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WHAT'S COOKING 


News from the Orlando dining scene:

• Kevin Fonzo, brilliant chef of College Park's K Restaurant and Wine Bar, is expanding his reach: He and his brother, Greg, have bought Babbo, the Italian restaurant just a few blocks down from K at 1710 Edgewater Drive. They'll be renaming the restaurant Nonna — nominally aging the place by a generation (Babbo is Italian for Papa; Nonna is Italian for Grandma), but rejuvenating everything else. Gradual updates of the interior and exterior will happen over the next few months, but for now the Fonzos are focusing on taking ownership of the food, offering a unique Northern Italian menu every night.

• The Orange Avenue space that was formerly Popolo Bistro (and ZaBella before that, and Andros Mediterranean Restaurant before that) is set for yet another incarnation. Jim and Julie Petrakis will open a gastropub called the Ravenous Pig at 1234 Orange Ave., shooting for a fall debut. (If "gastropub" sounds unappetizing, never fear; it just means upscale food served in a relaxed, pub-like setting.) The couple was behind swanky Luma on Park and the brilliant Greens & Grille, so they've got the golden touch as far as I'm concerned.

• On a much sadder note, Earlean Taylor, the celebrated cook at iconic Parramore soul-food spot Johnson's Diner, passed away early July 25 after a long illness. Orlando's cholesterol count may go down as a result, but the thousands of spirits raised by Taylor's smothered pork chops and cornbread will surely sink along with it.

dining@orlandoweekly.com

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