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Natural Elegance

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PHOTO Š EVERETT & SOULE

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Natural elements of stone, wood and iron inspired the design of this whole house renovation.

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CONTENTS

january

VOLUME 14

ISSUE 1

DEPARTMENTS 8 JAY BOYAR’S LIMELIGHT

An ode to Uncle Sully; an Orlando movie so bad it’s good; Penn & Teller at the Hard Rock; a Titanic exhibit of jewels; on tap at Bob Carr: three legendary comedians and a Chinese dance spectacular.

16 PAGES

Two new books celebrate what makes Florida cuisine unique. by Ellen Kanner

18 DAY’S DRIVE

Leave your cell phone behind and check out Boca Grande. by Bob Morris

24 DESIGN STYLE / FASHION

The retro look makes for stylish time travels. by Marianne Ilunga • hair and makeup by Elsie Knab • photographs by Rafael Tongol

28 DESIGN STYLE / HOME

30 DISNEY SPLITSVILLE DUO ROLLS A STRIKE A two-man team brings boutique bowling to Downtown Disney. by Michael McLeod • photographs by Rafael Tongol

36 OLD HOME, NEW HOME One of Winter Park’s oldest homes gets a marvelous makeover. by Randy Noles • photographs by Eric Cucciaioni

42 FLAVOR

32

The pig, the whole pig, and nothing but the pig — except for the delicious sides and desserts. by Rona Gindin • photographs by Rafael Tongol

50 EDUCATION A guide to some of Central Florida’s finest private and parochial schools, including a primer and a detailed listing with accreditations, class sizes, etc. by Harry Wessel

64 VIEW A bike ride takes you past some interesting sights. photograph by Rafael Tongol

ABOUT THE COVER: Disney’s newest attraction should be right up your alley. Photograph by Rafael Tongol. 2

ORLANDO LIFE

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PHOTO: (TOP LEFT, TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM RIGHT) RAFAEL TONGOL; (BOTTOM LEFT) ERIC CUCCIAIONI

FEATURES

There’s a yin and a yang to vintage and casual. by Marianne Ilunga • photographs by Rafael Tongol

JANUARY 2013

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FIRST

I

from the editor

The Simple Life

know of a writing coach who makes his students compose a sentence about any

subject that comes to mind. The only rule, he tells them, is to use as many multisyllabic words as possible. Then he says “stop” — and instructs them to continue writing using as many single syllable words as possible. Here’s what one student wrote as a result: “The splendiferous Italianate ballroom was extravagantly festooned with elegant baroque chandeliers. In his heart he knew it was all crap.” You see the point: There is power in simplicity. The first sentence is ponderous and oblique. The second is crisp, clear, direct. It’s as though the sun turned up and burned off an early morning fog. I bet if we all woke up one day and made it a point to use just short words, we’d all learn a thing or two. Did you like that last sentence? All 26 words are single-syllabled. I’m a big fan, which is why I like the change I hope you have already noticed on our cover: We are no longer Orlando Home & Leisure magazine. Now we are Orlando Life. I don’t know about you, but I feel better already. This isn’t the first name change in the 14-year history of this publication, which has been known, so far, as Orlando Home & Leisure, Orlando Leisure, and even OL. All of those names gave an incomplete impression about who we are and what we do. Yes, we cover home, and we cover leisure. But we also cover health and wellness, intriguing personalities, fashion trends and even business-oriented topics. We are a magazine about living well in Central Florida. And for us, “living well” means more than home, and more than leisure. It means making the most of everything our region has to offer. Our mission is to help you do just that. In addition to the new logo, you’ll see some graphic enhancements within the magazine to freshen our look. And you’ll notice a greater emphasis on personalities, health, fashion and the arts. Our home-related stories will become more colorful and visual, and our dining coverage will remain the best and most authoritative in town. The bottom line is Orlando Life will focus on the same topics Orlando Home & Leisure always covered, only better and perhaps with a bit more attitude. And after 14 years, our name will finally say, simply, what you’ll find written about here every month: life — yours, mine, ours — and what we love most about the place where we live.

Take Note What’s ONLINE

Check out our expanded listing of arts organizations and their schedules of events for the upcoming season.

What you CAN DO Check out the exhibit of contemporary glass sculpture, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement at the Orlando Museum of Art. Works by internationally renowned artists including Dale Chihuly and Harvey Littleton are featured. Opening Jan. 11.

ORLANDO LIFE

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What’s ON DECK In February, we’ll review exotic new products and services at the most luxurious Orlando spas and offer a summary of memorable weddingparty packages at top Orlando resorts.

CORRECTIONS The name of Francia Fusik, the designer of our holiday makeover story in the December issue, was mispelled. A photograph in the December 2012 issue, showing Christopher Wilkins conducting Beethoven’s 9th Symphony Symphony, was taken in 2009, not 2011. The photographer was David Whitfield.

Michael McLeod Editor in Chief mmcleod@orlando-life.com 4

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F JANUARY 2013

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Bo

Orlando Ho


PRESENTS

EN POINTE WORLD PREMEIRE

FEBUARY 15 & 16

FOR TICKETS CALL 407-426-1739 Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre | ORLANDOBALLET.ORG

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Michael MCLEOD Editor in Chief

HARRY WESSEL

Managing Editor

LAURA BLUHM

Art & Social Media Director Style and Home Editorial Director

RONA GINDIN Dining Editor

Jay Boyar, MarianNe Ilunga, ellen kanner, bob morris Contributors

rafael tongol

Senior Photographer

eric cucciaioni, Ken lopez Contributing Photographers

EMILY BLACKWOOD Editorial Intern

Editorial: press@orlando-life.com

Lorna Osborn

Senior Associate Publisher Director of Marketing & Public Relations

KATHY BYRD

Associate Publisher Advertising: LOSBORN@orlando-life.com

ORLANDO LIFE

2700 Westhall Lane, Suite 128 Maitland, FL 32751 Phone: 407-647-0225 Fax: 407-647-0145 Subscription questions: 954-653-3923 or visit our website orlando-life.com

D

FLORIDA HOME MEDIA, LLC

Daniel Denton President

Randy Noles

Group Publisher & Chief Operating Officer NEW-HOME TRENDS: SMALLER, SMARTER, MORE BELLS AND WHISTLES

LET’S MEET MONTHLY.

December 2012

Subscribe today and receive your copy of Orlando Life every month, by mail. It’s quick and easy. Just visit our website.

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ORLANDO LIFE

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PAMela FLANAGAN

Vice President and General Manager

Copyright 2013 by Florida Home Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. ORLANDO LIFE (USPS 000-140) (Vol. 14/Issue No. 1) is published monthly by Florida Home Media LLC, 2700 Westhall Lane, Ste 128, Maitland, FL 32751. Periodicals Postage Paid at Maitland, FL and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Orlando Life Magazine, PO Box 5586, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33310-5586

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JANUARY 2013

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LIMELIGHT

jay boyar

Of Good Old Uncle Sully, and the Magical World He Lived In

A

“As far as we knew, Sully Boyar was an attorney who had an interest in the arts, especially acting ... we never, ever, expected him to pop up on our TV screen.” 8

ORLANDO LIFE

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s I was considering what to

say here — at the start of this new column about the local arts-and-entertainment scene — I suddenly found myself thinking about the most amazing television broadcast I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t a talk show, a Super Bowl, a drama, a sitcom or an awards program, not even one with a wardrobe malfunction. And, no, it wasn’t the moon landing. I was still just a kid growing up in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y., when I saw this most amazing show. It was some sort of documentary about the emerging avant-garde theater scene in New York City that included a report about a small troupe that mounted its plays in a Baptist church. To the utter shock of my parents, my brothers and myself, one of the actors there was my Uncle Sully. As far as we knew, Sully Boyar was an attorney who had an interest in the arts, especially acting. But in those days, long before there were reality shows and a zillion channels, we never, ever expected him to pop up on our TV screen. We kids went absolutely mad, tearing around the house like maniacs as my parents quickly phoned Sully longdistance (a big deal in those days). The dream world of television, of Captain Kangaroo and The Twilight Zone, had suddenly been invaded by someone we actually knew — by my father’s fraternal twin, in fact. Before his death in 2001, Sully (who eventually gave up lawyering) went on to work in theater, movies and televiJANUARY 2013

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sion, appearing in such films as Dog Day Afternoon, Prizzi’s Honor, The Jazz Singer, Car Wash and The Godfather (a tiny part), and being granted a lifetime membership in The Actors Studio. His last major role was in a pivotal episode of The Sopranos, in which he played a psychiatrist who is consulted by Tony Soprano’s wife — and who tells her the alarming truth about herself and her family. As the longtime movie critic at the Orlando Sentinel, I would occasionally run into actors, directors and others who, noting my last name, would ask me if I knew Sully. It was always nice to hear what they had to say. But getting back to that early glimpse of my uncle on TV, I think that was the first time I felt a personal connection to the world of arts and entertainment. That world, which I’d previously idealized, seemed, in a flash, more approachable and human-scaled. It was a world that I might one day become a part of, if only as a sort of observer. I think it surprised, and even puzzled, Uncle Sully when I later expressed an interest in becoming a critic — clearly not his favorite species in the A&E world. Over the years we had many long, often combative, discussions about the arts, but he was always supportive and never condescended to me. And though he taught me a lot, no lesson was as important as that first lesson, when he suddenly appeared on my family’s TV set. As I’ve written about arts and entertainment, I’ve always kept that lesson in mind. Artists are possibly a bit different from other people, often more sensitive and expressive in some ways, sometimes more glamorous. But, of course, they’re still people, and their work, at its best, is a personal expression, intended to reach others on an intimate level. My curiosity about the hearts of those artists (and, ultimately, about my own) is part of why I keep going to movies, plays, art shows, concerts, whatever. And often enough, I’m rewarded for my trouble. So I’m making it my mission in Limelight to share those rewards — and the disappointments, too — with you. And while I can’t be totally sure, I like to think my uncle would have approved. n Jay Boyar, arts editor of Orlando Life, has written about film and travel for the Orlando Sentinel and numerous other newspapers. He’s the author of Films to Go: 100 Memorable Movies for Travelers & Others and a contributor to ReelRomance: The Lovers’ Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies. Boyar teaches classes in film analysis and writing about film at the University of Central Florida and Rollins College. WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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Miami Connection: So Bad It’s Good? Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the movies,

Miami Connection returns! About 25 years ago, this low-budget turkey opened in Orlando, where most of it — despite the title — was filmed. The production features a motorcycle gang, big bags of cocaine, all manner of garish violence and a rock band called Dragon Sound whose members are tae kwon do black belts. That last part isn’t so surprising when you consider that one member of Dragon Sound is played by Y.K. Kim, the local martial-arts master who masterminded and stars in Miami Connection. When the film opened, I was the movie critic of the Orlando Sentinel, and I ripped it to shreds. A bit later, I dubbed it the year’s worst movie and “a possible classic of unintentional camp.” Now I can change the word “possible” to “acknowledged.” A quarter century after its initial dismal release, the film is being revived, playing on screens around the country including at Enzian Theater, where it had several midnight showings last month. Miami Connection has also been rediscovered (or perhaps just discovered) by such media outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post and The Village Voice, which called it, at least half-admiringly, a “junkster piece of uncut ’80s electro-pop chop-socky ridiculousness.” If you’ve somehow missed out on this deathless cinematic achievement, Enzian is considering a return engagement. In the meantime, there are new DVD and Blu-ray releases. I can’t decide: Is this a happy ending or not? ORLANDO LIFE

9

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plan on it Life in the Fast Lane: The Art of David Delong

Through April 14 Albin Polasek Museum & Sculptural Gardens

Jan. 18-20 Garden Theatre in Winter Garden

The chrome-laden, speedblurred culture of motorcycle racing is captured in oil paintings, etchings and pen-and-ink drawings.

An unusual blend of performance, master class and participatory mixer gives audience members a chance to watch Orlando Ballet’s dancers in action and ask questions of artistic director Robert Hill.

Mary Poppins

Othello

polasek.org

Jan. 8-13 Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre

Violinist Sarah Chang will perform this month with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ballet Uncorked

The original Super Nanny jets around with a magical umbrella and a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious vocabulary. Based on a character in a series of children’s books that became a Disney film, then a 1966 Broadway musical.

gardentheatre.org/plays Orlando Shakespeare Theatre Jan. 23-March 16

The Moor of Venice falls prey to a manipulative advisor and his own insecurities, but the real star of Shakespeare’s enduring psychodrama is that “greeneyed monster”: jealousy.

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or more than 20

Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Mad Cow Theatre Jan. 25-Feb. 17

Neil Simon’s’ semi-autobiographical comedy is set behind the scenes at a variety show during the Golden Age of television.

madcowtheatre.com

Chang & Tchaikovsky

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Jan. 26-27

Tchaikovsky’s brooding Symphony No. 5, Rossini’s Semiramide Overture and Barber’s Violin Concerto will be performed at the Bob Carr, featuring guest conductor Alasdair Neale with the baton and violinist Sarah Chang for the concerto.

orlandophil.org  

PHOTO: Cliff Watts

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LIMELIGHT

illusion

The real trick with Penn & Teller is figuring out what to call them.

Magicians? Well, yes, so long as your taste in magic runs to the offbeat and macabre — oozing bodily fluids here, a hoard of cockroaches there. But you might also describe them as social commentators. Both the taciturn Teller and the talkative Penn, on stage and off, are libertarians, supportive of the Brights movement, a loosely knit intellectual alliance that favors agnosticism and humanism. All you need know about the extent of the skeptical outlook on life they share is the title of their Showtime network television show about psychics, the paranormal and conspiracy theories: Bullshit!

Penn & Teller’s appearance at Hard Rock Live Orlando on Jan. 31 will feature magic,  jokes, illusions and audience participation. And it won’t be their first Orlando visit; they were in and out of town repeatedly this past fall to design a Halloween haunted house, themed after Las Vegas, for Universal Studios. It was a typically eclectic venture for the pair. They’ve performed on- and off-Broadway, authored several books about magic, and made numerous appearances on various game shows, talk shows, Simpsons episodes and television specials. Visit hardrocklive.com for more information. – Michael McLeod

photo: courtesy hard rock live

Penn, Teller Magically Appear at Hard Rock

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

MEMBERSHIP AWARDS CELEBRATION Presented by

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Full Sail Live Please join us in celebrating our outstanding members and volunteers. To make reservations, visit www.winterpark.org or call (407) 644-8281.

