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Tip Jar: Scratch Tapas & Craft, Pig Floyd’s Smokehouse and more

Tip Jar: local food news

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Another day, another tapas joint: Scratch Tapas & Craft opened its doors last Friday in the former Tatame space on the corner of Fairbanks and New York avenues. Just a few doors down, B Cupcakes opens Dec. 6 serving made-from-scratch gourmet cupcakes; it will also feature a milk bar.

Mr. and Mrs. Durmaz, friendly proprietors of Attila’s Steak & Salad, have decided to retire, and as a result, the restaurant is now officially closed. The stand-alone building will soon house Pig Floyd’s Smokehouse.

If you missed Hari Pulapaka’s dinner at Tomazin Farms in October, you might want to consider the Sunday brunch he’s serving at Vo-LaSalle Farms in DeLeon Springs Dec. 8. Cost is $50 per person and includes wine, tax and gratuity. Some dishes to expect: eggplant and rosemary frittata, Meyer lemon and goat cheese biscuits, pork belly tacos, French toast and house-made smoked chicken sausage. Visit cressrestaurant.com for more.

In case you have a little extra Christmas spending money lying around, you might consider Norman’s “intimate” six-course wine dinner (ooh, vanilla-maple glazed venison tenderloin!) Dec. 11 featuring master sommelier Joseph Spellman and Justin Vineyards. Given there are only 211 master sommeliers in the world, the $200 might be justified.

Put Lakeridge Winery on your post-Thanksgiving/pre-Christmas must-visit list: Their annual wine and chocolate festival Dec. 14-15 is just the type of indulgence to keep you going through the holiday season. Admission is a $2 donation that goes to benefit the American Heart Association. Sweet deal.

BRIEFLY:

Pho K5 has opened in the former Medina’s Grocery on the corner of Bumby and Washington … Another branch of Tacos El Rancho opens next month in the former Dixie’s Café/Marsh Hammock BBQ spot on North Orange Avenue downtown … Look for Kevin Dundon, chef of Raglan Road, on his new show Modern Irish Food on PBS. It’s less The Mind of a Chef, more Naked Chef; episodes run on WUCF-TV through Dec. 21 … Having been on the team to win the very last pub quiz at An Tobar nearly a decade ago, I’m happy to learn that the venerable Irish pub will reopen in the same locale (the Sheraton in Maitland) in early 2014.

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