Trattoria replaces Kouzzina and Highball replaces Vineyard

Plus wine dinners and new breweries pop up all over

Cask & Larder’s “monastery-to-mouth” Belgian Beer Dinner (6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29; $65) takes inspiration from Belgium’s famed monk brewers by pairing in-house cicerone Ron Raike’s sudsy creations with Southern-inspired dishes – we’re talking duck carpaccio, white gumbo and veal belly, to name just a few.

Duck and veal will also make an appearance at Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse’s Aug. 1 wine pairing dinner. Wine will be provided by Merryvale Vineyards; cost is $80 per person.

The Science Center’s Wine for Us event July 31 features fine wines, hors d’oeuvres and beer from the Orlando Brewing Company. Proceeds benefit Water for People, which helps develop sanitation infrastructure and provide health and hygiene education in developing countries. Cost is $60. Visit wineforus.org for more info.

Mingos, the seafood restaurant on South Eola Drive, announced it will expand into Alena Hospitality’s properties, starting Aug. 12 with a restaurant inside the UCF DoubleTree. Look for a Mingos Chophouse to open at the new Renaissance Downtown Orlando next year, and a Mingos Prime on I-Drive sometime after that.

Volusia County is set to get a couple of new breweries. Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. will open a 2,400-square-foot taproom on Georgia Avenue in downtown DeLand in late August; also in late August, WopsHops Brewing Co. opens on South Sanford Avenue in Sanford. That microbrewery will also house a beer garden.

Trattoria al Forno replaces Cat Cora’s Kouzzina at Disney’s BoardWalk in December. The restaurant will employ “Old World techniques” in fashioning seasonal risottos, Neopolitan-style pizzas and pasta. Kouzzina is slated to close Sept. 30.

BRIEFLY:

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has opened in Mills Park … Funky Monkey on Mills is now known as Funky Monkey Wine Company’s Nick’s Italian KitchenGreen Day Café opens its second location in the old Virgin Olive Market space on North Orange Avenue in September … Look for Highball & Harvest to replace the Vineyard Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in early September; next door at the JW Marriott, the Kitchen will open later this fall.

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