Ledger restaurant critic Eric Pera gives the new Ovation Bistro & Bar on South Florida Avenue 3 1/2 stars for food and service and four stars for ambience. He concludes that the third restaurant opened by two Polk-based brothers “is grounded in the splendidness of simplicity” | Restaurant website
Cafe Zuppina on South Florida Avenue recently opened a retail market next door to their eight-year-old Turkish restaurant, and now they are further expanding by adding a Turkish coffee house and gelato shop expected to open early in 2019.
With two locations in Winter Haven, Tsunami added hibachi/teppanyaki cooking when it expanded to downtown Lakeland. A massive saltwater aquarium near the entrance doubles as a cocktail bar. The owners sit down with The Ledger’s Eric Pera for a QA. (They declined an interview request with a LkldNow correspondent prior to opening.)
The Lakeland Public Library offered a Facebook sneak peek into the Black & Brew Lake Morton coffee shop that’s about to open at its main branch. The shop, which will serve beverages and light bites, is tentatively scheduled to open Tuesday. Hours: Mon-Fri: 7-9, Sat: 8-9, Sun: 10-5.
Uncle Nick’s, which has developed a following for its bagel sandwiches and Italian specialties, has closed its stores in downtown Lakeland, Edgewood Drive and Bradenton to focus on the original location, which opened three years ago at Shepherd Road and Old Highway 37. Co-owner Nick DeBellis Jr. said he has several offers to buy the downtown NoBay location and plans to sublease the four-unit space.
Chef Marcos Fernandez is temporarily merging his two Dixieland restaurants. Starting Oct. 16, dishes from his new, fast-casual D’Lucas will be available at Nineteen61 for sit-down and app-driven take-out lunches. Ultimately he hopes to re-open D’Lucas in a new indoor setting. The Dixieland Village building where Fernandez opened D’Lucas in May will house his catering operation and cooking classes.
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On the “Low Down With Bump” podcast, resaurateur Marcos Fernandez recounts both successes and lessons learned during his journey from Miami to Colorado, back to Florida and eventually to the Lakeland Yacht and Country Club and his two local ventures, Nineteen 61 and D’Lucas.
After months in the making, Cafe Roti is ready to open its new home for Indian and Pakistani cuisine on Monday. Owner Dr. Saqib Khan has upgraded the site at 116 S. Tennessee Ave. between Main and Lemon that used to house a Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Check a preliminary menu.