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SRQ DAILY Feb 21, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"We are just your friendly local place where people can come and hang out."

- Whitney Watson, Owner of The Canopy Bistro and Bar

[The Dish]  The Canopy Bistro and Bar in Ellenton Serves Up Cozy Comfort Food
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Amidst the grocery stores and gas stations lining U.S. Highway 301 lies The Canopy Bistro and Bar, a tranquil neighborhood oasis. The cozy historic building and its shaded lawn beckoned to Manatee County native Whitney Watson, who drove by the property when it was an old dive bar and envisioned its future potential. When it went up for sale, Whitney and her husband Matt Watson purchased the property, which they run with their daughter, Rachel Penico.

“I’ve been in the service industry a long time,” says Whitney, who owned a hair salon before opening The Canopy in February 2020. “I always enjoyed cooking and having people over for big dinner parties,” she adds, “so owning a restaurant looked like a lot of fun.” According to Whitney, the building has been a feature of Manatee County since 1953 and has lived multiple lives as a bar and gas station. “It needed love,” says Whitney, who kept the historical features of the building intact, like a Carnegie Steel beam which she estimates to be over a hundred years old. The family added a more upscale, garden motif to the property, rebranded it and cultivated a menu focused on comfort food.

“We get a lot from a local produce stand and Detwiler’s Farm Market,” she says. Because the restaurant opened two weeks before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the family based their menu around fresh and versatile items that they knew could be used in a variety of dishes and wouldn’t go to waste. Three years later, they maintain the same commitment to freshness in every dish.

Some of the most popular items are the bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos, the classic pub burger and a variety of flatbreads. The menu features tasty, sharable bites, like the crispy pub tots, which come drizzled with beer cheese, ranch dressing and sriracha mayo. Bacon crumbles and red onion bits add crunch and depth to the addictive appetizer. The Canopy also smokes its pork and beef on-site, and the beef brisket slow cooks for 12 hours, resulting in a tender texture and peppery flavor highlighted in dishes like the street tacos. Aside from food, The Canopy offers a variety of cocktails and mocktails mixed by Rachel Pineco. Both beautiful and refreshing, the drinks, like the lavender lemonade which comes garnished with a flower and dried lavender, complement the restaurant’s botanical decor.

Indoors, guests mix and mingle at the bar and unwind at tables by the windows. Outdoors, they relax under shady trees over a game of cornhole. The attentive staff makes all guests feel like they’re at home, whether they’re regulars or out-of-towners in need of recommendations for local day-trip activities. “Customers have told me that it’s like Cheers,” says Whitney “and we’re just your friendly local place where people can come and hang out.”

The Canopy Bistro and Bar, 3503 US-301, Ellenton, thecanopybistroandbar.com. 

Pictured: A lavender lemonade at The Canopy Bistro and Bar. Photo courtesty of Laura Paquette.

[New Menu]  Michael's On East Features France for February Epicurean Menu

Michael's On East is featuring France for February's Epicurean menu. Offerings include: Filet Poêlé de Amberjack with yellow tomato coulis, blistered heirloom cherry tomatoes, roasted curried cauliflower and petit pois & brunoise potatoes and Steak Flatiron au Poivre with fingerling potato frites, roasted baby carrots, broiled capri tomatoes & Fennel-Roasted Acorn Squash.

The culinary team at Michael’s On East is challenged to create new dishes inspired by the world’s most exotic destinations each month. Join us to experience ever-changing, palate-pleasing global cuisine with Michael's Epicurean Adventures. The three-course dinner menu is available Tuesday through Saturday evenings for $42.95 per person. 

Pictured: Steak Flatiron au Poivre. Photo courtesy of Michaels on East.

To learn more click here.

[Cooking Class]  Healthy Cooking for Kids at Pineapple Kitchen

This Thursday, February 23, 2023, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm , Pineapple Kitchen will hold a Healthy Cooking for Kids Class for children aged 7 - 14 years old. This is a fun hands-on two hour workshop which focuses on basic culinary instruction in a small group environment (max 10 chefs). The group features sessions that include all aspects of the culinary arts in a fun and safe atmosphere, providing opportunities for young chefs to learn basic cooking skills. Healthy Recipe themes and dishes vary weekly but will be focused on use of whole foods, farm to table, super foods, antibiotic free, gluten free, and vegan. Students will take home their dish creations. All participants must wear hair back and closed toed shoes. There is also an option to add on a personalized Pineapple Kitchen chef apron with student name for $25.00.