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ORLANDO LIFE

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JANUARY 2013

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LIMELIGHT

exhibit

Eerie Reminders of a Titanic Tragedy

PHOTO: COURTESY TITANIC THE EXPERIENCE

Just a little more than 100 years ago, Thomas William Solomon

Brown stood on the deck of the HMS Titanic with a cigar clenched between his teeth, waving goodbye to his wife and daughter. Had you been standing on the deck with him that night, watching by his side as a lifeboat filled with women and children pulled away, the mustachioed South African hotelier probably could have told you the date: April 15, 1912. But he would have been hard-pressed to tell you the exact time. He didn’t have his pocket watch. He had given it to the purser, who had packed it into a leather carrying case, along with various other valuables belonging to some of the ship’s 2,000-plus passengers, for safekeeping. The likely plan — which was abandoned in the chaos as the Titanic began to sink — was to put the valuables into a lifeboat. Brown went down with the ship. So did his pocket watch. Salvaged from the ocean floor in 1987, it will be on display, along with 14 other

pieces of jewelry discovered among the luxury liner’s sunken ruins, in an exhibit called Jewels of Titanic at Titanic the Experience, an I-Drive attraction that features events, tableaus and artifacts connected to the legendary maritime disaster. Other personal possessions on display from Jan. 11 to March 12 include a gold nugget necklace that likely belonged to Margaret Brown, a socialite and philanthropist who survived the disaster and was later immortalized in the Broadway musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Brown There’s irony in another piece of jewelry in the exhibit: a charm necklace decorated with a star. Its owner has never been identified and may or may not have survived the catastrophe, which may or may not have had anything to do with the inscription beneath the charm: “May This Be Your Lucky Star.” Visit titanictheexperience.com for information. – Michael McLeod

Firing Room 4 WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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ORLANDO LIFE

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LIMELIGHT

comedy

Three of comedy’s all-time biggest names

— Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams and David Steinberg — bring their standup acts to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre this month. Well, not all at once. Seinfeld, whose eponymous TV sitcom dominated the airwaves in the 1990s, performs two evening shows at Bob Carr on Jan. 19. Eleven days later, on Jan. 30, Williams shares the stage with his “guest,” Steinberg, although the two aging stand-up comics refer to their act as “sit-down.” Steinberg, who first appeared on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1970, had more appearances on TV’s favorite late-night gabfest than anybody

LIMELIGHT

not named Bob Hope. Williams first blasted on the scene in 1978 in the TV sci-fi sitcom Mork & Mindy, and then morphed into a major movie star. (A multiple Academy Award nominee, his single win was for a dramatic role in Good Will Hunting). Seinfeld’s movie career and acting talent? Not so much. All he can claim is co-creating and starring in one of the longest-running, most popular shows in TV history. Although ostensibly “about nothing,” Seinfeld must mean something to the legion of TV fans who continue to watch it in reruns. The comedian, who earns at least $80 million per year, according to

Forbes magazine, just does what he enjoys doing these days. He tours, collects Porsches and has launched a new Internet comedy series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The show consists of Seinfeld picking up a guest comedian in a loaned car, driving to a coffee shop and having lunch. The pilot featured longtime friend Larry David and a 1952 Volkswagen Visit orlandovenues.net for more information. – Harry Wessel

photo: courtesy orlando venues

Three Iconic Funnymen Bring Laughs to O’Town

dance

Shen Yun, Chinese for “the beauty of divine beings dancing,”

is also the name of a six-year-old New York City performingarts company that now boasts three separate touring troupes, each with roughly 100 performers. Last seen in Orlando in 2011, Shen Yun returns to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre for a three-night stand beginning Jan. 15. It’s part of a six-month, worldwide tour that began last month in Buenos Aires and ends this May in Chicago. While its stated mission is to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture “all but completely demolished” by China’s Communist rulers, Shen Yun’s allure to Western audiences is anything but political. It’s a twohour spectacle that serves up dozens of graceful, acrobatic, colorfully costumed dancers moving in uncanny unison to a full orchestra. A series of dances depict aspects of 14

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Chinese history, with explanations provided in both English and Chinese by bilingual emcees. Translations of song lyrics appear on a large screen. “We are promoting traditional Chinese culture,” says Wade Yang, a professor of food science at the University of Florida who serves as a volunteer spokesman for Shen Yun. Yang, like many of the company’s performers and volunteers, is a member of Falun Gong, a group that has been declared “heretical” by the Chinese government. But Yang believes Shen Yun transcends both beliefs and borderlines. “Its unique feature is group dance,” he says. “It’s difficult to get a huge group to do anything in unison. It’s amazing; you have a huge group, and it’s like one person.” Visit shenyunperformingarts.org for more information. – Harry Wessel

photo: courtesy shen yun

Chinese Dance Spectacular Transcends Ideology

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PAGES

foodie fare

A Tasteful Tour

New Cookbooks SERVE Florida on a Platter ur next growing season

is at least a month away, but two new books are already serving up a delicious Florida harvest. In Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs and Artisans, Pam Brandon and Katie Farmand, the mother-daughter team behind Edible Orlando magazine, and Heather McPherson, food editor of the Orlando Sentinel, roadtrip the state in pursuit of Florida flavors. In My Key West Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, father-son chefs Norman and Justin Van Aken take the regional concept literally to the end of the road. With both books being family projects, I suppose it’s only fitting that their authors enjoyed a personal growing season: As the books were being written, Katie and her husband, Jason, welcomed an infant daughter into the world. So did Justin and his wife, Lourdes. Brandon, Farmand and McPherson took a divide-and-conquer approach to their 50,000-square-mile home state. “We each took a region to get to know really well,” says Farmand, who was responsible for North Florida. The co-authors did extensive research, but as with any road trip, much of the book’s pleasure comes from discoveries made along the way. “I never think of Florida being a peanut producer, but old farms have been doing it for a long time,” says Farmand. “Boiled peanuts — that was a home run,” says Brandon. “I found them fresh at the market, and they’re my new favorite party food.” Along with the simple, spicy recipe for Cajun-Style Boiled Peanuts, Field to Feast gives you a back story about peanutproducing Holland Farms, a farm-fresh photograph by Gary Bogdon and a locator map. Each farmer, chef and artisan 16

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— 25 per region — gets the same treatment. Central Floridians will find familiar names like James and Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, Dale Volkert of Lake Meadow Naturals and Hank Scott of Long & Scott Farms. They’ll also meet new friends like Jeb Smith, whose family has worked the same land in Hastings, the self-proclaimed Potato Capital of Florida, for six generations. The Smith Family Farm raises spuds, of course, as well as every other type of produce imaginable. To eat your way through Florida and Field to Feast, Farmand suggests dedicating a little bit of your weekly food bill to “something locally grown — kohlrabi, callaloo — new things you’ve never tried before.” A lot of miles, a lot of crops and a lot of heart went into the book. The experience, says Brandon, “made us appreciate the labor and the love and the intelligence you have to have to be a farmer.” nnn You may know Norman Van Aken, chef-owner of Norman’s at Orlando’s Ritz-Carlton, Grand Lakes, as a James Beard Award-winner who helped put Florida on the culinary map. But in 1971 he was a 19-year-old kid from Illinois who landed in Key West after a 26-hour road trip, blasting Eric Clapton all the way. This was before Jimmy Buffett, before all the T-shirt shops. “There was no traffic, no noise,” recalls Van Aken. The island’s Caribbean, Cuban and Southern influences, “their histories and their food cultures were still there and completely visible.” And edible. “The taste of caramelized plantains — so good!” Van Aken earned his culinary stripes cooking at “honest mom-and-pop places” as well as upscale Louie’s Backyard.

Covers: (left) umiverstity press of florida; (right) kyle books

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by Ellen Kanner

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It was there in 1987, he says, that he became obsessed with “how to put Florida on the plate.” Combining the disparate cultures Key West had to offer and the culinary influences he had embraced — “Escoffier, Troisgros, Paul Prudhomme, Alice Waters, James Beard and Maida Heater” — that plate soon held fresh grilled snapper prepared with coconut, Key lime and habanero peppers. All those influences and flavors dance off the pages of My Key West Kitchen, along with recollections of all-night parties, local dives and inspiring eats. Van Aken’s recipes and Penny de los Santos’ photos let you taste the tropics. 2013this,” Mag Ad - OHL PRINT.pdf “You canHOG cook Van Aken says

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“It’s everyday cooking, without artifice.” “It’s real flavor, tied to place,” adds son Justin. Though the island is only 4 miles long, it retains distinct areas. It was the younger Van Aken’s idea to organize the book by neighborhood. The family moved from Key West when Justin was 9. “When I lost it, I was too young too understand it,” he says. “I felt displaced for a long time.” He has made Key West home again, for himself and his young family. For both father and son, Key West offers great sunsets and great food, but it is also, says Norman, “where we can be our most authentic selves.” ■

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DAY’S DRIVE

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boca grande

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Grande Getaway SOUTHWEST FLORIDA’S FUNKY GASPARILLA ISLAND DOGGEDLY CLINGS TO ITS OLD FLORIDA AMBIANCE. By Bob Morris

“Fish heading our way.” It’s last light of a June day when my angling buddy Brandon McGlamery, atop the poling platform of his skiff, spots the pod of tarpon about 50 yards off our bow. I glimpse a patch of nervous water, what might or might not be fins. We had been on the verge of calling it quits. “You sure you see fish?”

PHOTOS: (TOP) THE GASPARILLA INN & CLUB; (BOTTOM) STEVE MEYLAN

Brandon grabs his fly rod, plays out line. Yeah, he’s sure. The wind softens through Gasparilla Pass. God’s own sunset airbrushes the Gulf. Not even nips from no-see-ums can detract from the moment. And the cooler still holds a couple of beers. The tarpon draw nearer. I see the dorsal of one, the tail of another, then a full-body roll – a hundredplus pounds of silver king. “Holy shit,” says Brandon. “Must be twenty of them.” But well out of casting range. To make a move might spook them. We wait.

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E

very Floridian needs a go-to place, a sanctuary tried and true, a place to

lick our wounds, nourish our souls, howl at our personal moons and convince ourselves that some small parts of this state have not yet gone completely to hell. For well on 32 years now, ever since my wife was just days away from giving birth to our first son, my place, our place, has been Boca Grande. Our first visit we stayed at the Gasparilla Inn & Club, which opened in 1913 and is fully deserving of the term “venerable.” After unpacking and getting squared away, I realized that the bellman hadn’t given us a room key, so I headed back to the front desk to get one. “Sorry, sir, but we do not issue room keys,” the desk clerk told me. “Here at the Inn, we don’t lock our doors.” Later that afternoon, while my wife was napping, I grabbed a book and headed for the bar, with its paddle fans dangling from a pecky-cypress ceiling, rattan furniture with overstuffed cushions and a palpable sense that a calmer, more genteel era still prevailed. At the adjacent Pelican Club, with a stuffed brown pelican above the door, Boca Grande’s ultimate sporting trophies were framed and mounted on the walls — tarpon scales, plucked from prized catches over the decades. Hundreds of scales, many double the size of a half-dollar. While the ink had long since faded on some, others bore still readable handwritten inscriptions like: “107 lbs., caught by Andrew Givens, May 17, 1922.” For an hour or so it was just me and the bartender and no one else. I sipped a gin ’n tonic. The two of us chatted. I ordered another gin ’n tonic. We chatted some more until, in mid-conversation, the bartender made a minor production of looking at his watch and said: “Mr. Morris, I appreciate your company and your conversation, but I must ask you to leave.” Say what? I had been kicked out of bars before, but barely into a second cocktail? And while conducting myself in civil fashion? I’d brought a book with me for gosh sake, a book. “It’s 5 o’clock,” the bartender explained. “And after 5, gentlemen must wear jackets.” I went to the room, slipped into a sport coat, and returned to the bar to finish my drink. Just me and that by-the-rules bartender. Yes, I was chastened, but mostly I was smitten … by the notion that Boca Grande was truly a place apart. For the record, the Gasparilla Inn & Club now issues room keys, and the dress code has been relaxed to the point that jackets after 5 are no longer specifically required. Yet, Boca Grande doggedly retains its separate nature. To get there you must drive over a narrow causeway that includes the state’s only swing bridge, a 2½-mile stretch that until recent years was the only privately ORLANDO LIFE

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DAY’S DRIVE

boca grande

owned causeway in Florida. The toll is $6, which dissuades most casual day-trippers, as does the fact that, aside from the Inn — where standard rooms go for $385 during the season­ nightly accommodations are not abundant. No fancy hotels, no chain motels, and no more than a few dozen rooms at places that rent overnight. If you want to stay on Boca Grande, you either own a place — small, non-spectacular homes with no water views start just shy of $1 million, even in these deflated times — or you rent a house or condo, most typically for a week. To stay any less time defeats the notion of coming to Boca Grande in the first place. The island is about 7 miles long, with a bike/pedestrian/ golf cart path running the better length of it, following the old railroad bed traveled by trains that once loaded Peace River Valley phosphate into freighters at docks on Boca 20

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Grande Pass. Downtown Boca Grande, all four-square blocks of it, has most everything you could ask for — post office, bank, a couple of cafés and boutiques in the restored train depot, two outfitter shops, a small department store (Fugate’s) and an excellent restaurant, The Temptation, which doubles as the island’s only liquor store. The Temp’s wall murals date to the 1930s, and you’ve missed out on one of Florida’s truly memorable meals if you don’t order the bronzed grouper on sautéed Brussels sprouts topped with beurre blanc. Here, Florida’s traditional seasons still matter and remain strictly delineated. There’s “social season,” which runs from late December until April, when the island fills with generational clans that have migrated here since the Inn opened, moneyed folks from the Northeast mostly, descendants of

PHOTOs: (top & bottom LEFT) Steve Meylan; (top & bottom RIGHT) The Gasparilla Inn & Club

Boca Grande exemplifies Old Florida in all its laid-back quirkiness. Year-round residents enjoy picture-postcard views from their backyards (top left), while visitors unwind at the Gasparilla Inn & Club (top right), which has been welcoming guests since 1913 and boasts a Pete Dye-designed golf course (bottom right). Downtown Boca Grande (bottom left) encompasses all of four blocks but offers the essentials, such as an outfitter shop and a mom-and-pop department store.

