Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top 3 Things We Love at F&D Kitchen and Bar

Finally. A restaurant that we believe has long-term staying power has set up shop in a location in Lake Mary/ Heathrow that was doomed for many other restaurant concepts, including most recently Chavo's. We had a wonderful experience at F&D Kitchen and Bar at 1541 International Parkway (near Applebee's and Moe's) and believe the restaurant will continue to be successful for these reasons:

1. The atmosphere. Whoever designed the interior knew the right mix of brick, dark woods, dark leather upholstery and modern lighting that would make guests feel like they are enjoying cocktails with friends in a modern gastropub. The bar seating is expansive, with both bar stools, tables and couches, which makes me feel like I could hang out here for awhile, especially during happy hour, which runs from 3:00-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Restaurant seating is also expansive, with room for big parties. The place was packed on a recent Saturday night.

2. The food. Executive Chef Pete Morales developed a Southern-inspired menu that utilizes local produce, meat and seafood whenever possible. The restaurant cures its own meats in-house, including bacon. The level of care that goes into food preparation here is undeniable. The decadent Pork Belly app is brined for several hours, until it is simply falling apart and melts in your mouth. It is paired with a smoked bean puree (mimicking pork-and-beans), spicy honey, salted almonds and pickled red onion and peppers. Eaten as a composed bite, the flavors pair very well together. We would highly recommend this dish, but just know that it is a small portion for $13. The Grouper Tacos - a special that night - were also tasty with a very flavorful grilled corn tortilla and fish that was cooked perfectly. The Double Standard
burger ($14) was also delicious, but we probably should have ordered it with a fried egg to make it more unique than other gastropub burgers. 

3. The drinks. Craft cocktails are delicious here. We preferred the Sazerac, with rye, bitters and a twist over the Lavender Blue, which contained vodka, blueberry, and lavender. We couldn't taste the lavender in this drink. However, F&D is known more for its local craft beers and wine selection, so we will try those on our next visit.

The menu had a great a great variety, and there were so many other entrees and desserts that we would like to try, including: Southern Fried Green Tomatoes, Spicy Rock Shrimp Mac 'n Cheese, Strawberry Corncake and Bag of Donuts. We only wish the restaurant was open for lunch and brunch. However, it has only been open for around two months, so we are sure hours will be expanding soon.

1 comment:

  1. I love any place that serves fried green tomatoes. Looking forward to trying it out, thanks for the suggestion!