Seth Parker (L) and Eliot Hillis (R) of Orlando Meats
Mills 50's loss is Winter Park's gain. Or is it Ivanhoe Village's loss is Winter Park's gain? (Or ViMi? Anyone remember that?) Anyway, Orlando Meats, the butcher-eatery and fixture of the Virginia Drive
dining scene, will close up shop at the end of the year and open in the Ravaudage complex in Winter Park in January.
The new restaurant and retail operation will occupy the former Todo Sushi space, just a few doors down from the New Standard
, which means a larger footprint, outdoor seating and ample parking space (yassss!) — all deciding factors for the move.
Todo Sushi interior
It also means that Winter Park will now be privy to the gastronomic esoterica being conjured by Orlando Meats' mad wizards of whimsy
, namely culinary director and co-owner Eliot Hillis and his head chef/work husband Seth Parker.
But, in addition to a menu of creatively executed (and bizarrely named) sandwiches, burgers and noodles, the new location will also see a resuscitation of the team's Recess Pizza concept
, and, brace yourselves, folks: a full liquor bar.
Hillis hopes to become the Merlin of Mixology with a cocktail menu comprising such zany tipples as "Perfume in a Hat" with ham-washed mezcal, pineapple shrub, umeboshi cherry and clove bitters; and the "Assisted Living Dracula" with Irish cream, butter bourbon, espresso, and dulce-miso ice cream.
Shh! Children of the night, shut up!
Expanded food and beverage options aside, Orlando Meats' full-service butchery will remain a focus and, given the increased space, patrons can expect to see new retail items.
Oh, and in case you're wondering: No, Orlando Meats won't be changing its name to Winter Park Meats.
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