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Rona Gindin is an Orlando-based multimedia writer, editor and TV personality.

  • A Dim Sum Evening at BarjMe

    barjmeOrlando -- BarjMe is a chef's table concept by the Cuisiniers Catering folks. On February 28, they'll be serving a dim sum dinner "with an American twist" (at least I think it's dinner; the press release didn't note the time). Only 60 guests will participate, and they'll do so at staggered times so the event remains intimate. $95 per person. Reservations.  
  • Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Raglan Road

    Raglan Road st patricks day logoOrlando -- St. Paddy's Day takes on mighty proportions at Downtown Disney's Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, where the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival will last a full five days. American-Celtic music by Reel Ó Gránde, 3 Dollar Band, Drops of Green, The Brayzen Heads, and The West Coast Trio will set the tone, and Irish dancers will do their bit. Specialities like loin of bacon with cabbage will be served and face painting will please the kids. The event starts at 3 p.m. on 3/13, at 1:30 p.m. other days, with a $10 cover charge on St. Patrick's Day. Reservations (except St. Paddy's Day): 407.938.0300  
  • Tiempo Libre to Perform for Free in Orlando

    tiempolibre8570-418Orlando -- Grammy winning band Tiempo Libre will perform for free at the outdoor plaza  of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The band's Miami-based Cuba natives play an upbeat mix of music that's a blend of R&B, Cuban son, jazz, and pop. Friday, February 27, 6 p.m.  
  • Spring Lamb Dinner at Cask & Larder

    Cask and LarderOrlando -- Winter Park Southern-food restaurant Cask & Larder is hosting a Spring Lamb Dinner featuring meat from Border Springs Farm. Only 18 guests will participate. Whole roast lamb, black barbecue sauce, salsa verde, olive relish, tzatziki, feta mac and cheese, artichoke berigoule, and stewed peas will be served. Monday, March 9, 7 p.m. $150. Reservations: 4321.280.4200  
  • Get a Free Bar Bite at Bonefish Grill

    150216 Free BarBites Doughnuts emailNational -- Download and present this Bonefish Grill coupon and your table will receive one Bar Bites appetizer for free through March 15. Choose from BBQ pork or chipotle shrimp dim sum-style sliders, Mac + Cheese Bites, or donuts. You'll find descriptions of each item here.  
  • Dine Alfresco at 'Fresh from the Field'

    Fresh from the FieldOrlando -- Fresh from the Field is an over-the-top fabulous open-air wine dinner hosted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Florida. In March, the chef-led event will be held on the site of the new Tucker Ranch Heritage Park in Winter Garden. Chef Robert J. Ciborowski of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will create the four-course menu including a lobster-crab dish and family-style barbecue with cheddar grits. Local craft beers and Palm Ridge Reserve whiskey will also be available. Saturday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. $180 ($120 of that is tax-deductible). Tickets  
  • American Q Rolls Out Breakfast Cocktails

    Maple martini AQOrlando -- Taking the craft-cocktail movement to a new daypart, American Q has introduced breakfast cocktails. Among them are an apple-bacon bloody mary, a Bailey's iced vanilla coffee, and a maple martini. Here's the cocktail menu. The restaurant is in the B Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista.  
  • Here Comes Dreaming in Spice, the Cress Cookbook

    dreaminginspicecoverDeland -- Deland's Cress Restaurant has been a surprise sensation north of Orlando. Among other honors, it took the No. 1 spot in Zagat's Orlando City Guide. Now chef-owner Hari Pulapaka has published a book, Dreaming in Spice. Join Chef Hari at a book-signing event at East End Market on Sunday, March 8. The ticket price includes a signed book, a T-shirt, nibbles, and wine. Tickets  
  • Hawkers Is Expanding to St. Pete

    Hawkers logoSt. Petersburg -- Hawkers, the wildly popular restaurant featuring the street foods of seven Asian countries in Orlando's Mills 50 District, is expanding again. Its third unit will open in the Gulf-coast city's EDGE District and will complement its food with craft cocktails and 50+ microbrews. The second unit is in Jacksonville, Florida. The St. Pete branch is scheduled to open at 1235 West Centra Avenue in mid-summer.  
  • Coming Soon: Swine & Sons

