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SRQ DAILY Aug 2, 2022

Tuesday Foodie Edition

Tuesday Foodie Edition

"We try hard to create a family atmosphere. Many employees stay with us for a long time, and we work with them to ensure they are growing in their careers."

- Pat Neal, Founder and Chairman of Neal Communities.

[The Dish]  Libby’s Tuna Tataki Never Disappoints

I wasn’t completely sold on living in Lakewood Ranch for the first couple of years we lived here. We were kind of stuck out in what was, at the time, the far reaches of this ever-sprawling town that loves to remind its residents that it’s one of America’s fastest growing planned communities. Having just moved back here from Chicago, Lakewood Ranch felt … sparse. There were a few pleasant dining options in downtown Lakewood Ranch, but we knew if we wanted a great meal, we’d need to head into Sarasota or St. Petersburg.

And then, a ray of sunshine: Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie.

Ahh, Libby’s. The crown jewel of the corner of University Parkway and Lorraine Road, with its bright, inviting decor full of natural light. Its menu is speckled with spiffed-up American classics and some of my favorite vegan and seafood options. I could not have been more excited when it opened. The culinary scene was on the upswing in my newly adopted home when Libby’s opened its doors in November 2019. It was tough to get a reservation. We only ate there a couple of times before, well … the pandemic hit and we found ourselves restaurant shy.

Still wanting to support local businesses and craving their entire flippin’ menu, Libby’s became our takeout go-to during the height of the pandemic. And my favorite dish — the one that made me feel a sense of normalcy, that made me confident we could weather the storm as long as I could have it — was the tuna tataki.

I revisited the dish — in person, thankfully — on a recent visit with my family. It’s as playful as ever. A tower of guacamole is topped with microgreens and crispy wontons, creating a joyous Mexican-Asian fusion. A phalanx of sushi-grade tuna surrounds the guac, and it all sits in a bed of sesame vinaigrette sauce with a beautiful balance of sesame, soy and ginger flavors.

I paired it this time with the 3 Day Weekend cocktail, which pairs Skyy vodka with St. Germaine liqueur, Triple Sec, grapefruit and lime. Together, the tataki and cocktail comprised what I can only describe as a quintessential summer moment.

The tataki is on the appetizer menu, but for me was plenty as my main course. And as I looked around at my neighbors and enjoyed the time with my family and thought about where we were in our lives, I found myself thankful to live where we do. The skepticism has given way to optimism. Was it tuna tataki that did the trick? I can’t give it all the credit, but it surely helped.

Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie, Lakewood Ranch, 8445 Lorraine Rd., Sarasota, 941- 357-1570 

Pictured: Pictured: Libby’s tuna tataki is a playful tower of Asian-infused guacamole surrounded by sush-grade tuna in a bright and inviting ginger, soy vinaigrette sauce. Photo taken by Kevin Allen.

For full menu click here

[Dining Event]  Daou Wine Dinner at Mattison's Forty-One

Join Daou Wines, representative and aficionado, Jordan O’Mara and Chef Paul Mattison on Thursday, August 18th at 6:30 pm as they present an exclusive wine pairing dinner featuring Daou wines. Chef Paul and his team of classically trained chefs have created a 6-course menu perfectly paired with the wines of the Daou portfolio. Price is $125++. The wine dinner will be held at Mattison’s Forty-One in the newly renovated, private Galleria. Reservations are required by calling 941-921-3400. The evening will begin with a welcome reception followed by the 6-course wine dinner. According to the Daou Estate website, Daou wines is a true American success story. Lebanese immigrants and brothers Georges Daou and Daniel Daou set forth across the globe to find an unrivaled terroir for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, a quest that led them to a place of foretold greatness: DAOU Mountain in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles, California. Daou Family Estates is a family owned and operated winery committed to producing collectible, world-class wine. Situated on a 212-acre hilltop estate in Paso Robles, this remarkable mountain was once described by Andre Tchelistcheff, legendary winemaking authority, as “a jewel of ecological elements.” Daou Mountain has the highest growing elevation in the Central Coast at 2,200 feet. The winery focuses on Bordeaux varietals but also makes amazing Chardonnay and the Rose is among the best-selling domestic Rose’s, consistently scoring above 90 points, which is rare for any rose, especially a domestic rose. Join Chef Paul and Jordan O’Mara for a fun evening enjoying delicious food and superb wines. 

