There is nothing quite like spending the Fourth of July here on the Suncoast! You can find so many things to do from food, fireworks, and tons of fun. We’ve put a list together of some of our must-dos! This is how you can spend Independence Day just like an ORIGINAL!
The Sandbar Seafood and Spirits on Anna Maria Island will kick off the Independence Day Weekend early on Saturday, July 2 at 9PM with the largest fireworks display they have ever had!
The fireworks will be visible all along the Anna Maria beach and watching them is free! The Sanbar restaurant will be open normal hours, 11AM to 10PM and remember – they don’t take reservations so be sure to stop by and put your name in early.
For those wanting an elevated experience, Sandbar is hosting a Sparkling Good Time, a ticketed VIP event, July 2nd from 6-10PM in the Grand Pavilion, adjacent to the restaurant. This event includes reserved dinner seating with a delectable selection of fresh food, an open bar, a champagne toast, special beach seating for the fireworks, a gift bag and valet parking.
Father's Day 2022 is right around the corner and we want to make sure this year is one to remember. There is no better way to celebrate than supporting locally owned and operated restaurants right here on the Suncoast.
From Anna Maria Island to Venice Pier, the member restaurants of The Sarasota-Manatee Originals are offering dining, take-out, all-you-can-eat, and delivery options to celebrate all of the amazing Dads out there. No matter what he’s craving, we’ve got you covered!
Did someone say BBQ?
This year's annually hosted event by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals was a success. Normally taking place in the Ringling Museum courtyard, words can not express our gratitude to every person who took part and showed up at this year's wine dinners, food and wine pairings, special menus, bottle discounts, and cooking classes! This year was one to remember.
Things are heating up here in the Sarasota-Manatee area and we’ve got a guide to keep you satisfied all summer long! Whether you are looking for a delicious burger or fresh seafood, these waterside restaurants will guarantee to satisfy any of your cravings. Here are 7 local spots we want you to give a try this summer.
The Beach House Waterfront Restaurant is set on 650 feet of pristine Gulf front beach, the restaurant was purchased in 1993 by Ed Chiles. His vision of a moderately priced restaurant serving great seafood both indoors and outdoors transformed into what is the Beach House Restaurant. You can find delicious fish tacos to NY strip steak – there is something for everyone! Their climate friendly outdoor deck provides beautiful oceanfront vistas and signature Anna Maria Island sunsets on display every evening. This is a Manatee County MUST!
Pier 22 is a foodie's riverside paradise, with a welcoming ambiance and a wide-ranging selection of scratch-made meals. Serving delicious flatbreads, fresh salads, and every seafood you could wish for, there is no wrong choice to make! The stunning Manatee River views and an active onsite marina captivate guests not to be outdone by the chef's local Gulf-Coast fish offerings and fresh game dishes that often take center stage. For a true authentic waterfront dining experience, look no further than PIER 22 in historic downtown, Bradenton!
The Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant sits right on the Manatee River and features three distinct dining options under one roof bringing an exclusive waterfront experience to Palmetto’s historic district. Located on the ground level is their full-service bar and restaurant, the Reef & Grill, along with a casual, waterfront patio bar, the Snook Deck. On the second floor, you’ll find their elevated coastal kitchen, called The Second Floor. In addition to their natural aesthetic and clever hints of nostalgia, the common thread among their three concepts is the coastal charm & breathtaking sunset view. There are landside and seaside entrees for all!
The Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub is a local treasure rich in history with a casual, laid-back, authentic Florida atmosphere. Search no further because this charming restaurant is top-rated for serving the most locally sourced seafood and heritage items the area has to offer. Mar Vista’s private dock with 14 convenient slips awaits you. Plus, they have a private beach, which includes dining under the trees or on the covered patio. Their pub has a full bar and a convenient package service with beer and wine. Dine with Mar Vista for an original Florida moment.
Tracking down authentic Portuguese cuisine is not an effortless task in Sarasota-Manatee, and even the best purveyors aren’t always overtly on the radar. Case in point: Amore Restaurant in Sarasota.
Titularly, this locale conjures up images of Italian food, but half of the menu is actually Portuguese. Here, owners Tito and Liana Vitorino serve a signature dish called the Cataplana de Marisco (Seafood Cataplana) with lobster tail, shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari with red bell peppers, onions and sliced boiled potatoes in a seafood broth. The Portuguese entrée is named after the copper pan in which it is cooked and served.
