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Joe and Alda Rees (photo by Rob Bartlett)

Joe and Alda Rees (photo by Rob Bartlett)

Joe & Alda Rees 

The Strand

The owners of this cozy new spot don’t see the “parking and space issues” that come with their Mills 50 location as limitations. Owner-chef Joe Rees says they see this part of urban living “as a positive, especially with a lot of folks willing to get out of their cars and onto their bikes or the sidewalk. … To us, that’s all part of the experience.”

Rees modestly describes the Strand as “a nice little neighborhood spot in the city,” but we see it as a new classic on the Orlando scene, with a food-first ethic and an un-showy dedication to local and seasonal sourcing. Plates like the “picnic basket,” a fried Cornish hen with mustard mashed potatoes and wilted greens, demonstrate Joe and Alda’s mashup of new techniques with old favorites. “Our food is pretty simple, and hopefully there is something for everyone,” says Rees, “but it’s our hope that they consider trying a dish or beverage outside of their comfort zone. Fortunately, we’re living at a time when people are interested in expanding their horizons with food and taste. Both Alda and I believe that this awareness starts early, so it is particularly exciting to us when we see young kids in the restaurant eating coleslaw with kale, or fried Cornish game hen, or a slice of cake made with olive oil and rosemary.” By the way, that olive oil cake with mascarpone cream is already a fan favorite; don’t miss it when you stop in.

807 N. Mills Ave., 407-920-7744; $$

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