Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Earls Kitchen + Bar now open at Millenia mall

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge earls1.jpg
This hasn't been a great year for north-of-the-border restos in Central Florida. We've seen Union Burger, Coffee Culture Cafe & Eatery and many a Yogen Früz shutter, but that hasn't deterred one upscale upstart from making a splashy entry into our ever-competitive market.

Earls Kitchen + Bar is now open in the Mall at Millenia and, thankfully, bears little to no resemblance to the space's former occupant – Blue Martini.
click to enlarge Dining area with mural by Andrew Spear
  • Dining area with mural by Andrew Spear
In fact, I was more than a bit surprised at the impressive level of detail in the design as well as the artwork curated by Alya Poplawsky and Katy Bakker of Winter Park's a|k|art, including:
  • a large mural by local artist Andrew Spear
  • a contemporary piece by Thrush Holmes titled "Anarchy Painting"
  • a Lyle Owerko photo by the entrance from his "Boombox Project"
  • a series in the lounge titled "Punks" by Pascal Vochelet procured from Art Basel Miami Beach
click to enlarge L: 'Anarchy Painting'; R: 'Boombox'
  • L: 'Anarchy Painting'; R: 'Boombox'
The design of the lounge toward the back of the restaurant is precisely the sort of throwback aesthetic I want in my own home.
click to enlarge Cocktail lounge
  • Cocktail lounge
Not bad for a chain restaurant bent on breaking the mold of chain restaurants. Says Mark Hladik, Regional VP for Earls US, "Our philosophy is to 'unchain the chain' by positioning ourselves as a collective of independent and individually compelling restaurants designed with the location, culture, people and local ingredients in mind."
click to enlarge Steak + sushi
  • Steak + sushi
A few of us got to sample some of their globally inspired fare at a media event, and we were more than content with executive chef Simon Zanotto's offerings.

Earls Kitchen + Bar opens today for lunch and dinner, and will stay open until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. They offer a weekend brunch as well.

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