[Recognition Given]  Neal Communities Promotes 14 Employees

Neal Communities, Southwest Florida’s premier homebuilder based in Lakewood Ranch, has promoted 14 employees over the last several months. With 295 employees, Neal Communities is a prominent employer in the local area. The promotions show a commitment to developing talent from within the company.

“We try hard to create a family atmosphere,” said Pat Neal, founder and chairman of Neal Communities. “Many employees stay with us for a long time, and we work with them to ensure they are growing in their careers.”

The promotions include two vice presidents: Ivory Matthews promoted from director of community and governmental affairs to vice president of community and governmental affairs, and Carlos Puente promoted from vice president of sales to vice president of sales and marketing. In addition, the following employees were promoted: Pam Curran from bank financing manager to director of finance, Rob Kozlowski from senior financial analyst to business insights and analytics manager, Janet Ladwig from director of design to director of community design and product development, Mathew Lavish from project manager to director of construction, Heidi Lustig from staff accountant III to senior accountant, Jodi McConnell from assistant controller to controller, Marjory McGloin from job coordinator to purchasing supervisor, Kristin Mullins from senior accountant to accounting manager, Ben Renner from area construction manager to director of construction, Kameren Saffold from assistant construction manager to construction manager, Michael Thomas from purchasing agent to estimator and Rob Woods from project manager to area construction manager. The employees’ tenure with the company ranges from just over two years to nearly 14 years. 

[Acquisition]  Williams Parker Represents Wesco Turf, Inc., in its Acquisition of Hector Turf

Williams Parker is pleased to announce that its client, Wesco Turf, one of The Toro Company’s (NYSE:TTC) top North American distributors of irrigation, golf, and grounds equipment, has acquired Hector Turf, a trusted distributor of Toro headquartered in Deerfield Beach, FL. The official announcement was made to the teams at Hector Turf and Wesco Turf on July 29, 2022. The transaction is effective August 1, 2022. Williams Parker acted as legal counsel to Wesco Turf in all aspects of the sale. This acquisition will provide additional scale to Wesco’s golf, grounds, and residential landscape businesses. Wesco Turf’s resources in IT infrastructure systems, parts ecommerce website, operations, service management, human resources, and training will provide the platforms to complement services provided to Hector Turf’s customers. Mike Wilson led the Williams Parker team with assistance from Christa Sullivan, Christy Whittemore, and Adrienne Phillips. Hector Turf’s 50+ associates will join the Wesco Turf team effective immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


[Community Safety]  Sheriff’s Office Participates in High Visibility Enforcement Program to Improve Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce the agency again received funding for a High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) initiative for pedestrian and bicycle safety. Sarasota County ranks in the top 25 counties in Florida for traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. To protect the safety of vulnerable road users, the sheriff’s office will conduct HVE details to increase awareness of and compliance with traffic laws that protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. Enforcement efforts will focus primarily on education however, violations may result in warnings or citations. These details will take place from August 8, 2022, through May 12, 2023, focusing on predetermined locations based on statistical crash data. These areas include: Stickney Point Road from Swift to Beneva Roads; Bee Ridge Road from Village Green Drive to Maceachen Boulevard, Sawyer Road to Bond Place, and Maxfield Drive to I-75; Fruitville Road from Houle Avenue to Paramount Drive; South Tamiami Trail from Park Place to Jacaranda Boulevard, E. Seminole Drive to Sunset Beach Drive, Beneva Road to N. Lakepointe Boulevard, and Blackburn Point Road to E. Bay Street. Drivers are encouraged to always obey speed limits, never drive impaired, and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicyclists should obey traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic, and use lights when riding at night. Pedestrians are asked to cross in crosswalks or at intersections, obey pedestrian signals, and make sure they are visible to drivers when walking at night. Funding for this initiative is provided through a contract with the University of North Florida and the Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM), in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation. The sheriff’s office will receive funds for overtime hours to conduct operations and special training on Florida’s bicycle and pedestrian laws, procedures, and best practices. 