According to Tito Vitorino, who is also Amore’s chef, “Portuguese cuisine can be the simplest of Mediterranean to the earthy and eccentric of Brazil, Mozambique and Macua (thanks to the 15 th -century Portuguese explorers and the new ingredients they discovered during the Great Navigations).” Fascinating! And, while Portuguese cuisine is world-famous, many people still aren’t aware of the impact Portugal has had on worldwide fare. Other Portuguese delicacies at Amore include the salted cod and a Portuguese sausage that is flame-grilled right at the table.
Both Tito and Liana Vitorino—who previously ran the Amore on Longboat Key—are originally from Portugal, and they grew up within five miles of each other. They’re continuing to make regulars fall in love with both Italy and Portugal, all in one sitting, without ever leaving the Florida table.
Amore Restaurant, 180 N. Lime Ave., Sarasota, 941-383-1111. amorelbk.com
Simple, fluffy blueberry pancakes—just on their own—are reason enough to eat breakfast any hour of the morning or evening. Add lemon curd, lavender and ricotta cheese to the mix, and it is go time!
At The Breakfast House—a Key-West-style bungalow in Sarasota's Historic Downtown Village—owner Wendy Lee Goldberg whips up her coveted Lemon-Lavender-Ricotta-Stuffed Blueberry Pancakes, and she is no stranger to making upwards of 300 on any given Saturday. What makes the flapjacks so fabulous? Goldberg, who opened The Breakfast House 13 years ago, invented them. The New York Daily News even compiled a roundup of the best pancakes in every state and, for Florida, The Breakfast House took the (pan)cake.
The pancake recipe actually originated with an extract experiment. Goldberg has regularly sourced her all-natural, organic flavorings from a secret spot in California. Once, she ordered a sample box of extracts from the company (with butter rum, coconut and vanilla) and some lavender came in the package, so she added a bit to her pancake batter. The idea of using ricotta in the mix was inspired by cannoli filling, and the lemon curd adds a little tartness. Goldberg also uses whole-fat buttermilk and clarified butter. Not that the stuffed pancakes need it, but Goldberg serves only genuine Vermont maple syrup at her locale. So drizzle it on a stack and get decadent.
The Breakfast House, 1817 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, 941-366-6860
Featured in SRQ Daily Tuesday Foodie Edition
By: Abby Weingarten | Published on: Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Pictured: The signature Blueberry Pancakes at The Breakfast House are stuffed with lavender, lemon curd and ricotta cheese. Photo by Peter Acker
Representatives of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals (SMO) are thrilled to announce the continued partnership of premier wholesale restaurant distributor Sysco for 2022. Regional management of the trusted broadliner worked closely with SMO staff and Executive Board Members to design a program that was relevant and sustainable in its support of locally-owned, independent restaurants by offering discounts and buying incentives to SMO’s Members. Sysco is also providing the SMO organization meaningful rewards used to underwrite the not-for-profits’ marketing initiatives.
“Since its inception, the SMO restaurant collective’s primary mission has been to provide its Members with tools to help compete with the national and multi-unit chains in their communities,” said Marc Grimaud, Owner of Café Gabbiano and SMO Board President, “and Sysco has been a steadfast and gracious partner and ally from the beginning of the journey. Working with Sysco to provide ‘buying power’ in the form of competitive purchasing opportunities of foods and products for our Members is one of the strongest pillars of support we can offer our local restaurateurs.”
2022 Partnership Marks 15 years of Cooperative Support for Local Restaurants
“At Sysco we have a purpose statement: Connecting The World To Share Food and Care For One Another,” states Antonette Palacios, Vice President of Sales, Sysco North Florida Region. “Together, we are excited to partner with the Sarasota Originals to help them serve their customers and teams each and every day.”
Sarasota-Manatee Originals was established in September 2003 based on a shared passion to celebrate and preserve the community’s culinary sense of place. A group of 24 independent restaurant owners and chefs from Sarasota and Manatee counties had learned to see their neighbor restaurants as collaborators, not competition and came together to become Florida's first chapter of a group of its kind. Today the “Originals” are over 60 restaurants strong, spanning 40 miles of Florida’s central Gulf coast and providing guests with unique local flavor from the north shore of Anna Maria Island down to the southern beaches of Venice and every neighborhood in between.
Standing stronger together, the Originals organization works to preserve, elevate and celebrate the culinary heritage its Members represent - defined not so much by a particular flavor or cuisine, but by the passionate personality, dedication to the highest quality, and love of community that mark the independent restaurant professional. SMO supports their Member restaurants with creative, cooperative advertising, unique marketing events and opportunities, and forging strategic partnerships such as this one with Sysco. “The Sarasota-Manatee Originals are honored to align with Sysco in support of our mission and so very appreciative of Sysco’s ongoing partnership with the local restaurant community,” added Grimaud.
