It was #407Day, a social media initiative devised by Visit Orlando and Orange County to support local restaurants on April 7 (4/07), and for whatever reason, Prato in Winter Park came to mind. Maybe it was because these days we all find ourselves in a slow food movement of a sort completely different to the one centered in Prato, Italy. I don't know, but given the queue of cars I experienced during the Great American Takeout a couple of weeks prior, I fully expected a slow car movement on brick-lined Park Avenue.
Not so. Just one car idled in front of me before the friendly chap dropped a bag containing Prato's famous meatballs, egg rigatoni with lamb bolognese, cauliflower soup, strawberry shortcake and a rich, luxe Amarone procured at half-price. You'd be hard-pressed to find better meatballs in the city, seriously. Both the rigatoni and the shortcake couldn't have been more gratifying. The cauliflower soup? Hmm, I guess I didn't really have a taste for it, but then I remembered a tub of asparagus soup I'd picked up from Seasons 52 a few days earlier.
Seasons 52 – now there's a blast from the past, right? Anyway, I reheated the green soup and immediately regretted not slurping it on the day I picked it up. Seasonality is as big a part of the slow food movement as it is of Seasons 52's ethos, and asparagus? Well, 'tis the season.
(Prato, 124 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-262-0050, prato-wp.com; Seasons 52, 7700 W. Sand Lake Road, 407-354-5212, also 463 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, 407-767-1252, seasons52.com)
This story appears in the April 15, 2020, print edition of Orlando Weekly. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider supporting this free publication with a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.