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Spotlight

Spotlight: Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante


Grand is a word that might come to mind when you enter Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, one of a few new dining venues that opened recently at Disney Springs. Although guests enter the building from street level (or walkway level, as the case may be), they walk past the host stand to discover themselves standing on a mezzanine overlooking the vast dining room below, accessed by a sweeping staircase. The far wall is comprised of two-story floor to ceiling windows with a commanding view of the lagoon outside. It reminds me a little of the opulence of La Coquina, the late lamented fine dining venue at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, but on a larger scale. It’s among the most impressive …
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Image: Orlando Book Fest Speaker Author S. Jae-Jones, sjaejones.com
Spotlight

Spotlight: TedXOrlando, Folk and Urban Art Fest, Orlando Book Fest and LEGO build


What does the future of education look like? Where does education and innovation intersect? Enjoy a panel talk by thought leaders from Embry-Riddle , Full Sail, Rollins, Seminole State, UCF and Valencia College at TEDxOrlando Education Salon Saturday 1:00pm-2:30pm at Boone High School. Enjoy African drumming and storytelling, Cajun and Zydeco music, pottery demonstrations, kids mask making workshops and several soul food vendors during the 9th Annual Folk and Urban Art Festival Saturday 10am-4pm at Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Enjoy a day-long celebration of book panels, writing workshops, book signings, and more from bestselling authors from all over the country. The Orlando Book Festival is free and open to the public Saturday 10am-5pm at the Downtown branch of the Orlando …
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Image: Exotic Bird Show, centralfloridafair.com
Spotlight

Spotlight: Ukulele, Local Games, Exotic Birds and Safety Fair


Listen to six ukulele acts, meet adoptable dogs and bring some food for the public pot luck during the second annual Ukulele Lovefest. “Some chicken and potato salad are provided, as well as water, coffee, chips and dip, and yummy cookies.” The fun takes place Sunday 12:30 to 6:30 at Fodor’s Grove. Take time out to listen to eight of Orlando’s best nerd music acts and, for the first time ever, explore all the independent games made right here in Orlando during Orlando Overdrive Saturday at 4 at The Geek Easy in Winter Park. Walk amongst hand fed baby parrots, finches, canaries, lovebirds, cockatiels and all other kinds of exotic birds for sale at the Orlando Exotic Bird Show Sunday …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Bugambilias Mexican Restaurant


Bugambilias isn’t the sort of place you’d just wander into, not unless you live in the vicinity of Lancaster Road between Orange Avenue and South Orange Blossom Trail. If you do, you know there are myriad Mexican restaurants, many as authentic as you’re likely to find in the area, to choose from. Bugambilas would be a good choice. Though it isn’t a guarantee of authenticity, it’s a pretty good indication when one has to ask if a menu is available in English. (One was.) While I was still trying to navigate through the Spanish version, I was drawn to the Pozole, a favorite of mine. But when I failed to notice it was available only on Sabado and Domingo, I …
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Image:  Enduring Beauty: Seminole Art and Culture,  omart.org
Spotlight

Spotlight: OMART, Macrame, Digital Art and Spring Fiesta


There’s a special exhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art called “Enduring Beauty: Seminole Art and Culture” that has inspired a fun family day celebrating Native American culture. This free event features hands-on activities, storytelling, music, dancing, free ben & Jerrys ice cream Saturday 10 to 3 at Orlando Museum of Art. Learn how to weave your fingers through a few basic knots to sculpt a beautiful handmade macrame work of art during a class led by Macrame mama!  Tickets provide you with materials, 2 drink tickets for the bar, and a take home, step by step guide to help you remember what you learned. Macrame mamma’s class is Saturday at 4 at Lil Indies in the Mills50 District. What …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Southern Spice


You might say that Southern Spice has brought back good memories. As in Memories of India, a once-fine restaurant from the same neighborhood. Southern Spice features the foods of South India (mostly), and presents a few items that might be unfamiliar to you if your only experience with Indian cuisine is from Central Florida restaurants. Though, like most local Indian restaurants, Southern Spice also features a buffet at lunchtime. But I haven’t experienced one quite so nicely presented and with such good food. Some of the best of what I sampled on my recent visit were the vegetarian offerings, beginning with the appetizer of Gobi 65. Made with cauliflorets, the bite-sized nuggets had a fiery red color from the peppers …
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