Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cask & Larder (Revisited) - Winter Park

During the year that we've had to survey the culinary landscape of Central Florida, Mrs. Hackknife and I have discovered a number of restaurants that warrant multiple visits; one of them, Cask & Larder in Winter Park, received such a visit from us this past Sunday as we met up for brunch with my sister and her friend (in town for Spring Break). Since our first experience with C&L last August entailed a thorough sampling of their lunch offerings, my plan this time was to focus more on breakfast items, which we did at first by sharing a "bakeshop on a board", consisting of decadent crumb cake, two giant macarons (pecan stuffed with a bourbon buttercream), a monkey bread that puts anything Cinnabon ever did to complete shame, and homemade glazed caramel donut holes. While the remainder of the table continued with the breakfast theme (most of them opted for the brioche french toast, served in a large baking dish with roasted apples, granola, bacon, bourbon maple syrup, and brown butter glaze - and yes, it was as good as it sounds), I couldn't help but to order C&L's special version of pasta carbonara (see photo above). In this case, cavatelli made from stinging nettle (a plant with skin irritating properties that happens to be highly nutritious - cooking the leaves neutralizes the irritants) stood in for the usual fettucine and was quite tasty in spite of its earthworm-like appearance. Other additions to the dish included lamb bacon (which is breakfast, right?), watercress, peas, baby carrots that looked alarmingly like twigs, shaved parmesan, trout roe (for a briny touch), and a light cream sauce. When washed down with a breakfast beverage (a Long Overdue Porter, made on the premises in the attached brewery), this made for a fine brunch. Even the progeny were happy as the kitchen made for them custom plates of scrambled eggs with what was likely the best bacon they'll ever encounter. All told, it appears to me that C&L has conquered both breakfast and lunch, and I can't imagine that dinner would be safe, either...

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