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SRQ DAILY Feb 28, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"Tandoor is everything to me, and it makes me work harder and provide great food to the community because I know that it is making a difference. "

- Poonam Maini, owner of Tandoor Fine Indian Cusine

[The Dish]  The New Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine Location Fills Sarasota's Hearts and Stomachs
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

On Feb. 20, Poonam Maini, the owner of Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine, celebrated the grand opening of her restaurant’s new and expanded space at University Town Center. When a larger location became available just two doors down in the same shopping center, Maini jumped at the chance to grow the business. “We knew that we needed a bigger kitchen and were struggling with limited kitchen space and seating,” says Maini. Tandoor has occupied the same space since 2013, drawing in devotees of Indian food and converting countless guests who became fans of the cuisine after a meal at Tandoor. The new location seats 150 and has updated decor. “Our goal was to create an ambiance with a fresh look that feels familiar to our guests,” she says.

After living in an abusive marriage, Maini obtained a divorce in 2007 and was left with the Tandoor restaurant to provide for her family. Together with her children Shubi, Milan and Shamini, she ran the restaurant which became a Sarasota staple. “We did everything, from hosting, bussing and serving,” she adds “and the kids knew that we had to work seven days a week to make ends meet.”

Maini hails from the Punjab state in northern India, from which she moved to the United States. Her executive chef, Swaran Singh, is also from Punjab and was instrumental in growing the business. Maini learned to cook from her father, and when she hired Singh, the pair combined their recipes to create a menu showcasing authentic northern Indian flavors. “Fan favorites are the chicken tikka masala, the Tandoori chicken and garlic and butter naan that we bake in the restaurant,” Maini says. Many of the dishes offer vegetarian options, with spinach as a star ingredient. Great care goes into every dish, and in the coming months, Tandoor will roll out a monthly menu featuring food from other regions of India, with a special emphasis on the Bombay area, where several members of her team are from. “I want to thank all of my team; I could not have done this without them,” she says.

Maini’s connection to India has strengthened as Tandoor has grown. For each meal served at the restaurant, she provides a meal for people in the Punjab region as part of her Share Care Global initiative. “Tandoor is everything to me,” she adds, “and it makes me work harder and provide great food to the community because I know that it’s making a difference in people’s lives.”

Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine, 8447 Copper Creek Blvd., Bradenton, tandoorsarasota.com. 

Pictured: Poonam Maini celebrates the grand opening of the new Tandoor location with her family and team. Photo by James C. Johnson.

[Hurricane Relief]  Broadway Guest Stars Announced for Hermitage Benefit Concert at Van Wezel on March 20

The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) today announced the line-up of guest stars for its one-night-only benefit concert to celebrate the 20th Anniversary Season of the Hermitage and to raise funds for ongoing repairs to the Hermitage following the impact of Hurricane Ian earlier this season. The announced stars include Broadway veterans Jeannette Bayardelle, Laura Bell Bundy, Jay Armstrong Johnson, and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer as well as a Hermitage alumna and Sarasota theater favorite Ann Morrison. In town for one night only on Monday, March 20th at 7:30pm, this incredible company joins Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg as he returns to his roots as a performer to sing a concert of Broadway songs at Sarasota’s iconic Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, with music direction by Hermitage Fellow and 2023 Grammy Award nominee Rona Siddiqui.


Pictured: Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. Courtesy of The Hermitage Artist Retreat.

[Recognition]  Sheriff Hoffman Holds Awards Ceremony

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman presented several awards for Life Saving on Thursday.Deputy Edward C. Hyde received the Life Saving Award for his actions while on official travel for the agency with Deputy Jeremy Barr. Sergeant Jesse V. Gieseke received the Life Saving Award for his quick action while off-duty and working out at a local gym. Sergeant James C. Darby and Deputy Gregory W. Norton received the Life Saving Award for responding to a call about an unconscious 38-year-old female suffering from a fentanyl overdose. 

Pictured: Deputy Edward C. Hyde, Sergeant Jesse V. Gieseke, Sergeant James C. Darby, and Deputy Gregory W. Norton pictured with Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman. Courtesy of Sarasota County Sheriff Office.

