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Tip Jar: local food news

Winter Park Sip & Stroll approaches, Lakeridge Winery invites you to stomp some grapes, and tons of new restaurant openings



Turns out the rumor that former Carmel, Calif., Mayor Clint Eastwood would bring his signature scowl and empty-chair routine to the opening of the Carmel Café & Wine Bar in Winter Park May 28 was just that: a rumor. Fact: Carmel Café features modern Mediterranean cuisine, the requisite iPads for self-ordering, and vibrant decor; it’s sure to be the “It” place in Winter Park for months to come. Wines can be enjoyed in 3-, 6- and 9-ounce pours, which is nice. Lunch will be served beginning June 17, with a weekend brunch service slated to commence June 22. The restaurant is situated on North Orlando Avenue, near Morse Boulevard.

Winter Park’s Summertime Sip & Stroll is set for 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 13. Paying guests can enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres at more than 20 merchants along the chi-chi strip. It’s a Chamber of Commerce event, so the more businesses you visit, tipsy or not, the happier they’ll be. Cost is $25 and reservations are strongly recommended – they can be made at

Speaking of wine, it’s time to get your stomp on. Lakeridge Winery’s flagship event – the annual Harvest Festival – takes place June 21-23, and families are invited to kick off their shoes and crush some grapes. The $2 admission goes to benefit the Cornerstone Hospice of Lake and Sumter counties.

Avenue Gastrobar, in the former Senso Supper Club space on Orange Avenue, celebrated its grand opening May 24 … Santiago’s Bodega opens June 1 where Logan’s Bistro once stood … Look for the Church Street Tavern, a Pittsburgh Steelers/Penguins/Pirates-themed restaurant, to open downtown Aug. 1 … If you’re heading up I-95, look for Orlando’s Hawkers Asian Street Fare to open its second Florida restaurant in Jacksonville’s historic Five Points district sometime this fall.

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