Workshops are as follows: Thursday, January 19th, 2023 - Cooking with Organic Vegetables; Thursday, February 23rd, 2023 - Cooking Gluten Free; Thursday, March 9th, 2023 - Cooking with Super Foods; Thursday, April 20th, 2023 - Cooking with All Natural, Antibiotic Free Meats. Cost is $65 per Workshop.

Pineapple Kitchen, 4914 Lena Road, Unit 104, Lakewood Ranch. 

To learn more click here.

[Charity Event]  Florida Winefest is Back with a Champagne Reception, Wine Brunch and Charity Auction

The 33rd annual Florida Winefest and Auction is excited to announce their upcoming “No Fooling” Champagne Reception, Wine Brunch and Charity Auction, April 1st, 2023 from 11am-3pm at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. This event will benefit disadvantaged youth in Manatee and Sarasota counties and will feature a seated four-course brunch catered by Chef Paul Mattison, owner of Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering Company. The live auction, honoring the late David Elswood, will be conducted by Charlie Foley of Christie’s London and will include wines, jewelry, trips, food experiences and unique excursions, plus many more exquisite items. The Florida Winefest and Auction is a highly anticipated event that brings together wine enthusiasts and community members to support a great cause. “We are thrilled to be able to bring this event back to our community and make a positive impact on the lives of local disadvantaged youth,” said event organizer, Sandy Loevner. “We invite everyone to come out and enjoy a delicious brunch, amazing wines, and the opportunity to bid on unique items at our live auction, all while supporting a great cause.”

Tickets for the “No Fooling” charity brunch and auction are on sale now for $225 per person. Purchase your tickets early, as they are expected to sell out quickly. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, please visit www.floridawinefest.org/events or call 941-952-1109. 

[Fundraising Event]  Friendsgiving Helps Local Shelter Animals

Friends of Manatee County Animal Services (FoMCAS) held its annual fundraiser, Friendsgiving – a Dessert and Wine Auction on November 5, 2022. The event was attended by a record breaking crowd and beat last year’s profits to help the local shelter animals of Manatee County Animal Welfare. The event raised $25,000 which will go to help the shelter animals with additional resources, live saving medical care and heartworm treatment. This is the second year that the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services have held the event. Last year, 2021, the event brought in $22,000. More than 30 delectable desserts made by local and professional bakeries and home bakers were available by live and silent auction. There were also gift baskets in the auctions, plus a wine raffle, and a cash bar. Local celebrity Bob Slicker, owner of Slicker’s Eatery, was the auctioneer. Friends of Manatee County Animal Services (FoMCAS) formed in 2016 and, in 6 years, the nonprofit organization has raised just over $600,000. The funds benefit several programs including: Grace and Friends Medical Fund, Heal My Heart for treatment for heartworm positive dogs, Slumber Fund to ensure every dog has a bed in their kennel, Traveling Paws which partners with northern rescues to transport our dogs to forever homes out of area, Enrichment and, Food for Ferals. The biggest need is the medical fund with 50% of the funds raised going for lifesaving surgeries, treatments and physical therapy for animals that would otherwise face humane euthanasia due to costs. Next year’s Friendsgiving will be held on November 11th, 2023, at the IMG Academy Golf Club. For event information or to learn about Friends of Manatee County Animal Services, visit www.fomcas.org or call 941-713-3105. To donate auction items and desserts or to volunteer for Friendsgiving contact Caryn Hodge at carynhodgefomcas@gmail.com. 

Photo courtesy of Friends of Manatee County Animal Services (FoMCAS) .

[Arts & Entertainment]  Movies at the Maritime

Honoring the tradition of nickel movie nights at the Cortez Schoolhouse, the Florida Maritime Museum (FMM) invites you to Movies at the Maritime, a free outdoor movie series on the grounds of the old schoolhouse. The first event in this two-part series will take place on Friday, February 24th, featuring a screening of METV’s “Through the Tunnel.” Plan to arrive at 7pm so you have plenty of time to stake out your spot in the field. This is a BYOB event—bring your own blankets and bug spray! Join us as we celebrate Black History Month with this award-winning documentary about Manatee County’s local Integration story. Hear first person accounts from students whose lives were forever altered by this moment in history. “Through the Tunnel” is a tale of triumph about how local kids overcame racial divides to become teammates and how their sportsmanship and love of the game of football brought our community together. A labor of love, the documentary was produced by Manatee County Judges Charles Williams and Durand Adams in 2010. Don’t miss this chance to hear Judge Williams and Judge Adams introduce the film and their motives behind creating it. Both Judges and METV Station Manager Charles Clapsaddle will be on-hand after the screening to facilitate a Q & A session about the film. Before the feature film will be a short flick to get you in the Maritime mood from the Sereia film series “Eating Out: The Hunt for Sustainable Seafood.” This less-than-15 minute episode gives an inside peek on clam farming in our own backyard. And mark your calendars now for our next movie night on Friday, March 10th. Families are invited to “just keep swimming” to the Florida Maritime Museum to kick off Manatee County’s spring break by watching an animated favorite about the “big blue.” Movies @ the Maritime is made possible because of sponsorships through the Friends of the Florida Maritime Museum. Thanks to event sponsors Chiles Hospitality, the Bradenton Herald, the AMI Islander and the Bradenton-Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Florida Maritime Museum, located at 4415 119th Street West in the historic fishing village of Cortez, offers a snapshot of old Florida through a collection of informative exhibits, educational programs, community events, and research materials. Visit FloridaMaritimeMuseum.org for more information, or call (941) 708-6120.