[New Hire]  ERES Companies Expands Presence in the Gulf Coast and Adds Experienced Broker to the Florida Team

ERES Companies (ERES) announced today that Chris DiBitetto has joined their team as Vice President and Managing Broker of its Florida office. He will be based out of the company’s new Sarasota, FL location. Chris brings a decade of brokerage experience to the ERES team, specializing in advisory services for high-profile corporate tenants, non-profit and trade associations, asset managers, fund advisors, and investment and ownership groups. DiBitetto will be responsible for growing ERES’s brokerage business with a focus on investment, industrial, and office deals. Most recently, Chris served in the Metro Washington DC region as an Associate Director at Newmark. He also formerly served as an Associate at Colliers International. Chris is also licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia.Since ERES opened its doors on the Gulf Coast in August of 2022, it has quickly established roots, continuing to grow its Capital division (ERES Capital), launching a luxury condo development in downtown Sarasota as well as the planned Hilton Tempo Hotel in Downtown Ft. Myers. To learn more about ERES, its service lines, markets and capabilities visit www.erescompanies.com/about-us. 

[Nonprofits]  Local Digital Agency Seeking Charitable Organization in Need of Complimentary New Website

For the third year in a row, Sarasota-based creative firm Purple Fish Creative has committed to enhancing its support of area nonprofit organizations via its annual charitable initiative, Project SRQ. The agency understands that many nonprofits deal with operational challenges, including restricted budgets and limited access to necessary resources. Each year, this program aims to help boost the development efforts of a 501(c)(3) charity organization in the greater
Sarasota/Manatee area by awarding a new website package. Each award will include: Free design of one new WordPress website, showcase of services and upcoming events, premium stock photography, ability to accept donations, other premium add-ons that extend the functions of the website. The only requirement by the selected organization is to maintain a web hosting agreement with the agency for a minimum of one year. “The goal is to expand opportunities for these organizations to acquire volunteers, attract donors, drive supporter engagement, and raise overall awareness more efficiently through a robust online platform. Project SRQ is our small way of giving back and paying it forward to the organizations making a difference in the community where we live and work,” says Sue Colao, the firm’s president and lead designer. Organizations are encouraged to apply for the 2023 Project SRQ award or nominate a nonprofit in need at www.purplefishcreative.com/project-srq. The application window is open from March 1 - June 30, 2023. 

[Donation]  Teen Court of Sarasota Receives a $45,000 Donation From Personalized Estate Liquidation Benefiting Youth, Inc.

Teen Court of Sarasota, recently received a $45,000 donation from Personalized Estate Liquidation Benefiting Youth, Inc. (PEL) to support our shared mission to help at-risk youth in Sarasota County. PEL selects organizations that support youth in need, particularly teens at-risk. Teen Court of Sarasota provides programs and services to young people worthy of a second chance to learn and grow from their mistakes. This is PEL’s fifth gift to Teen Court making, it a total of $220,000 donated. "PEL’s significant investment in Teen Court will support the notable 10% increase in referrals we have seen already this year. Generous donations like this allow our staff to address the needs of our clients without a financial burden or strain. Our clients receive a second chance and the tools to continue making law-abiding decisions thanks to empowering programs. Our healthy digital practices, substance abuse, and life skills groups will benefit from this donation. We are so grateful to PEL’s board and volunteers for their support of local youth” said Heather Todd, Executive Director. This $45,000 gift allows Teen Court to serve its clients their families without the worry of paying for it. 65% of those we serve on are on or below the poverty line, and 43% have indicated depression or anxiety. Over 700 youth were referred to our programs in 2022. We are most proud of our 90% success rate with our Substance Abuse Program (10% re-offense rate). 84% of our youth served have improved their grades since participating in the Teen Court programs, and 93% of parents have seen positive changes in their teen since participating in Teen Court. 

TROPICAL MODERNISM | Sarasota’s architecture is rich with great minds like Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph who inspired the foundation of the mid-century modern structures. 
Although some of these edifices have since been demolished, their style has lived on in the interiors of our city through design and style. Discover the latest modern home goods from local stores through the link, on our social medias, or in the February edition!

