I finally managed to make my way to K Restaurant in College Park. College Park downtown holds its own fort similar to Winter Park with its snazzy restaurants, bars, and boutiques. K fits right in if not as the Bella of the Ball.
I attended the Farm to Table Dinner hosted by Chef Kevin Fonzo in collaboration with Chef Scott Maurer (Executive Chef at Peabody Hotel). I couldn’t have chosen a finer introduction to the talented Chef Fonzo and his wonderful creations.
Sitting on a 1920s home, the ambiance per se is understated and relaxed. The entire focus is on creating a warm atmosphere show casing their passion for food, wine, and local organic ingredients.
The inspiration and theme which set the tone for the evening was fresh, locally grown produce. Fresh ingredients were brought the morning of, from farmers like Waterkist, Palmetto Creek, 3 Boys, Deep Creek, and the K Garden.
The $60 price tag included a cocktail hour with vodka cocktails made with fresh herbs and appetizers. This was followed with free-flowing wines ranging from rose to bold reds from Spain, accompanied with a lavish 7 course meal. What an incredible deal!!
Can I just mention how humbled I was? Having not one but two pioneer chefs cook personally for me; (in a group of 30) was truly a rare treat, especially for someone as fastidious as myself who believes in creating perfect dishes in my own kitchen.
The cocktail hour started with Pickled Tongue Toasts, Goat Empanadas, Oysters, and Octopus Salad. The Watermelon mignonnette added such freshness while in contrast the spicy peppers mignonette woke all your senses. Both were ideally paired with the oysters while maintaining the sanctity of the oyster. I whole heartedly concur with Chef Kevin aptly calling them “mouth orgasms”.
The Goat Empanadas were fresh out of the fryer, crispy, and filled with tender goat. Chef Kevin himself pickled the tongue. The Octopus Salad was sweetly tender and lightly seasoned.
The sit down dinner commenced with Corn Bisque. Corn Bisque with raw zucchini salad, adorned with a single poached oyster and hot paprika oil was divine; luxuriously creamy with the right hint of sweetness. Could I have asked for a second bowl?
Dandelion Greens salad, crispy pork belly, and watermelon topped with red onions was a nice palate cleanser. I loved the textural play between the crispy pork belly and watermelon.
Fresh gnocchi with oxtail ragu are two of my favorite Italian dishes. The gnocchi was light and the oxtail ragu was melting in your mouth goodness. The generously garnish of Parmigiano Reggiano took the dish to another level.
The Mahi was cooked perfectly sitting in a delicate yet flavorful broth.
Braised Beef Shank with Grits was superbly flavored, the grits creamy; I would have liked the shanks a tad softer though. Overall, the entire dish was brimming with bold flavors.
This was followed with a light blue cheese course and homemade preserves. We assumed the cheese course was the last course; then they brought out Watermelon Granita. What a refreshing finale to our wonderful meal.
Each course was a palate teaser leaving me craving for more and looking forward to the next one.
The flawless execution, delicious creations, beautiful presentation, warm hospitality, and graciousness of Chef Kevin and his staff has won me as a life time patron. I truly am in awe!!
Whether it is for lunch, dinner, or one of their weekly hosted events; I highly recommend making a trip to K Restaurant. I guarantee, you will be as impressed as I was.