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Spotlight: F&D Kitchen And Bar

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Crispy Pig Snacks is the defining dish at F&D Kitchen and Bar. It shows the creative promise that this Lake Mary restaurant could achieve, but it also demonstrates where it falls short.

Most of the menu is straightforward, though nothing I would call boring. There were several interesting selections.

But when you hear Crispy Pig Snacks you tend to perk up your ears. And ears is the operative word here, for the pig snacks in question are fashioned out of shredded pig ears. I’ll grant you, pig ears are a tough sell, even to intrepid diners. So when you sell it as an appetizer, you need to really sell it as an over-the-top treat both in terms of taste and presentation.

But the fried shreds couldn’t have been less palatable. And the quality and flavor were no more exciting. What a missed opportunity.

Entrees were more appealing both in presentation and taste. I had the Beef Short Rib, a two-boned serving with the meat on top of pureed root vegetables and red wine reduction ladled over top.

My companion had the Pork Belly, a big block of wonderful fattiness topped with crisped crustiness.

We went 50-50 on the quality of the service. The first person who greeted us was cool and unwelcoming and ultimately unattentive. She mentioned that she would be assisted by another person, and she turned out to be just the opposite. Perhaps the roles should be reversed so that the assistant could teach the lead waiter a few good graces.

The decor is comfortably eclectic. There are myriad styles of light fixtures and chandeliers, each one complementing the others. It’s a big space, and there is a large bar area for those who want to participate only in the “D” part of the name.

Oh, yeah, we didn’t discuss the name. F&D stands for Food & Drink. Clever, huh? Even more reason why the menu and the experience should be an absolute wow instead of just a generic shrug.

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