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Showing posts with label Italian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian. Show all posts

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen


2420 Curry Ford Rd.
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 751-5697
View Website Here


F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen, located in the emerging Hourglass District, is Orlando's newest neighborhood sensation offering Neapolitan inspired woodfired pizzas and true Italian family pasta recipes.

F&D Woodfired uses only the finest, fresh and natural ingredients and the “36 Hour dough” is said to be some the best in Orlando. All of the pastas here are all fresh made from Trevi Pasta in College Park.

The menu here has woodfired pizzas of course, but they take great pride in the other menu offerings here as well. From meatballs, to mussels, to beef carpaccio and the F&D garlic bread, the antipasti menu is solid.

Pizzas are made to order with a select offering of pre made suggestions like prosciutto and arugula, or a margherita, but you can also create your own here as well.

All pasta is made fresh by Trevi Pasta in College Park, but F&D does the rest and serves up some amazing dishes like the house made bolognese lasagna in an iron skillet, or the wild mushroom pappardelle.

Secondi offerings include a buttermilk semolina crusted chicken parmesan, wood fired Atlantic salmon, osso bucco and veal marsala.

Inside is small, with a limited seating area and a few seats at the bar, but they do have a nice outside covered patio area with more seating available. Overall, this provides for a cozy atmosphere with a laid back attitude.

The F&D House Salad can be ordered individually, or as a family order, so we started with the family portion for our party of four. The salad features Romaine and iceberg lettuce, red onions, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, pepperoncini, pecorino and a wonderful house vinaigrette.

Calamari Fritto Misto was very tender and had a perfectly crispy batter with fried pepperoncini & marinara sauce for dipping.

F&D Garlic Bread was a rather simple presentation of bite sized pieces of bread covered in garlic, extra virgin olive oil, grana padano cheese and marinara for dipping.

The House Made Bolognese Lasagna was pretty impressive made with Trevi pasta, bolognese, ricotta, grana padano, basil and served in an iron skillet, as it was finished off in the wood fired oven.

Fennel Sausage and Rapini Pizza was pretty extraordinary with a Bianca pizza base, housemade fennel sausage and rapini. The crust was perfectly charred and crispy, and the housemade sausage was amazing.

I really enjoyed the Bolognese Pasta with rigatino, veal, Angus beef, pork, creme, fresh Italian herbs & pecorino with pasta made by Trevi Pasta. The veal, Angus beef and pork are finely ground together to make an excellent ground meat base.

As I said earlier, aside of the menu offerings of pizza specials, you are totally free to make or build your own pizza at F&D. This was a custom creation of Fennel Sausage, Italian Pepperoni, Caramelized Onions, Minced Garlic, and Crushed Tomatoes...and it was simply delicious!

There is limited seating at the bar, where you can watch the wood fired pizzas being made, or you can order wine based cocktails, infused sangrias or a Peroni and a small selection of craft and traditional beers.

We were very impressed with F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen and will be returning soon. Come taste the passion behind the authentic recipes and some of the best Pizza in Central Florida...you will not regret it.

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen is open Monday to Friday from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Saturday they are open from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm. They also serve Brunch from noon to 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
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Terralina Crafted Italian


1650 Buena Vista Dr.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 934-8888
View Website Here


Terralina Crafted Italian was inspired by Italy’s lake district, with alluring vistas, sun drenched settings and a glass conservatory that sweeps down to dining at the water’s edge.

Uniquely furnished dining rooms radiate out from the kitchen, each with a collection of found art or pieces that share the stories of moments spent celebrating. The veranda bar is a welcome invitation to relax and sip on craft cocktails and people watch.

James Beard award winning chef, Tony Mantuano, who was also a former contestant on Top Chef Masters, and is internationally respected for his role in defining true Italian cuisine, collaborated with Executive Chef Justin Plank to bring crafted Italian cooking and everyone together around genuine flavors and authentic dishes.

