated to a sampling of three very good wines consisting of a Malbec, Tawny Port and a Riesling.

Going to Seasons 52 for desert and wine only would be just fine, but we needed some savory to go along with all of that sweetness. 

We got our evening started with a Garlic Pesto Chicken Flatbread as well as the Roasted Roma Tomato Flatbread. The flatbreads were thin and crisped to perfection, and the sweet and fruity finish of the Selbach-Oster Riesling paired very well.

Since all menu items are under 475 calories, the flavors in both of these flatbreads was rather impressive.

To mix in a healthy dose of roughage, we ordered the Organic Field Greens that come with cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and a white balsamic vinaigrette.

My dining companion chose the Warm Roasted Tomato Caprese with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil pesto, 15-year balsamic vinegar and toasted bruschetta.

This dish paired with the Catina Vista Flores Malbec wine  tasted very good, and if you remove the bread...its even Gluten Free!

Of course...the star of the show was all of the wonderful new Mini Desert Indulgences that we got to sample.

My favorite was the Carrot Cake followed by the Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte washed down with a Warres Otima 10 year aged Tawny Port wine.

All new Mini Indulgences are available starting April 29th at all Seasons 52 locations...and I would definitely recommend you to head over to your nearest location and try them soon.

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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4 Rivers UCF

John Rivers and his mother at the ribbon cutting
11764 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817

(855) 368-7748
View Website Here

Its not every day that I get to have a nice platter of BBQ for fact its pretty rare. That's why I was excited to attend a BBQ brunch of sorts to officially celebrate the grand opening of 4 Rivers newest location at 11764 University Boulevard.

If you are not familiar with the 4 Rivers brand and are new to the area, please go here to see my review of the Longwood location. Its from 2012, but very detailed and covers the menu very extensively.

As the saying goes, 4 Rivers is 4 Rivers, and that's  what makes it special. The menu at 4 Rivers is the same at all six locations with only slight variances in what the sweet shop offers. You will be able to find the same quality ingredients and menu favorites at the newest one just as you would at the Longwood or Winter Park locations. 

The new UCF location as it's being called, being so close to the University, is 6,900 square feet and can seat 126 diners with indoor and outdoor seating. 

The UCF location has the traditional red brick outside and a more modern and open feel on the inside.

So far, in my opinion, John Rivers has managed to maintain quality and consistency at all of his locations...and I've been to all of them in Central Florida. It's because of his dedication to quality and customer service, that the official opening for the UCF 4 Rivers broke every opening day record set previously by other locations. When you have people lining up at 6:00 am waiting for a noon must be doing something right.

We started off our morning with a sampling of pastries from the sweet shop and plenty of coffee. 

After the ribbon cutting by John Rivers and his mother, it was time to eat some BBQ. 

No trip to 4 Rivers is complete without the Bacon Wrapped Smoked Jalapenos.

These are so good, even at 10:30 am.

I was more than thrilled to get myself a big plate full of Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Smoked Turkey, Cheese Grits and Backed Beans for breakfast. 

Everything was delicious and tasted just as good as I've had at all the other 4 Rivers restaurants.

So, if you happen to find yourself on the east side of town...stop in and check out John Rivers newest Smokehouse on University will not be disappointed

4 Rivers Smokehouse on Urbanspoon
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W XYZ Bar at Aloft Orlando Hotel

500 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32801
(407) 380-3500

Thanks to Orlando Style Magazine, I had the opportunity to get a peek at one of Downtown Orlando's newest bars. In case you missed it, the folks at Starwood Resorts and Hotels have brought their modern and upscale hotel brand ALOFT... to Downtown Orlando.

The hotel occupies the former Orlando Utilities Commission building that has been a part of Downtown Orlando for over 45 years.

For the most part the building was completely renovated, but the folks at Starwood have left a few original pieces from the former OUC building. Some original artifacts like the teak wood panels and terrazzo floors in the lobby still remain. The hotel takes up 110-thousand square feet and features 118 guest rooms with sixty of those being suites.

One of the first things you will notice upon entering the hotel is the trendy and ultra modern W XYZ bar that is vying for a spot among Orlando's bar scene. The WXYZ is flashy and chic with tables in the bar area that are equipped with outlets and chargers for all of your electronic 

gadgets and includes free WiFi. 

There are daily happy hour specials, as well as planned events throughout the month like Thursday Night Ladies Night with live music and drink specials.

Some evenings will feature a live DJ while other nights there may be a live acoustic band playing in the lounge.

The bar itself is vibrant and full of colors that change randomly.

Inside there is a pool table and and a few flat screen TV's to keep you up to date. 

Overall...the new Aloft in Downtown Orlando is seeking to be a destination for business travelers and locals alike.

If you are in need of a unique and stylish hotel with plenty of meeting space options...Aloft has you covered.

