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Fiesta Your Way Into May!

Cinco de Mayo explodes onto the scene with vibrant parades, festive music, and of course, incredible food. While the holiday commemorates a historic Mexican victory, its celebration here on the Suncoast is all about having a fun-filled time. And what better way to embrace the spirit than with a delicious meal at a local Sarasota-Manatee Originals restaurant?  This year, several of our member establishments are going above and beyond, transforming their patios into epic block parties and fiestas with a Suncoast twist! So grab your amigos and get ready to experience Cinco de Mayo in style. From special menus to festive entertainment, here's your guide to the tastiest celebrations on the Suncoast!


El Melvin Cocina Mexicana

The El Melvin Cinco De Mayo 2-Day block party is almost here!  At El Melvin Cocina Mexicana, every visit is as bright and boisterous as a south-of-the-border fiesta. Their fun and modern "Mex-eclectic" concept embodies a lively and festive atmosphere that immerses guests in a celebration of Mexican culture. 

And for Cinco de Mayo, this lively local favorite is throwing a 2-day block party bursting with fiesta flair. Expect a vibrant vibe with dancing, food trucks, live music, and even VIP tables. They'll have tons of merchandise and a few surprises in store too. Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 4th, and Sunday, May 5th for a celebration that embodies El Melvin's signature fun!

Find more information on El Melvin’s block party here.

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Leading Ladies In Our Local Restaurants

International Women's Day may have been on March 8th, but we are inspired by the incredible women who lead and contribute to our local food and beverage industry every single day!

We would like to take this opportunity to honor, applaud, and show our appreciation for all of the women of Sarasota-Manatee Originals.  Without their hard work and dedication, we would not have been able to achieve what we have accomplished together.  THANK YOU!

In the bustling world of restaurants, there's always a lot of hustle. We recognize and appreciate your hustle.  You give your patrons these amazing experiences where they can share food, drinks, and precious memories with their family, friends, and co-workers.  We are so fortunate to have the connections we have with the members of Sarasota-Manatee Originals.  We would like to celebrate the Leading Ladies In Our Local Restaurants!

1592 Wood Fired Kitchen & Cocktails

Mila Aguiar is the energetic Co-owner and General Manager of 1592. Her passion for serving individuals and the community led her to the hotel industry. Her partner, in both life and business, recognized her exceptional abilities in the service industry and introduced her to the world of restaurateurs. With her extensive knowledge from working with world-renowned companies, she has now brought her skills to Sarasota. She aims to provide every person and party that comes to her restaurant with a fresh and elevated experience.  

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Holiday Shopping? Stuff Stockings with Private-Label, Local Products From The Originals

Why bother with big-box brands and mass-produced goods this holiday season, when the Sarasota-Manatee Originals are offering their own unique gifts for gourmands? A plethora of delectable, original-recipe, private-label products are in stock at Member Restaurants right now, sure to make stellar conversation starters and stocking stuffers.

Pop’s Sunset Grill sells private-label salt and pepper grinders, as well as two private-label hot sauces (a medium-heat Old Florida traditional sauce and a ghost pepper sauce). All of the grinders and hot sauces grace the tables at the Nokomis Beach locale.

“We have found that, even in the humid climate at Pop’s, the quality of these products is really good,” said Stephanie Brown, the general manager at Pop’s. “You can purchase either hot sauce in our BouTiki Gift Shop or online (click here) for $10.95 each, or enjoy them with your food while dining at Pop’s.”

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Fun, Food & Fireworks - Celebrating July 4th!

As the Fourth of July approaches you may start making plans to gather with family and friends to watch the local fireworks display.  Watching the fireworks can be an amazing experience as we all celebrate our country’s independence.  You may have your favorite spot to go to year after year, which can be a fun tradition; however, Sarasota-Manatee Originals is sharing some ways that you can take your tradition to the next level.

What if you had an early dinner at one of the local restaurants that are located close to your favorite firework display on July 4th?  Or what if you dined at one of the local restaurants while you were enjoying the fireworks?!  Sounds fun, right?  Here we are sharing a list of restaurants from Palmetto to Venice and everything in between to do just that!


On July 4, 2023, Venice will start its firework display shortly after 9:00 pm and is set to last for 30 minutes from the south Venice Jetty in the Venice Beach area.  These fireworks can be seen anywhere along Venice Beach, Caspersen Beach, or Nokomis Beach.  If you plan on watching on the beaches of Venice or the surrounding waterways be sure to arrive early as thousands of spectators are thought to be gathering for the Venice firework display.

Another option would be to have a nice relaxing evening while dining at some of your favorite local restaurants.  You may be able to dine as you enjoy the fireworks or have dinner before heading to the beach to watch the sunset followed by an amazing fireworks display.

Cassariano Italian Eatery

313 West Venice Avenue

Cassariano Italian Eatery serves up Contemporary Italian Cuisine that is the perfect blend of rich bistro flavors, fine wine, and a relaxed, ideal atmosphere that cultivates good feelings and fond memories. 