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SINGLES? DuPonts and Rockefellers, Cabots and Biddles, many of whom own stately beachfront compounds. Yet, Boca Grande is not a Gulf Coast version of Palm Beach, and it diligently tries not to be. In Boca Grande you can have old money or money so new that it needs to sit on the windowsill a few days to ripen in the sun. You can fit right in as long as you don’t flaunt it. Or as long as you don’t blow your cover, as many do, by mispronouncing Boca Grande. “There’s this tendency by some folks to fancify it. They insist on calling it Boca GRON-day,” says writer David Futch, who comes from an old island family and who, like many longtimers, has often worked part of each year as a tarpon-fishing guide. “We don’t go for that la-di-da stuff. It’s plain ol‘ Boca Grand, only we really try to do our best to de-emphasize the grand.”
 Social season segues into tarpon season, which stretches into late July, at the whim of the tarpon, whereupon Boca Grande slips into the somnolence of the off-season. It’s a time when you can often walk the full length of the beach, from pass to pass, not encountering another person. Boca Grande remains one of the few, if only, places that still observes another Florida tradition: the totally off-season. After Labor Day, many of the island’s businesses, including the Temp, hang out signs that say: “Closed until October.” Most folks on the island get around in golf carts, and the only thing approximating rush hour is the scramble to get to Hudson’s, the island’s only grocery store, before it closes at 5:30 p.m. There’s no longer a gas station in Boca Grande, not since Clyde Nabers closed his downtown Chevron station back in the 1990s. One of my favorite Boca Grande stories involves the time a tour bus showed up on the island and broke down not far from Nabers’. The WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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PHOTO: Bob turner

driver walked into the gas station and asked if Clyde could give him a jump start. “I said I was real sorry, but we didn’t need the business,” Clyde told me. “I’m still not sure how he got that bus started and off the island. But I am sure we don’t need tour buses on Boca Grande.” That calls to mind the story of the island’s first newspaper, the Boca Grande Journal, which folded in 1947. The paper went out of business because local merchants stopped advertising. But they did this for an altogether uncommon reason: They felt their ads were bringing in too much business. According to island historian Betty Barndollar, “If they had wanted to work that hard, they wouldn’t have come here in the first place.” Catching a tarpon on a fly rod, though, is hard work of an altogether agreeable variety.

PHOTO: Steve Meylan

Whidden’s Marina has been a fixture on Boca Grande’s waterfront since 1926.

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The fish move closer and closer as it gets darker and darker. Despite the dim light, we can clearly make them out, churning in a daisy chain near the surface. Twenty of them easy, maybe more. “Now or never,” says Brandon. We raise our rods, prepare to cast. I aim for one side of the pod, Brandon the other. Not my bestever cast, but the fly falls near where I want it. I see a swirl, tensing as a tarpon rises and … But, ah, that’s another story. ■ Bob Morris is a Winter Park-based novelist and a creative-writing teacher at Rollins College.

JUST THE FACTS

Boca Grande is located on Gasparilla Island, on Florida’s Southwest Coast, midway between Sarasota and Fort Myers. Seven miles of pristine, white sand beaches stretch the entire Gulf side of the island, while protected waters weave in and around the natural mangrove shorelines along the bay side. The nucleus of Gasparilla Island is the unincorporated village of Boca Grande, about four blocks square, located midpoint on the island. The island is part of both Charlotte and Lee counties. From Orlando, take I-4 west to I-75 south, and Boca Grande is accessible from the following exits: Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard to S.R. 776 to C.R. 775); Exit 191 (River Road to C.R. 775, also called Pine Street); Exit 179 (Toledo Blade to S.R. 776 to C.R. 771); or Exit 170 (Kings Highway to Veterans Boulevard to S.R. 776 to C.R. 771). Visit bocagrandechamber.com for more information. WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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DESIGN STYLE

fashion

Refreshing and Retro by Marianne Ilunga hair and makeup by Elsie Knab photographs by Rafael Tongol

Megan Mears of AbFab Management travels through time, fashion-wise, with a 1950s bright yellow coat, $64; a black and white polka dot blouse, $27; and 1960s multicolored graphic shorts. Accents include 1980s white drop gold earrings, $14; a 1950s cameo pin, $22; and 1980s brown leather loafers, $22. All from Retromended in Ivanhoe Village.

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A 1950s soft cashmere sweater with rose appliquĂŠ, $38; plus a 1950s soft silk pencil skirt with rose appliquĂŠ, $58; equals a pretty-in-pink ensemble, especially when accented by a 1960s Lucite cream color purse, $245; a 1980s multi-strand pearl bracelet, $145; and 1980s pearl drop earrings, $30. All are from Oldies But Goodies in Ivanhoe Village. The 1990s nude ankle strap heels, $28, are from Lollipop & Pistols mobile vintage boutique, lollipopsandpistols.com. WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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DESIGN STYLE

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fashion

A 1950s green and orange plaid shirtdress, $32; a pair of 1980s black and white brogues, $35; and a 1940s vintage inspired fedora straw hat, $10; make a cute and quirky combo. All are from Lollipop & Pistols mobile vintage boutique, lollipopsandpistols.com.

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A 1950s floral halter maxi dress, $58; and a 1960s cream color felt hat, $38; seem made for each other, especially when accented with 1940s Bakelite floral earrings, $48; and 1980s cream colored leather flat booties, $10. All are from Oldies But Goodies in Ivanhoe Village.

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ORLANDO LIFE

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DESIGN STYLE

home

From Classic to Casual by Marianne Ilunga

1880s antique leopard-print French chair, sold in pairs for $2,995; black faux fur wrap, $89; mahogany faux fur throw, $299; vintage jeweled metal crown, $89. Italian girandole lamp with wooden base, crystal obelisk on top and a swag of hand-strung crystals, $3,449. Styled by Rue Royale owner Ledge Fournet. All available at Rue Royale, in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips.

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PHOTOS: RAFAEL TONGOL

1940s vintage Italian table with gilt wood and mirror, $429; antique mantle candelabras with marble bases and urn motif, $395 for the pair; vintage-inspired metal crown, $69; vintage inspired abalone shell, $115; antique books, $32 each. All available at Rue Royale, in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips.

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PHOTOS: COURTESY LAUREN, RALPH LAUREN HOME

Clockwise from above: Victorian inspired white Sassafras sunroom wicker chair with floral print seat cushion and monogrammed navy decorative pillow, $700; Victorian inspired white Sassafras wicker end table, $400; Colonial weathered white Willowwood dining table, $1,400; Victorian inspired white Willowwood wicker dining chair with navy stripe seat cushion, $450; Colonial weathered white Willowwood schoolhouse dining chairs, $230 each; white interior Willowwood display cabinet with three glass-paned doors and a scrubbed pine finish, $1,700; Victorian inspired white Sugarberry wicker trunk, $550. All by Lauren, Ralph Lauren Home and available at Havertys, Winter Garden.

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Where a

N L BO W I G AL L EY Takes the High Road

THIS ONCE-HUMBLE, BLUE-COLLAR SPORT IS PINNING ITS HOPES ON ATTRACTING A YOUNGER, HIPPER CROWD. by Michael McLeod • photographs by Rafael Tongol

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B

outique bowling? Excuse

me? Can someone please tell me what those two words are doing in the same sentence? Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I was under the impression bowling was mainly about loud noises, watery beer and overweight men with hairy forearms, while I’m fairly certain that “boutique” is French for “Excuse me, sir, but you can’t walk in here wearing that muscle shirt.” Apparently I was wrong. At least I was wrong about the bowling. My first clue should have been the large banner stretched across the glassy, faintly nostalgic, two-story façade of Splitsville Luxury Lanes, the latest addition to the lineup of adult and family attractions at Downtown Disney. “This Isn’t Your Daddy’s Bowling Alley,” it reads. No argument there. I’m guessing my father’s bowling alley did not feature a wine list; two sushi bars; a menu featuring fried calamari, steamed edamame, crab Rangoon and Mahi Mahi with Voodoo Shrimp; and swank libations such as Lemon Drop Martinis and Dragonberry Mojitos to be savored from a second-story outdoor lounge offering a sweeping view of the Downtown Disney scene. Nor did the alleys of my father’s day boast “lane concierges” tasked with delivering rental shoes and balls in gumball colors to customers on the lanes.   The bowling, assuming anybody who wanders into Splitsville ever gets around to it, is $15 to $20 per person for an hour and a half of banging about. The complex has 30 lanes, 10 downstairs and 20 up. Just take the escalator. The lanes aren’t laid out in oldschool, wall-to-wall, assembly-line fashion. Instead, they’re broken up into clusters of either four or six, in a

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design strategy meant to tamp down the racket and offer a clubbier, more intimate experience. Customers can be served at tables stationed on the lanes themselves or dine at either an indoor café or one of two outdoor lounges. The two-story, 50,000-square-foot entertainment center, which opened last month just across from the AMC Multiplex in the space once occupied by the demolished Virgin Records store, is such a shrewdly orchestrated exercise in gentrified, retrofitted Americana that you’d assume that either the Disney Imagineers or a name-brand entrepreneur spent years coming up with it. But it’s actually the brainchild of two longtime, hit-and-miss, relatively obscure restaurateurs,   Guy Revelle and Mark Gibson — the latter of whom is, by the way, such a lousy bowler that his 16year-old son routinely dominates him. Revelle and Gibson met 25 years ago as undergrad business and marketing majors at Wake Forest University. They decided to become a team because, as Revelle puts it, “we looked at each other and realized we were exact opposites. I’m a country boy. He’s from New Jersey. He’s good with the books. I do the marketing.” Their ventures over the years included three Church Street Station establishments: Sloppy Joe’s, Fat Tuesday’s and Ybor’s Martini Bar. They branched out with an array of taverns and restaurants in Tampa’s Channelside entertainment district, and it was there, 10 years ago, in one of those scrawl-on-your-cocktail-napkin brainstorming sessions, they landed on bowling as an activity that they could incorporate into a restaurant to draw more customers. They opened their first Splitsville in Channelside and went on to build others in Texas, Virginia and Miami. Meanwhile, competitive ventures that JANUARY 2013

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The nostalgic Splitsville dÊcor includes a mural of Central Florida scenes in the style of an old-fashioned postcard. Elsewhere, stylized, bowling-inspired motifs are cleverly incorporated into railings and tiles. A balcony lounge provides a bird’s-eye view of the Downtown Disney scene, including Cirque du Soleil.

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The wide-ranging Splitsville menu includes everything from seven different kinds of pizza to seafood dishes such as seared Ahi tuna, while cocktails include the Lenon Drop — Ketel One Citroen vodka and lemonade, sealed with a sugar rim — and a “Snickertini” made with Smirnoff vodka, Frangelico and Kahlua and cream.

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were cropping up elsewhere were busy pumping up the visibility of boutique bowling by catering to celebrities. After all, there’s nothing that generates publicity like getting Kim Kardashian to turn up in a metallic, skin-tight dress, wobbling in sky-high Louboutins to roll out the first ball at a place called High Rollers Luxury Lanes at a Connecticut resort. Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge, a nationwide chain whose first location was in glamorous Hollywood and featured set pieces from the cult movie The Great Lebowski in its décor, makes it a point to publish a glitzy list of paparazzi-prey visitors that includes Christina Aguilera, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson and LeBron James. The Disney Splitsville marketing strategy isn’t quite so celeb-city, though a nightclub scene is beginning to materialize upstairs, which is adultsonly after 10:30 p.m. and features an occasional DJ or two on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And while there have been no Alister sightings so far at the Disney venue, there was at least one extremely interested visitor from a humbler and somewhat beleaguered realm. Brent Perrier is president of the bowling products division at Brunswick Corporation, the nation’s leading manufacturer of bowling products and largest operator of bowling alleys. He stopped by for a visit last month with a bevy of Japanese businessmen in tow, hoping to interest them in the boutique concept. “Bowling is very big in Japan, but they don’t have anything like this,” said Perrier, who’s hoping Splitsville will be “a game changer” for bowling by attracting younger, hipper participants. One thing you won’t find at Splitsville: bowling leagues. And that’s not just because it’s a tourist destination. Competition made sense in the blueJANUARY 2013

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collar, 9-to-5 world of another era, when factory workers on the same shift clocked out and headed for the nearest bowling alley. But life isn’t measured out as neatly as it once was for Americans, either at home or at work, and the leagues that counted on a bygone stability have been giving way to recreational bowling for decades. Traditional bowling lanes simply aren’t being built anymore. New ones are being developed using the boutique model or as sprawling “entertainment centers” that feature a broad array of other recreational activities, such as laser tag. But there are still holdouts, such as the venerable Colonial Lanes on Bumby Avenue. A few days after my encounter with the future of bowling at Splitsville, I stopped in there for one last look at its past. I talked to assistant manager Mike Demole, whose 20-year bowling-alley career began when, as a teenager, he used a little too much English on a pinball machine at a Titusville bowling alley and broke the glass. “The manager made me work for him to pay it off, and I just stayed,” he said. It was a Friday night, and a mixed league of couples was just getting started. I watched for a while. It brought back memories. A long time ago, when I was living in a tiny steel-mill town in southwest Ohio, I used to bowl with my co-workers in a weeknight league, basically because there wasn’t anything else to do. I ordered the fried chicken livers. I guzzled the watery beer. I wore a natty little short-sleeved polyester shirt with “Mike” embroidered above the breast pocket and my company’s name looped across the back. I was thinking about those days as I noticed a guy wearing plaid Bermuda shorts and black socks. He looked ridiculous. Then again, he did pick up his spare. n WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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Partners Mark Gibson and Guy Revelle sketched out the concept for a boutique bowling center on a cocktail napkin 10 years ago. The bank of vintage Brunswick lockers behind them, repainted in gumball colors, is typical of the look of updated nostalgia throughout Splitsville.

