Chef's Tasting

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virgina Woolf

I'm not sure how I've managed to never post about my favorite restaurant in town. Today, that atrocity shall be rectified! Luma on Park is a culinary gem situated within walking distance of our home, and for us, this place absolutely sets the bar for dining out.

They offer a "Chef's Table," where you can get an elaborate taste of exactly what the restaurant is all about: locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients, unique (and sometimes unusual and/or complex) flavor profiles, and elegant presentation. Lucky for us, Luma is more than accommodating to vegetarians and pescetarians - though you might not know it from a quick glance at their menu. After getting to know the Chef de Cuisine, Derek Perez, he created a ten-course (not including snacks!) vegetarian tasting for me and Matt. Gosh, we're spoiled. Prepare yourself for some insane food porn, people!

From top left, clockwise: We brought our own adult beverages to celebrate the occasion (Herb Lamb Vineyards wines always compliment Luma meals so well); Creamy tomato soup topped with crème fraîche & chives; Local radish tasting.

From top left, clockwise: Cauliflower-onion tart; Derek, working his magic on a whole counter of salads; toasted house brioche w/ strawberry jam; Local roasted beets, goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts & strawberries on local greens.

From top left, clockwise: Apple, fennel & walnut salad; Grano risotto, broccoli, and turnips in a smoked date glaze topped w/ shaved parmesan; truffle popcorn; Can't remember exactly what this was called but it was butternut squash nestled inside of some yummy pasta topped w/ vegetable reduction; Homemade green garlic pasta in a simple carbonara sauce topped w/ micro greens.

From top left, clockwise: Apple fritters w/ cinnamon ice cream & oat streusel; Chefs-hard at work; Intensely tangy fresh passion fruit topped w/ a dollop of crème fraîche to neutralize & a side of berry sorbet w/ graham crumbles.

Uh, my mouth is watering as I type. But one last thing about Luma. Our second favorite thing to do (after eating at the Chef's Table or Pastry Counter) is to sit outside on a breezy evening and enjoy one of their incredibly perfect cheese plates with a chilled glass of white wine.

I'll leave you with that - and I'm totally strategically posting this right before lunch time. I hope if you're a Central Floridian, this has inspired you to visit Luma...and soon!