VOLUME 1 - ISSUE 2
** Just a quick note before we get down to business. Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to fill out our reader survey. We appreciate you! If you haven’t done that yet, there’s still time! Just click the link below and help us make Sarasota Bites better. (OH, you can also win a FREE Sarasota dining book!) Thanks in advance. And, now back to our regularly scheduled post!
The Sarasota restaurant community is neither a boring nor a static thing. It is changing all the time. And in the past month, there have been some BIG changes. The opening and closing front has been as active as a two year old all sugared up.
It almost seems like the closings/sales have been a little bit of a domino effect. Or maybe it’s just the first one into the pool scenario. Now that somebody else has done it, it doesn't seem nearly so scary.
There are things going on, so we might as well get right into it...
AH, THE LIFE OF A LOBSTER 🦞
It can’t be that easy being a lobster. I’m not speaking from experience. I’m just using my overactive imagination. If the media buzz surrounding the new LobsterCraft restaurant opening soon on St. Armands Circle is any indication, the lobster life is going to get a lot tougher, and quick! I’m as excited to try this super-hyped place as anyone. I REALLY want that LBLT (lobster, bacon, lettuce and tomato)! A New Lobster Roll Business Is Coming to St. Armands Circle.
WE’RE BAAACCKKK! (KIND OF)
If you’ve been around Sarasota for a second or two, then you’ll remember the wildness that would always surround ticket sales for the Forks & Corks Grand Tasting. It had the flavor of a Stones concert ticket sale. It was pretty much madness. This year Forks & Corks is back in business, minus the Grand Tasting (hopefully next year.🤞). They have brought back the “wine and food experiences” and Forks & Cork U. That’s a great start. Let’s keep building on that! Forks & Corks 2022 Events.
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO... 🏆
The SRQ Magazine annual food awards are always super popular. And it seems they're a lot safer than presenting at the Academy Awards (at least this past year!). There are a lot of new faces among this year's winners. I know that places beg people to vote for them. But, hey, that all seems to be part of the game here. And, as long as you know the rules... Have a look at this year’s winners!
** NOTE - OH, and congrats to SRQ Magazine on their 20th anniversary!!!
GOING, GOING, GONE
Restaurants close or change ownership all of the time. It’s just a fact of life in the very tough hospitality business. But the last month or so has been over the top as far as our local Sarasota restaurants go. Let me just rattle off a few recent and upcoming closings for you. Demetrios’, Café Baci, Fire Fresh Grill, and The Blue Rooster. This doesn’t even include the rash of just announced sales (Beach Bistro, Bijou Café, Café L’Europe, Euphemia Haye). We are super happy that those places will still be a part of our local restaurant scene. But what is going on here! Wade Tatangelo, Editor of "The Ticket" over at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has some theories on the rush for the exit. Restaurants closing in Sarasota and Bradenton highlight labor shortage
FAMILY MATTERS 👨👨👧👦
We did a little roundup of some of our local Mom and Pop restaurants at the end of last month (It's National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day!). We mentioned quite a few places around town. But one family has gotten a little bit of extra attention. They own a successful Palm Avenue Italian favorite, a super busy Burns Court hotspot. It’s no secret that they’ve got a winning formula for restaurant success here in Sarasota! Restaurant family shares their secret: Failure is not an option
MAKING MOVIES 🎥
In case you didn’t realize it, and it’s very possible that you hadn’t, from 1999 until 2013 we had a culinary superstar living in our midst, Marcella Hazan. Her landmark cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, brought Italian cuisine into our homes the way that Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking did for French food. Now filmmaker Peter Miller is making a documentary about her extraordinary life. It’s about time! NOTE – Her son, Guiliano, and his family still live in Sarasota! Filmmaker Launches Kickstarter to Complete Marcella Hazan Documentary
QUICK BITES... Just opened on Main Street, Molly’s Pub... New on Ringling Avenue, Baby Paul’s BBQ... New Venezuelan cuisine on Fruitville Road, Coco’s Bistro... Closing on April 30, The Blue Rooster (where will we get our gospel brunch fix??)… Coming soon, dining and drinking with your doggie, Boo’s Icehouse and Dog Bar... Congrats to the folks at the Artisan Cheese Company on their 10th anniversary!!... Congrats to Knick’s Tavern & Grill on being named SRQ Mag's Best Burger (that’s one tough category!) in Sarasota!!
🌟 ONE LAST THING... It's not all that often that we have culinary celebrities come to town. And it's even less likely that you would get a chance to eat their food. Guess what? You have that opportunity. Thursday, April 28th the James Beard Foundation Chef's Tour will make a stop on Siesta Key. Cafe Gabbiano will be hosting a six-course dinner with wine pairings featuring local and James Beard nominated chefs. Proceeds will be benefitting our local All Faiths Food Bank and the James Beard Foundation. This is not to be missed! TICKETS HERE.
📢 We want your news! Do you have a Sarasota-related food tidbit? If you do, we might just include it in the Quick Bites section of an upcoming edition of dineSarasota Digest! Here’s a link you can use to send that info over. HERE YOU GO.
April means lamb for a lot of people. You’ve heard the term “spring lamb” at some point, I’m guessing. I even was overcome by a case of “I Need Lamb Fever” a couple of weeks back. I couldn’t help myself, so, I braised up some delicious lamb shanks. Here’s what they looked like right before they were popped into the oven!
The folks over at Food & Wine Magazine have a five-star recipe for Garlic-Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb. I thought it would be a real waste of an opportunity not to share it with you. If you happen to make this delectable dish, please share a photo with us on our Facebook Page. We’d LOVE to see how yours turns out! Happy April!
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you with a link to more info.