Dining_room_cask_and_larder_winter_parkWe stopped into Cask & Larder in Winter Park two weeks ago for date night and fell in love. Then I went back again this past Saturday for a friend’s birthday party, and fell even harder.

As the sister restaurant to Ravenous Pig, everyone has had high expectations for this eatery meets brewery. That’s a pretty high bar to reach.

Not only does C&L tow the line but it does so in its own special way. That is to say, it’s far from a carbon copy of Ravenous Pig but it’s just as good.

Heed this advice: don’t go to the website and peruse the menu to decide if you want to check it out. Just book your table and GO. Why do I share this warning? C&L’s menu is a double-edged sword.

Husband-wife chef team James and Julie Petrakis filled it with dishes that are far from typical, especially in Orlando. That could delight you or it could fill you with trepidation.

For example, you might look at dishes like Venison Carpaccio, Suckling Pig Boudin, and Crawfish Étouffée and think “huh?”

But these dishes are delicious! In fact, everything that floats out of C&L’s kitchen is crazy flavorful, over-the-top yummy, and ridiculously scrumptious.

Look, the Petrakis duo didn’t join the ranks of Orlando’s best chefs by accident—these two know how to cook. So trust that when they designed their menu, they knew what they were doing. By the way, the prices are VERY reasonable.

Oh, and besides the spectacular food (OMG the flounder and the trout were both so good!) C&L is just a really great place to hang out. Designers managed to chic up the country décor just enough to make you feel like you’re eating at a good place but without losing the down-home, southern charm altogether. It’s cozy but posh… like Cracker Barrel meets South Beach.

And the beer…oh my, the beer is good. On any given night, C&L features about nine house-brewed beers. Get the beer flight ($10), which will let you sample five of them.

If beer with your meal isn’t your thing, head over to the bar off the dining room where you can hang out for a few hours and let that luscious meal digest.

I like this place… I mean, I really like this place. And I have a very good feeling that you will too.

(In case you're wondering… no, I didn't receive a free meal or $$ to write this post.)


By the way, you should follow GDO on ODNG.

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