However if you are an Orlando local and are seeking a new hangout space to unwind and wash away the work week stress...The W XYZ Bar should be on your list to visit.
With all of the new developments in downtown like the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center and a new soccer stadium in the works, Aloft has a  good chance to lure the business of the ever increasing young professional demographic that is looking for a more urban environment to call home. 

I'm told that standard rooms start at around $160.00. Although this was more of a bar and lounge preview...stay tuned to Tastes Of Orlando for a more in depth review of the hotel and all of its amenities coming soon.

W XYZ Bar and Lounge on Urbanspoon
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Kesh Restaurant

11768 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32817

View Website Here

I recently took part in a food blogger meet and greet at a unique little spot on the corner of Colonial Drive and Alafaya.

That unique little place goes by the name of Kesh Restaurant and is owned and operated by Chef Jerry Helminski. The menu and food at Kesh Restaurant is more deli style with modest dinner fare and a selection of street food items. If the name Kesh is throwing you off and you are thinking about Moroccan food, Chef Jerry did in fact name his restaurant after the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. Not much on the menu is actually Moroccan, but you can usually find a daily special like Kefta Sliders or Tandori Chicken and other street foods like you may find in Marrakesh.

Chef Jerry hails from Chicago and has been a apart of some of America’s most renowned resorts and hotel kitchens in places like Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando and Houston. The menu at Kesh consists of Deli Food, Street Food, Snacks and Milkshakes. The Deli portion of the menu consists of items like the Pastrami Reuben, Turkey Bagel, and The Grilled Corned Beef and Cheddar...all of which are $7.50.

For the Street Food selection, Kesh offers items like Pork Soft Tacos, Pressed Cubans and Pizza Bread. Being from Chicago, you can also make sure that Chef Jerry has included some Chicago style Dogs and even Polish Sausage.

In an effort for to better display his Chef skills, Chef Jerry also hosts a Supper Club every other Saturday with a 4 to 6-course tasting menu. All food is made with top quality ingredients and prepared in an artful and delicate presentation.

Colleen Burns of Yelp* was kind enough to share an order of Blue Cheese Chips 

The chips are house-made and  are topped with melted blue cheese sauce and a topping of scallions. They were were quite tasty and extra crispy.

My Wife had the Grilled Cheezy .

It was quite an awesome grilled cheese made with Brie, Goat Cheese and Provolone. We found out after wards that you can add bacon too it...and that would have made this sandwich double delicious.

I ordered the Pastrami Reuben that was packed with plenty of meat and served atop grilled rye bread with Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese and homemade Thousand Island Dressing. 

This was a very nice Reuben indeed...I and I am told Chef Jerry even makes the Pastrami meat in house.

Kesh Restaurant is definitely worth stopping by. In addition to lunch and dinner items they also have a sampling of breakfast fare like Breakfast Quesadilla's and Egg Sandwiches.

For something a little different on the sweeter side, you may want to try one of their Milkshakes...with flavors like Peanut Butter and Ginger, Strawberry and Cilantro or Black-pepper and Guava. Very interesting flavor pairings for sure.

Kesh is in the plaza that use to house an Alberton's and a variety of other places...but the main landmark here is that its right next door to the DMV. So the next time you got to stop by for any driver license related have a great spot to grab a bite to eat at a very affordable price. 

Kesh Restaurant and Deli on Urbanspoon
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Latin Square Cuisine

250 S Orange Ave.
Suite 185 P
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 608-4181

Latin Square is  a hidden gem in the downtown area. If you work downtown, chances are you are familiar with this wonderful little place and what it offers. But, for those of you not familiar...I thought I would share it with you.

The inside of Latin Square is small and everything is made to go. They offer a variety of traditional dishes such as Picadillo, Ropa Vieja, Cuban Sandwiches and Oven Roasted Chicken. You can also find items like Cuban Gumbo, Tuna Sandwiches and Grilled Salmon on Fridays. 

For that little pick me up, Latin Square has a nice selection of espresso's, cafe con leches, pastries and other deserts.

Although most items are kept up front in food warmers, everything is made from homemade recipes with fresh ingredients.

My dining companion had the Chicken Ropa Vieja with mixed vegetables. This chicken was so tender and juicy and it packed flavor in every  bite.

I opted for the Latin Square Sandwich.

This is quite a creation...Cuban bread topped with sliced beef, sweet plantains, garlic sauce, cheese and crunchy potato sticks.

The sandwich was big and messy and it was delicious. It packed a unique taste in every bite. Its definitely going to be one of my favorite sandwiches in Orlando.

Our total for lunch and two drinks with leftovers was under $18.00.

The service is always fast and friendly at Latin Square, and the food is always hot and good. Everything is served to go, but they do have limited seating in the courtyard outside.

Latin Square Cuisine on Urbanspoon
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