Excursions to Maine are few and far between for many of us in Southwest Florida. But we can still revisit the memory of scoring fresh crustaceans along the coast without ever leaving our houses. Michael’s On East makes it easy.
The Classic Lobster Pot Special—with its two whole 1¼-pound Maine lobsters, littleneck clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, red bliss potatoes, corn on the cob and drawn butter—quenches the New England craving. It has been a Friday night staple at the Sarasota restaurant for more than two decades.
Sometimes, after the workday wraps, try waiting until exactly 5:30 p.m. and speedily place a to-go order (use the “Michael’s at Home” feature on the website; there’s an online tile just for this occasion). If you prefer to go in person, they’ll give you a signature bib. For takeout, keep your metal lobster crackers on standby at home so you can start devouring as soon the takeout package hits your kitchen counter.
Whatever your preference is for dining—on the living room coffee table or at a fancy onsite table—make your reservation for the dish early because lobsters are limited and the demand is high (also, the market price fluctuates).
And if you’re wondering how the lobster special became such a coveted commodity in the first place, its origin dates back to the late 1990s when it was featured at Michael's Seafood Grille in the Sarasota Quay. After the restaurant suffered a fire and was not able to reopen, the special was brought to Michael's On East around 2000.
Saturday afternoons in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts have evolved into a mini ritual, bookended with gemstone shopping and taco scarfing. After a stop at The Village Mystic for selenite wands, a walk over to Birdrock Taco Shack for Baja-style fare is the flavorful finale.
At this eclectic little hideaway—which just shifted locations (still in the same neighborhood, in a century-old cracker home with patio room for Grateful Dead cover bands)—there are folded-up, savory bites for every palate.
One of the stars is the avocado bahn mi taco with pickled vegetables, pico de gallo, cilantro and lime on a corn tortilla (a twist on the Vietnamese recipe without the typical baguette). Birdrock’s chef and restaurateur Dave Shiplett actually pickles the veggies himself and scores his avocados from the local flea market.
This taco is exemplifies his belief that “food should be appreciated for its simplicity and the natural perfection of good ingredients,” says Shiplett, who is a classically trained French chef. “What makes a signature dish is some kind of simplicity in the preparation so it can be created again and again with the same high-quality, more complicated dishes.”
And simplicity is the common menu thread at Birdrock. To start things off, check out the avocado smash guacamole with tomato, lime and radish—confident enough in its perfect simplicity to be “nearly famous,” as the menu suggests. There is a slew of meaty and vegan options on the taco front—from the beef tamale corn husk, steamed with cilantro and chile butter; to the coldwater lobster nachos with Baja sauce; to the beet and goat cheese taco with sriracha and sunflower seeds. Burrito-wise, the pork carnitas with rice, beans, cabbage and pico is as crave-able as the Asian barbecue short rib with pepperjack queso and fried onion pico.
The Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted annually by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, will return in May with a palate-pleasing menu of events, ranging from the always popular University Master Classes, to an enticing Virtual Auction and a bountiful selection of Food and Wine Experiences from which to choose. Mark your calendars for May 9-15, 2022.For the second year in a row, missing from the roster of events will be the massive Grand Tasting that normally takes place in the Ringling Museum courtyard. Concerns about vintners traveling from abroad, supply chain issues and key staffing shortages, all brought on by COVID, led the Originals' Board of Directors to make this difficult decision. “While we know how the community looks forward to the excitement of the Grand Tasting, the difficulties that restaurants and wineries continue to face made our decision the right one,” said Michael Klauber, Founding Member of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals and 2022 Auction Chairman. “We promise that this year’s event will have enormous opportunities for guests to participate and for our visiting vintners and restaurateurs to showcase their talents in the local restaurants that we are so fortunate to have in our community.” Forks & Corks is the primary annual fundraiser for the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, supporting local, independently-owned restaurants and encouraging locals and visitors to our area to always “Eat Like a Local.” Whether you are a seasoned wineaux or still figuring out the different between Moscato and Merlot, they'll be something perfect for you. This year’s epicurean festival will include:
Additional details on the festival and tickets to Forks & Corks events will be available soon at EatLikeALocal.comThe Originals are thankful for ther 2022 Forks & Corks Sponsors including Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors, Icard Merrill, and Atlas Insurance.
Restaurants and bars are central to the soul of any city. Here on Florida's Gulf Coast, our community’s diversity, values, and spirit are expressed through the casual eateries, fine dining establishments, and late-night spots that unite us. Each of these is a stage for memories, big and small: birthdays, anniversaries, networking, catching up with friends, chance meetings.