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Sandbar-37-s Sandbar Seafood & Spirits

Waterfront Dining

Waterfront dining offers a unique and enjoyable experience, combining delicious food with sparkling views of the water.  Whether you like waterfront dining for its scenic views, relaxing ambiance, variety of cuisine, romantic setting, or spectacular sunsets - or all of the above.  Sarasota-Manatee Originals can give you some insight into the best local restaurants that offer that and so much more.

Beach House Waterfront Restaurant

Does sitting on a climate-friendly outdoor deck sipping on a frozen tropical drink and eating a delicious spread of seafood sound like the perfect dining experience to you?  The Beach House on Bradenton Beach is the place to do just that.  Take a look at what the Beach House has to offer here.

The Château Anna Maria

If an upscale restaurant with a casual atmosphere is how you roll, The Château, located inside the Waterline Villas & Marina property in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island is a must. The menu is French-inspired and features sustainable seafood, prime cuts, and fresh ingredients. Personable service, water views, and outdoor seating complete the island's chic experience. Check out their breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend Brunch menus here.

Crow’s Nest Restaurant & Marina

The Crow's Nest Restaurant, Tavern & Marina has been Venice's Waterfront Landmark since 1976. If fresh seafood is something you are craving, the Crow’s Nest is the place to be.  You can enjoy a fine dining experience with a gorgeous view of the Venice Inlet from the upstairs dining room or a more casual and cozier experience in their downstairs tavern. Check out their menu here.

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April Events You Are Not Going To Want To Miss

Are you looking for some fun events in April but not sure what is deserving of your valuable time?  Well, we have some April events that you are not going to want to miss.  For starters, let’s talk about Forks & Corks!!!  Foodies and wine lovers, Forks & Corks was specially curated for you!  

Sarasota - Manatee Originals and its members are beyond excited to present you with the following April events.  These events are bringing the fun, food, and of course wine.

Forks & Corks Online Food and Wine Auction

This auction will be open for preview on Thursday, April 13, with real-time bidding starting on Monday, April 17 at 8:00 AM and ending on Sunday, April 23 at 3:00 PM

Forks & Corks Wine Dinners & More

April 20

Pop’s Sunset Grill featuring Babylonstoren | 11:30 AM (Brunch)

Element: Steak. Seafood. Pasta featuring ZD Wines | 6:30 PM

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What To Look Forward To At Forks & Corks 2023

Are you ready to have the best epicurean experiences of the year?  We are talking about the 2023 Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival - of course.  If you love sinking your teeth into the best food the area has to offer and sipping the finest of wines you are not going to want to miss this year’s Forks & Corks.  These events we have lined up for you are sure to be a true treat for the taste buds.

Now Let’s Talk Details

2023 Forks & Corks Online Food and Wine Auction 

Opening for preview on Thursday, April 13, 2023, with real-time bidding starting on Monday, April 17 at 8:00 AM.  This auction will feature rare and exquisite wines, travel, and extraordinary dining and party experiences.  These special events are all made possible by the generosity of visiting wineries and the friends of Sarasota-Manatee Originals.

Bidding takes place exclusively online.  The funds raised by the Forks & Corks Online Auction are dedicated to promoting and sustaining over 60 local independent restaurants that are members of Sarasota-Manatee Originals.  Support these local restaurants by joining this online auction - ending on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at 3:00 PM.

Forks & Corks Wine Dinners And Events

Join us in raising a glass to the most legendary pairings from April 20 thru April 24, 2023.  The Suncoast’s most passionate culinary professionals and restaurateurs are showcasing their world-class wines and delectable dishes at Forks & Corks Wine Dinners and Events.  Stay tuned for more information on this event that highlights visiting winemakers and winery representatives from various member restaurants from Bradenton to Venice.

Forks & Corks University Master Classes

The Master Classes of Forks & Corks University are most definitely a highlight of the Festival each year!  You are not going to want to miss this experience led by a panel of world-renowned industry experts.  These engaging wine seminars are designed for those who want an educational experience accompanied by guided tastings. Be part of this rare opportunity to learn about wine with those that are instrumental in crafting them

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Holiday Feasts and Catering with The Originals

If you are looking for insight on all of the holiday events, buffets, and catering, look no further. What's a more special way to support small businesses this year than by catering food or hosting an event at your favorite locally-owned and operated restaurants. 

All of our trusted eateries will help you enjoy this holiday season! View our entire member restaurant list HERE.

Restaurants listed below may offer holiday catering, event spaces on site, buffet's, or to-go menus to enjoy in the comfort of your home! 

All Holiday hours, events, and offerings vary! Call ahead for updates on menus, pricing and catering pick-up/delivery instructions. It would also be in your best interest to order/reserve your spots in advance!

Café Gabbiano can host any size event. Onsite private dining, offsite, or drop off catering. Click HERE to view their Thanksgiving Menu.


Café Venice Restaurant & Bar | 941.484.1855 |

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Valentine's Weekend at Bijou Cafe

Valentine's Day, Sunday, February 14th, is just around the corner. If you have a reservation at the Bijou Cafe already, good for you! If not, you're still in luck because this year we are featuring our Special Valentine's menu all weekend from the 12th -14th! Treat your sweetheart to Dinner at Sarasota's most Romantic restaurant. Please call (941) ...

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