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The Bonnie Burn house today looks nothing like it did when it was built in 1883. The house was partially demolished and moved in 1941, and later underwent numerous remodelings in piecemeal fashion. Recently, Charles Clayton Construction brought all the disparate elements together.

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Beautiful

Bonnie Burn

The Old House Gets A Major Facelift, But Its vintage Charm Remains Intact. By Randy Noles • photographs by Eric Cucciaioni

T

most as many twists and turns as the 130-year-old structure has nooks and crannies. Located on the north shore of Lake Sue in the upscale Sevilla neighborhood, the house is not unlike many flesh-and-blood Central Floridians: It came from somewhere else and has undergone extensive cosmetic surgery. “We loved the character and craftsmanship,” says Kristi Peterson, who now owns Bonnie Burn with her husband, Bill DeCampli. He’s a pediatric heart surgeon and she’s a pediatric anesthesiologist. The couple moved to the area in 2004 from Morristown, N.J., a charming small city that traces its roots to the Revolutionary War. “We’ve always liked older properties,” adds Peterson. “And, I have to say, this one pretty much consumed me for two or three years.” Peterson and DeCampli selected Charles Clayton Construction to remodel Bonnie Burn, which had been significantly altered in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s in ways that caused its history-loving owners to cringe. Clayton’s involvement was somewhat ironic since his family developed Sevilla in the early 1970s and Clayton himself was raised just blocks from Bonnie Burn,

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Historical photo: Department of college archives and special collections olin library, rollins college, winter park

he story behind Winter Park’s so-called Bonnie Burn house encompasses al-

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The kitchen (facing page, top) was revamped to appear more period appropriate, while many original elements were retained in the cozy library and wood-paneled den (facing page, bottom left and right). The paneling, for example, was crafted from pine trees felled on the property. A state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen (above) was added recently, as was a vanishing-edge swimming pool. 

which he recalled as a somewhat foreboding place. “My friends and I used to like to go down to Lake Sue to fish,” Clayton recalls. “We had to sneak through the WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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yard at Bonnie Burn to get down to the water. It was kind of scary for a kid.” Although the bones of the house date from 1883, it looks absolutely nothing like the rambling, two-story cracker classic built by Chicago snowbird Charles R. Switzer and his wife, Harriett, on 36 wooded acres that ran from Howell Creek to Lake Sue. The Switzers were prominent Winter Parkers — he was a physician and a Rollins College trustee; she was a musician and civic activist — who entertained frequently and were routinely mentioned in the society pages of the Winter Park Post. They gave the estate its lyrical name, which in Scotland would mean something like “pretty stream” or “pretty brook.” In 1941, the house and the surround-

ing acreage, still mostly groves and woods, was bought from the Switzers’ heirs by developer James Jonas “Jimmy” Banks and his wife, Elizabeth. A colorful native of Alabama, Banks had the structure picked up and moved closer to Lake Sue, apparently destroying the second story in the process. The politically active Banks had run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1930 and lost. Perhaps that explains why he declared that Bonnie Burn’s address was to be “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” the same as that of the White House. Although the property was bordered on the east by Winter Park’s own Pennsylvania Avenue, the iconic street number upon which Burns insisted was an affectation that the U.S. ORLANDO LIFE

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Post Office apparently accepted. (After the tract was subdivided, the address was changed, officially, to 314 Salvador Square.) In 1970, Banks sold all but 1.5 acres on which his home sat to Clayton Realty, owned by Charles Clayton Sr. and his cousin, Malcolm. The Claytons carved the site into 63 lots and began 40

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developing an exclusive neighborhood they dubbed Sevilla. According to a history of Sevilla being compiled by real-estate broker and resident Deitmar Georg, Banks was a cranky character who once confronted buyers of a lot adjoining Bonnie Burn and demanded — inexplicably, since he no longer owned the property — that

they “come back when it is more convenient to me.” Banks, clearly not an ideal goodwill ambassador for Sevilla, died in 1971 so was no longer on the scene as stately modern houses sprung up around his once-isolated enclave. His widow, however, continued to live at Bonnie Burn long enough to frighten young JANUARY 2013

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The formal dining room (facing page, top) combines modern elements, such as a sleek glass table, with antiques, such as a dark wood china cabinet. Original artwork adorns the sitting room walls (facing page, bottom left and right), which features fireplaces framed by hand-carved woodwork. The master bathroom (above) has hisand-her vanities and a soaking tub. Clayton and his boyhood friends. Subsequent owners built additions not in keeping with the original style, and by 1979 aluminum siding covered the original clapboard. Other major and minor projects were undertaken in a piecemeal fashion until Peterson and DeCompli, whom Clayton describes as “purists,” took a more holistic approach. Many late 19th-century features remain. Two of the original rooms, now a hallway and a library, are paneled in WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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heart pine and have heart pine floors hewn from trees on the property. The kitchen, which had been remodeled in the 1980s, was remodeled again in a more period-appropriate fashion. Other highlights include five fireplaces, elegant moldings, high ceilings, antique fixtures and a spacious master suite with five closets and a dressing area. For the most part, the original windows were retained and restored. Two bedrooms were added upstairs for son Grant, 18, and daughter Elissa, 21. There’s a stained-glass skylight in the upstairs hallway and a secondfloor balcony that overlooks a magnificent backyard meandering toward the lake. A state-of-the-art summer kitchen abuts a swimming pool and a pool house. The 6,500-square-foot house, which  encompasses five bedrooms and eight full bathrooms, is filled with a combination of antiques and more modern

furnishings and fixtures, from delicate knickknacks to massive wood cabinets and overstuffed chairs and sofas. The  walls are hung with original prints and paintings, some as old as the house, and some contemporary works by well-known local artists.  “We’ve always collected antiques,” says Peterson. “A lot of it we already had, and a lot of it we bought after we moved to Florida.” It’s difficult to ascribe a specific architectural style to the exterior, now covered in beige stucco with white trim. Its lines are clean and its facade is relatively unadorned. Due in part to the lush landscaping, it could pass for the great house on a tropical plantation. Without question, Charles Switzer wouldn’t recognize it. “Working on a house that age, you’re really impressed with the level of workmanship,” says Clayton. “These people were working with hand tools, and execution is just masterful.” n ORLANDO LIFE

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FLAVOR

rona gindin

I

first came face to godawful

face with a whole cooked pig in Spain. It was 1979, and the setting was a stodgy whitelinens restaurant in a dining room undoubtedly filled with tourists. The room quieted as our waiter excitedly whispered that we’d be meeting the something-or-other  mayor. A city leader! We’ll shake hands! 

A recent snout-to-tail dinner at Cask & Larder featured crudités as an appetizer (above) and the pièce de résistance (facing page): the suckling pig’s head surrounded by tenderloin, belly and shoulder meat. 42

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Then a staffer wheeled in a cart hauling the glossy carcass of a pudgy little pig with an apple in its mouth, just like on TV. As flashbulbs popped, a toquetopped chef stood beaming proudly alongside. Turned out he was el cocinero mayor: the head chef.  Here in Orlando, I recently had an entirely different “whole suckling pig” experience. Cask & Larder, a casual Progressive-Southern restaurant, cooked up an entire whole-animal feast for me and seven friends. The elaborate meal was indicative of a nationwide “snout-to-tail” trend, which has restaurants preparing and serving every part of the animal, not just the familiar ribs and loins. Cask & Larder’s Chef de Cuisine Dennis Bernard notes that big-city restaurants such as New York’s The Breslin are plating up as many as a dozen pint-size beasts per day. The trend is catching on in Central Florida as well, judging by Cask & Larder’s a la carte dinner menu, where braised lamb neck with mint relish is listed alongside more common entrées such as duck breast and fried chicken. Cask & Larder co-owner James Petrakis points to his Greek ancestry as a reason behind his interest in snout-totail cooking. “Family events included sharing a whole animal, like a pig or a lamb, and it always felt like a party,” Petrakis says. It’s just the kind of atmosphere he likes to duplicate at his popular Winter Park restaurant. If you’re interested in a whole-an-

imal dinner, you’ll have to do some planning. First, you need to find at least seven other people willing to take this culinary adventure with you. That’s the minimum number required, although the restaurant can accommodate groups of up to a dozen. Then you’ll need to agree upon a type of animal. So far, Cask & Larder’s guests are sticking to the pig, as I did solely because a whole-pig-on-a-platter would provide the most eye-catching magazine photos. Otherwise I might have opted for smoked duck, rib-eye and beef ribs, or a “Butcher’s Feast,” which isn’t really an entire two- or four-legged creature, but sounded enticing for its porchetta, sausage and smoked ham.  Each selection comes as part of a full three-course dinner priced from $50 to $75 per person. You must make a reservation at least 72 hours in advance, sign a contract swearing on your pet puppy that you’ll show up and spend at least $400 — $500 if you opt to eat, as we did, in The Brewery, a private room. A credit-card deposit for half of the amount is required.  Going whole hog shouldn’t be fancy, and at Cask & Larder it isn’t. Meals are served up family-style in the main dining room or on a wooden table in The Brewery, the glassenclosed room where the restaurant’s own beer is made. We dined surrounded by a mash tun, a boil kettle and a metallic array of fermenting tanks. Appropriate to the setting, our group began with beverages that included a five-item beer flight

PHOTOS: rafael tongol

A Swine and Dine Experience Lets Adventurous Eaters Go Hog Wild

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PHOTOS: rafael tongol

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that included the cleverly named dark German-style schwarzbier, “May the Schwarz Beer With You.” As we sipped and chatted, two young gentlemen ceremoniously carried in the entire pig on a wooden board, its carcass shiny from the application of an herb-laced vinegar-oil glaze. The star of the show remained on its perch as we turned our attention to the appetizers. For the crudités, raw and blanched turnips, radishes, snap beans and carrots were tossed with seasoned oil and herbs, and served over a refreshingly biting, creamy vinegar-based “boiled” dressing. Yet another was a salad of gentle bibb lettuce with pecans, hushpuppy crumbs and a mild yet tangy buttermilk vinaigrette. The pig was removed and returned to us butchered and presented on two platters. One featured the head, face up in the center, surrounded by pulled bits of tenderloin, belly and shoulder meat with a sprinkling of curly fried-skin chicarrónes on top. On the other were the limbs: “legs with feet attached,” as Bernard says, and with the skin still on. Little creamers were filled with two sauces, both so very, very good that every time I heaped more meat on my plate I added puddles of both on either side. One was a verde mix of olive oil with parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives, pickled red onion and lemon juice. The other, called Campbell’s Gold after the sous chef who conjured it up, had a mustard flavor, thanks to pickled mustard seeds and mustard powder to44

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PHOTOS: rafael tongol

The family-style meal, served in the restaurant’s brewery room (bottom left), included a flight of microbrewed beer (top left), along with sides of mac and cheese (center left) and Forono beets (center right).

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gether with apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. To eat the flesh bare, or with one of the toppings? With every delightful forkful, I struggled with the choice. The pig had been brined for two days prior to our arrival to make it flavorful and tender, then slow-smoked over peach wood in a rotisserie-style smoker at 200 degrees for six hours, basted hourly. The side dishes beckoned with just as much charisma. The macaroni and cheese was tender and creamy, especially delectable with pickled mustard seeds and a ham-cheddar crumble over the top. The Forono beets were luscious disks tossed with creamy ricotta cheese, crisp hazelnuts and a light vinaigrette infused with barbecue rub spices. And the plateful of dragon beans impressed, nestled in a confit of fat and lemon juice, braised until tender, then tossed with butter, pickled pearl onions and fried garlic chips. “We find it fun to send out extra stuff that’s not on the menu for a little surprise,” Bernard says. The eight of us kept loading up our plates, devouring the contents and reaching for more, arms stretching, bodies bending, as we grabbed for platters again and again. All of which did not stop us from inhaling dessert. As the finale, we were served one portion of every dessert on the night’s menu. The situation could have gotten ugly as we battled over the chocolate silk pie and chocolate-mint sorbet, although I was busy popping the peanut butter-white chocolate and chocolate-chip cookies in my mouth, with an orange financier or two between treats. The caramel pudding, served with fried beer donuts, was so good I want the recipe, and we had five other chilled scoops — eggnog, buttered pecan and banana pudding ice cream plus pear-bourbon and pomegranate sorbets — as well as a Kentucky bourbon cake and an apple-fennel cobbler besides. This dinner was a near-perfect experience, but I’d suggest the managers boost the information factor. We weren’t given printed menus listing the evening’s dishes, and we had to practically force the otherwise capable servers to tell us what was on the table. “Oh, what’s that?” we’d ask, and the answer would be something along the lines of, “The salad.” Or, “How long was the pig cooked?” The response? “I’ll ask the chef.”  Really? And, several of the details we dragged out of the staff turned out to be wrong. Groups that spend the time and money to participate in a food-focused event like this crave details, and the staff should know and volunteer the minutiae verbally or place a meal-specific paper menu at each seat.  Enthused about our snout-to-tail adventure, I posted a photo of the pig head platter on Facebook. A friend reWWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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After consuming an entire beast and an assortment of side dishes, you’ll think you can’t eat another bite. But you’ll be unable to resist the dessert sampler, which features chocolate silk pie, chocolate mint sorbet, caramel pudding, apple-fennel cobbler, fried beer donuts, an assortment of cookies and Kentucky bourbon cake.  sponded “ick.” This dinner is not for folks like her. It’s for those of us who will overlook eyes and snouts and hoofs — or get a kick out of shocking Facebook followers – and fly high on flavor. In fact, according to Bernard, some groups have asked to have the head split open so they can eat the brains, or have the tail served so they can munch on that. If you’d enjoy a homey family-style feast of good-quality yet not fussy food with a gabby group of friends, book yourself a table, preferably in the brewery room. Bring a camera and an empty belly. n Rona Gindin, dining editor of Orlando Life, has written about food for  Saveur, Fodor’s, Discover and Caribbean Travel & Life, among many other publications. She’s the author of The Little Black Book of Walt Disney World and hosts On Dining, a restaurant-themed television show on Bright House On Demand. ORLANDO LIFE

