SOURCE: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

July 14, 2014 17:41 ET

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Announces New Restaurant: Highball & Harvest

Opening in Early September 2014 at This Luxury Orlando Resort, Highball & Harvest Reinvigorates the Casual Dining Experience at The Ritz-Carlton and Features Southern Comfort Cuisine & Design

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwired - Jul 14, 2014) - Orlando's luxury resort leader, Grande Lakes Orlando is pleased to announce the September opening of Highball & Harvest ("H&H") at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Comprised of The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes continues its dedication to farm-to-fork dining and authentic, local experiences with the opening of this innovative new casual dining concept, which will feature interactive dining, unexpected design, handcrafted cocktails, and a creative, playful menu.

 "We are thrilled to welcome Highball & Harvest to our resort in September," says Jon McGavin, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. "The opening of a brand-new restaurant represents not only the next era in Grande Lakes Orlando's 11-year evolution, but a redefinition of the casual dining and bar concept for The Ritz-Carlton brand."

Featuring seasonal Low Country and Cajun-inspired cuisine from young, Southern-raised Chef de Cuisine Mark Jeffers, H&H will offer hyper-local dishes infused with Floridian citrus and ingredients from nearby purveyors as well as the resort's own 7,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm, which opened in October 2012. Ingredients from local farms and Whisper Creek Farm will be specifically noted on the restaurant's seasonal, playful menu. Combining rustic authenticity with modern Ritz-Carlton refinement that reflects the resort's Central Florida locale (an agricultural industry epicenter), H&H's railroad-inspired design will feature communal seating, a large bar/lounge area, a raw oyster bar (with chefs shucking oysters by hand), and custom hand painted dishware. 

Signature dishes include H&H Pig-n-Potatoes, a decadent all-day breakfast dish, house-made beef jerky, dips with pickled veggies presented in a rustic tackle box, and a signature H&H Hot Sauce made from Whisper Creek Farm peppers. The central Florida resort's thirty-strong pastry team, that works magic baking everything from scratch, has created one of the restaurant's most exceptional offerings: Parker House Rolls made from old-world Khorasan wheat, served up warm and moist with significantly less gluten than typical bread.

"The dishes we create at Highball & Harvest are designed to give restaurant-goers a sense of nostalgia," says Chef Mark Jeffers, Chef de Cuisine for Highball & Harvest. "We are thrilled to showcase our kitchen's extraordinary creativity in one of the first Ritz-Carlton casual dining outlets of its kind."

The thirst-quenching heart of the restaurant will be an interactive cocktail table, where knowledgeable bar chefs muddle ingredients while instructing over carefully curated and personalized cocktail classes. H&H will offer a hand-crafted, seasonal cocktail menu--signature cocktails include: the Moonshine "Whistle-Stop," the refreshing "Green Acres" with house ginger beer and jasmine tea, and a "Cranberry Cobbler" mixed with honey from the resort's on-site apiaries. Most cocktails will be served on the rocks with hand-carved ice, sculpted bar side with a Japanese ice saw and often infused with herbs and citrus from Whisper Creek Farm. H&H will also feature Central Florida's largest selection of wines from the cask, carefully selected by Advanced Sommelier Kris Soto, to ensure perfect temperature control and freshness. 

The opening of Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes marks a series of improvements and renovations to the family resort in the coming year. This fall, JW Marriott Orlando will open The Kitchen spotlighting charcuterie, Whisper Creek Farm ingredients, and beer from the JW Marriott Orlando Nano Brewery also opening this fall. Upcoming plans include a new look for the 40,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa that continues to win top accolades year after year as well as well as completion of the hotel's meeting space renovation.

About Grande Lakes Orlando
Grande Lakes Orlando is a 500-acre resort with a luxury 582-room Ritz-Carlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott hotel situated at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. Orlando's luxury leader provides an authentic, local experience from its farm-to-fork dining offerings to its Grande Lakes Adventures Experiences, which include kayaking, eco-tours on Shingle Creek, and a fishing school. Grande Lakes presents the culinary mastery of award-winning Chefs Norman Van Aken and Melissa Kelly's PRIMO, and the resort recently opened both on-site apiaries and a 13,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm, serving as a fruit & vegetable garden and outdoor event space. In Fall 2014 the resort will open two new casual dining restaurants: Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen at JW Marriott Orlando.

Guests at both hotels can enjoy all the facilities and services at Grande Lakes Orlando, including the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Greg Norman and offering Golf Digest Schools instruction, the 40,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa with total-wellness treatments and a rooftop eco-space. The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are connected by a robust conference center, with more than 150,000 square feet of meeting space, 6 ballrooms, 46 breakout rooms, and over 107,000 square feet of outdoor space. The estate is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and minutes from the major theme parks. Membership offerings are also available through The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Members Club. For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando, visit www.grandelakes.com. Follow Grande Lakes Orlando on Twitter at @RC_Orlando and @JW_Orlando.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) for company information.

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 86 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the Kingdom of Bahrain 800 00995, or visit the company web site at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR)          

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