Fall is finally here, the humidity is down and we can enjoy the sunshine along with the cool autumn breeze. The local food scene is giving us even more reasons to love the fall with seasonal menu items and festive events.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to support the cause, 4 Rivers Smokehouse Sweet Shop will be baking beautiful Strawberry Basil Bayou Bars ($3.25) at all their locations. The bar is a vanilla blondie with basil, topped with The Sweet Shop’s fresh strawberry house frosting. Taverna Opa is also supporting breast cancer research this month with their cheekily named, Phyllo Our Ta-Tas, a nest of honey shredded house phyllo dough topped with strawberry custard and whipped cream. Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster’s Jeannie, a bartender that has been with the company over ten years, is also giving back with her Cantaloupe Martini. This sweet and sour cocktail features a mix of orange vodka, watermelon pucker, and a splash of pineapple juice. Ten percent of proceeds from this drink will benefit the Florida Hospital’s Breast Cancer Fund.
Several area restaurants are serving up fall flavors like the Maple Glazed Chicken and Roasted Pear Salad available at Tony Roma’s, RA Sushi’s Spiced Mule, and Pumpkin Soft-serve at Sweet Tomatoes restaurants.
The annual Cows n’ Cabs event was held Saturday, October 25 at Winter Park’s West Meadow at 150 North New York Avenue. The outdoor, Western-themed festival created by David Larue of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The COOP. 100% of ticket sales and auction item proceeds benefit the Community Food and Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando, local charities that assist with fighting hunger and mentoring youth, respectively. Over 200 wines, spirits, and craft beers contributed by Anheuser-Busch, Southern Wine & Spirits, and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits were available for guests to sample in addition to 20 invite-only, local restaurants such as established favorites like 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Norman’s, Cress, and K Restaurant, as well as up and coming restaurants like The COOP, P is for Pie, and Txokos Basque Kitchen.
Another festive charity event will be held at Taverna Opa at Pointe Orlando on International Drive, Wednesday, October 29, 7-10pm. The Lucky 7 Haunted Casino. For one night, the restaurant will transform into a spooky casino featuring live entertainment including a magician, contortionist, and a pumpkin carver. For a recommended $7 donation, guests receive tokens to try their luck in blackjack, poker, and other casino style games. House favorites will be available like spanakopita, chicken kebobs, and hummus as well as craft cocktails provided by Enlighten Grained Spirits and Winter Park Distilling Company. This charitable celebration in partnership with Where Orlando benefits Give Kids the World Village, a non-profit organization that provides a week of fun and wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
For those still looking for Halloween plans, RA Sushi will host it’s Boo Bash Halloween Party from 11am to close, featuring Boo Bites and Potent Potions. Revel in the Halloween spirit with spooky decorations, haunting music, and outrageous costumes. The best dressed could win some serious treats like RA Sushi gift certificates.
Boo Bites include:
– Zombie Roll ($8): Spicy salmon, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeno rolled and topped with avocado and sriracha.
– The Black Widow Roll ($10): Crispy soft shell crab, kaiware sprouts, kani kama crab mix rolled in rice and soy paper, then topped with shredded daikon, spicy mayo and eel sauce.
– The Wicked Shrimp ($9): Crispy shrimp served on a bed of mixed greens with a creamy ginger teriyaki dipping sauce
Try these Potent Potions:
– Witches Brew (single $9/double $18): a bubbling blend of Southern Comfort, Amaretto Disaronno, cold sake, liqueurs and tropical juices.
– Frozen Black Lagoon ($7): a spine-tingling mix of sparkling white wines, Bacardi Rum, yuzu, and peach and strawberry purees.
– Geisha’s Spell ($7): a magical concoction of cold lemonade, Skyy Raspberry vodka, Chambord, fresh lemon sour, and a splash of soda.
For more information about this event, visit RAsushi.com.