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FLAVOR LISTINGS

rona gindin

AFRICAN Nile Ethiopian

7048 International Dr., Orlando, 407-3540026 / nile07.com. Locals willingly navigate International Drive to dine at Nile, a family-owned restaurant specializing in the exotic cuisine of Ethiopia. Order a few dishes to share and scoop up the intriguing concoctions with the eatery’s signature spongy bread. End with a strong cup of aromatic, brewed-to-order coffee. $$

Sanaa 3701 Osceola Pkwy., Lake Buena Vista, 407-939-

3463 / disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/sanaa. Sanaa, one of Disney’s most interesting restaurants, offers dishes based on cuisine from the Spice Islands, a coastal African area rich with Indian influences. Flavors are intense, but spicy only upon request. (Curry, the chefs insist, is a melding of flavors, not one particular spice.) The marketplace-style dining room boasts picture windows overlooking the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s savannah, so you might spot zebra or wildebeest while lunching on tandoori chicken or a vegetarian platter with stewed lentils and a vegetable sambar (stew). $$

AMERICAN Bananas

942 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, 407-480-2200 / bananasdiner.com. Bananas has a split personality. It’s a wholesome, family place to grab higher-quality versions of such classics as burgers, shakes and pancakes (the Buffalo Benedict is a surprise pleaser). Other times, it’s a delightfully outrageous experience for more adventurous diners who enjoy the antics of cross-dressing servers. The Sunday drag gospel brunch (“Sinners welcome!”) is like no church service you’ve ever attended. $$

Cask & Larder 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-280-4200 / caskandlarder.com. Billing itself as a “Southern Public House,” this casual Winter Park eatery serves up modern twists on traditional favorites. Look for a three-ham platter with pepper jelly; pimento cheese; and seasonal favorites such as grilled pork belly and chicken-and-biscuits. Many beers are made on the premises. $$

Chatham’s Place 7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando, 407- 345-2992 / chathamsplace.com. For an old-fashioned dining experience – a subdued dining room and doting personalized service by a longtime staff – dine at this hidden Restaurant Row establishment. Locals return regularly for Chef Tony Lopez’s classic dishes such as black grouper with pecan butter, rack of lamb and filet mignon. $$$

Citrus 821 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, 407-373-0622 /

citrusorlando.com. A clubby yet stylish restaurant in a convenient downtown Orlando location, Citrus features modern American cuisine with a nod toward regionally grown and produced ingredients. International influences also highlight the menu, from smoked chili aioli complementing herb-marinated chicken to balsamic rum glaze topping juicy pork chops. $$$

Dexter’s 808 E. Washington St., Orlando, 407-648-2777;

558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1150; 950 Market Promenade Ave., Lake Mary, 407-805-3090 / dexwine. com. Central Florida has three Dexter’s locations, and each has become a neighborhood magnet, drawing diners of all ages for hearty portions of creative American fare (at fair prices), good wine and, in some cases, live music. Casual dress is the rule. The brunches, and the pressed duck sandwiches, are especially popular. $$-$$$

Emeril’s Orlando 6000 Universal Blvd. Orlando, 407-

224-2424 / emerils.com. Get a taste of New Orleans at Emeril’s, a fine-dining restaurant at always-bustling Universal CityWalk. You’ll find classics from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, including the signature barbecue shrimp, andouillestuffed redfish, double-cut pork chops and banana cream pie. The service, of course, is superb. Consider sharing appetizers at the bar area. $$$$

Graffiti Junktion 900 E. Washington St., Orlando,

407-426-9503; 2401 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, 407-377-1961 / graffitijunktion.com. The Graffiti Junktions in Thornton Park and College Park are loud and purposely grungy looking, hence “graffiti” in the name. But this ultra-casual duo dishes up great burgers, wings and zucchini fries. Live entertainment ranges from performance art to trivia contests. Watch for daily happy-hour specials. $

Hillstone 215 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-7404005 / hillstone.com/hillstone. Formerly known as Houston’s, this Winter Park mainstay is part of a high-end chain. Still, it grows its own herbs, bakes its own bread, grinds its own meat, cuts its own fish and whips its own cream. In nice weather, guests relax with a cocktail in Adirondack chairs 46

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overlooking Lake Killarney. Many proposals have been popped during dinners for two on the boat dock. $$$

Rusty Spoon 55 W. Church Street, Orlando, 407-401-

8811 / therustyspoon.com. Foodies flock to this Church Street gastropub, a warm and welcoming space at which meals are described as “American food. European roots. Locally sourced.” Your salad will consist of über-fresh greens, your sandwich will be filled with slow-braised lamb, your pasta will be hand-rolled and your meat will be robustly seasoned. $$-$$$

Seasons 52 7700 Sand Lake Rd., Orlando, 407-3545212; 463 E. Altamonte Dr., Altamonte Springs, 407-767-1252 / seasons52.com. A Darden concept founded in Orlando, the two local locations turn out creative and tasty meals in grand, bustling spaces. The food happens to be low in fat and calories; that’s just a bonus. The wine selection is impressive and the itty-bitty desserts encourage sampling without guilt. $$$ Shipyard Brew Pub 200 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-274-4045 / shipyardemporium.com. This ultra-casual brewpub has been packed night and day since it opened in 2011, and not just because it pours a great lager. To complement suds brewed both in-house and elsewhere, a from-scratch menu offers Buffalo chicken dip, amazing white-bean hummus, sandwiches, flatbreads and entrées, including étouffée and pot roast. Stop in any time to pick up a loaf of some of Orlando’s best bread. $-$$

Tap Room at Dubsdread 549 W. Par St., Orlando, 407650-0100 / taproomatdubsdread.com. One needn’t play golf to dine at this historic course-side tavern, a College Park icon offering a varied menu – and a reputation for fine burgers. Options other than the famous half-pound patties include steaks, salmon, tequila-citrus chicken and a dandy Reuben sandwich. $$

The Table Orlando 9060 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407-900-3463 / thetableorlando.com. For special occasions, book a place at The Table, a tiny restaurant that serves a five-course gourmet meal with wine pairings. Up to 22 guests at a time share the repast around an oversized table. The New American menu changes regularly and is comprised in large part of locally sourced foods. The price is a set $100 including tax and tip. Groups can host private events here. $$$$ TooJay’s Various locations / toojays.com. When it’s time

for a taste of Jewish Brooklyn – pastrami on rye, latkes, blintzes, knishes – the six local outlets of this South Floridabased chain have it all. You’ll also find diner foods such as omelets, sandwiches and pot-roast dinners. Take home some black-and-white cookies. $

ASIAN Anh Hong

1124 E. Colonial Dr., Orlando, 407-999-2656. You’ll receive a bundle of fresh herbs to tear into your soup at this Mills 50 Vietnamese eatery, and another bunch for a roll-your-own entrée that’s like a DIY summer roll. Asian classics, such as grilled meats and scallion pancakes, are done exceptionally well here, which makes Anh Hong a top choice for local Vietnamese-Americans longing for a taste of home. $

Dragonfly 7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407-459-1892 / dragonflysushi.com. Stylishly attired 30-somethings regularly pack this oh-so-hip restaurant, where groups share sushi, grilled “robata” items, and tapas-style Asian foods such as soft-shell crab tempura, crispy black pork belly and shisowrapped spicy tuna. $$

Hawkers 1103 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, 407-237-0606 / facebook.com/hawkersstreetfare. This Mills 50 mainstay, named for street vendors of Asian fare, serves up generous tapas-size portions of curry laksa (an aromatic Singaporean soup), roti canai (Malaysian flatbread with a hearty curry sauce), five-spice tofu, chilled sesame noodles, smoky mussels and sensational beef skewers with peanuty satay dip. $$

THE KEY

$ Inexpensive, most entrées under $10 $$ Moderate, most entrées $10-20 $$$ Pricey, most entrées over $20 $$$$ Very expensive, most entrées over $30 indicates the restaurant is a Silver Spoon winner (Judges’ Choice).

Ming Bistro 1212 Woodward St., Orlando, 407-898-9672.

Enjoy perhaps Orlando’s best dim sum for dinner or, on a weekend morning or afternoon, select shrimp dumplings, beef balls, turnip cakes, sticky rice, barbecue pork buns and egg tarts one small dish at a time from carts that roll between tables. The a la carte menu features Hong Kong-style staples from stir-fry beef to chicken feet. $

Seoul Garden 511 E. Horatio Ave., Maitland, 407599-5199 / orlandokorearestaurant.com. Seoul Garden is so Asian-focused that the “about us” section of its website is written in Korean. That authenticity extends to the food. Barbecued meats are grilled to order in the dining room. Be sure to try the marinated beef short ribs and the soft tofu stew. $

Sushi Pop 310 W. Mitchell Hammock Rd., Oviedo, 407-542-5975 / sushipoprestaurant.com. Oviedo is an unlikely location for this cutting-edge restaurant, a popular spot for sushi. The food is serious and often experimental, as chef-owner Chau uses molecular gastronomy to create some of the fusion fare. The aura is fun: Asian anime on the walls, playful colors, and servers who dress in outrageous themed outfits. $$

BARBECUE 4 Rivers Smokehouse

1600 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park; 1869 W. S.R. 434, Longwood; 1047 S. Dillard St., Winter Garden / 407-474-8377, 4rsmokehouse.com. A diverse array of barbecue specialties – from Texas-style brisket to pulled pork, smoked turkey and bacon-wrapped jalapeños – has gained this rapidly growing homegrown concept a large following. The Longwood outpost even includes a bakery and an old-fashioned malt shop featuring homemade ice cream. $

BURGERS Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille

110 W. Church St., Orlando, 321-219-0600 / hamburgermarys-orlando.com. A colorful crowd is part of the fun at this Church Street hotspot, where bingo games, trivia contests and cabaret shows are among the events that vie for guests’ attention beside the enormous and creatively topped burgers. $

Johnny’s Fillin’ Station 2631 S. Fern Creek Ave.,

Orlando, 407-894-6900 / johnnysfillinstation.com. Neighbors gather for hearty burgers, along with wings, subs and wraps, at this homey spot in a residential downtown neighborhood. Beer flows, TVs broadcast big games, and families love the pool tables and dart boards. $

Pine 22 22 E. Pine St., Orlando, 407-574-2160 / pine22.

com. Burgers go chic at this fast-casual downtowner, where every ingredient is special. The burgers are from happy cows, the eggs from free-roaming chickens, the pork from lovingly raised pigs. Mix and match your toppings over a patty of beef, turkey or black beans (or pulled pork), with options ranging from mango salsa to sautéed mushrooms. $$

CONTINENTAL Venetian Room

8101 World Center Dr., Orlando, 407-238-8060 / thevenetianroom.com. Walk though a runof-the-mill convention hotel to reach the AAA Four-Diamond Venetian Room, an elegant, domed-service, continental restaurant that hearkens to the heyday of unapologetic, butter-and-cream-enhanced fine dining. The lobster bisque is an absolute must. After that, try the filet mignon, duck a l’orange or Dover sole. $$$$

CREATIVE/ PROGESSIVE Chef’s Table at the Edgewater Hotel

99 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-230-4837 / chefstableattheedgewater.com. Husband-and-wife team Kevin and Laurie Tarter are your personal servers at this intimate Winter Garden hideaway, where Kevin prepares the evening’s three-course, prix-fixe meal and Laurie helps choose the wine. Both stop by every table to chat with guests. Adjacent, the Tasting Room offers tapas-size portions of international dishes and a full bar. $$$

Finesse 7025 County Road 46A, Lake Mary, 407-805-9220

/ finesse-therestaurant.com. Talented chef Alex Brugger runs a remarkable kitchen at Finesse, a stylish Lake Mary restaurant with an ambitious menu. Begin with the tender duck confit encased in puff pastry, the complex black bean soup and whatever raw tuna appetizer happens to be on the

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menu. Continue with the creamy seafood paella, made with risotto, or the steak or pork with chimichurri and duck fat French fries. End with the chocolate-orange soufflé served with peanut butter anglaise. $$-$$$

Funky Monkey 912 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, 407-4271447; 9101 International Dr., Orlando (Pointe Orlando), 407418-9463 / funkymonkeywine.com. Every meal begins with complimentary lime-garlic edamame at these eclectic eateries, known as much for sushi and intriguing wine lists as for creative American cuisine and an ever-changing menu. FMI Restaurant Group also owns Bananas, Nick’s Italian Kitchen and Prickly Pear as well as a catering arm and the Funky Monkey Vault, a wine shop that also sells gifts, apparel and furniture. $$

Hue 629 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, 407-849-1800 / hueres-

taurant.com. Hue is a progressive American restaurant on a busy corner in trendy Thornton Park. Well-dressed 30-somethings sip colorful martinis at the bar and dine, indoors and out, on of-the-now items such as tuna tartare, duck breast with cranberry reduction and amaretto risotto, and grouper with smoked paprika olive oil. $$$

K Restaurant 2401 Edgewater Dr. Orlando, 407-872-

2332 / kwinebar.com. Kevin Fonzo, the go-to chef in College Park since 2001, owns this homey eatery, which is, in fact, located in an erstwhile residence. The menu is mostly creative-American, along with Italian favorites celebrating Fonzo’s heritage. Casual wine tastings and themed special dinners, along with a constantly changing menu, bring back regulars for singular experiences. $$-$$$

Luma on Park 290 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-5994111 / lumaonpark.com. If there’s pancetta in your salad, the salumi was made in the kitchen, by hand, starting with a whole pig. Most herbs are from local farms, fish from sustainable sources, pickled vegetables jarred in house and desserts built around seasonal ingredients. Luma’s progressive menu, which changes daily, is served in a sleek and stylish dining room in the heart of Winter Park, under the passionate direction of Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery, Chef de Cuisine Derek Perez and Pastry Chef Brian Cernell. $$$

Norman’s 4012 Central Florida Pkwy., Orlando, 407-278-8459 / normans.com. Celebrity Chef Norman Van Aken’s restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, turns out artistic New World cuisine combining the flavors of Latin America, the Caribbean, the Far East and the United States. The dining room is dramatic, the food astounding and the service polished. Be sure to begin with a Norman’s classic: foie gras “French toast.” And you’ll be delighted with the Mongolian veal chop. $$$$