[Taxation]  Common Cents for Sarasota County Launches First Campaign Advertisement

Common Cents for Sarasota County today launched its first campaign advertisement in support of the penny tax referendum that will appear on Sarasota County ballots this November. Benefiting the county since 1989, the non-partisan referendum provides critical funding for public safety, water quality, the environment and other community needs. The nearly two-minute video advertisement, entitled “No-Brainer,” showcases the beauty of Sarasota County and details how the penny tax has helped and will continue to help maintain the region’s quality of life. The referendum passed with more than 66 percent of the vote the last time it was up for renewal with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune calling it a “solid-gold performer.” The ad highlights footage from all corners of the county that have benefited from the penny tax, from a fire station in North Port to a fishing pier in Venice to a library in Englewood to parks in Sarasota and Longboat Key. “And the best part, tourists and visitors pay for over 20 percent of all the funds collected by the penny,” says the ad’s narrator, referring to a recent independent study. Common Cents for Sarasota County is co-chaired by a bipartisan group of community leaders representing all regions of Sarasota County including past and present elected officials. The honorary co-chairs include: Sarasota County Citizen Tax Oversight Committee Chairman Justin Taylor; former City of Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell; Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman; Education Foundation President & CEO Jennifer Vigne; former City of Sarasota Mayor and Sarasota County Commissioner Carolyn Mason; and former Sarasota County School Board member and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast VP of Communications Gina Taylor, who also chaired the successful 2007 Surtax III campaign.Proceeds from the penny tax can ONLY be used for major capital projects and infrastructure improvements. It has paid for numerous projects throughout the county and in every one of its cities, ranging from equipment and facilities for police and fire agencies to water quality improvements to beach renourishments and road repairs. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Smoke & Mirrors , August 3 – August 21, Varies.

Hamilton Orr will stop at nothing to get what he wants. A top Hollywood director, Hamilton comes up with deadly scheme to gain control over a multi-million-dollar film. He just needs to persuade the movie’s screenwriter, Clark, to get onboard. And make sure that Barbara, his wife, plays her part. When his plot doesn’t go as planned, Hamilton comes face-to-face with the wily local sheriff, Leroy. Smoke and Mirrors keeps the audience guessing (and laughing) until the end. Smoke and Mirrors by Will Osborne and Anthony Herrera will play beginning August 3, 2022 in FST's Gompertz Theatre. Run Time is 2 hour and 10 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's Gompertz Theatre

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: The More You Know , August 6, 7:30pm

FST Improv Presents: The More You Know Saturday, August 6 at 7:30pm. It’s time to go back to school! Uproarious characters and memorable plot twists will arise as the audience provides suggestions that the FST Improv cast will improvise into a John Hughes Back to School-style epic. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a teen, or a younger brother or sister, everyone can identify with the timeless characters that cross paths in our school’s hallways. Come relive your school days with FST Improv’s The More You Know!

Florida Studio Theatre's Bowne's Lab

[SOON]  HEALTH: Health and Wellness Beauty Fair , August 6, 11am-3pm

This relaxing day will feature the latest technology in non-invasive, no down time facial/neck treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, SofWave. On-site treatments, demos, discounts & samples, vendors & shopping, food, wine & live music + amazing door prizes! Free EMSlim body sculpting session w/ SofWave purchase. Please come out and meet Nancy Dowe, RN, BSN, Licensed Esthetician with 30 years of nursing and skincare experience and owner of Esteem Medical Aesthetics of Bradenton. Saturday, August 6th, 11 am to 3 pm, Peridia Golf and Country Club, 4950 Peridia Boulevard East, Bradenton, RSVP by text: 615-319-3603.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Hard Heart Burlesque at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre , August 7, 8:00 pm

Hard Heart Burlesque is back at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre August 7 at 8pm for an unforgettable night of tease, variety and more. This show is a love letter to the films we love, each act paying homage to the silver screen. Hard Heart is bringing together some of the starlets of Florida burlesque to bring you a steamy night of celluloid. Starring your producers "the sweetheart with a switchblade," Miss Marina Elaine and "the quadruple threat," Karma Kandlewick, this smoke show features the talents of Dahlia Dupre, Morgan La Rue, Nilla Bean, Mr. Mary and your emcee, the one and only, Lady LaLa. Tickets are $37 and can be purchased here: https://www.mccurdyscomedy.com/shows/show.cfm?shoID=404.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Rock & Roll Reignited With Not Fade Away , June 14 – August 7, Varies.

