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Orlando Area Dining Out Group Message Board › Pop-Up Restaurants come to Orlando!

Pop-Up Restaurants come to Orlando!

Altamonte Springs, FL
Post #: 33
I'm not sure how many of you have heard of the new trend of pop-up restaurants… They've become popular in a lot of the big cities in the US, and according to an article in today's Orlando Sentinel, we will be seeing them too!

As much as I would love to include the group at one of these events, I'm afraid it would be cost prohibitive and for picky eaters like myself I don't think that the menu would be diverse enough, you get what they are cooking that night, and that's it. However, I wanted to make it known to the group, because I know that we have a lot of adventurous foodies and this is something that you probably don't want to miss out on, if it fits into your budget and your schedule!

Check out the link here: http://www.orlandosen...­ (full text below) for the article from today's Orlando Sentinel. I would also suggest signing up for the email list at, there you will receive updates and a heads-up about upcoming pop-up events.

Here's the article itself:

Eric Hanke didn't know what he'd be eating when he walked into the ClandesDine restaurant Saturday night.

"That kind of mystery and mystique adds to the whole event," said Hanke, 38, who went for a date night with his wife, Frieda Lamberg.

The couple were pleased with what they got for $75 each at the one-night restaurant in the back of an ad agency: a five-course gourmet meal with wine but with a kiddie twist. The appetizer featured peanut butter that looked like sand, grape jelly with port and brioche. Royal red shrimp were fashioned into fish sticks. The main course of wild boar meatballs with spinach linguine came on school-lunch trays.

Now that Orlando has embraced food trucks, some promoters have turned their attention to another big-city trend: the pop-up restaurant.

Mark Baratelli, an Orlando events promoter who runs the Daily City website, hopes to make ClandesDine a regular happening. Restaurant critic Scott Joseph recently held his first pop-up and will soon sell tickets for his second. Barbecue restaurateur John Rivers and even the Citrus Club have also experimented with them.

Here-today-gone-tomorrow restaurants have become a way for chefs to get exposure and test new concepts. Adventurous foodies, meanwhile, get a new kind of mystery dining. They buy tickets — usually pricey ones — often not knowing where they'll have dinner, who they'll sit with or what they'll eat.

Baratelli stressed on his website that diners should come with an open mind and a daring palette. "Do not expect white-glove service. Don't ask for your sauce on the side. Just come and enjoy."

The novelty is appealing to some Americans who are weary of casual dining and find fine dining too stuffy.

"Today's consumer doesn't think of dining away from home as traditionally" as in the past, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Chicago-based food-industry research firm Technomic.

Tristano said such concepts can work even in Orlando, which doesn't have the same heavy concentration of urban dwellers as larger cities such as New York and San Francisco.

Baratelli agrees, although in Central Florida, organizers might have to think more creatively, he said.

"Some cities have hundreds of buildings and crazy spaces, things that are really old and interesting," he said. "I think Orlando has those. We're just going to have to dig and look for them."

Baratelli held his debut dinner in the Mills 50 District, in the same place as his weekend Cardboard Art Festival. A few musicians from the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra played Beatles tunes as the 36 diners got to know one another among displays of cardboard animals and robots.

Much of the food came from chef Bryce Balluff's Fork in the Road food truck, parked outside.

Baratelli is getting the word out about his pop-ups through his website, as is Joseph.

For his first pop-up, Joseph chose a chilly seafood-processing room at Gary's Seafood & Specialties, where the dinner included a fish-filleting demonstration.

"I like the location to be logical, that it has something to do with the food or with the dinner, to help educate [people] about what we eat, what we drink," Joseph said.

Just a few days before Joseph's pop-up last year, legendary New York City restaurant Le Cirque opened for one night at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. That was one of a series Le Cirque held around the country.

Also last year, 4 Rivers founder John Rivers tried out a new concept called Cowboy Kitchen at Alaqua. Ultimately, Rivers decided to let the idea for a restaurant featuring upscale Southern cuisine wait so he could focus more on his growing smokehouse empire. But he plans more pop-ups, just for fun.

For Balluff, who cooked at ClandesDine, the pop-up is also a chance to expand his horizons.

"I wanted to be able to still do fine dining. That's my first love," said Balluff, whose food truck serves up dishes such as braised short rib sandwiches and paella-covered hot dogs. A pop-up, he said, is "kind of my outlet." or 407-420-5240

A former member
Post #: 5
That sounds exciting. There were pop-up bars in London while I was there. Somehow, I doubt those will make it over here though.
ronnie s.
user 8575638
Orlando, FL
Post #: 13
Thanks for the great info Allison. Sounds teriffic.
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