New home of Foreigner
Nothing's come easy for Bruno Fonseca. The 45-year-old chef has scratched and clawed his way through the restaurant world and, in the process, garnered a wealth of experience.
Fonseca has worked at high-end restaurants from Norman's to Bern's Steak House; operated the 5 Gastronomy food truck; taught at Le Cordon Bleu; and opened eyes and yaps at his restaurant Millenia 106 before it shuttered in 2018. Of late, he's been running the Foreigner Experience — a series of high-end chef's tasting pop-ups at the Heavy in Winter Park and Melts on Main in Winter Garden.
But now, he's taking his Foreigner Experience concept and planting it in a permanent space in Audubon Park.
Fonseca, along with local restaurateurs Johnny and Jimmy Tung of the Omei Restaurant Group, will open Foreigner this spring in the space between Your Natural Bites (formerly Blue Bird Bake Shop) and Fusion Hair Design at 3124 Corrine Drive.
The cozy 954-square-foot space will feature a 10-seat counter and kitchen. In keeping with a post-coronavirus restaurant experience, Fonseca will install plexiglass dividers between guests (or groups of guests) as a safety measure.
Plexiglass dividers as seen at Washington D.C.'s Jont
Fonseca says he'll have at least one sous chef as well as one maître d'/beverage director.
Having access to a proper kitchen (as opposed to a pancake griddle, toaster oven, immersion circulator and burner) will allow Fonseca to get creative with his dishes and really place a focus on innovation at his "finer diner."
"I'm looking to evolve and refine," Fonseca says, "Now that I have a team and a kitchen, I won't be wasting time with logistics. I'll have stability, security, and stationary equipment which will allow me to have actual research and development, which is so incredibly important."
Foreigner will offer a seven-course prix-fixe menu Wednesdays to Saturdays with a price point in between $100-$150. "I want the experience to be affordable but well worth the price tag," Fonseca says.
Chef Bruno Fonseca
In addition, there will be two wine pairing options (an entry level and a higher-end option), a beer option as well as a mocktail option.
Fonseca's seasonal monthly menu will draw from global influences, but will place a focus on local (and luxe) ingredients such as Florida beef and seafood, including oysters.
"I want everyone to have a great time," Fonseca says. "The food is meant to be fun, delicious, familiar yet different. Above all, I want guests to come in with an open mind."
At Foreigner, you can be sure it'll always, umm, "feel like the first time."
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