Read Here!

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST - A Place in the Sun - A Tribute to Stevie Wonder , November 16 – April 16, Varied

A Place in the Sun – A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, will begin playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret on November 16, 2022. The new music revue celebrates the legendary musician whose catalogue spans six decades and multiple musical genres, taking audiences through the beloved songbook of musical pioneer, Stevie Wonder. Created by Jason Cannon, Richard Hopkins, and Sarah Durham, this all-new Cabaret features such timeless hits as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Isn’t She Lovely?,” and “Superstition.” Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Walking Tours at The Ringling's Arboretum Available Now Through May 2023 , November 26 – May 29, 12:00 PM

This walking tour led by volunteer guides will introduce you to interesting botanical specimens on the estate while providing a historic overview of the development of the estate. The Ringling Arboretum has been accredited at Level II through ArbNet and there are over 2350 trees within the arboretum representing native, exotic, historical, and culturally significant trees. Garden Tours are available Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays and take place entirely outdoors. It is 90 minutes in length and covers approximately 1 mile. We encourage visitors to bring bottled water, and wear appropriate footwear, preferably closed-toe, sunblock, and hats. There will be a maximum of 10 participants per tour. Tours are subject to weather conditions. Please check it at the Visitors Pavilion prior to your tour. Tickets will be available 30 days prior to each tour.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Ken Ludwigs The Three Musketeers , January 11 – March 26, Varied

Adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. Directed by Peter Amster. Harrowing adventure, bravery, and friendship take center stage in Ken Ludwig's THE THREE MUSKETEERS, a thrilling adaptation of the popular novel by Alexandre Dumas. One of the world’s most enduring comedies, this classic tells the tale of a daring young man who finds himself in the company of the world’s greatest swordsmen, as well as some of the world’s most dangerous men and women. Directed by Peter Amster, who most recently directed Asolo Rep’s smash hit Murder on the Orient Express in 2020, this play promises to be a fast-paced, witty, swashbuckling good time. All for one, and one for all! 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[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]  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]  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]  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]  GRAB BAG: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature , February 12 – June 26, During garden hours

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 2023 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature showcases the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, the exhibition highlights the inspiring connection between Tiffany Studios and the natural world through unique horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens, accompanied by seminal examples of Tiffany’s work on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. To learn more, visit selby.org. Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, 1534 Mound St., 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]  GRAB BAG: SB2 Luncheon: Featuring the Good Hero Awards , March 7, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
The SRQ Philanthropic Agenda and Good Hero Awards luncheon and panel discussion will explore the dynamic and ever changing world of non-profits. What's trending, who's innovating, why are donor-advised funds growing so rapidly and what exactly are donors looking for? The luncheon will culminate with the SRQ Good Hero Philanthropic Awards program at which we will honor individuals who have meaningfully impacted our community for good in the past year and for-profit companies who have been incredible philanthropic partners to the community.

Michael's On East, 1212 S East Ave Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  HEALTH: A Woman's Journey , March 3, 9:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Don't miss A Woman's Journey, on March 3rd at the Westin Sarasota. Since 1995, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s annual women’s health program A Woman's Journey provides new and compelling information about important issues affecting women's health. Through a selection of seminars presented exclusively by Hopkins faculty physicians, participants are able to hear first-hand about advances in medicine from the individuals performing the research, all the while interacting with a diverse group of attendees. Registration is $95. Click here to register: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/awomansjourney/upcoming-live-programs/florida-2023-sarasota.html

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel Foundation Inspiration Gala with Kenny Loggins , March 10, 5 pm

Join us as we celebrate the 35-year partnership of the Van Wezel Foundation and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for an intimate experience featuring exceptional dining and Grammy-winning musician Kenny Loggins. Proceeds from the evening will the support the mission of the Van Wezel Foundation: to create and sustain a vibrant perfoming arts center, advance education, and enrich communities by inspiring minds through the power of the arts. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 5:00 Cocktails, Dinner & Program, 8:00 Live Performance. Gala co-chairs: Kathy Martella and Susan Travers. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Julie Schwartz at 941-271-4180 or jschwartz@vwfoundation.org.

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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