Showcasing foods that are both familiar and new, the menu here offers traditional Italian dishes like Housemade Lasagna, Parmesan Duo made with chicken and eggplant parmesan and spaghetti pomodoro, slow roasted Beef Short Rib, Housemade Porchetta and even Crispy Eggplant Fries.

The kitchen is at the heart of Terralina Crafted Italian and the wood burning oven fires a selection of hand tossed pizzas, calzones and fresh vegetables along with dishes from the hearth including chicken parmesan and seafood cannelloni prepared with housemade pasta.

A few of the pizza options include Margherita, Artisan Pepperoni, and even a Funghi with a mushroom trio of portobello, shiitake and cremini topped with roasted garlic and fresh mozzarella. Calzones come with roasted pork, sweet peppers, spinach, fresh mozzarella and goat cheese.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and have a glass of wine with Chef Mantuano, and enjoy some food that he and Executive Chef Plank put together for us for a media dinner, and it was excellent of course.

We started the evening with a ridiculously large Antipasti Tower filled with prosciutto, spicy capicola, grana padano, bocconcini, tomatoes, pickled vegetables, grilled zucchini, parmesan crisp, olives, and housemade pecorino-truffle potato chips. This serves four people and then some. We really enjoyed the pickled veggies and especially the truffle potato chips.

The Seafood Canneloni is made with fish, shrimp, scallops, mascarpone and a lobster cream sauce and was paired with Italian wine Feudi di San Gregorio, Fiano di Avellino from Campania Italy.

Ravioli Gigante at Terralina Crafted Italian is a giant ravioli stuffed with spinach, fresh ricotta and parmesan covered in a roasted garlic tomato cream sauce. This was paired with Avignonesi Vino noble di Montelpulciano from Toscana.

Our evening ended with a dessert duo of flourless chocolate cake torte and a lemon thyme pannacotta paired with Brancher Prosecco Superiore from Veneto Italy.

We had a great time hanging out with Chef Mantuano, and all of the food we tried was wonderful. His love and passion for Italian cuisine really shows in all of the food an presentations.

Chef Mantuano had the opportunity to apprentice in Italy, and he was so inspired by the chefs who graciously shared their talent and culinary techniques, that he feels he owes it to them to represent the cuisine in the truest sense possible.

Terralina Crafted Italian is open everyday from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm.

Terralina Crafted Itlaian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Buca di Beppo Opens New Location in Celebration

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6282 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy.
Celebration, FL 34747
(321) 219-2822



The first Buca di Beppo opened its doors in 1993 in the basement of a Minneapolis apartment building.

Since then, the brand has grown to over 100 locations worldwide. The all new Celebration / Kissimmee location marks the third one in the Central Florida area, and the seventh one in the entire state of Florida.

Buca di Beppo strives to capture the fun and enthusiasm of an authentic Italian family gathering along with delectable food. If you have ever dined with an Italian family, then you understand that the food is always a big priority and the portions are more than plenty. The dishes served up here are inspired by the cuisine enjoyed for generations in villages throughout Italy and are served family style, meant to be shared by the entire table.


The menu is inspired by various places around and throughout Italy, as Buca tries to serve up authentic Italian fare. They have continued to innovate and create recipes beyond their traditional style by adding new menu items inspired by Northern and Southern Italian cuisine.

Everything from salads, antipasto platters, flatbreads, mussels, calamari and a large variety of pastas fill the menu. A Buca small serves two to three, and a Buca large serves up to 5, as everything here is served a la carte family style only.

Inside of every Buca di Beppo restaurant is an eclectic setting designed to make every occasion a party. The vintage setting is always a point of conversation with all of the walls covered in family photos and candid shots of Italian American icons such as Sophia Loren and Joe DiMaggio. Each room at Buca is themed, and all restaurants have a Pope table which is the largest single round table in a room with a bust of the Pope as the centerpiece.


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The bar is very colorful and lively and continues on the eclectic decor and whimsical lighting.