Park Plaza Gardens 319 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407645-2475 / parkplazagardens.com. After 30-plus years, Park Plaza Gardens is practically an institution on Winter Park’s tony Park Avenue. People-watchers gather at the small bar and sidewalk tables to linger over casual meals and cold beers, while those looking for an indulgent experience dine in the garden-like back dining room, which boasts atrium windows and plush décor. The menu features a melding of American, European and Asian flavors and cooking techniques. $$$-$$$$

Ravenous Pig 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-2333 / theravenouspig.com. After leaving their hometown for serious culinary training, Winter Park natives James and Julie Petrakis returned to open the region’s first genuine gastropub. Dinner reservations have been tough to snag ever since. The ambitious menu changes daily based on the fish, meat and produce that’s available, and it’s executed by a dedicated team that abhors shortcuts. Besides daily specials, The Pig always serves up an excellent burger, soft pretzels, shrimp and grits and a donut dessert called Pig Tails. $$$

Victoria & Albert’s 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, 407-939-3463 / victoria-alberts.com. Indulgent, sevencourse prix-fixe feasts are served in the serenely elegant main dining room, accompanied by live harp music, while 10 courses are offered in the more intimate Queen Victoria’s Room. But what the heck? Why not go for 13 courses at the Chef’s Table? Chef Scott Hunnel, Maitre d’ Israel Pérez and Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek travel the world to seek out impressive food and service trends, then adapt

the golden ones locally. That’s why V&A, at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is Orlando’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant. $$$$

EASTERN EUROPEAN Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café

205 E. 1st St., Sanford, 407-321-2204 / willowtreecafe.com. If you like to indulge in a good schnitzel with a liter of hearty beer, head to Sanford. There you’ll find Theo Hollerbach overseeing the gemütlichkeit while serving up authentic German foods from sauerbraten to a wurst sausage platter. Live music on select evenings gets the whole dining room swaying together in a spirit of schunkel abend. $$

Yalaha Bakery 1213 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, 321-8005212; 8210 County Road 48, Yalaha, 352-324-3366 / yalahabakery.com. Fans of hearty German breads and scratch-made German pastries can drive to this homey outpost in rural Lake County, or they can pick up their loaves and sweets at an Ivanhoe District storefront. The Yalaha unit also sells sandwiches and hot lunches. $

HAWAIIAN/ POLYNESIAN Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, 407-503-2467 / emerils.com. Emeril Lagasse’s Polynesianfusion fare is executed by locally renowned chef, Greg Richie. Within a dramatically decorated space, diners enjoy tropical cocktails, steamed dumplings and creative entrées such as pan-roasted duck breast with gingered pear chutney and umeboshi (pickled) plum glaze. $$$$

Roy’s 7760 W. Sand Lake Rd., Orlando, 407-352-4844 / roysrestaurant.com. Hawaiian-fusion flavors enhance familiar and exotic fish dishes at this Restaurant Row pioneer, a link in a Honolulu-based chain owned by namesake chef, Roy Yamaguchi. $$

Featured in Orlando Restaurant Guide 2013

W inter Park 400 South Orlando Avenue s 407-644-7770 Reservations online at www.roccositaliangrille.com WWW.ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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ORLANDO LIFE

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FLAVOR LISTINGS

rona gindin

INDIAN Aashirwad

5748 International Dr., Orlando, 407-370-9830 / aashirwadrestaurant.com. Begin with kashmiri naan, a slightly sweet bread stuffed with nuts, coconut and raisins, and continue with chicken biryani, cauliflower in exotic Manchurian gravy and a mixed tandoori grill. Whole spices are roasted and ground daily on site, further enhancing the cuisine’s authenticity. $$

Memories of India 7625 Turkey Lake Rd., Orlando, 407370-3277; 3895 Lake Emma Rd., Lake Mary, 407-804-0920 / memoriesofindiacuisine.com. Exceptionally good Indian fare draws diners in Dr. Phillips and Lake Mary to these twin restaurants, where dishes such as palek paneer (creamed spinach) and lamb masala in rich ginger-garlic gravy always satisfy. $$

ITALIAN Antonio’s

of the signature Spanish rice dish. Yet others come for a mellow meal over tapas (garlic shrimp, potato omelet, croquettes) and sangria, enjoyed while seated within a small contemporary dining room or outdoors overlooking Hannibal Square. $$-$$$

Park spot, where a counter service format helps keep the prices reasonable. Crab cakes, lobster rolls, mahi-mahi sandwiches and more ambitious dishes such as grouper cheeks in parchment and stuffed grouper are among a day’s assortment. $$

Pio Pio 2500 S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, 407-207-2262; 5752 International Dr., Orlando, 407-248-6424; 11236 S. Orange Blossom Tr., Orlando, 407-438-5677 / piopiointernational.com. Latin American-style marinated roast chicken is a mainstay at the three Orlando locations, each a dark, midscale den where families fuel up on heaping platters of pollo along with garlicky salad, fried plantains (sweet and green) and rice and beans. $$

STEAK Bull & Bear

MEDITERRANEAN Anatolia

7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando, 407-352-6766 / anatoliaorlando.com. Sensational Turkish food in an upscalecasual setting makes Anatolia a popular choice in the Dr. Phillips area. Start with any of the “cold salads” and a piping hot puffy lavash bread, then try chargrilled whole fish, tavuk doner (Turkish gyro), lamb chops or spinach-feta pide, sort of like a boat-shaped flatbread. $$

611 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-645-5523 / antoniosonline.com. Fine Italian fare comes at reasonable prices at Antonio’s, proprietor Greg Gentile’s culinary homage to his ancestors. The upstairs restaurant, recently remodeled and expanded with a balcony overlooking Lake Lily, is somewhat formal, although the open kitchen provides peeks of the chefs in action. Its downstairs counterpart, Antonio’s Café, is a more casual spot that doubles as a market and wine shop. $$$

Bice 5601 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 407-503-1415 / orlando. bicegroup.com. Bice, with 50 locations around the world, has a local outpost of ambitious Italian cuisine at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal. Homemade egg pasta is used for several dishes, such as spaghetti Bolognese; other choices include veal piccata and steak with a Gorgonzolademi sauce. $$$$

Taverna Opa 9101 International Dr., Orlando, 407-351-

Enzo’s on the Lake 1130 U.S. 17-92, Longwood, 407834-9872 / enzos.com. Long before Orlando became a serious foodie town, Enzo’s was serving up lovingly prepared Italian specialties inside a converted Longwood home. Little has changed. Split a bunch of antipasto to begin your meal. After that, you pretty much can’t go wrong, but standout dishes include homemade ravioli stuffed with chicken and spinach, veal with artichoke-caper-white wine sauce and possibly the best spaghetti carbonara in town. $$$ O’Stromboli 1803 E. Winter Park Rd., Orlando, 407-6473872. This innocuous neighborhood eatery isn’t fancy, but the food is filling and fresh. That’s why it has become a favorite of residents of Merritt Park, Rose Isle and Baldwin Park. The carbonara is particularly hearty and the fettuccini Alfredo is rich, buttery and more than you should eat in one sitting. The homemade soups are always a dependable starter. $$

Peperoncino 7988 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407440-2856 / peperoncinocucina.com. The menu changes every night at this cozy Dr. Phillips Italian, where chef-owner Barbara Alfano puts out plates of fried pecorino drizzled with honey, pear- and four-cheese pasta, and fish steamed in parchment paper. $$$

Prato 124 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-262-0050 / prato-wp.com. This is one of Orlando’s very best Italian restaurants, but don’t expect a classic lasagna or chicken parmigiana. Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery and Chef di Cucina Matthew Cargo oversee an open kitchen in which pastas are made from scratch, pizzas are rolled to order, sausages are stuffed by hand and the olive oil is a luscious organic pour from Italy. Try the chicken liver Toscana, a satisfying salad Campagna with cubes of sizzling pancetta tesa, shrimp tortellini and citrusy rabbit cacciatore. Begin with a Negroni cocktail; it’s possibly the best around.

$$-$$$

Rocco’s 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-644-7770 /

roccositaliangrille.com. Calabria native Rocco Potami oversees this romantic Italian eatery, where fine authentic fare is presented in an intimate dining room and on a secluded brick patio. Classics include carpaccio (raw, thinly sliced beef with white truffle oil and arugula), ricotta gnocchi and a breaded veal chop topped with a lightly dressed salad. It’s easy to miss, tucked away in a Winter Park strip center, but once you find it, you’ll be back. $$$

LATIN

Mi Tomatina 433 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 321-972-4317 / mitomatina.com. This eatery bills itself as a paella bar, and indeed guests share a half-dozen varieties 48

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Bosphorous 108 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-6448609 / bosphorousrestaurant.com. This is the place for flavorful Turkish fare in either a white-tablecloth setting or alfresco along Park Avenue. Many couples fill up on the appetizer sampler with oversized lavash bread. For a heartier meal, try the ground lamb “Turkish pastry,” a shish kebab or a tender lamb shank. Outdoor diners can end their meals by smoking from a hookah. Or not. $$

8660 / opaorlando.com. The food is excellent, but that’s only half the reason to visit Taverna Opa. On busy nights, the place is festive indeed: Some guests join a Zorba dance around the dining room while others toss white napkins into the air, joyously shouting “Opa!” Then there’s the belly dancer. $$

MEXICAN/ SOUTHWESTERN Cantina Laredo

8000 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407345-0186 / cantinalaredo.com. Modern Mexican cuisine in a spiffy setting draws lovers of cilantro, jalapeño and pico de gallo to this Restaurant Row eatery, where the margaritas flow, the guacamole is made tableside and the portions are generous. The spinach enchilada is a vegetarian-friendly treat. $$

Cocina 214 151 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, 407790-7997 / cocina214.com. Tex-Mex food is top quality here (214 is the Dallas area code), with salsa, savories and even margarita flavorings made from scratch. The spinach-mushroom quesadilla and braised pork tacos with “orange dust” are especially noteworthy. $$

El Tenampa 11242 S. Orange Blossom Tr., Orlando, 407-

850-9499 / eltenampaorlando.com. Many Orlandoans make El Tenampa part of their Costco shopping ritual, since the restaurant is located only a block from the OBT warehouse store. This authentic eatery features fresh fruit juices, spicy chicken chilaquiles (a Mexican breakfast, available all day long, made with fried tortilla pieces and a green sauce) as well as a satisfying shrimp quesadilla in addition to the standard enchiladas and fajitas. $

SEAFOOD Ocean Prime

7339 W. Sand Lake Rd., Orlando, 407-7814880 / ocean-prime.com. Designed to evoke the ambience of an old-time supper club, Ocean Prime’s white-jacketed servers offer sensational steaks and fish dishes along with creative options such as sautéed shrimp in a spectacular Tabasco-cream sauce, crab cakes with sweet corn cream and ginger salmon. End with the chocolate peanut butter pie. $$$$

Todd English’s Bluezoo 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 407-934-1111 / thebluezoo.com. Creatively prepared seafood is served in an over-the-top undersea setting at this fine-dining restaurant, located in Disney’s Swan and Dolphin hotel. The fashion-forward choices might be a misoglazed Hawaiian sea bass or fried lobster in a soy glaze. The desserts are among the best in town. $$$$

14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, 407-597-5410 / bullandbearorlando.com. Orlando’s Bull & Bear looks similar to New York’s legendary steakhouse (except for the pool and golf course views), but ours has its own ambitious menu. Guests of the Waldorf Astoria’s fine-dining spot can feast on traditional items such as veal Oscar and prime steak that’s dry aged for 21 days, and intriguing ones like appetizers of gnocchi and escargot with crescents of black garlic, and shrimp and grits presented under a dome that, when removed, introduces a waft of aromatic smoke. The chocolate and lemon desserts are superb. $$$$

Capital Grille 4600 N. World Dr., Lake Buena Vista, 407939-3463 / thecapitalgrille.com. Capital Grille tries to one-up its upscale steakhouse competitors by dry-aging its beef, an expensive process that results in especially flavorful meat. Try a beautifully unadorned chop or a more creative dish, such as citrus-glazed salmon or Kona-crusted sirloin. The setting is clubby; the wine selection is generous. $$$$ Christner’s Del Frisco’s 729 Lee Rd., Orlando, 407645-4443 / christnersprimesteakandlobster.com. Locals have been choosing this prototypically masculine, dark-wood-andred-leather enclave for business dinners and family celebrations for more than a decade. Family-owned since 1993, Christner’s features USDA Prime, corn-fed Midwestern beef or Australian cold-water lobster tails with a slice of the restaurant’s legendary mandarin orange cake. And there’s a loooong wine list (6,500 bottles). On select nights, Kostya Kimlat hosts magic shows along with a prix-fixe menu in a private dining room. $$$$ Fleming’s 8030 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407-352-5706; 933 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-699-9463 / flemingssteakhouse.com. Fleming’s puts a younger spin on the stately steakhouse concept, featuring sleek décor and 100 wines by the glass along with its prime steaks and chops. The tempura lobster “small plate” with soy-ginger dipping sauce is a worthy pre-entrée splurge. For a taste of the oldfashioned, visit on Sunday, when prime rib is served. $$$$

Ruth’s Chris 7501 W. Sand Lake Rd., Orlando, 407-2263900; 610 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-2444; 80 Colonial Center Pkwy, Lake Mary, 407-804-8220 / ruthschris. com. With three stately steakhouses and corporate headquarters by Winter Park Village, Ruth’s Chris, a native of New Orleans, has become an Orlando special-occasion mainstay. Its service-oriented restaurants specialize in massive corn-fed Midwestern steaks served sizzling and topped with butter. $$$$ Shula’s 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Orlando, 407-934-1362 / donshula.com. Coach Don Shula, who led the Miami Dolphins through a perfect season in 1972, is now in the restaurant business. His Orlando outpost, located in Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin resort, is a dark, tastefully sportsthemed steakhouse where the menu is painted on a football. Offerings include Premium Black Angus beef as well as barbecue shrimp, wedge salad and crab cakes. $$$$

VEGETARIAN Dandelion CommuniTea Café

618 N. Thornton Ave., Orlando, 407-362-1864 / dandelioncommunitea.com. Proprietor Julie Norris meant to open a crunchy teahouse, but her organic, locally sourced foods were such a hit that the Dandelion is now a hot spot for lunch and a mecca for the “OurLando” movement. Even carnivores can’t resist Henry’s Hearty Chili, Happy Hempy Hummus, and wraps and sandwiches. As for dessert, Razzy Parfait’s vanilla soygurt is delicious, filling and healthful enough to be a meal. $

Café 118 153 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-389-2233 /

cafe118.com. Raw foods – none cooked past 118 degrees – are the focus of this crisp Winter Park café, attracting raw foodists, vegans and vegetarians. The spinach and beet ravioli stuffed with cashew ricotta is an impressive imitation of the Italian staple. Thirsty Park Avenue shoppers might stop by for a healthful smoothie. $$

Winter Park Fish Co. 761 Orange Ave. Winter Park, 407-622-6112 / thewinterparkfishco.com. Fish and seafood dishes are fresh and well-prepared at this humble Winter JANUARY 2013

12/14/12 3:40:24 PM


Special Deliveries At Health Central Hospital

Here at Health Central Hospital, you have an extended family of caregivers ready to receive you and your special delivery. Our oversized labor and delivery rooms, spacious family-oriented maternity suites and level I newborn nursery are located together on the third floor and offer a state-of-the-art security system to ensure your baby’s safety. Should the need arise, a specially trained pediatric physician is on staff and on call 24/7 to ensure your newborn receives the best possible care.