    Swine and SonsOrlando -- Charcuterie, sandwiches, biscuits, ice cream, and other wholesome homemade goodies will be on the menu at Swine & Sons, a take-out shop owned by the same folks as The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder. Growlers of beer made by the Cask folks will alo be on Swine shelves. Target opening: March 2015  
  • Disney Employees Receive 20% Off at Plancha

    Disney Plancha FlyerOrlando -- Cuban-American specialties like chorizo burgers, Cuban sandwiches, and mojitos are on the menu at Plancha, the restaurant at the Orlando Four Seasons' Tranquilo Golf Club. Now Disney World's 65,000 or so "cast members" will receive a 20 percent discount off food and beverage purchases. Details.  
  • Join the Field to Feast Dinner with Disney Chefs

    Field to FeastOrlando -- Disney World's top chefs will be preparing dinner out on the Long & Scott farm in Zellwood for this fundraiser sponsored by Edible Orlando. Proceeds will benefit the Kids Cafe program at the Second Harvest Food Bank. Details.  
  • Citrus Restaurant Will Open a Sib: North Quarter Tavern

    Tavern logo finalOrlando -- North Quarter Tavern will open in early 2015. The restaurant, owned by the same folks at Citrus, is being described by the company as a "chef-driven neighborhood tavern." It will be in the upscale Nora apartment building, located on a portion of Orange Avenue being billed as North Quarter.  
  • Lorna Brings Lounge Music to Rocco's Italian Grille

    Roccos logoOrlando -- Before Winter Park residents had time to finish mourning the demise of singer Lorna's  lounge act with pianist Michael Moore at the Red Fox Lounge, nearby restaurant Rocco's Italian Grille has snapped up the act. Starting November 8, the duo will entertain in the Italian restaurant's woodsy, upscale bar area from 8 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Saturday. The schedule will be posted on Rocco's Facebook page.  
  • Orlando's Brewery & Its Distillery Pair Up to Make Barrel-Aged Beer

    Orlando BrewingOrlando -- Using white oak bourbon barrels from the Winter Park Distilling Company, Orlando Brewing has created Bourbon Barrel Red Aged Red Ale and O-Town Brown Ale. The hometown distillery uses the barrels to age its Bear Gully Classic Reserve Bourbon. The two are also pairing up to create a stout: the organic brewery is making its Senator Imperial Oatmeal Stout in the distillery's rum barrels.  
  • Special Request: Burgers from Dexter Cows

    Safari Wildernesss logoLakeland -- Guests at Safari Wilderness can soon snack on Dexter burgers. Indeed, the beef will be from grass-fed "little Irish heritage cattle," according to co-owner Lex Salisbury, who also runs the Giraffe Ranch. The burgers will be sold from a "farm-to-food truck" housed on the Safari Ranch premises. Safari Ranch gives African-like savannah tours of fields filled with African and Asian animals that roam freely.  
  • Nature & Culture Right Near Orlando

    Orlando -- Seminole County, just north of Orlando, has nature reserves, airboat rides, art galleries, and way more. Rona took a media tour and shares her finds in a series of blogs. Highlights include the Geneva Wilderness Area, Danville B&B, and Gallery on FirstRead the blog posts.  
  • Two Orlandoans Take the Pie Festival Prize

    pieOrlando -- Orlando-area bakers took top prizes at two Great American Pie Festival competitions. Evette Rahman, owner of Sister Honey's bakey, took Best of Show in the professional division for her Sensational Strawberry Cheese Pie. Home cook John Sunvold of Winter Springs places Amateur Best in Show for his creation, Ruthie's Park Avenue Chocolatier.  
  • Here's Rona's Take on the Publix Cooking School

    ApronsCookingSchoolOrlando -- Rona got to try out Aprons, the new cooking school at a Publix in Orlando's Dr. Phillips neighborhood. Read the blog.  
  • Loads of Cooking Classes at East End Market

    East End MarketOrlando -- Many, many cooking and other food-related classes are scheduled for Orlando's bustling East End Market, home to many locavore-oriented vendors. Among the topics are Bringing It To Market: Foodpreneur 102, Seed Starting and Soil Blocks, Tackling Tomatoes, and Brunch & Learn: Latin Flavors. Here's the schedule.  
  • Adriatico Wins a Coveted Seal of Authenticity