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All Buca locations have a large wine list, but they also serve up pretty good cocktails like the Buca Berry Lemonade on the left and a Sparkling Sangria on the right.

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The Antipasto Platter is a new addition to the menu and it is loaded with prosciutto, pepperoni, salami, provolone & fresh mozzarella with arugula, pepperoncini, green & black olives, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes & Parmesan crostini.

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Fried Mozzarella with housemade marinara sauce is an old standby, but it's always delicious.

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Italian Sausage & Arugula is also a new addition to the menu and it is topped with spicy Italian sausage, prosciutto, mozzarella, provolone, garlic, arugula and balsamic glaze. This was really good, and a bit spicy.

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Our table really enjoyed the Chicken Carbonara that is made with a cut up chicken breast, prosciutto, peas and garlic in rich Alfredo sauce.

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I love a good Eggplant Parmigiana, and in fact this one at Buca di Beppo is as close to homemade as I have had. This is battered, fried and stacked eggplant topped with homemade marinara sauce, Roma tomatoes, basil & mozzarella cheese.

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The Quattro al Forno is a good way to sample a few different things. This dish comes with four items...Cheese Manicotti, Chicken Cannelloni, Cheese Ravioli & Stuffed Shells.

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Although the sauce was a tad sweet, everyone at our table really loved the Chicken Marsala with baby portobello mushrooms in a traditional Marsala wine reduction sauce.

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You can't go wrong with any dessert selection at Buca di Beppo, but this gigantic slice of Tiramisu is pretty fabulous. It features homemade ladyfingers soaked in dark rum & espresso, layered with sweetened mascarpone cheese & topped with cocoa & crumbled hazelnut biscotti . If you add an espresso with this...its close to perfect.


I've been to a few Buca di Beppo locations with family, friends, a wedding reception..you name it, and everyone has always had a great time. Sit back and listen to the classic tunes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and be prepared to eat. 

The friendly staff and whimsical atmosphere are sure to be a hit as you can't help but laugh at all of the funny pictures of Italian family members throughout history. Stop by the new location in Celebration and say Ciao.


Buca di Beppo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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The Meatball Stoppe

7325 Lake Underhill Rd.
Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 270-6505
View Website Here

Last year, I told you about a little spot in East Orlando called The Meatball Shoppe. I say little enthusiastically though, because the shop is small inside, but full of great flavor and great character. That great character is attributed to the owners of this establishment - Isabella Morgia di Vicaria, a first-generation American, born of Italian heritage in Brooklyn, NY. and her Husband Jeff Morgia. You can see more of that review here

The Meatball Shoppe is now called The Meatball Stoppe, and they have added a few more things to the menu then just meatballs.

The concept of The Meatball Stoppe is to bring you the classic and traditional Italian meatball and then take it in a different direction. The menu is based on tradition fused with innovation that brings new life to the ‘classic meatball’. Patrons can expect to find a combination of an old world style with a retro feel and fresh originality. Everything from classic meatballs, to mediterranean style and the all new buffalo bleu chicken meatball is on the menu.

What's new is a selection of Italian favorites recreated as only Isabella could do with a selection of entrees titled Famiglia Favorites. It is here you will find such items as Baked Ziti, Eggplant Stack and Lasagna Bolognese. Additionally a few side items or starters have been added like fried calamari, bruschetta, caponata, and The Meatball Stoppe serves beer now too.


The Caprese Salad features tomato, mozzarella and a house made pesto.

The Bruschetta with crostini was pretty fabulous in a very decadent red sauce with fresh mozzarella melted in it.

I was very impressed with the Fried Calamari at the The Meatball Stoppe. I can honestly tell you..this is some of the best I have had in Orlando. The sauce had a bit of a bite to it as well. Very tender calamari, and it was served properly with the tentacles as well as the rings.

The Eggplant Sandwich is a winner. I admit, I have to have meat everyday, but I have some vegetarian friends, and If this was all I could eat...I'd be pretty happy without meat. This sandwich is stacks of fried eggplant with mozzarella, arugula, red onions and a pesto mayo on a focaccia bun.

