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The Whiskey


7563 W Sand Lake Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 930-6517
View Website Here


The Whiskey has become quite the hot spot since it’s opening in mid 2015. 

Sadly with so many restaurants that have opened in Orlando since that time, It took us a while to make it out there, but fear not, we did go and we did it up big. 

When we first arrived, I thought the spot looked familiar, and that is because this use to be the location for the now defunct Cricketers Pub & Eatery. Cricketer’s was a bit larger than a hole in the wall with a very basic layout. Some of the design themes from the original location are still in tact, which really work fine with what the Whiskey’s design team has imagined.

Once inside, there is one long bar that runs across the left wall with a view of the open kitchen. A small stage is toward the back, with a few rows of wooden tables across the back wall and a hand full of larger communal style tables in the middle. Seating can be limited as this is set up like a tight narrow hallway, with a first come first serve basis and you may be eating or drinking at one of the big long tables. 

The food here is very chef driven, even if they do specialize in burgers. The culinary team is always striving to put out plates that are visually stunning while offering an elevated twist. The Whiskey uses fresh and local ingredients from the eggs and produce, to the grass fed game meats to the hormone & range free chicken and organic produce.

Burgers here, are a big thing. They take pride in their burgers here, and the results and myriad of awards speak for themselves. The burgers are large and packed with flavor and a variety of toppings that are cooked to your liking. Want something different than beef? No problem, as The Whiskey has Bison, Elk, Camel, Wild Boar and Wild caught sockeye as well as a burger topped with a 20 hour smoked beef brisket.

They make some pretty mean salads here too, and have great side options and a variety of starters to choose from as well. The Whiskey Onion Rings and the Parmesan Truffle fries are not to be missed. You can order them seperate or upgrade them as a side item for your burger.

Of course, The Whiskey would not be it’s namesake without that great old time alcoholic beverage known as whiskey. They boast a whopping selection of over 200 kinds of Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch and Rye.

The official count is something like...85 Whiskeys & Rye, 66 Bourbons, 52 Scotches, 21 Irish Whiskeys and 10 Rare & Limited bottles. They serve it by the shot, and as mixer in a variety of cocktails. Shots go from a couple of bucks all the up to over $32.00 for a shot and over $75.00 for a regular serving. They do serve beer and have a few other spirits available as well.



Fridays and Saturdays are always packed at the Whiskey. Seating is first come first serve, as they do not take reservations, and you can see that this isn’t the biggest restaurant on Restaurant Row.

The Motley Cucumber on the left made with Damrak Gin and an Old Fashioned with Old Forester 100 proof bourbon on the right. The Old Forester was very smooth with full flavor and a spicy note. The Motley Cucumber is great and refreshing if Whiskey is not your thing.

Whiskey Chips are great for the whole table, and they are a crowd pleaser. These house cooked kettle chips are piled high with Gorgonzola cream, crumbled Gorgonzola, chopped bourbon bacon, aged balsamic glaze and scallions.

The Fried Mushrooms were pretty tasty also and were enough to share with our group. They were pretty simple with a crispy beer batter and served with a side of ranch.

Bear Gully Reserve is on the left, and it is made by local distillery, Winter Park Distilling Company. The Black Forest with Rebel Yell Ginger and Godiva Chocolate is on the right.

The Pork Belly Sliders with crispy pork belly, fried green tomatoes, house pimiento cheese and balsamic glaze on sweet Hawaiian rolls were out of this world. I would go back to The Whiskey just for these awesome little creations.

I love a good Bison burger, and they are becoming hard to find in Orlando, but the
Drunk Bison burger at The Whiskey is pretty damn good. This is a grass fed ground bison patty with beer cheddar cheese sauce, bourbon bacon, whiskey onion rings, served on a pretzel roll...and it's amazing. Of course we upgraded to the Parmesan Truffle Fries as well, and they were equally amazing.


The Texas Mule made with Tito’s vodka and The Rocky Mountain Dram made with Tincup Whiskey on the right.

One of the most popular burger choices at The Whiskey is of course, The Whiskey Burger. This comes topped with smoked Gouda cheese, bourbon bacon, whiskey onions and a dill aioli. This burger, as with all burgers served here are big and more than a mouthful.

The Whiskey has some great salad selections on the menu, like this Whiskey Cobb Salad. This is loaded with Grilled chicken, chopped bourbon bacon, tomatoes, Gorgonzola crumbles, sunny egg, house pickled cucumbers and a lemon balsamic vinaigrette. They have a Steak & Bleu salad if you want beef in a salad, a Pickled Beet salad, and a classic Caesar on the menu that can all be served by themselves, or with a choice of protein.