[Event]  SB2 Luncheon

Join us on March 7, 2023 at Michael's On East for a dynamic luncheon symposium centered on conversations focused on regional philanthropic topics. The luncheon will include a panel discussion to explore the ever-changing world of non-profits and honor outstanding individuals who have made a meaningful impact within the community. 

Reserve Your Tickets Here

[Forage]  Modern Merge
Kevin Allen, kevin.allen@srqme.com
MODERN MERGE | A creative partnership is making gastronomy fun at Wink Wink Modern Lounge
Discover all the new restaurant has to offer and the beautifully crafted dishes through the link, on our social medias, or in the February edition!

Read Here!

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks at the Bishop , January 11 – March 18, During museum hours

Get inspired to create your own ‘towers of tomorrow’ with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks available in hands-on construction areas. Young and old will be limited only by their imagination as they add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Silent Sky , January 19 – March 5, Varied

At the turn of the 20th century, years before women had the right to vote, one woman’s breakthrough changed our perception of the stars. Full of wonder, humor, and heart, SILENT SKY is the remarkable true story of Henrietta Leavitt, one of the pioneering women astronomers working at Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. You will be enthralled by the story of this extraordinary woman who took on the astronomy establishment in order to discover the mysteries embedded in the sky. Henrietta transcended the odds while navigating love, family, and the universe, going on to make a world-altering advancement to the field of astronomy that forever changed our view of the cosmos.  Written by one of today’s leading playwrights, Lauren Gunderson, this mesmerizing drama is directed by Seema Sueko, who recently brought this work to life at Washington D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  MUSEUM: She Engineers at the Bishop , January 24 – July 30, During museum hours

SHE ENGINEERS is a bilingual (English and Spanish) poster exhibition highlighting eight women in various engineering fields. In their own words, the women share their passion and what inspired them to become engineers. If we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world.

[SOON]  THEATER: Network at Florida Studio Theatre , January 25 – March 19, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to present Network, a fast-paced drama following the downward spiral of Howard Beale, a longtime news anchor who has worked at a television network, UBS, for 25 years. When Beale learns that he is being fired for poor ratings and low viewership, he unravels live on air during his final broadcast. As a result, his show’s ratings soar, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on television. Seeing Howard as a new populist prophet, UBS decides to leverage Howard’s newfound popularity to boost its bottom line. Network begins playing January 25, 2023, in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. Single tickets to Network range from $25-39. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Ranch Nite Wednesdays at Waterside Place , February 8 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy a night of fun at Waterside Place during Ranch Nite Wednesdays. The event features food trucks, live music, a night market, a vintage mobile bar and cornhole. Visit lakewoodranch.com to learn more. Waterside Place, 1561 Lakefront Drive, Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Art Center Sarasota: Same Source , February 2 – March 11

The Same Source exhibit by Luca Molnar uses various media to explore the connection between historical figures and personal mythologies. The exhibit highlights the connection between private life, domestic spaces and memory. On Thursday, Feb. 16, Molnar will participate in an artist talk via Zoom from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exhibit runs from Feb. 2 to March 11. To learn more, visit artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Chicken & Biscuits , February 15 – April 13, Varied

The hilarious new play CHICKEN & BISCUITS introduces us to the Jenkins family, as they gather to celebrate the life of their beloved and recently deceased father and grandfather, the Revered Bernard Jenkins. When an unexpected guest reveals a secret, they all discover that nothing brings a family together like a big side of drama. This side-splitting new Broadway comedy explores the tenderness of family, the joy of reconciliation, and the nourishing power of love. Written by Broadway newcomer Douglas Lyons and directed by the talented Bianca LaVerne Jones, who was associate director of the 2021 Broadway production, CHICKEN & BISCUITS proves that while family may drive us crazy, we’re lucky to have each other. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  FOOD: Lapostolle Wine Dinner at Michael's Wine Cellar , February 22, 6 p.m.

