Many new restaurants are either revamping or trying to wow with foreign concepts or recycling old ideas, in Orlando. Cask and Larder dares to identify with simplistic regional cuisine. It is billed as a Southern Public House from acclaimed Ravenous Pig owners and chefs. In a town where it is hard pressed to find good ole Americana, it is refreshing to taste the good ole south.
The building exterior did not change. Apart from added outside benches and tables along Fairbanks Av. most remained the same. A limited menu of few items is served outside. However, the razzle dazzle happened all inside. You may expect the door closest to the parking lot is the main entrance but not so. You have to enter through the door on Fairbanks Av. Gracious entry with warm colors, dark toned wood, huge glass enclosures, muted floors, dated floor tile design and open beams immediately spreads southern hospitality. The light sea blue and white wall colors almost invokes southern plantation grandeur. Towards the end of the bar area are huge glass enclosed beer brewing equipment. A table in this enclosure suggest private dining or chef’s table. I can only image the experience of dining in there surrounded by all of that beer. Wonder if guest are allowed to sample from each batch? Hmmm.
The food is sourced from seasonally fresh ingredients, so it changes all the time. Interesting jams, pickles, meats, seafood, and food preparations entice the palate. Having an in house beer brewery makes for some very startling choices, citrus zest and fresh lemon? Not many places have a cocktail menu much less a whiskey list. There are great selections of Bourbon and Rye neat 3 oz pours ranging from teens to twenties. Dessert boast Southern staples such as apple pie and turtle cake. The wine list is very food forward from family owned smaller wineries and lesser know regions. With almost all of the wines by glass I am a little surprised that there is a “House Wine”. There is a late night menu that carries bar type food. Then there is that whole cookery menu. This is centered around a butchered cut with sides served family style. Reservations are required for Whole Cookery 72 hrs in advance with a minimum of 8 guests.
Beer Flight- 5 Brewer’s choice | 4oz. pours. From farthest to closest:
1. LONE PALM GOLDEN ALE crisp & refreshing blonde ale ABV: 4.9% IBU: 18 – very clean
2. OLDE SOUTHERN WIT Belgian-style wheat beer brewed with coriander, citrus zest & fresh lemon ABV: 4.8% IBU: 13 – exciting, refreshing, citrusy, clean, smooth
3. BERLINER ROGGEN Sour Berliner-style rye beer Served with (or without) Raspberry syrup
ABV: 3.2% IBU: 5 – I did not have a Raspberry syrup. Generously rounded
4. 5-POINTS HARVEST IPA Fresh-Centennial hopped ipa ABV: 7.2% IBU: 58 – Nutty mouthful
5. HOPPY PORTER Hoppy American porter With hints of chocolate ABV: 5.8% IBU: 35 – big, great throat coating, long finish, lingering chocolate.
Shucker’s Choice 6
Great Island… briny & mineral. Cape Cod Bay, MA
Nautilus… clean&savory. Bagaduce Falls, ME
Sunset beach… creamy& sweet. Lower Hood Canal, WA
Evening cove… crisp & melon. Baynes Sound, BC
Clean briny goodness.
Pork terrine pickled egg, cornichons, mustard. Amazing silkiness, an explosion of porkiness. A sinful treat.
Grilled Veal Rib sweet potato molasses, pears, asher blue cheese, walnuts. Firm texture with balanced sweetness.
Cornbread Dressing blackened rock shrimp & eggplant. One of the most stand out dishes. Amazing balance of flavors and textures. Cooked to proper slight crustiness. A marvel.
Fried Dough “wit” beer doughnuts, soft caramel pudding, citrus-caramel glaze. Dough was lightly chewy and sugary. Pudding was marvelously silky with sweetness.
Sorbet cranberry, fudgsicle, pear-bourbon – good consistency and flavors.
Service at this establishment is relaxed casual with great attention to detail. From the greeters, to server assistants, to servers, to managers, to just any staff, the level of acknowledgement and cordiality showcases high commitment to deliver genuine hospitality. The blurred line in sequence of service is impeccable. My table was a little too small for the amount of food ordered.
When a restaurant dares to push the envelope of doing something that the market has not seen it is always challenging. However, when a restaurant takes a calculated risk and it pays off there is success. I think Cask and Larder has hit that note. Thank you for challenging the industry and area to go against the norm.