We visited The Whiskey on a Friday night, and it was packed. Like I said earlier, this place on the weekends, especially after dark gets going and the crowds fill up fast, and they do not take reservations. If you end up sitting close to the stage, be prepared to literally shout at your server and leave with a mild case of tinnitus.

Having said that, we still really enjoyed The Whiskey. All of the food was really good, and my Bison Burger was superb. There is a reason they are often in the top of any best burger competitions in Orlando. All of the whiskey cocktails, regular cocktails and shots of the premium stuff were great also. Just be careful, a few whiskey’s, a few cocktails and few burgers will set you back a bit.

The average burger price is around $15.00 and the apps start at around $10.00. Most cocktails start at over $10.00 and shots or tastes of various whiskey’s go from a couple of bucks to over $30.00, and it adds up fast. They do have happy hour specials Monday thru Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm and there is a decent amount of appetizers and a burger for a discounted price. 

The Whiskey is open Monday to Sunday from 11:00 am until 2:00 am.

Whiskey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Bartaco


7600 Dr Phillips Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 801-8226
View Website Here


Tacos, tacos, and more tacos, it seems to be the craze all over Orlando right now.

We have traditional tacos, street tacos, craft tacos, custom tacos, recently, a once popular higher end restaurant just decided to call the old menu quits and serve up tacos. 

I'm not sure how long the taco craze will last. We all love tacos, but in my opinion, it’s getting out of control in Orlando. The good thing is that for Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz, they got onto the craze before it ever hit mainstream, and they have a brand that I think will outlast the makeshift overnight taco places popping up.

About seven years ago Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz had the idea to emulate casual al fresco dining experiences they experienced in Brazil, a dream deferred but later realized when the partners found a waterfront space in Port Chester, Connecticut, and the rest as they say is history.

Bartaco is inspired by the beach culture of Brazil, Uruguay and Southern California. They focus on an upscale brand of street food with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment. The duo expected the restaurant to be a sort of gourmet taco truck turned inside out and a late night hang out for the younger crowd, but they quickly found families gathering to the concept as well.

With freshly squeezed juices, specialty cocktails and beer out of a bottle, Bartaco is reminiscent of a stylish beach resort with a great atmosphere made by woven basket light fixtures, and a wrap around bar that is front and center. It’s easy to forget where you are for the moment, and that's a great thing.

Bartaco’s mostly Cali-Mexican menu focuses on tacos with clean flavors and a price point of $2.50 to $3.50, depending on choice of protein. Tacos and sides are ordered a-la-carte similar to the way one would order sushi off a little check box menu that you fill out table side. The list of tacos available is pretty amazing and includes items like chorizo, pork belly, baja fish, falafel, duck, lamb, cauliflower and more.

They also serve rice bowls with curried shrimp, Mexican style tamales and sides including street corn, spicy cucumber salad, plantains, soups, and desserts.


Inside at Bartaco is very spacious. You may not think so from the outside, but with a big wrap around bar, an outdoor seating area, and plenty of booths and tables on the left and right, this place can hold a quite a crowd. We also really appreciate that Bartaco puts foot rests on the ledge of their booths.

On the "Not Tacos" list for starters is a trio of delicious and fresh made in house Roja salsa, Salsa Verde and Guacamole. 

Drinks are also a major focus of the restaurant, which has a stout tequila list of blancos, reposados, anejos and mezcals. A Paloma Fresca is on the left and the Bartaco Margarita on the right. Both are made with fresh squeezed juices and ingredients for a super fresh and tasty cocktail.

I love sweet plantains, but never thought of dipping them in a sauce. The ones here at Bartaco come with a side of a garlic aioli sauce that make them the perfect salty and sweet treat.

The Tuna Poke was pretty good. It's a tad bit on the salty side and maybe a little heavy on the sauce, but getting a bite with the avocado helps out a lot.

I've had some pretty authentic Tamales in my time, even while in Mexico, but I do have to admit the Pork Tamale here was pretty on point. It's surprisingly good.

The Cauliflower Taco and The Sesame Ribeye Tacos with a side of Stewed Black Beans was really good, but man the Cauliflower Taco was spectacular. Lots of crunch with immense flavor.