Health Central Hospital also offers board-certified lactation consultants, who are healthcare professionals with specialized knowledge and experience to help breastfeeding families from pregnancy through weaning. When you and your family are ready to experience a truly special delivery, you will find comfort at Health Central Hospital where board-certified physicians and speciallytrained nurses deliver more than 1000 babies each year.

For a specially guided tour of our facilities, please call 407.296.1380

Find a local board-certified OB/GYN physician at healthcentral.org/find-a-doctor.

healthcentral.org

8OHL_Jan13_Flavor.indd 49

12/17/12 3:34:28 PM


EDUCATION

private schools

Learning Experience Parents need to do their homework when SELECting a school for their kids.

N

By Harry Wessel

early nine out of 10 parents send their children

to public schools, with their school choice all but made for them based on where they live. Their kids go to the school for which they are zoned. Pretty simple. But it’s not so simple for parents who want their children in a private school. While proximity is a consideration, it’s only one of many factors to consider. How big is the school? How religious (or not) is the school?  How much emphasis does the school place on academics, athletics, the arts, community involvement? And, perhaps most important of all: Does the school provide a quality education in a nurturing environment? “The goal of choosing a [private] school,” says Janet Stroup, head of school at Sweetwater Episcopal Academy, “is to match your children’s ability, interests and needs with the most appropriate educational setting.” That’s easier said than done, acknowledges Stroup, whose independent private school in Longwood serves pre-kindergarteners through fifth graders. “First, start with a tour of the campus,” she advises. “Talk to students and teachers, not just the head of admissions. Ask them, ‘What do you like about your school?’” High on parents’ list of concerns, says Stroup, is their children’s safety, “both physical and emotional.” School visits can give a sense of how students relate to each other, she says, while giving prospective parents the chance to ask about school policies on bullying. Jennifer Clary-Grundorf, director of admissions at Lake Mary Preparatory School, agrees school visits are critical. 50

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She recommends that prospective parents conduct at least two separate school visits before making a final decision, starting with a weekend open house and following up with one or more visits when school is in session. Then again, even multiple school visits won’t tell the whole story. As Stroup puts it, “It’s like trying on a pair of shoes. They feel good in the store, but maybe not when you’re dancing all night.” For example, it’s important to check on a school’s accreditation, which assures it has been vetted by independent professionals. Accreditation is particularly important in Florida — a state that neither regulates nor licenses private schools — and most colleges will accept students only from accredited schools. If a regional accreditation is not specified, the school must be approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which is the accrediting body for all schools and universities in 11 southeastern states. SACS, one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, evaluates academic programs, extracurricular activities, staff qualifications and financial stability, among other factors. JANUARY 2013

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EDUCATION

private schools

ALPHABET SOUP

Following are the listed accrediting organizations used by private schools in Florida and elsewhere. For more information about each organization and its criteria, visit their websites: AdvancEd: (advanc-ed.org) ACSI: Association of Christian Schools International (acsi.org) ACTS: Association of Christian Teachers and Schools (actsschools.org)

Accountability

Association (icaa.us)

FAANS: Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools (faans.org)

MSA-CES: Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (msa-ces.org)

FACCS: Florida Association of Christian Colleges & Schools (faccs.org)

NAD/SDA: Seventh-day Adventist North American Division Commission on Accreditation (nadadventist.org)

FCCAP: Florida Catholic Conference Accreditation Program (eas-ed.org) FCCPSA: Florida Coalition of Christian Private Schools Association (fccpsa.org)

AI: Accreditation International (aiaccredits.org)

FCIS: Florida Council of Independent Schools (fcis. org)

AISF: Association of Independent Schools of Florida (aisfl.org)

FISA: Florida Independent School Association (no website)

AMS: American Montessori Society (amshq.org)

FKC: Florida Kindergarten Council (fkconline.org)

CAPE: Council for American Private Education (capenet.org)

FLAGS: Florida League of Assembly of God Schools (flags.org)

CASI: Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (ncacasi.org)

FLOCS: Florida League of Christian Schools (flocs. org)

CITA: Commission on International and TransRegional Accreditation (citaschools.org)

GOLD SEAL: Gold Seal Quality Care Program (dcf. state.fl.us/programs/childcare)

CSF: Christian Schools of Florida (christianschoolsfl. org)

IBO: International Baccalaureate Organization (ibo. org)

ECFA: Evangelical Council for Financial

ICAA: International Christian Accrediting

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NAIS: National Association of Independent Schools (nais.org) NCPSA: National Council for Private School Accreditation (ncpsa.org) NCSA: National Christian School Association (nationalchristian.org) NIPSA: National Independent Private Schools Association (nipsa.org) NLSA: National Lutheran Schools Accreditation (lcms.org) NPSAA: National Private Schools Association Accreditation (npsag.org) SACS: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (sacs.org) SAIS: Southern Association of Independent Schools (sais.org) SBACS: Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools (sbacs.org)

JANUARY 2013

12/14/12 3:41:34 PM


SPOTLIGHT

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pervasive, and children as young as 4 learn he 2012-2013 school year marks the the importance of being kind, setting a good 45th anniversary of Park Maitland School. Growing example for peers and giving to others. All The independent day school for children Big-Hearted Leaders of students take part in service to the school, the in Pre-K4 through Grade 6 is known in Tomorrow community and the world. We even built a Central Florida and beyond for its challenging school in an extremely poor village in India. academics, its fine- and performing-arts and its Service opportunities help students learn about cadre of enrichments that help to mold the whole giving to those in need and reaching out with child. Children who attend the school learn not friendship and kindness to others. It helps them only math and reading but, more than that, life grow “big hearts.” skills, manners, important study habits and the We feel proud every time one of our students meaning of giving. They learn to be leaders. greets someone with beautiful manners and The school occupies a lushly landscaped cam conversation skills. We love it when our stupus in Maitland. The garden-like surroundings dents, at all grade levels, lead our school in as and charming buildings give children a sense of semblies or announcements. We are enchanted home, where they feel nurtured and supported. when they display kindness and patience with Distinctions include a departmentalized pro older citizens as well as little ones. We are ex gram, small teacher/student ratio and advanced tremely pleased when they achieve academically. curriculum materials. The academic program, We “pop our buttons” when our students go on in fact, is renowned and age-appropriate. The school was founded upon academic excellence, and that remains its to excel in middle and high school, in their careers and in life. cornerstone today. 1450 South Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32751 Park Maitland is not ordinary. The theme of “leadership” is 407-647-3038 259-166 PM OrlMag Private School-Beth.pdf

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EDUCATION

private schools

Now Enrolling

for the upcoming 2013-2014 School Year

Apply now and reserve your child’s place in our highly acclaimed, authentic Children’s House Montessori Program

West Orange Montessori School cultivates a joyful, authentic Montessori Education for children ages 2 and a half through 6 years including Kindergarten, inspiring in each child a passion for lifelong learning. Visit www.westorangemontessori.com and watch a video of a morning at our school and download a 2013-2014 enrollment application.

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ORLANDO LIFE

11OHL_Jan13_Private Schools.indd 54

Including SACS, there are just 13 accrediting organizations officially recognized by the Florida Association of Academic and Nonpublic Schools (FAANS), including the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), which represents more than 70,000 students in 158 member schools. FCIS uses criteria similar to SACS and evaluates only secular private schools. Faith-based schools have a number of accrediting organizations recognized by FAANS, including the Florida Association of Christian Colleges & Schools (FACCS) and the Florida Catholic Conference (FCCAP). Beyond certifications, school size is often a major determining factor. Michelle Campbell is admissions director at Pine Castle Christian Academy in Orlando, a kindergarten through 12th grade school with just 220 students. Her small school has “a sense of community, where everybody knows everybody,” which she views as a big plus. She recognizes, however, it could also be a minus for some parents, whose children might do better in a larger school, or one with a stronger focus on athletics. Whether it’s a big or small school, academics should be uppermost, says Campbell, noting that prospective parents often ask her what percentage of her school’s graduates attend college, and more specifically, in which colleges they have been accepted. Institutional stability is another important consideration, Campbell says. “If there’s lots of teacher turnover, that could be a red flag. After all, if the staff is happy, the kids should be happy. People find comfort when you tell them that most of the staff has been here a long time.” Campbell notes another yardstick JANUARY 2013

12/14/12 3:41:46 PM


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12/17/12 1:32:46 PM


EDUCATION

private schools

IN EVERY ISSUE!

FLAVOR An expanded dining guide featuring reviews, profiles and listings by RONA GINDIN, one of the region’s best-known, most-respected food writers. It’s part of

ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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ORLANDO LIFE

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parents can use to judge a private school: how its students fare on standardized tests. While private schools generally don’t use the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test, better known as the FCAT, most rely on some kind of standardized measure, such as the Stanford Achievement Test or the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Another critical measure is class size, says Craig Maughan, headmaster of Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park. Even the larger private high schools often keep their class sizes under 20 students, he notes. That means students get more individual attention, particularly when it comes to writing skills. Having smaller class sizes is as much a benefit at Park Maitland School, which has students from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade, as it is at Trinity Prep, which covers grades 6-12. “Everybody has a strong suit, and small classes are important,” says Mary Margaret Bowen, Park Maitland’s vice president. “Children can feel good about themselves if they’re great in math, or in music or in phys ed. Teachers teach to their strengths.” The overall size of a school matters, too, and Maughan points out that by this measure private schools offer much more choice than public schools. While most public high schools in Central Florida have at least 2,000 students, the region’s private and parochial high school student bodies range in size from as large as 1,100 to as small as 50. For more in-depth information and advice, go to the website of the National Association of Independent Schools, nais.org, and click on “Parents” at the top of the page. n JANUARY 2013

12/17/12 4:28:12 PM


Orlando Home & Leisure_6.875 x 4.687 Ad_due Dec 14

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ORLANDO LIFE

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Student Teacher Ratio

Pre-K-12

608

17::1

NCSA, SACS

$7,848-$8,526

Faith Lutheran School 2727 S. Grove St., Eustis, FL 32726

352-589-5683 faitheustis.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

200

18::1

NLSA

$3,830-$4,900

First Academy Leesburg 219 N. 13th St., Leesburg, FL 34748

352-787-7762 firstacademyonline.com

Yes

K-12

298

18::1

ACSI, SACS

$4,133-$6,256

Gateway Christian School 18440 U.S. 441, Mount Dora, FL 32757

352-383-9920 antbmu.adventistschoolconnect.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

55

13::1

NAD/SCA

Lake Montessori & Learning Institute 415 N. Lee St., Leesburg, FL 34748

352-787-5333 lakemontessori.com

No

Pre-K-8

100

17::1

AMS

Liberty Christian Academy 2451 Dora Ave., Tavares, FL 32778

352-343-0061 lcaeagles.net

Yes

K3-12

200

25::1 max

FACCS

Montverde Academy 17325 Seventh St., Montverde, FL 34756

407-469-2561 montverde.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

960

13::1

FCIS, FKC, SACS, SAIS

$9,250-$11,250

Real Life Christian Academy 1501 Steve’s Road, Clermont, FL 34711

352-394-5575 rlcacademy.com

Yes

Pre-K-12

400

13::1

ACSI

$5,115-$6,358

St. Paul’s Catholic School 1320 Sunshine Ave., Leesburg, FL 34748

352-787-4657 saintpaulschool.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

180

17::1

FCCAP

$5,218-$5,951

Azalea Park Baptist 5725 Dahlia Drive, Orlando, FL 32807

407-277-4056 azaleaparkbaptist.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

150

16::1

SBACS

$4,000-$4,100

Bishop Moore Catholic School 3901 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804

407-293-7561 bishopmoore.org

Yes

9-12

1,134

25::1

SACS

$9,480-$13,116

Central Florida Christian Academy 700 Good Homes Road, Orlando, FL 32818

407-850-2322 cfcaeagles.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

245

14::1

ACSI, SACS

$8,185-$8,889

Central Florida Preparatory School 1450 Citrus Oaks Ave., Gotha, FL 34734

407-290-8073 cfprep.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

290

Christian Victory Academy 4606 Lake Margaret Drive, Orlando, FL 32812

407-281-6244 christianvictoryacademy.org

Yes

K-12

105

12::1

FCCPSA

$3,000

Faith Christian Academy 9307 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL 32825

407-275-8031 fcalions.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

525

25::1 max

FLOCS

$5,763-$6,477

Family Christian School 671 Beulah Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787

407-656-7904 fcs-fl.org

Yes

K-8

118

12::1 / 18::1

ACSI

$3,820-$5,120

Forest Lake Academy 500 Education Loop, Apopka, FL 32703

407-862-8411 forestlakeacademy.org

Yes

9-12

340

16::1

MSA-CES

Foundation Academy, South Campus 15304 Tilden Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787

407-877-2744 foundationacademy.net

Yes

Pre-K-12

620

14:1 / 18::1

CASI, SACS

$9,078-$10,571

Foundation Academy, North Campus 125 E. Plant St., Winter Garden, FL 34787

407-656-3677 foundationacademy.net

Yes

Pre-K-12

620

14:1 / 18::1

CASI, SACS

$9,078-$10,571

Good Shepherd Catholic 5902 Oleander Drive, Orlando, FL 32807

407-277-3973 goodshepherd.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

663

18::1

FCCAP

$5,784-$7,200

2012-2013 Tuition*

Number of Students

No

Accreditations

Grade Range

352-383-2155 chbs.org

Website/Phone

Christian Home & Bible School 301 W. 13th Ave., Mount Dora, FL 32757

School Name/Address

Uniforms

private-school directory

LAKE COUNTY

$4,400 $4,650-$7,200 $4,500

ORANGE COUNTY

58

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12::1 / ASIF, GOLD SEAL, 15::1/20::1 NCPSA, SACS

*Annual tuition for grades K-12; does not include pre-K.