Located in one of its country’s most famous valleys, the Colchagua Valley, Lapostolle Winery is an icon for wine production in Chile. Lapostolle strives to create world-class wines using French winemaking philosophy and the superb terroirs of Chile. Today, the vineyards span 188 hectares planted to Cabernet, Carmenere, Merlot, and Petit Verdot along with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Michael’s Wine Cellar is proud to feature one of Chile's greatest winemakers in this one-night-only, multi-course dinner event. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit michaelswinecellar.com. 

[SOON]  THEATER: The Last Match at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 22 – March 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents the Regional Premiere of The Last Match by Anna Ziegler, a fast-paced play diving into the intense world of professional sports. Set during the semifinals of the U.S. Open, The Last Match follows Sergei Sergeyev, an up-and-coming Russian phenom, and Tim Porter, a great American superstar in the twilight of his career, during one of the most important matches of their careers. Called “Exceptional” and “Highly Engaging” by the Wall Street Journal, The Last Match begins playing February 22 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Single tickets range from $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  FOOD: Truchard Vineyards Wine Dinner at Michael's Wine Cellar , February 23, 6 p.m.

The Truchard family wine tradition began in the U.S. in the late 1800s. Today, the Truchard estate covers 400 acres and houses an amazing 11,000-square-foot wine cave. Among the wines produced by Truchard Vineyards are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec, all of which are estate grown. This exquisite multi-course wine dinner will feature a special selection of Truchard’s finest wines. And best of all, Anthony Truchard will be our guest host for this event! To learn more and purchase tickets, visit michaelswinecellar.com. 

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 5 - Dance Theatre of Harlem , February 24 – February 27

The Sarasota Ballet is excited to announce the Company’s 2022 – 2023 Season. Over seven programs, The Sarasota Ballet will perform 15 works by some of the most celebrated and prestigious choreographers and composers of the ballet world. Program 5 - Dance Theatre of Harlem. February 24-27, 2023 at FSU Center for the Performing Arts. The Sarasota Ballet Presents: Dance Theatre of Harlem. For more information visit www.sarasotaballet.org, Box office 941.359.0099

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Don Giovanni , February 25 – March 25, Varied

Don Giovanni is an Opera in two acts. Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. Mozart’s most famous opera is a comic and tragic masterpiece. Set in 17th century Spain, this tale of obsession, betrayal, crime, and retribution centers around the infamous lover Don Juan, who leaves a path of broken hearts wherever he goes. Sung in Italian with English Translations in English. February 25th-March 25th. For tickets visit sarasotaopera.org, Ph. +1 941 328 1300, 61 N Pineapple Ave Sarasota, FL 34236

Sarasota Opera , 61 N Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Resilience: A Guided Walking Tour Experience by Compass Rose History Experiences , February 25 – April 22, 3:30 p.m.

Compass Rose History Experiences announces the launch of Resilience: A Guided Walking Tour Experience. Guides Mimi Cirbusova and Andrea Knies will navigate attendees on a journey back in time down Main Street as we explore the resilience of the Sarasota community during the Great Depression and World War II. Locals and visitors alike will find inspiration from the stories of the people and places of Sarasota's past. Tours meet at Five Points Park in Downtown Sarasota and cover a distance of less than one mile over the 75-90 minute tour. All tours begin at 3:30 pm. Tickets cost $20.00 and must be purchased in advance. Guests purchasing both tours can receive a $10 discount by selecting the ticket package. Visit CompassRoseHistory.com to purchase your tickets or to learn more about Compass Rose History Experiences.

[SOON]  FOOD: 2023 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , April 20 – April 24, Various times

The 2023 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival will return for its 16th year. The Festival is scheduled for April 20-24, 2023 and offers a world-class weekend of winemaker dinners, interactive wine seminars and wine tastings that culminates with the alfresco Grand Tasting event at The Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard. Guests will savor delicious dishes presented by over 40 members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals restaurant group and sample from a collection of more than 300 unique wines from across the globe. There will be live musical entertainment and an expansive silent auction of rare and collectible wines and experiences. Due to the unprecedented demand this year, there are three available ticket levels: VIP, early access and general admission. For more information on Forks and Corks and to purchase tickets, visit EatLikeALocal.com. Follow Forks and Corks on Facebook and Instagram.

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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