AlFresco relocates, Market to Table finds new home
The popular alFresco restaurant has relocated, and a new restaurant is taking its place in the Roper Building behind Axum Coffee.
| 11:48 p.m. July 15, 2016
West Orange Times & Observer
After four years of serving its modern twist on Mediterranean cuisine in the Roper Building behind Axum Coffee on Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden, alFresco restaurant has moved to a new home.
alFresco has relocated to where the now-closed Catania restaurant once was. The sudden move was done without much fanfare, but the end result is a pleasant surprise for co-owners Edwin Martinez and Lynn Kasten.
“Our lease was up, and so we were debating on what to do,” Kasten said. “We had come over to talk to (Catania owners) about using their kitchen for banquets and renting it out and doing breakfast and things like that, and the opportunity arose, and so we jumped at it.”
Despite the abrupt change in location, they’re not worried about losing clientele, as both old and new customers can find them by just walking by.
“We were looking in Windermere, and we were looking in Ocoee, so we were looking in different places, and then this just happened to come out of nowhere,” Kasten said. “We were mostly excited about staying in Winter Garden and being on the front side of Plant Street.”
Catania restaurant’s sign is still up, but Martinez assured they will change it once they get all the paperwork finalized. Their opening hours will remain the same, however, they will be expanding the back for more seating and adding a breakfast menu in August.
MARKET TO TABLE
Chef Ryan Freelove, the owner of Market to Table Cuisine, saw an opportunity when the venue where alFresco was originally located opened up. Known for selling soups, salad dressings, butters, marinades and the like in the Winter Garden Farmer’s Market since 2014, Freelove will be opening his own restaurant there in mid-September.
Freelove spent a decade honing his culinary skills under famous top chefs before coming up with the idea of Market to Table. He initially nurtured musical aspirations in his younger years, but when that didn’t quite pan out, he turned his attention to the culinary arts.
After attending Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh, he returned to Orlando and worked as a chef at the Peabody Hotel. After that he worked under Chef Scott Hunnel at Victoria & Albert’s restaurant, and later worked in Austria for two years. Upon his return, he worked at Victoria & Albert’s again for another two years and at The Ritz-Carlton in Orlando for five years.
Freelove is currently remodeling the interior and said he is excited to get the chance to serve his customers his signature American classic cuisine directly. He plans to include shaded out- door seating and limit the interior to only 60 chairs for the sake of intimacy.