Chef Lexi Gawlak gets a kitchen; Trader Joe’s No. 2 breaks ground

Plus six new restaurants and Krispy Kreme turns 77

Congratulations are due to chef Alexia Gawlak, new chef de cuisine at Siro: Urban Italian Kitchen at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Chef Gawlak trained in notable kitchens around town (Primo, Luma, RavPig), but most recently delighted meatheads alongside her husband, Rhys, with their Cuts & Craft Artisan Meats, which sells exquisite charcuterie.

Iza Tapas Bar has closed in Thornton Park, but according to their Facebook page, they’re in the process of relocating. Meanwhile, word comes that RusTeak Restaurant & Wine Bar will move into the old Hangar Bar & Grille space on Edgewater Drive in College Park.

Detroit, Michigan-based Jet’s Pizza, with more than 350 locations across the country, will open its first of three planned Orlando-area eateries near UCF at the Town Park shopping center on East Colonial Drive. Their credo: “Pizza should be fun.” Oy. Look for an early July opening.

West Indian cuisine has come to the Orlando Square Plaza on the southwest corner of Sand Lake Road and OBT. GT Roti & Curry specializes in Guyanese fare – the “GT” stands for “Georgetown” – and you can bet I’ll be making regular trips to this humble eatery for bake & saltfish, doubles, dhal puri and channa roti. The small eatery is located behind the Chase Bank.

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Steven Saelg. The chef-owner of the Crooked Spoon Gastropub in Clermont – which transitioned into a brick-and-mortar restaurant from its successful food-truck run – succumbed to pancreatic cancer June 17 at the age of 40. Our condolences go out to the Saelg family.

Ground has been broken on another Trader Joe’s; construction in Dr. Phillips should be done by October, with the market finished and open by year’s end … Mikki V’s Grill has opened in the Winter Springs Town Center … Germans Restaurant & Bierhouse has opened in Kissimmee … Driving through “downtown” Lake Mary last week, I noticed Krazy Greek Kitchen and the Olive Pantry have opened … On Friday, July 11, Krispy Kreme celebrates turning 77 years old.

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