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Spotlight

Spotlight: Tennessee Truffle


Within just a couple of minutes of my arrival, I learned that the chef at Tennessee Truffle is a culinary genius. It wasn’t because of anything I’d eaten or tasted. It was because my server told me so after I said it was my first time there. I’m not sure Mensa has a special test just for chefs. Or if chef Nat Russell would qualify. But I do know that some very clever choices have been made with the menu. The smartest is the way he’s freshened up his shrimp and grits, which has now officially become the most prevalent and overdone entree on Central Florida menus. But Russell’s Everglades Shrimp & Grits seems new. He uses good-sized shrimp for …
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Scott Josephs Restaurant Guide

Spotlight: The Waterfront


If you were worried that the sale of Julie’s Waterfront and the excision of her name from the business would mean that the South Orange Avenue venue would lose some of its grunge, you can rest easy. The Waterfront, under new owners, still has its delightfully divey demeanor. If you were hoping that new ownership might usher in better food and service, well, that might be a little more hit and miss. A hit was certainly the Waterfront Burger, a thick patty, cooked precisely to medium-rare, topped with melted swiss cheese plus a bit of blue, with some caramelized onions and some peppery leaves of arugula. The bun was nicely toasted, and though it was big, it was appropriate to …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Reyes Mezcaleria


That space that for many years was Citrus Restaurant, long before the neighborhood it sits in became known as the North Quarter District, has been transformed into Reyes Mezcaleria, a Mexican restaurant that brings street food inside to a fun and comfortable atmosphere. You’d be hard pressed to find any of the old Citrus in the place. As reimagined by Sue Chin, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Jason, the space is more open, especially the bar area, thanks in part to a clever move of the restaurant’s main entrance, which also netted some additional patio seating. Like the Chin’s Baldwin Park restaurants and Seito Sushi, Reyes’s chef is Austin Boyd. It’s difficult enough for one person to oversee …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Rasa Asian Street Food


The Asian street food trend has expanded quite a bit. Now, Rasa Asian Street Food brings the concept to Restaurant Row. Rasa’s owner, Sunny Corda, said he spent two months in Malaysia researching some of the dishes. It was worth the time to come up with a dish like the Curry Laksha. It was a bounty in a small bowl with a multilayered broth of chicken and coconut milk, tinged with sweetness and spice, the latter provided by myriad chilies. A hard-boiled egg floated on one side while several shrimp clustered on another with bits of chicken here and there. And submerged beneath it all was a stack of delicate vermicelli noodles. The the spoon in my left hand and …
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