All tacos at Bartaco can be made with bibb lettuce instead of a tortilla, for a low carb option, but the Tuna Tatako comes on lettuce only. We had this with a side of Spicy Cucumber Salad for a cool Asian style taco experiment. It was very good.

The Reviver with Martin Miller's Gin and an Old Thymer with Four Roses Bourbon on the right.

We really enjoyed all the really cool and unique tacos at Bartaco. They really have something for everyone, even vegetarians. Our order here consisted of a Falafel, Mojo Pork Carnitas, Duck, Crispy Rock Shrimp, and Pork Belly tacos. All of it was superb, especially the pork belly and the falafel.

Of course, nothing finishes off your meal at Bartaco better than these wonderful Churros with a not too sweet chocolate sauce to dip them in.

They have a great outdoor spot as well for additional seating when the weather permits.

We really fell in love with Bartaco, it is one of the best restaurant/dining atmospheres I have been to in quite a while. The food here is exceptional, the cocktails were wonderful and the service was excellent. They have live music on various nights and they also feature new taco ingredients on a monthly basis for different options.

There are 14 locations in the U.S so far with two in Florida. One in Dr. Phillips and the the other in Tampa. The Dr. Phillips location is open from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm except for Friday and Saturday, they are open until 12:00 am.


Bartaco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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South Beach Wine & Food Festival Returns to Eat, Drink and Educate for 2018

13th Street & Ocean Drive
Miami Beach FL, 33139
View Website Here

The 17th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®) returns to EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. February 21st – 25th, 2018.

One of America’s most prestigious gourmet gatherings, the Festival has raised more than $26 million to date for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU).

This year’s edition will feature more than 90 events, including signature fan-favorite soirées, an array of new parties and intimate dining experiences, expanded CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series, and much more.

“We are truly looking forward to an exciting 17th edition,” noted Festival founder and director Lee Brian Schrager, who serves as senior vice president, communications & corporate social responsibility for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “With a variety of new experiences and refreshed fan-favorites, the 2018 Festival offers up a plethora of culinary, beverage and lifestyle events for passionate fans and hospitality industry professionals to EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE.”

The 17th annual Tribute Dinner presented by Bank of America part of The NYT Cooking Dinner Series gets a fresh new format this year, with a star-studded line-up of more than a dozen chefs cooking at this walk-around affair in honor of restaurateur, author and beloved Food Network personality Bobby Flay and Treasury Wine Estates managing director and chief executive officer Michael Clarke.

Top-rated radio host Elvis Duran will serve as the emcee during this not-to-be-missed evening taking place at Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Saturday, February 24th, 2018. Also new this year, the celebration will continue at Sweet Moves: Late-Night Desserts & Dancing hosted by Bobby & Sophie Flay with beats by lifestyle guru and popular DJ Hannah Bronfman.

Iconic Miami Beach events continue to evolve and tantalize the taste buds of passionate fans from around the world, kicking off with Italian Bites on the Beach sponsored by HCP Media and the Miami Herald Media Company hosted by Giada De Laurentiis.

The beloved Heineken Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons gets a new twist this year, with resident Food Network Rockstar Guy Fieri serving as its host.

Additionally, the music revolution that began last year at the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village featuring Mastercard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations expands with the David Grutman Experience spanning both Saturday, February 24th and Sunday, February 25th.

The BACARDI Beach Party also returns with late-night beats and eats under the Festival’s sparkling white tents on the sand, and the new Beachside BBQ hosted by Michael Symon closes out the weekend on Miami Beach.

The third annual CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series returns with an all-star schedule of events in Broward County, including:

● Signature Wine Seminars presented by Bank of America, a BBQ Dinner hosted by Chris Lilly and Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Chef Jorge Ramos and Clambake hosted by Emeril Lagasse and Jorge Ramos; all taking place at the brand-new Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach.

● The introduction of the Festival’s fan-favorite Lucky Chopsticks hosted by Andrew Zimmern and a Rooftop Rosé Happy Hour hosted by television star, jewelry and shoe designer, True Roots cookbook author and all-around lifestyle guru Kristin Cavallari - who is also a new part-time fixture on the South Florida scene thanks to the addition of husband Jay Cutler to the city’s beloved Miami Dolphins – at the W Fort Lauderdale.

●Plus, a selection of intimate dinner experiences with renowned chefs and a Grand Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian to top-off the series.