$6,850-$8,950

$10,980

JANUARY 2013

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FACCS

$4,550-$5,150

407-876-9344 Holy Family Catholic School 5129 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32819 hfcschool.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

665

12::1 / 35::1

FCCAP

$5,080-$7,520

Jewish Academy of Orlando 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751

407-647-0713 jewishacademyorlando.org

Yes

K-8

175

7::1

FCIS

Kingsway Christian Academy 4161 N. Powers Drive, Orlando, FL 32818

407-295-8901 kingswaychristianacademy.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

488

20::1

FACCS

Lake Highland Preparatory School 901 N. Highland Ave., Orlando, FL 32803

407-206-1900 lhps.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

1,982

13::1

FCIS, FKC, NAIS, SACS

New School Preparatory 130 E. Marks St., Orlando, FL 32803

407-246-0556 newschoolprep.org

Yes

K-8

140

15::1

FCIS, FKC

Orangewood Christian School 1300 W. Maitland Blvd., Maitland, FL 32751

407-339-0223 orangewoodchristian.org

Yes

K-12

694

13::1

CSF, NCPSA, SACS

$8,990-$11.160

Orlando Christian Prep 500 S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, FL 32807

407-823-9744 orlandochristianprep.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

400

20::1 / 25::1

FACCS

$7,250-$8,295

Orlando Junior Academy 30 E. Evans St., Orlando, FL 32804

407-898-1251 oja-sda.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

263

17::1

FAANS, NAD-SDA

$4,000-$4,600

Park Maitland School 1450 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32751

407-647-3038 parkmaitland.org

Yes

Pre-K-6

625

10::1

FCIS, FKC

Pathways School 1877 W. Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL 32809

407-816-2040 pathwaysprivateschool.com

Yes

Pre-K-9

260

20::1

FISA

$6,500-$7,500

Pine Castle Christian Academy 7101 Lake Ellenor Drive, Orlando, FL 32809

407-313-7222 pccaeagles.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

220

12::1 / 20::1

ACSI, SACS

$8,322-$9,448

Providence Academy, East Campus: 1561 S. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828

407-382-5551 theprovidenceacademy.com

No

K-12

50

4::1 / 8::1

AISF

$18,000

Providence Academy, West Campus: 7605 Conroy Windermere Road, Orlando, FL 32835

407-298-8995 theprovidenceacademy.com

No

K-12

50

4::1 / 8::1

AISF

$18,000

St. Andrew Catholic School 877 N. Hastings St., Orlando, FL 32808

407-295-4230 standrewcatholicschool.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

350

16::1

FCCAP

$4,700- $6,500

St. Charles Borromeo School 4005 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804

407-293-7691 x249 stcharles-orlando.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

300

20::1

FCCAP

$5,925-$8,730

St. James Cathedral School 505 E. Ridgewood St., Orlando, FL 32803

407-841-4432 stjcs.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

480

16::1

FCCAP

$5,945-$7,675

St. John Vianney Catholic School 6200 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809

407-855-4660 sjvs.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

600

17::1

FCCAP

$4,875-$6,885

The Christ School 106 E. Church St., Orlando, FL 32801

407-849-1665 thechristschool.org

Yes

K-8

334

14::1, 17::1

CSF

$8,785-$9,315

The Crenshaw School 2342 Hempel Ave., Gotha, FL 34734

407-877-7412 crenshawschool.com

No

Pre-K-12

50

12::1

AISF, CASI, NCPSA, SACS

$9,000-$11,200

The First Academy 2667 Bruton Blvd., Orlando, FL 32805

407-206-8602 thefirstacademy.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

1,110

18::1 / 22::1

ACSI, SACS

$9,950-$14,290

The Parke House Academy 1776 Minnesota Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789

407-647-3624 theparkehouseacademy.com

Yes

Pre-K-6

200

10::1

FCIS, FKC

60

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*Annual tuition for grades K-12; does not include pre-K.

2012-2013 Tuition*

15::1

Accreditations

Student Teacher Ratio

111

Grade Range K-12

Uniforms Yes

Hampden Dubose Academy 3700 Dohnavur Drive, Zellwood, FL 32798

Website/Phone 407-880-4321 hda-lhs.com

School Name/Address

Number of Students

private-school directory

$11,850-$14,150 $4,135 $10,000-$17,375 $9,700

$11,350-$12,750

$10,250

JANUARY 2013

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Pre-K-8

350

18::1

ACSI, SACS, SBACS

$5,730-$6,310

Trinity Lutheran School 123 E. Livingston St., Orlando, FL 32801

407-488-1919 trinitydowntown.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

300

12::1

NLSA

$7,650-$7,850

Trinity Preparatory School 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park, FL 32792

407-671-4140 trinityprep.org

No

6-12

850

12::1

FCIS

$17,500

West Orange Montessori 227 S. Main St., Winter Garden, FL 34787

407-654-0700 westorangemontessori.com

No

Pre-K & K

40

10::1

AMS

$3,250-$7,750

Windermere Preparatory School 6189 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Windermere, FL 34786

407-905-7737 windermereprep.com

Yes

Pre-K-12

1,150

16::1

FCIS, FKC, IBO, SACS, SAIS

City of Life Christian Academy 2874 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy., Kissimmee, FL 34744

407-847-5184 colca.tv

Yes

Pre-K-12

360

12::1 / 25::1

CASI, ICAA, SACS

First United Methodist School 122 W. Sproule Ave., Kissimmee, FL 34741

407-847-8805 fums.org

Yes

Pre-K-5

224

15::1

FACCS

$4,400

Heritage Christian School 1500 E. Vine St., Kissimmee, FL 34744

407-847-4087 heritageeagles.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

550

24::1 / 26::1

FCCPSA

$3,100-$3,350

Holy Redeemer Catholic School 1800 W. Columbia Ave., Kissimmee, FL 34741

407-870-9055 hrcschool.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

340

13::1

FCCAP

$5,445

Life Christian Academy 2269 Partin Settlement Road, Kissimmee, FL 34744

407-847-8222 lifechristianacademy.us

Yes

Pre-K-12

320

22::1

AdvancEd, FLOCS, SACS

North Kissimmee Christian School 425 W. Donegan Ave., Kissimmee, FL 34741

407-847-2877 nkcs.weebly.com

Yes

Pre-K-12

140

15::1

SBACS

$3,350

Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic School 800 Brown Chapel Road, St. Cloud, FL 34769

407-957-1772 stacschool.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

280

22::1

FCCAP

$4,995-$6,245

Southland Christian School 2440 Fortune Road, Kissimmee, FL 34744

407-201-7999 scs2440.com

Yes

Pre-K-12

470

27::1

FACCS

$3,400-$3,900

Trinity Lutheran School 3016 W. Vine St., Kissimmee, FL 34741

407-847-5377 trinitychurchandschool.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

130

16::1

NLSA

$4,975-$5,225

All Souls Catholic School 810 S. Oak Ave., Sanford, FL 32771

407-322-7090 allsoulscatholicschool.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

267

14::1

FCCAP

$6,600-$8,412

Altamonte Christian School 601 Palm Springs Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

407-831-0950 altamontechristian.org

Yes

K-12

252

17::1

FACCS, NPSAA

$4,150-$4,650

Annunciation Catholic Academy 593 Jamestown Blvd., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

407-774-2801 annunciationacademy.org

Yes

K-8

502

18::1

FCCAP

$6,100-$7,350

Center Academy 470 W. Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

407-772-8727 centeracademy.com

No

5-12

47

10::1

NIPSA, SACS

Champion Preparatory School 1935 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka, FL 32703

407-788-0018 championprep.org

Yes

K-12

304

9::1

NPSAA

Forest City Adventist School 1238 Bunnell Road, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

407-299-0703 fcsdaschool.com

Yes

K-8

100

13::1

NAD/SDA

2012-2013 Tuition*

Student Teacher Ratio

Yes

Accreditations

Number of Students

407-886-0212 tcsapopka.org

Grade Range

Uniforms

Trinity Christian School 1022 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32703

School Name/Address

Website/Phone

private-school directory

$12,250-$16,275

OSCEOLA COUNTY Please call

$4,078-$4,347

SEMINOLE COUNTY

62

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*Annual tuition for grades K-12; does not include pre-K.

$11,000-$13,000 Varies with program $4,050-$5,250 JANUARY 2013

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352

15::1

AISF, NCPSA, SACS

Lake Forrest Preparatory School 866 Lake Howell Road, Maitland, FL 32751

407-331-5144 lakeforrestprep.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

200

18::1

AISF, MSA-CES, NCPSA

$8,987-$9,202

Lake Mary Montessori Academy 3551 W. Lake Mary Blvd., Lake Mary, FL 32746

407-324-2304 lmma.net

Yes

Pre-K-6

114

11::1

AMS, SACS

$8,950-$11,425

Lake Mary Preparatory School 650 Rantoul Lane, Lake Mary, FL 32746

407-805-0095 lakemaryprep.com

Yes

Pre-K-12

680

18::1

FCIS, FKC

$9,900-$13,050

Liberty Christian School 2626 S. Palmetto Ave., Sanford, FL 32773

407-323-1583 liberty-patriots.org

Yes

K-12

125

14::1

ACSI

Markham Woods Christian Academy 1675 Dixon Road, Longwood, FL 32779

407-774-0777 markhamwoodschristianacademy.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

100

10::1

ACTS, FLOCS, NCPSA, SACS

Pace Brantley Hall School 3221 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, FL 32779

407-869-8882 mypbhs.org

Yes

1-12

149

10::1

FCIS

$13,920-$14,409

Page Private School 100 Aero Lane, Sanford, FL 32771

407-324-1144 pageschool.com

Yes

Pre-K-8

125

12::1

AI, AISF, GOLD SEAL, MSCES, NCPSA, SACS

$8,250-$11,220

St. Lukes Lutheran School 2025 W. S.R. 426, Oviedo, FL 32765

407-365-3228 stlukes-oviedo.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

730

24::1

AdvancEd, NLSA, SACS

$7,106

St. Mary Magdelen Catholic School 869 Maitland Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

407-339-7301 smmschool.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

454

17::1

FCCAP

$6,215-$7,370

Sweetwater Episcopal Academy 251 E. Lake Brantley Drive, Longwood, FL 32779

407-862-1882 sweetwaterepiscopal.org

Yes

Pre-K-5

175

8::1

FCIS, FKC

$9,888-$10,200

The Geneva School 2025 S.R. 436, Winter Park, FL 32792

407-332-6363 genevaschool.org

Yes

Pre-K-12

456

10::1

FCIS, FKC

$8,660-$11,105

The Master’s Academy 1500 Lukas Lane, Oviedo, FL 32765

407-971-2221 mastersacademy.org

Yes

K-12

906

19::1

ACSI, ECFA, SACS

Varies with program

Tuskawilla Montessori Academy 1625 Montessori Point, Oviedo, FL 32765

407-678-3879 tuskmont.org

No

Pre-K-8

146

10::1

AISF, AMS, NCPSA, SACS

$7,075-$8,707

Lighthouse Christian Academy 126 S. Ridgewood Ave., DeLand, FL 32720

386-734-4631 delandlighthouse.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

200

15::1

FCCPSA

$3,470-$4,190

St. Barbabas Episcopal School 322 W. Michigan Ave., DeLand, FL 32720

386-734-3005 sbesyes.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

391

10::1

FCIS, FKC

$5,510-$6,046

St. Peter Catholic School 421 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720

386-822-6010 stpeter-deland.org

Yes

Pre-K-8

276

25::1

FCCAP

$4,785-$6,256

Trinity Christian Academy 875 Elkcam Blvd., Deltona, FL 32725

386-789-4515 trinitychristianacademy.com

Yes

Pre-K-12

625

25::1

FAANS, FLOCS, NCPSA, SACS

$4,950-$5,350

Accreditations

2012-2013 Tuition*

Student Teacher Ratio

Pre-K-8

Grade Range

Yes

Uniforms

407-936-3636 thehcla.org

Website/Phone

Holy Cross Lutheran Academy 5450 Holy Cross Court, Sanford, FL 32771

School Name/Address

Number of Students

private-school directory

$6,400

$3,400 $5,148-$5,980

VOLUSIA COUNTY

*Annual tuition for grades K-12; does not include pre-K.

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View

orlando

P T

Th s a t a

F R F An avid cyclist, Orlando Life senior photographer Rafael Tongol likes to ride around town with his iPhone 5, which he says packs enough megapixels to get a good-quality photograph. He’s also working on a personal project recording Orlando’s changing skyline. On a recent trek along Hughey Avenue, something about the horizontal and vertical lines across I-4 — the retaining walls, a couple of spindly light poles and the Bank of America building peeking over them — caught his eye. We think the resulting picture will catch yours. 64

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12OHL_Jan13_View.indd 64

Photo: RAFAEL TONGOl

Looking for an Angle

JANUARY 2013

12/14/12 5:26:44 PM

E A W

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12OHL_Jan13_View.indd 65

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12OHL_Jan13_View.indd 66

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Orlando Life January 2013