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The name of this Thornton Park/South Eola restaurant makes vague reference to the unusual collection of dishes it offers, not so much the oddball patronage it sometimes draws. Owners Brian Buttner and Jonathan Canonaco, who operate the well-received Stubborn Mule across the street, took over the old NoLa-inspired Muddy Waters space and transformed it into a trendy, see-and-be-seen sort of joint. Smoked duck wings, caramel-lacquered Asian pork spears and vegan pate don’t exactly scream “eclectic” but, hey, what trendoids want, trendoids get.
Gourmet meals are typically served in small contrasting courses. This allows a broad flavor experience, but at the same time limits the exposure to the often rich flavors that Gourmet Foods offer. Gourmet Foods are prized for their exclusivity often due to scarcity such as the case of the Italian White Truffle or Caviars that cost hundreds of dollars per ounce. Many foods are in season only during certain times of the year, and are grown only in remote regions of the world. Many of these foods are likely to be characterized as Gourmet due to accessibility, cost and origin. It is important to recognize that Gourmet Foods are in the eye of the beholder, as Gourmet Magazine includes recipes for everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to foie gras and truffles. igourmet has made Gourmet Food accessible through our vast offering of thousands of difficult to find Gourmet Food items.
This fetching Milk District market and deli is like the city’s very own Eataly, albeit one on a far smaller scale. Sure, shelves are stocked with the requisite imported edibles, and the display cases illuminate cheeses, antipasti and cooked items of the comforting sort (think porchetta, Portobello mushroom risotto, cacciatore), but it’s the sandwiches that place Stasio’s on the regular rotation of many a lunch-goer. Bread sliced and stuffed with ribeye steak, mozzarella, onions and a fiery cherry pepper mix is noontime sustenance of the highest order. So is the one with meatballs and spicy Italian sausage. And the one with the Italian brisket. And the one with prosciutto, capicola and soppreseta.
Antonio’s in Maitland is a split-level cafe/shop and restaurant where you’ll go to just buy some bread and cheese, and end up staying for lunch and a glass of wine. Downstairs is a super casual cafe and market where you can eat pasta, pizza, and rotisserie chicken, while also stocking up on things for your own kitchen. For the more formal experience, head upstairs, where you can still eat all of the Italian classics from the first floor, along with a wide range of steaks and seafood.
The world of cigars is easily as complex as whiskey or cheese or chocolate, but it faces an obvious challenge. “Our industry suffers from a stigma,” Armenteros says. “We don’t have any of the prestige of wine or Scotch, yet drinking those are just as dangerous.” Because of this, the cigar consumer is quite different from those of other gourmet products. “The cigar smoker is a very independent-minded person,” he says. “It takes a certain individualism. You need to have, let’s say, some balls to smoke a cigar. This type of person has strong opinions. We work with a lot of strong characters in this business.” Armenteros believes an educated, certified expert helps add a level of sophistication.
The Ravenous Pig was pretty much the first to bring the term "gastropub" into the Orlando foodie lexicon. Since it opened its doors, the city's dining scene has swelled to epic buzzworthy proportions (and the restaurant has swelled past its original location and moved into bigger digs on Fairbanks). Local is king here; a rotating food and craft cocktail menu features ingredients grown, raised and made by Florida purveyors. A few dishes are mainstays, but the rest change up with regularity, leaving diners to wonder what delights they may find when they venture in. Oxtail stroganoff over tagliatelle? Pot-au-feu? Could be. If not, another fresh-made creation is sure to please. Come thirsty, as well. Rotating taps feature phenomenal craft beers including those of its own in-house brewing operation, Cask + Larder.
Why go: Although originally set up in Key West, Santiago’s now boasts two additional locations in Orlando, each with a particular personality. This communal spot embodies the sharing mentality behind Spanish-style small plates. Come here with a large group to sample the breadth of the menu but make sure not to leave before really delving into the space’s look. The reclaimed wood bar top, stained glass windows, Gaudi-esque furniture and one-of-a-kind artwork all over the restaurant make it that much more special.