The COVID-19 pandemic devastated communities around the world. Our local restaurants and bars did their part to stem the spread of the virus by shuttering their doors and reimagining their businesses to try and survive. Too many small restaurants had to close forever during the pandemic, despite the wave of public aid. As we move towards a post-pandemic future, many bars and restaurants are still on the precipice of financial survival.
More financial relief is needed to help restaurant owners continue to stay afloat as the omicron variant deals a major blow to the restaurant industry. The most-recent National Restaurant Association (NRA) survey notes that 76% of restaurant operators report "that their conditions are worse now than they were just three months ago."
We need Congress to take immediate action.
90,000 restaurants have closed their doors temporarily or long term.
We need legislation to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Earlier this week, the NRA launched a grassroots campaign urging industry members to reach out to Congress.
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to express love and support to those in your life. It’s also yet another opportunity to support your local small businesses.
Purchasing from local businesses not only provides a unique and special gift but also helps support those in your community who need you now more than ever.
Here are a few ideas for shopping small this Valentine’s Day:
Dine (or Take Out) at Local Restaurants
The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. There are many ways that you can support them for this Valentine’s Day. If you feel comfortable, dine out at a local restaurant. If you don’t feel comfortable dining out, that’s completely okay, purchase take-out and have an at-home Valentine’s Day catered by your favorite Sarasota-Manatee Originals Member Restaurant.
Our local, home-grown restaurants are eager and ready to help you make this Valentine’s Day special. And please consider leaving a generous tip that shows how much you appreciate them.
Consider Gift Cards
In terms of gift-giving, think of purchasing gift cards from local businesses, and if possible purchase multiple! Grab a few for future date-nights or show love to your family and friends. Think about purchasing gift cards for experiences (we will be able to DO things again soon!), not only restaurants, but retail, salons, and spas, or your loved one’s favorite masseuse (we love ALL things local).
As the world bid welcome to the new millennium, Sarasota residents and business owners rolled into 2000 with cautious optimism. The hidden jewel of Florida’s Suncoast had been discovered. Most notably, the town’s rich cultural sophistication and natural beauty had caught the eye of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. The construction of a Ritz-Carlton Hotel would announce to the world that the former sleepy ‘Circus City’ had achieved top-drawer status. The ensuing land boom and downtown resurgence would draw even more attention to the area’s opportunities and local restaurant owners soon found themselves competing with big brand chains.
Michael Klauber (Owner, Sarasota’s Michaels on East restaurant; est 1987) remembers. “We realized that Sarasota was changing, and we were starting to see the big guys coming in. None of us had the budgets to battle these highly subsidized corporations.” Klauber discovered that dozens of other local restaurateurs were lying awake at night with similar worries. D’Arcy Arpke (Co-owner, Longboat Key’s Euphemia Haye restaurant, est 1980) helped Klauber to “circle the wagons,” encouraging other independently-owned restaurateurs to join forces and work cooperatively to develop and launch a neighborhood initiative called the “Sarasota-Manatee Originals.”
The Sarasota-Manatee Originals was established in September 2003 based on a shared passion to celebrate and preserve the community’s culinary sense of place. A group of 24 independent restaurant owners and chefs from Sarasota and Manatee counties had learned to see their neighbor restaurants as collaborators, not competition and came together to become Florida's first chapter of a group of its kind.
Today the “Originals” are over 60 restaurants strong, spanning 40 miles of Florida’s central Gulf coast and providing guests with unique local flavor from the north shore of Anna Maria Island down to the southern beaches of Venice and every neighborhood in between.
When members of the community pull together for a united cause, we give way beyond our individual means. Together as a community, the power becomes unlimited.
JULY BINGO AT CROW'S NEST
FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $100 GIFT CARD
For the month of July, you can pick up a Crow's Nest Bingo card from the restaurant and redeem two squares per visit until you get a Bingo! Once you have five in a row diagonally, horizontally or vertically, you can turn in your card for a FREE SELECT Appetizer (Rustic Tomato & Mozzarella Salad, Steamed Mussels or Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna) and a chance to win a $100 Crow's Nest gift card! The winner will be randomly drawn from the completed Bingo cards on August 1st!
TASTE of PRIDE 2021 is brought to you by Project Pride. FLAVORS as diverse as PRIDE, and we want you to try them all!
Experience the best of Sarasota's LGBTQ-Friendly businesses with Project PRIDE's second annual TASTE of PRIDE event happening June 6th - 19th. Businesses are offering a discount, pre-fix menu, or free item to celebrate pride month. Some locations are even adding rainbow items to the menu!
Always make sure to mention "TASTE of PRIDE" when ordering!