    Adriatico logoOrlando -- The quiet Adriatico Trattoria Italiano in College Park is an exceptionally quality-oriented restaurant. Now Ospitalita Italiana, the Italian Chamber of Commerce, has given the eatery its Seal of Quality. Adriatico is the only Central Florida restaurant to have this distinction right now.  
  • Hankering for a Burger in the Wee Hours? Here's GOOD Late-Night Food

    Edible Orlando smallOrlando -- These six restaurants take care and pride in their late-night bar menus. Check out Rona's Edible Orlando feature. Included are Shantell's Cafe & Oyster BarOblivion TaproomTeak Neighborhood GrillCask & LarderKasa Tapas & Raw Bar, and The Smiling Bison. Read now  
  • Take an Orlando Food Tour

    Orlando Food Tours logo smallOrlando -- Spend a weekend afternoon checking out Winter Park food sources with Orlando Food Tours. Seven people at a time are brought to places like a spice shop, and olive oil store, and a candy counter. We haven't tried it yet, so report back if you beat us to it. $47  
  • Sample Moroccan Tapas at Spice Road Table

    Spice Road smallOrlando -- Small plates of Mediterranean fare invite lingering at Spice Road Table, a civilized indoors-and-out escape at Epcot's Morocco pavilion.  Sip a just-sweet Lillet, a light chilled wine flavored with honey, orange, lime, and mint. Nibble on crazy-flavorful lamb sliders on a brioche with mint-tzatziki sauce, plus rice-stuffed grape leaves, beef skewers with garlic and fresh hrbs, and spicy garlic shrimp. The fried calamari is tender with a terrific flavor. It's served with two sauces: harissa, and caper aioli.  
  • Straight-up Burgers at the Crooked Spoon

    Crooked Spoon logoOrlando -- West of Orlando in the Clermont, The Crooked Spoon is a rather large gastropub. The menu is varied, but zoom in on a hamburger. The Bleu Burger, for instance, is a remarkable patty of Florida Angus beef topped with bleu cheese, roasted garlic aioli, tomato, and mixed greens, served with exceptional homemade potato chips or, for a small upcharge, terrific french fries.  
  • Go Cowboy-Chic at Creek Ranch

    Creek RanchHaines City, Florida -- Not even an hour from Disney World, Creek Ranch is an immersive cowboy-chic experience. You lodge in the actual family bunkhouse of a working ranch -- it is quite upscale, with pampering service -- and dine, fish, ride horses, take airboat trips, and way more, all at one set all-inclusive price. Rona spent an afternoon touring and chatting with the owner and produced this feature article. Read and enjoy.  
  • This Chick Has No Need for Speed

    Exotic Driving 8 Lambo 570Rona drove a Lamborghini around the Daytona International Speedway. Only she forgot one thing: speed. Read her blog.  
  • Orlando's Hot Restaurant Tables

    Orlando -- With nationally recognized chefs and a burgeoning food scene, Orlando is becoming a culinary destination. Read about it.  
  • Orlando, Zagat-Style

    Zagat Orlando 90Orlando -- Learn what fellow locals and visitors think about 360 restaurants 75 nightspots, 152 shops, and 57 attractions in the 2013 Zagat Orlando City Guide.  
  • French Classics Made Easy

    French Classics Made EasyFrench Classics Made Easy is a cookbook that gets you to satisfying Gallic fare without a ton of sacrifice. Author Richard Grausman simplified a load of recipes and takes away the intimidation factor, shrugging that unbleached all-purpose flour is best "but if you have bleached flour, use it" and casually explaining that using a food processor cuts pasta-making time to mere seconds.  I have bookmarked several recipes to try ASAP and I'm sure you will too.  
  • Ready to Wham Your Picky Eaters Upside the Head? Join the Club

    Read Rona's blog, "Picky, Picky".  
  • American Q Rolls Out Breakfast Cocktails (2)

    Maple martini AQOrlando -- Taking the craft-cocktail movement to a new daypart, American Q has introduced breakfast cocktails. Among them are an apple-bacon bloody mary, a Bailey's iced vanilla coffee, and a maple martini. Here's the cocktail menu. The restaurant is in the B Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista.