Blue Jacket Grille will open in the old Smiling Bison space on Bennett Road later this spring or early summer ... Blaze Pizza has opened in the Winter Park Center (aka the old Kmart Plaza) in Winter Park ... The Pasta Factory Restaurant, promising from-scratch pasta, has opened on I-Drive ... Look for Spice Indian Grill to open on North Alafaya Trail across from UCF in June ... Fresh Kitchen, a health-focused fast-food joint specializing in build-it-yourself bowls, will open this summer in Waterford Lakes ... Look for the Tahini Genie food truck, specializing in Arab and Mediterranean fare, to park itself at the Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland Road in the coming weeks.
Portobello Restaurant in Disney Springs will close April 24 for a complete concept refresh by James Beard Award winner and Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano ... The Lake Eola Panera Bread will close for good April 25.
Chef Matt Wall is out and chef Harold Henderson is in at the North Quarter Tavern. Wall is helping his friends reopen Julie's Waterfront on South Orange Avenue ... DoveCote Brasserie has a new happy hour menu, and it looks quite good ("fromage & frites" is an especially alluring choice) ... DeVine Wine & Grill hosts a four-course traditional Italian supper with wine pairings at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 23. Cost is $55 ... Locally Fresh! Scrumptious Cinema treats attendees to mini-documentaries about and tastings from local food purveyors at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 23, at Enzian Theater as part of the Florida Film Festival. Cost is $12. Following the event, a farmers market will take place on the lawn at Eden Bar ... Also Sunday, April 23, Women in the Kitchen: A Celebration at Lake Meadow will see a host of James Beard Foundation Award winners and nominees (including our own Kathleen Blake and Melissa Kelly) gather at Lake Meadow Naturals for an epic feast. Cost is $150 ... Visit Orlando and some local food folks are trying to foist a "signature dish" upon this city. Rock shrimp, stone crab and grouper sammies belong to the coast; Key lime pie to the Keys. I guess that leaves gator tail, though Colin Jost reported on SNL that the McManatee is back so, yeah, maybe that.
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