People Watching at SMITH & WOLLENSKY GRILL

When ELV was but a mere sprout, his father would take his family (four siblings plus Marcella Ruth Schroader Curtas — D.O.B. 8.10.24 — The Official Mother Of ELV) to a restaurant in Orlando, Florida (as opposed to Orlando, New Hampshire) called Ronnie’s.

Ronnie’s represented a genre of restaurant that has gone the way of the Greek diner and the mom and pop soda fountain — the huge, Florida Jewish deli.

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CAFE BA BA REEBA – Tapas Tales

It was probably unfair to visit Cafe Ba Ba Reeba two days after returning from munching on tapas prepared by three of the finest chefs of Spain — Alfonso Beltran, Paxti Bergara and Jose Manuel Crespo. Crespo, for one, has published a book on the elevation of the traditional Spanish tortilla de patatas and its many variations, and Begara, for another, has won a “Best Tapas” award in Spain. All of them dazzled the crowds at the CIA’s World’s Of Flavor Conference with an array of small plates you usually won’t find outside of San Sebastian.

But with tastes sharpened and senses heightened, we kept an open mind and went to the Fashion Show Mall last week for a lunch of small plates — as opposed to a small plate lunch. And what we found was food as solid as it has always been at this Lettuce Entertain You outpost.

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