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Tip Jar

This week: Raga, Piada & Piada, Daniel's Gourmet Kitchen, Viet-House, Lakeridge Winery Grape Stomp



Last month, we reported that Hari Pulapaka (Cress Restaurant) was helping to develop the menu at Raga, the upscale Indian restaurant slated to open later this month in the old Antonio's Ristorante space in Dr. Phillips. Well, it seems chef Hari is severing ties with the group and will no longer be involved in the restaurant's menu development or daily operations. Not a good sign, but we're holding out a glimmer of hope that the restaurant's substance will match its style.

We envy the folks in Lake Mary, as they'll be the first to sample the fare from Piada & Piada, a restaurant run by Cellini, an Italian export company with their own coffee brand (Cellini Caffé). The restaurant, situated in the old Line Drive Burgers space on Lake Mary Boulevard, will specialize in piada, a thin Italian flatbread native to the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. According to general manager Luca Centoni, everything on the menu will be imported from Italy, with most menu items priced under $10. Like its neighbor, BurgerFi Lake Mary, the restaurant is slated to open Sept. 1.

Pollos a la Brasa Mis Amores has closed. The Peruvian chicken joint is being replaced by Daniel's Gourmet Kitchen, which will specialize in South American fare. Owner Bryan Medeiros plans on keeping the real Peruvian rotisserie (after a thorough cleansing) and using it for chicken and pulled pork. Fresh fish and Brazilian wings known as frango à passarinho will also be served. Daniel, in case you're wondering, is Bryan's son. Opening date is Aug. 25.

A new tenant has moved into the wee space in the Citgo gas station parking lot on the corner of SR 436 and CR 427. Once home to Captain Sal's Po'Boys, it's now Viet-House, one of the few Vietnamese joints outside of the Mills 50 district. Banh mi are the focus, but they also serve noodle dishes, spring rolls and pho. There's no inside seating, so eat in your car or at one of the tables outside.

The 18th annual Harvest Grape Stomp takes place Aug. 18-19 at Lakeridge Winery. The price to squish grapes between your toes? Just $2.

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