New to the meatball section of the menu is the Chicken Parmigiana meatball with Buffalo Bleu Cheese sauce. A very tasty addition that is gluten free also.

The Eggplant Stack is a delicious stack of breaded eggplant with a mixture of imported cheeses and a roasted tomato sauce.

Of course you can never go wrong with Nona’s Traditional Italian Meatball with a fried egg in the top.

The Meatball Stoppe has always had great cannolis, and they are the perfect size.

 
Sfogliatelle is a traditional Italian pastry that is flaky on the outside and stuffed with a lemon ricotta filling. These are served piping hot and the filling just oozes out of them once they are opened. This was a very tasty treat.

Isabella believes her meatballs are special and are a representative of the best of many cultures including the Mediterranean and Latin American Countries. Jeff says his love of meatballs comes from the nostalgia that takes him back to when he was growing up, and they’re warm, inviting and are universally loved by all. 


Whether you are in the mood for some great meatballs or some really good Italian family favorites, stop by the Meatball Stoppe and say hello.

The Meatball Shoppe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Brio Tuscan Grille


11401 N.W. 12th Street
Sweetwater, FL 33172
305- 629-8991


I have always been a fan of Brio Tuscan Grille and I have been to both Central Florida locations. Brio is really good at serving up consistent and authentic Italian food in what the restaurant deems as a “polished casual” atmosphere. Recently on one of my many visits to Miami, which is my second home, by the way, I was invited to check out the newest Florida location of Brio Tuscan Grille at the Dolphin Mall, and of course I couldn't resist.

In case you have not been to a Brio yet or are unfamiliar with the brand, Brio is part of Columbus based BRAVO|BRIO Restaurant Group (BBRG). Founded in 1992, BBRG currently operates more than 100 restaurants including Bravo Cucina Italiana, Brio Tuscan Grille, and Bon Vie Bistro.

Brio Tuscan Grille serves up authentic northern Italian cuisine with a menu that features oven roasted steaks, chops, seafood, made-to-order pastas, flatbreads and entree salads, similar to what one would find in a ristorante in Tuscany. Brio also offers an ample dessert menu, and a full wine and cocktail list. Brio’s philosophy is “to eat well, is to live well”, and they strive to bring the pleasure of the Tuscan country villa to the American city.

On Sept. 17, Brio Tuscan Grille, opened a location at the newly expanded wing of Dolphin Mall in Miami, Florida. The restaurant is the 14th location in Florida, and provides a “taste of Tuscany” to Miami-Dade’s largest retail shopping center.


The beautiful new 7,500 square-foot Miami restaurant offers indoor seating for 226 guests, and al fresco dining for up to 89 on two Italian-style terraces. A private dining area accommodates groups for up to 40 guests.

BRIO’s villa-like interior features details such as antique hardwood cypress flooring, arched colonnades, hand-crafted Italian mosaics, antique doors, hand crafted walls covered in an antique Venetian plaster, Arabescato marble-imported from Italy, and sizable wrought-iron chandeliers.

I love a good calamari, but it’s hard to find somewhere that does it right. The Calamari Fritto Misto at Brio was Perfetto, as in Perfect. The calamari was a crispy golden brown and served with peperoncini, creamy aioli, and a nice pomodoro sauce for dipping.

Bruschetta Quattro is perfect for sharing,or as a whole meal itself. You really can’t go wrong with a sampling of four housemade bruschettas. You get a Tomato Caprese Bruschetta, Sliced Steak Bruschetta, Roasted Red Pepper and Mozzarella Bruschetta and a Chicken Florentine Bruschetta. All of them were very delicious and quite tasty.

The Pasta Fra Diavolo is composed of campanelle pasta, spicy tomato cream sauce, green onions and your choice of chicken or shrimp. The flavors in this pasta dish were intense and flavorful with the perfect amount of spice for the diavolo or devil in you that likes it hot!

