Last year Winter Park saw the opening of The Alfond Inn, a beautiful boutique hotel owned by Rollins College. The AAA Four Diamond rated inn has 112 rooms, a rooftop pool, fitness center & absolutely gorgeous grounds. It’s proceeds benefit The Alfond Scholars program fund which awards up to 10 full scholarships annually to first-year students at Rollins College in the College of Arts & Sciences/College of Professional Studies. Guests & visitors of The Alfond Inn will love the artwork gracing so much of the public areas, which are on display from The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College. Guests will also love the food & atmosphere to be found at the Inn’s restaurant, Hamilton’s Kitchen!
Named for Hamilton Holt who was the 8th president of Rollins College, Hamilton’s Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch, & dinner as well as Sunday brunch. Executive Chef Mark Kusche is putting his vast experience to use overseeing the restaurant & the wonderful food it prepares. The restaurant itself has a warm, inviting atmosphere. From the candlelit tables & exposed beam ceiling to the open kitchen & Dutch oak floors, Hamilton’s Kitchen is a treasure of elegance without being stuffy or overbearing. With indoor & outdoor seating available, guests are sure to enjoy their surroundings as much as the delicious food. And it is delicious!!
Recently, I had the opportunity to partake in some of the wonderful choices offered by Chef Kusche! I found all the dishes to be just the right mix of interesting ingredients & wonderful aromas with a taste that was divine!! My first dish was pumpkin soup with almond foam garnished with pumpkin seeds. I am not a lover of all things pumpkin, which seem to be found in abundance with the inception of this fall. However, much to my surprise, I really loved this soup & would order it again given the opportunity! It had such a delectable flavor which was made even more so thanks to the almond foam. I found myself wondering if I could cook something similar at home, which is a first for me! Thanks Chef Kusche for the inspiration!
Next up were jalapeno cheddar biscuits &, yes, they are just as delightful as you’re thinking they would be! I also had a grilled flatbread with mozzarella, butternut squash, & prosciutto as well as salt roasted beets with ricotta, pickled carrots, & pumpkin seeds. Everything was amazing – so filled with flavor & texture in every bite! Judging by this course, I knew a magnificent course of entrees was coming next & I was certainly not disappointed!!
For the entree course, I was able to sample 2 glorious dishes! First was shrimp on a lobster bisque risotto. My mouth was watering as I listened to Chef Kusche’s description & smelled the aroma of shrimp & lobster. How can this dish NOT be absolutely delicious?! The risotto is cooked using lobster bisque as the liquid instead of the usual broth type liquid. These are some of my favorite foods & eating it was just heavenly!! I really didn’t want to share with other at my table!
Next was a dish that is not on the menu, but I hope it will be soon because it was wonderful! It was mushroom & beef served on a puree of bacalao & squash. Chef Dre came up with this creation & introduced it to us. I had never heard of bacalao before so, thankfully, Chef Dre explained that it is a fish, much like cod, found in the islands near Puerto Rico. I was surprised since it didn’t taste at all like fish. This dish, like all the others, was packed full of a wonderful mesh of flavors & textures!!
Hamilton’s Kitchen is a wonderful culinary experience in a beautiful, cozy setting! As the perfect spot for a romantic date night or a fun gathering of friends/family, Hamilton’s Kitchen will not disappoint! Chef Kusche & his team are very talented & love to share that talent with the guests. I look forward to another opportunity to dine at this gem again & I hope it’s soon!! Want to try it for yourself? Click here for more info!
Chef Kusche will also be sharing his talents with a much larger audience as he and more of the area’s top culinary experts will be demonstrating recipes on the Edible Orlando Cooking Stage at the Orlando Home Show next weekend, October 24-26. You can check out Chef Kusche on Sunday at 12:30pm! Tickets are still on sale for the event & can be purchase for just $10 per adult ages 13 & up. Discounts are available for seniors, kids, & advance purchases. Click here to check out the website for ticket info. Click here to read all about the offerings at the Orlando Home Show. Join us at the home show & at the Edible Orlando Cooking Stage! Hope to see you there!!