cafe leurope 18 15 smallCafe LEurope Betsie Coolidge OwnerCafe LEurope Logo

One of Café L’Europe’s summer staples, the Shrimp and Lobster “Sunflower” Salad on a Belgian Endive is a bestseller at the St. Armands Circle eatery.

In January, it was a crowd favorite at Forks & Corks 2016, just as restaurateur Betsie Coolidge expected. The recipe wows Café L’Europe patrons regularly.

This dish is delicious, crisp, luscious and a true taste of luxury,” Coolidge says. “Nestled on a bed of crushed ice, the Belgian endive is filled with perfect Maine lobster and fresh gulf shrimp, and seasoned to perfection.”

The salad recipe includes lobster meat (with claw pieces), diced celery, fresh lemon juice and zest, and house-made mayonnaise. It is a refreshing blend for warm-weather dining. And, of course, it has plenty of aesthetic appeal.

Made to look like a large chrysanthemum, with the filling in the center and the endive serving as ‘petals,’ this is a striking display,” Coolidge says.

Café L’Europe | 431 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota | 941-388-4415 | cafeleurope.net

Author: Abby Weingarten

Photo Courtesy of www.dinesarasota.com

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cafe venice SmallCafeVenice Kay Ann Kropac ownerCafe Venice

The Pot Roast from Café Venice was a natural choice for a Forks & Corks 2016 dish, as it is a frequently requested menu staple at the restaurant/wine bar.

A savory, tender, juicy entrée, the Pot Roast is “one of our guest favorites, made with lots of love and red wine,” says restaurateur Kay Kropac.

The meat is braised in red wine with carrots, onions, garlic and celery, as well as in-house-roasted tomatoes. Served with chasseur sauce made from the braising juices, house-made herb-garlic mashed potatoes and a garlic sautéed green bean medley, the Pot Roast has a gourmet comfort food flavor that entices tasters.

“We chose this dish for Forks & Corks this year due to its popularity with our regular guests here,” Kropac says. “It reminds our guests of good home cooking in a causal, fine-dining atmosphere.”

           Author: Abby Weingarten

    Photo Courtesy of www.dinesarasota.com

    Café Venice Restaurant and Wine Bar|116 W. Venice Ave., Venice| 941-484-1855cafeveniceontheisland.com

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FC Local Dish 2016Beach House Waterfront Restaurant
Top-notch, cleanly sourced seafood is expected from the chefs at the Beach House Waterfront Restaurant. And the Bradenton Beach eatery certainly delivered the goods at Forks & Corks 2016.
The dish of choice: the fresh, scrumptious Mount Cook King Salmon, served in a particularly creative way.
 
One of the Beach House’s favorite methods of showcasing this is type of salmon filet is by slicing it thinly and placing it on a bite-sized toasted crostino. The salmon is then topped with a dollop of crème fraiche and a dab of Healthy Earth Black Opal Caviar. It is a crunchy, colorful presentation that wows tasters.
 
“The Mount Cook Salmon is the highest-rated aquaculture salmon in the world, rated an 8.7 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program,” says restaurateur Ed Chiles, whose other eateries (the Sandbar and the Mar Vista) offered equally delightful, eco-friendly bites at the January event.

The Beach House Waterfront Restaurant | 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach | 941-779-2222 | beachhouse.groupersandwich.com

Author: Abby Weingarten

Photo Courtesy of www.dinesarasota.com

 

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Local Dish Season 2 BFins at SharkysFins Script Logo

Fusing the flavors of both hemispheres, the culinary artists from Fins at Sharky’s created a dish that wowed tasters at Forks & Corks 2016. The Smoked Duck with Soba Noodles and Hoisin Gin Sauce was a definite savory favorite.

“The duck is special because it is brined overnight and smoked in our Josper oven with apple wood,” says executive chef Marc Alton. “The dish has a unique flavor profile with an interesting mix of flavors from eastern and western cultures. It’s another example of Fins’ ever-changing and innovative menu.”

SMOKED DUCK WITH SOBA NOODLES AND HOISIN GIN SAUCE

Ingredients:
2 smoked duck breasts
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 ounces Soba noodles, cooked (reserve 4 tablespoons water)
½ cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
½ cup red bell pepper, julienned
¼ carrots, julienned
½ cup Napa cabbage, julienned
½ cup Hoisin gin sauce (see recipe below)
Cilantro and scallions, for garnish
For the Hoisin gin sauce:
1 cup Hoisin sauce
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Mirin
¼ freshly squeezed lime juice
3½ ounces gin
1 tablespoon ginger, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1½ teaspoons Sambal chili paste
 
Method:
Mix the ingredients for the sauce together and set it aside. Crisp the skin of the duck under a broiler, slice it and set it aside. Heat a wok or sauté pan with oil. Add mushrooms, peppers, carrots and cabbage, and cook to heat but not all the way. Add the water and Hoisin gin sauce, bring it to a boil, then add the noodles and toss to heat. Portion the noodles into two bowls and lay the sliced duck on top. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.

Fins at Sharky’s | 1600 Harbor Dr. S., Venice | 941-999-3467 | finsatsharkys.com

Author: Abby Weingarten

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mar vista smMar Vista Anthony Cucci General ManagerMarVistaLogo Sm

Sustainable and savory, the 2016 Forks & Corks dish from The Mar Vista exemplified the eatery’s eco-friendly stance on food sourcing. Tasters at the January event delighted in the juicy, beer-braised wild hog sliders with homemade pickles. “The wild hog is local, from Punta Gorda, and it is some of the best-tasting meat ever,” says restaurateur Ed Chiles. “It’s not gamey, has no fat and is so flavorful. It’s local and not altered, and that’s what makes it so good.”

 
BEER-BRAISED PUNTA GORDA WILD HOG SLIDERS WITH HOMEMADE PICKLES
Ingredients:
For curing the wild hog:
1 5-pound hog or pork shoulder
2 cups salt
1 cup sugar
For flavoring the hog:
2 cups beer
4 cups apple juice
Method:
Combine the salt and sugar, and dump it on top of the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, then rinse the salt-sugar solution off of the meat. Pan sear the meat in a hot pan on all sides until it is dark golden brown. Mix the beer and apple juice, and cover at least half of the meat with it. Cover the meat with foil and cook at 275 degrees for 2 hours (or until it is fork tender).
 
For the pickles:
Ingredients:
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cucumbers, skin on, sliced thinly into rounds
Method:
Salt the cucumbers with kosher salt, and let them sit for 2 hours at room temperature. Melt the sugar into the vinegar and water, and heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool the mixture and refrigerate. Rinse the cucumbers. Pour the liquid onto the cucumbers.

The Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub|760 Broadway St., Longboat Key, 941-383-2391| marvista.groupersandwich.com  

Author: Abby Weingarten

 

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