This is Rock & Roll Reignited! Inspired by the legendary music of artists like Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and more, this new revue reignites Rock & Roll classics with sizzle, showmanship, and style. Fresh off their national tour, Not Fade Away has performed to sold out theatres in over 150 cities. Now, the four-piece band brings the best of the ‘50s and ‘60s to Sarasota with such hits as “It’s So Easy,” “Rave On,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and more. Rock & Roll Reignited With Not Fade Away, created by Jared Mancuso with musical arrangements by Jared Mancuso and Nick Gallardo plays June 14 - August 7, 2022, in FST's John C. Court Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's John C. Court Cabaret

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Selby Gardens: Seeing the Invisible , September 25 – August 31, 10am-5pm

The most ambitious and expansive exhibition to date of contemporary artworks created with augmented reality (AR) technology will premiere at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, opening on September 25, 2021 and ongoing through August 31 2022, as one of 12 participating gardens across six countries. Seeing the Invisible features works by more than a dozen international artists such as Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Isaac Julien CBE, Mohammed Kazem, Sigalit Landau, Sarah Meyohas, Pamela Rosenkranz, and Timur Si-Qin—including several artists’ first work in AR. Visitors will engage with Seeing the Invisible via an app designed for the exhibition downloadable to smartphones and tablets. Forging new links between botanical gardens located in diverse biomes around the globe, the exhibition fosters collaboration between institutions, artists, and audiences, highlighting the power of art to connect people around the world.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime: Limelight Market , April 23 – December 17, 10am-3pm

Every 3rd Saturday from 10-3 The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime opens their outdoor space for guest vendors, dog rescues, and live music. Check out the 40 local creators and curators inside The Bazaar every Thursday - Saturday. Enjoy a delicious lunch and support local. Free, until you buy something amazing! 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Bishop: Laser Light Nights , May 26 – August 13, 7pm and 9pm

Break out the big hair and acid-washed denims—Laser Light Nights are back at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from May 26 through August 13 at 7pm and 9pm, we are rocking out to some of your favorite artists in the Planetarium. A variety of food options and drinks are available for purchase onsite with cash or card. Tickets are going fast—get yours today! Please note: Laser Light Nights run at a volume similar to a rock concert. Ear plugs are advised for those who prefer a lower volume.

Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Circus Arts Conservatory & The Ringling: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 10 – August 13, Varies.

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts. Some of the circus world’s most exciting acts have signed on for the annual show - a longtime partnership of the Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling - with performances presented over nine weeks this summer. The lineup for the Summer Circus Spectacular includes a wide range of acts, including duo lyra, adagio, hand balancing/contortion, rolla bolla, and more. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children 12 and under. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for just an additional $5 – an incredible value for a full day’s entertainment. Go to Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399.

Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Amore Restaurant Extends Savor Sarasota Promotion to December , June 1 – December 18

Amore Restaurant has decided to extend Savor Sarasota Menu through December 18th (not combined with any other offer and, not available on special occasions). Savor Sarasota is a 3 course menu dinner for $35.00 per person. The restaurant offers a Portuguese and an Italian menu. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9PM. Fridays and Sundays 5 to 9:30pm. With indoor and outdoor seating available. Easy and free parking. Menu can be viewed here:https://www.amorelbk.com/savor-sarasota/

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Friday Fest 2022 , June 17 – September 16, 5pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Friday Fest events are our outdoor concert series that provide the community with 4 entertaining and FREE events from June to September, showcasing the best of local bands from Sarasota and Bradenton. Friday Fest brings together a wide variety of talented artists along with food trucks and drink stations on the Van Wezel lawn along the beautiful Sarasota Bayfront. Our Friday Fest lineup includes: Yesterdayze - June 17, Kettle of Fish - July 15, Big Night Out - August 12, and Jah Movement - September 16 at 5pm. 

Van Wezel

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Tap Takeover Tuesdays at Gecko’s on Hillview Street , August 9 – August 31, 7:00-8:00 pm

Still going strong on the second Tuesday of each month. We are local and we support local! Join us from 7:00-8:00 to sample flights of the latest craft beer offerings from our local craft breweries as they take over our taps, along with all your favorite Gecko’s fare. August is Sierra Nevada Brewery’s five newest craft beers to enjoy. Hillview-Southside Village, 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota. wwwgeckosgrill.com

Gecko’s on Hillview

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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