A variety of late-night parties accent the line-up, including returning fan-favorites like Tacos After Dark hosted by Rick Bayless and King’s Hawaiian presents the Taste of Aloha and Art of Tiki Cocktail Showdown hosted by Anne Burrell, and new experiences like Midnight Munchies hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten on the Art Deco oasis Española Way featuring special guest DJ Action Bronson round out the midnight owl offerings.

EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. The exclusive MasterCard pre-sale for the 2018 Festival has already started. You can go online at sobewff.org or by calling 877.762.3933 (phone sales open Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST). to get your tickets.


Between SOBEWFF® and its sister NYCWFF, which takes place each October in New York City, more than $36 million has been raised to benefit the respective charities for each Festival. 

Beyond the funds raised, both Festivals draw attention to the vibrant dining culture in their respective cities, provide economic stimulus in their communities, and serve as an invaluable platform to drive awareness, engaging and inspiring people to get involved in philanthropic activities.

All proceeds from the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & 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, the Festival has raised more than $26 million for the School. In September 2017, BizBash named the Festival the #1 Food & Restaurant Industry event in the United States for the fifth year in a row.

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Maria & Enzo's Ristorate is Officially Open

Disney Springs
1570 E. Buena Vista Dr.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 560-8466

Patina Restaurant Group (PRG) on January 4th, opened the doors for a media preview and soft opening that showcased the stunning new Italian restaurant located at the reimagined Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort -- Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante. 

The new dining destination brings to Disney Springs the warmth of Italy and the dreamiest Italian cuisine this side of the Atlantic, courtesy of Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger. The restaurant officially began serving dinner to the public on January 5th. Lunch and brunch service will begin later this month (updated hours and special events available on the restaurant’s Facebook page).

Fittingly, the media sneak peek on January 4th coincided with National Spaghetti Day, providing the perfect Italian backdrop for the occasion. A dedication ceremony featured Italian ambassadors, chefs, executives from Patina Restaurant Group, Delaware North (Patina Restaurant Group’s parent company), Disney; and very special guests Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Disney restaurants often have a backstory, part of the company’s tradition of immersive storytelling. Mirroring that tradition, Patina Restaurant Group collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the story for Maria & Enzo’s.

“The story behind Maria and Enzo is one of travel, food, love and friendship, all steeped in Italian tradition,” said Valenti, referring to the backstory of Maria and Enzo, an Italian couple that immigrated to Central Florida in the 1920s. “Their story is set in a long-forgotten sea-plane air terminal that became the setting for the restaurant.

“We couldn’t be happier to have a chef as talented as Theo Schoenegger,” Valenti continued. “A native Italian with an incredible repertoire, his cooking has a delicious authenticity that brings the story to life.”

Following the dedication, media and special guests enjoyed the food and hospitality at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, where Chef Schoenegger presented a variety of signature dishes including, of course, spaghetti in honor of National Spaghetti Day.


Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante is an intimate Italian trattoria set in the once-abandoned Disney Springs airline terminal from the 1930s, now transformed into a restaurant. The dining room is open and airy, featuring 50-foot ceilings with views of Lake Buena Vista.

The restaurant interiors showcase artifacts that recall air travel of the time, with brightly illustrated pictographs, reimagined air terminal boarding gates and a First Class Lounge where randomly selected guests are upgraded upon arrival.

The menu, created by Michelin star-rated Chef Theo Schoenegger, features a variety of handmade pastas including Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), Rigatoni all Norma (eggplant, chile, tomato, ricotta salata) and ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta) – served tableside.

Other highlights include Braciola di Maiale (Berkshire pork chop, plum mostarda), Nodino di Vitello(grilled veal chop) and Tonno (grilled ahi tuna steak, pistachio pesto) all served with rosemary potatoes and tempura fried vegetables. The spectacular wine list of more than 100 bottles is – lovingly -- primarily Italian. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12 midnight daily, with weekend brunch coming soon.


The backstory is that the restaurant was the dream of Maria and Enzo who met in Italy before moving to Florida and wanted to introduce Italian cuisine to the townsfolk of the bustling Disney Springs. An airline pilot, Enzo was drawn to an abandoned airline terminal, which became the spacious setting for the restaurant.

Guests also were able to get a sneak peak at Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, a speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. As well as Pizza Ponte, a fast-casual concept and the perfect place for a quick bite serving pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso.

For more information on these Patina Restaurant Group restaurants, visit www.patinagroup.com or visit the restaurants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MariaAndEnzos, @EnzosHideaway and @PizzaPonteFla.
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Peter's Kitchen China Bistro


3922 E Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 895-8174
View Website Here


In late December, Peter’s Kitchen China Bistro opened almost overnight in a location that has seen many tenants over its lifetime that have fared very poorly. 

