A sign on Corrine Drive in Audubon Park announces the much-anticipated East End Market opening early next year. The 15,000-square-foot locals-only indoor farmers market has secured as vendors Cuts & Craft Artisan Meats, Olde Hearth Bread Co., Italian pastry experts Fatto in Casa, produce purveyors Local Roots, Wild Ocean Seafood and Atoz Coffee. Also part of the EEM: Txokos Kitchen, an on-site restaurant "inspired by the underground gastronomic society in the Basque region during the Franco regime." Sounds revolutionary. (*correction appended)
Taverna Opa is at it again with another Journey & Savor wine dinner Aug. 28, though this time, Greece takes a backseat to Australia in the wine category (as it well should). The five-course affair features dishes including zucchini fritters, lamb keftedes and phyllo-coated grouper paired with Jacob's Creek wines (including a tasty 2004 St. Hugo cabernet). Dinner is $40, and all guests receive a DIY hummus kit. Get me to the Greek.
Top chefs from more than 35 of Central Florida's restaurants (Bosphorous, Del Frisco's, Cress, Sushi Pop, Tchoup Chop, and many more) and a slew of beverage suppliers (including Cigar City Brewing) take part in Share our Strength's annual Taste of the Nation event Aug. 25 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Tickets are $150, with proceeds going to benefit the Coalition for the Homeless, Second Harvest Food Bank and Florida Impact.
The worst-kept secret in Orlando is no longer a secret: Fresh Market will open their third Orlando-area store in the yet-to-be-built Market at Mills Park, at the corner of Mills Avenue and Virginia Drive. The 20,900-square-foot store will anchor the retail portion of the 14.5-acre site with a target opening date of October … 2013. Yeah, good things come to those who wait.
Mojo Cajun Bar & Grill took pride in being "downtown Orlando's only Cajun restaurant," but word comes that Mojo is dropping the "Cajun" from its moniker and placing a focus on being a sports bar. Judging from the quality of their Cajun dishes, I'd say this is a shrewd move.
Briefly: Hotto Potto, described as serving "modern-traditional Asian hot pots and fresh seafood," has opened in the strip mall on the southwest corner of Aloma Avenue and Semoran Boulevard; Santiago's Bodega, a tapas-style bar and restaurant, will open this fall in the old Logan's Bistro space; Loft 55 will open later this month in the 55 West building with a promise of small plates and VIP bottle service.
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* An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about possible tenants of the East End Market. Big Wheel Provisions will not be a retail tenant, and a local cheesemonger has not secured. We regret the error.