My dish of Chicken Milanese featured two generous portions of crispy Romano chicken, herb pasta and fresh Mozzarella in a housemade Pomodoro sauce. The Chicken Milanese is a rather simple and classic dish, but it is filled with exceptional flavor as the chicken cutlets are battered and fried to perfection.

Brio means “lively” or “full of life” and that is certainly what you will find at any Brio Tuscan Grille location. As I said earlier, I really enjoy the Central Florida locations and Brio has proven to be very consistent across the board at every location I have been to. Of course it goes without saying, that in many parts of Miami and the surrounding areas, they have a reputation for being glitzy, glamorous, playful, and very stylish. The Dolphin Mall location certainly lives up to that billing, as it is everything you would expect from Brio, with a touch of Miami spice.

Brio at Dolphin Mall is open seven days a week Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to Midnight.


They also feature a weekend Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Reservations and call-ahead seating will be accepted and walk-ins welcomed. For reservations, please call (305) 629-8991

Brio Tuscan Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Noodles & Company

3683 E Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 228-9870


As the number of fast-casual restaurants continues to skyrocket around the United States and even globally, you can continue to expect more fast casual chains and even independent fast casual eateries to make their way to Orlando. Noodles & Company already has five locations in Central Florida and is continuing to expand.

The concept at Noodles & Co. is to offer the world’s favorite noodle dishes, sandwiches, salads and soups, all in one restaurant. Each dish is hand made to your specifications, using only the freshest ingredients. All entrees are individually sauteed or prepared, placed on signature stoneware and served tableside with stainless steel flatware. All of this can be had for around $8 a dish, and there’s never any tipping at Noodles.

The food, or Noodles served up here are inspired by the individuality, creativity and cultural heritage of cuisines from around the globe. From Penne Rosa to Japanese Pan Noodles, The Med Salad, Thai Curry Soup, and a Wisconsin Mac & Cheese, only the most authentic ingredients are used to create great tasting food in a fast casual environment.

The concept is simple and straight forward. After looking over the large photo menu, you first choose your entree and pick your size, regular or small. Next you can choose to add meat or tofu to your dish. Meats include pork, Parmesan crusted chicken, grilled chicken breast, marinated steak, sauteed shrimp and oven roasted meatballs. Finally you can choose to green it up, soup it up, or veg it up by adding extra vegetables, a soup or side salad. 
Within minutes your food is brought to your table and you are ready to enjoy some pretty tasty noodles.

 
Additionally Noodles & Co. has three side items, or appetizers to choose from. The list includes Potstickers, Margherita Flatbread and a Cheesy Garlic Bread. Our Pot stickers were pretty darn good for fast casual.

I ordered the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese in a regular size. This is a classic blend of cheddar and jack cheeses, cream and elbow macaroni. I also added the grilled chicken to my mac & cheese. This mac had a very rich and creamy sauce, and the added grilled chicken provided a perfect texture and flavor. The regular size was more than enough, and I even had some left over.

The Pesto Cavatappi is curly pasta, basil pesto, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, wine, cream, Parmesan and Italian parsley. My guest added the Parmesan crusted chicken. This dish was very flavorful and savory with just the right amount of sauce.

I was really impressed with the flavors in the Thai Hot Pot that one of my other guests ordered. This is a Noodles & Co. signature curry broth with cabbage, sprouts, peppers, shiitake mushrooms, rice noodles, pulled chicken and pork, lime wedge and cilantro, served with a side of toasted Asian flatbread. The broth had a wonderful coconut flavor with a decent amount of heat, and the flatbread was great for dipping also.


I found all of the food I tried to be quite flavorful, and about as authentic in taste as I have had at any traditional Asian, Italian, and American restaurant. Noodles and Company also serves beer and wine because, as they like to say…” it goes great with our food”. The selection and availability varies for each restaurant. I did enjoy a New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire during my visit.

Noodles & Company is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am until 9:00pm, and they stay open until 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

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