So far, Peter’s is generating quite a buzz in the local community, and it looks like maybe this time Peter and his staff can overcome the doom this location has had.

Living in Orlando since 2001, I clearly remember this location that started life out as a Fazoli's Italian, California Burrito Company, Casa Barcelona, and the most recent Peruvian Gaviota Brasas that seemed to open and close within the same week.

Peter’s Kitchen serves authentic Hong Kong style cuisine such as dim sum, Chinese barbecue and live seafood and a variety of noodle and rice dishes synonymous with Cantonese cuisine.

Hong Kong cuisine is mainly influenced by Cantonese cuisine, British Cuisine and other Western Cuisines. From the roadside stalls to the most upscale restaurants, Hong Kong provides an unlimited variety of food in every class. Complex combinations and international expertise have given Hong Kong the reputable labels of "Gourmet Paradise" and "World's Fair of Food".

While there is certainly no shortage of Chinese food in Central Florida, from your average takeout spot, to various restaurants, Peter’s does have a focused menu dedicated to a more authentic Cantonese style. Peter, by the way, use to own the Colonial Drive Tasty Wok.

They serve every type of meat you could imagine here…Pork, Beef, Chicken, Duck, and even Lobster and a great variety of fish entrees as well. 

Peter’s has your traditional food one expects to find at a Chinese take out like Kung Pao Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken and the like, but they have items like Butter Lobster, Crispy Pork Intestines, Roast Duck on rice, Japanese Style Octopus and also do a complete dim sum service.

This place has created a lot of buzz, so we had to go and check them out. Coincidentally, It’s right up the street from where I live, so we have been twice so far, and each time have been pretty impressed with the quality of the food and the service. 


We started off with these deliciously crispy Vegetable Egg Rolls.


Our next appetizer was the Pan Fried Dumpling. Most dumplings are bite size, but these were two bite dumplings. The flavor was different than what I’m accustomed to, but they were very savory and delicious nonetheless. 


The House Special Fried Rice was really good. Perhaps some of the best fried rice I have had. This can be ordered and shared at your table, as most dishes at Peter’s can. 


Beef Chow Fun is a dish I highly recommend at Peter’s. This is traditional Cantonese as it gets, made from stir frying beef with hor fun and bean sprouts. Hor fun noodles are very thin and delicate made from a wide flat rice noodle. The dish has to be stir fried at a high temperature and the beef has to be marinated very well and cooked with a char on it. Peter’s Kitchen knocked this one out of the park.


They also serve a Beef Chow Fun “With Sauce” here also. It's the same as the above dish, but it is literally resting in a pool of that famous Chinese brown gravy sauce, or stir fry sauce. I liked both the same, but if you are a fan of stir fry sauce, this is a good addition to the Beef Chow Fun.


The Honey Garlic Chicken was very tasty. This is lightly battered chicken served up in a not too sweet sauce with just the right amount of garlic.


Szechuan Beef was really good also, but I thought it could use a bit more spice. This had plenty of beef and mixed vegetables in that classic brown gravy stir fry sauce, but when I think of Szechuan, I think of heat on my food, and this dish lacked any real heat.


The Orange Chicken kind of became famous overnight at Peter’s, and it’s easy to see why once you taste it. This has a nice and crispy batter with the perfect amount of flavor and sweetness with a touch of that citrusy orange zing. As I said with the fried rice at Peter’s, most dishes, including this orange chicken are served family style with enough to share. You can totally go here and order five or six plates and everyone can sample items to get a feel for what they like.


Mongolian Beef is a staple food item at just about any Chinese takeout or restaurant you may visit, but what sets the food at Peter’s apart from the basic, is quality and flavor. The beef was very tender and filled with flavor served with green onions in a great Hoisin sauce with chili peppers.

We really like Peter’s Kitchen and hope it does well. It's right up the street from my house, and it has already become our go-to spot for Chinese food. Perhaps on another visit we’ll try some more daring menu items like the Pan Fried Oysters or the Peking Duck or the Cantonese Style Grey Sole.

Peter’s Kitchen is open daily from 11:00 am until 9:30 pm. They serve Dim Sum everyday until 3:00 pm, and they also deliver. Currently they are awaiting the license to serve beer and wine.

Lunch Specials are available Monday to Friday from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm.

Peter's Kitchen China Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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