Monday, June 27, 2016

1921 by Norman Van Aken shaping up to be a masterpiece

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 8:43 AM

click to enlarge Courtyard and main entrance, 1921 by Norman Van Aken
  • Courtyard and main entrance, 1921 by Norman Van Aken
The space has been a hospital, a home for unwed mothers, and most recently the Garden Gate Tea Room, but when 1921 by Norman Van Aken opens in Mount Dora at the end of July, the sprawling restaurant will be a design masterpiece. 
click to enlarge Murano glass in the chef's tasting room
  • Murano glass in the chef's tasting room

The bright, airy space will see Modernist furnishings by Wendell Castle, George Nakashima and Paul Evans; works by Dale Chihuly and Louis Comfort Tiffany; hand-blown Italian and Murano glass; and handcrafted woodwork from the Pennsylvania Amish. 
click to enlarge Handcrafted Amish bar
  • Handcrafted Amish bar

Walls of the restaurant, particularly the 10-seat chef's tasting room, will be adorned with works of art borrowed from the Modernism Museum situated right across the street.

Kitchen creations will pay homage to Florida's roots ("from the heart, modern Florida cuisine" says Van Aken)
click to enlarge 1950s-era hand-blown Italian glass
  • 1950s-era hand-blown Italian glass
and promise to be works of art as well thanks to the rarefied talents of chef de cuisine Camilo Velasco, who previously worked wonders inside the wee little cookhouse inside Barnie's CoffeeKitchen. 

A couple of dishes you can expect to see when 1921 opens towards the end of July:

• Grilled Okeechobee mushroom tostadas with boiled peanut romesco and queso fresco
click to enlarge Norman Van Aken & Camilo Velasco
  • Norman Van Aken & Camilo Velasco

• Ceviche of lionfish cured in passion fruit, ginger and sesame, with lychees and coconut   
General manager Scott Geisler will oversee the wine and beverage program, which bodes well to deliver one of the best wine lists anywhere in the state.

1921 by Norman Van Aken
142 E. Fourth St., Mount Dora

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