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This week: Downtown Food and Wine Fest, Organic Growers Collective, Winter Park openings, chocolate baklava and lots more



The list of local eateries participating in this year's Downtown Food & Wine Fest is impressive – we're talking Siro Urban Italian Kitchen, Ruth's Chris, Christner's Del Frisco's, Maxine's, Marlow's Tavern, Taverna Opa, Nona Tap Room, Old Hickory Steakhouse, Hawkers, Primo and Nick's Italian Kitchen, to name just a few. Tickets for the Feb. 23-24 festival are $10, or $15 on day of event. Visit downtownfoodand for more info.

The Organic Growers Collective, a program designed by the Simple Living Institute to bring organic growers and farmers together with regular consumer folk, is staging a get-together in the Camilla Room at Leu Gardens 7-8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20. The event will feature the biannual seed exchange, a local growers potluck and a raffle, along with a post-event powwow at Ethos Vegan Kitchen from 9-10 p.m.

In Winter Park restaurant happenings: Toasted Crafted Grilled Cheese & Burgers will open in the former Green Lemon Café space (in the same plaza housing the Whole Foods Market) later this month. Also planning an end-of-February opening is the long-awaited Tiffany Deli in the former Brandywine Deli space on North Park Avenue. Italio, the self-dubbed "Modern Italian Kitchen" specializing in piadina, is planning a March opening, while WP's Peterbrooke Chocolatier and I-Drive's Taverna Opa are collaborating on a new, limited-edition chocolate baklava dish available at the Greek restaurant for $6 until Feb. 28. Also on I-Drive, we've heard rumors that San-Diego-based Hash House a Go Go, a comfort joint proffering "twisted farm food," will open on the tourist strip in the near future.

Terramia Wine Bar Trattoria in Altamonte Springs has closed, but plans to reopen later this month in nearby Silver Springs Square … Look for the World of Chocolate Museum & Café to open in March on South International Drive … Winefest XXIII takes place this weekend (Feb. 15-17) at the Lakeridge Winery … Over at the Central Florida Zoo, guests can partake in breakfast with the animals (that's with the animals) 7-9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.

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