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SRQ DAILY Jul 25, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"A French sauv blanc is going to have a little more minerality and earthiness to its tasting notes as compared to a New Zealand sauv blanc with which most white wine drinkers are familiar."

- Megan Murphy, 99 Bottles Taproom and Bottle Shop Staff Member

[The Dish]  Sip and Savor Summertime at 99 Bottles
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

As Sarasota heads into the dog days of summer, more and more residents are searching for ways to stay cool, and a refreshing drink makes all the difference. At 99 Bottles Taproom and Bottle Shop, the staff is hard at work curating their top summer drink picks and recommending what meal best pairs with their flavors. Staff members Dylan Hauri, Megan Murphy and Bart Stucker share their favorite drink and meal pairings for this sizzling season.

“I’d recommend the 3 Sons Brewing Ocean Park Pilsner,” says Hauri. “A pilsner is a light, crisp and refreshing beer traditionally from Germany and the Czech Republic, but this one is from Miami.” He notes that the beer has a smidge of bitterness and a light consistency ideal for humid days with high temperatures. Because the drink has a low-alcohol content, 99 Bottles considers it to be “crushable,” a term that denotes a beverage one can enjoy all day long. This versatile pilsner can accompany many dishes, but Hauri suggests sampling it along with the eatery’s short rib flatbread or new sausage plate with house-made beer-honey mustard. “It’s a great beer because there are so many possible pairings,” he adds.

While Hauri’s pick is a classic ideal for a day at the ballpark, Murphy opts for an elegant Cap Royal Bordeaux blanc. “The Cap Royal is a French sauvignon blanc that is very refreshing and has delicious fruit and floral notes that are perfect for a hot day,” she says. “A French sauv blanc is going to have a little more minerality and earthiness to its tasting notes as compared to a New Zealand sauv blanc with which most white wine drinkers are familiar.” This elegant selection pops against the restaurant’s cheese and charcuterie boards, especially when sampled alongside the aged Gouda.

Guests at the establishment’s weekend New York bagel brunches will adore Bart Stucker’s pick, the Untitled Art Blackberry Agave Hard Seltzer, a beverage produced in Wisconsin for the state of Florida. “Imagine the delight of nice fresh fruit on a hot day. This gluten-friendly option has 100 percent natural fruit, low alcohol content and no unpleasant aftertaste. It’s great for taking to the beach,” he says. Pair this delightful drink with a New York-style cinnamon raisin bagel, trucked in from the Bronx and finished in-house, and a vibrant purple mixed berry cream cheese spread.

From classic pilsners to refreshing hard seltzers, 99 Bottles has a drink for anyone eager to take a sip out of summer and celebrate the season.

99 Bottles Taproom and Bottle Shop, 1445 2nd St. Sarasota, 99bottles.net. 

The Cap Royal Bordeaux blanc pairs well with the cheese and charcuterie boards at 99 Bottles, giving summer a sophisticated twist. Photo courtesy of 99 Bottles.

99 Bottles Taproom and Bottle Shop

[The Dish]  Bijou Garden Cafe Offers Summer Prix Fixe Option as Part of New Seasonal Menu

Bijou Garden Café, an iconic downtown restaurant offering fine dining with an intimate and inviting ambiance in the heart of Sarasota’s theatre and arts district since 1986, is offering a summer prix fixe menu now through the end of August. Guests can enjoy the summer prix fixe menu for $49 per person. The promotion includes a choice of two courses along with a glass of wine. Taxes and gratuity are not included. Diners have the option to select an appetizer and main entree combination, or a main entree and dessert, from the restaurant's recently launched summer seasonal menu. The portions for the prix fixe option are slightly smaller, but guests can choose to upgrade their main entree for a small additional fee.  The full summer menu, still available during the special promotion, includes a range of new seasonal entrees. Summer appetizers include Costa Rican yucca cakes with mango salsa and chipotle aioli, flash-fried oyster mushrooms with smoked paprika cream sauce, and cucumber and avocado gazpacho with fresh crab and roasted tomatillos. The summer main courses include rack of lamb with smoky apricot glaze, rosemary potatoes and zucchini rosettes; orange miso salmon with daikon medley, snap peas and soba noodles; shrimp and scallops over cilantro jasmine rice with green coconut curry sauce, among others. There is a new selection of summer desserts, including a gourmet “Moon Pie” made of graham cracker sponge cake layered with marshmallow mousse and hazelnut ganache, coated in dark chocolate and salted caramel; white chocolate cheesecake with mango swirl, lime curd and fresh fruit; and a lemon berry tart with lemon posset and blackberry jam in vanilla shell with berries, pistachios and blackberry meringue. There is also a new seasonal cocktail list inspired by the restaurant’s proximity to area theaters and arts organizations, with drink names including Show Stopper and Curtain Call. The full menus are available online at BijouGardenCafe.com/menu. To make a reservation, guests can visit BijouGardenCafe.com or call 941-366-8111. 

Pictured: Costa Rican yucca cakes appetizer. Photo courtesy of Bijou Garden Cafe.

[The Dish]  Gecko's Launches App for Online Ordering and Delivery

You can now order your favorite Gecko’s Grill & Pub’s award-winning make-to-order fare through our new Gecko’s App! It’s free, easy and enables guests to order for convenient curbside pickup To Go at any of our six Gecko’s locations or for delivery through our Door Dash partners. Visit our website at Locations | Gecko's Grill (geckosgrill.com) or scan the QR Code for Android or Apple and tap that App! 

[The Dish]  Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar Offers New Summer Lunch Specials

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar is pleased to announce their new Summer Lunch Specials, served daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Enjoy beautiful views of Phillippi Creek indoors or on one of the beautiful decks. The new Summer Lunch Menu offers all individual meals for just $15.99 Try The Lighter Side of Summer: Creek Cobb-Applewood smoked bacon, egg, radish, guacamole, and bleu cheese crumbles with your choice of Chicken or Shrimp (Substitute Mahi, Salmon, or Grouper for an additional $2.95). Chef’s Salad- Turkey, ham, eggs, tomato, white cheddar, and croutons. Fried Favorites: Fish Tacos (2) - Tempura fish, guacamole, roasted tomato salsa, feta, slaw, sour cream, and fried blue tortillas served with Mexican rice. Fresh Fried Grouper Bites served with fries. Early Day Entrees: Flounder or Chicken Parmigiana (Side of garlic bread $2.95). Ahi Tuna-Blackened or char-grilled. Served with slaw and your choice of fries or potato salad. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Music of Giacomo Puccini Launches Sarasota Opera 2023-24 Mainstage Season

The Music of Giacomo Puccini will launch Sarasota Opera’s 2023-2024 mainstage season on November 10, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. and November 12, 2023 at 3 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House. This concert of selections from the great Italian composer’s operas will be conducted by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Victor DeRenzi and will continue the company’s partnership with the Sarasota Orchestra. Soloists will include Sarasota Opera favorite artists sopranos Hanna Brammer and Erica Petrocelli, tenors Rafael Dávila and Christopher Oglesby. Baritone Jean Carlos Rodriguez will be making his company debut with this concert. The Music of Giacomo Puccini will feature arias and ensembles from every one of the composer’s twelve operas. Selections will include some audience favorites like “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca, the Love Duet from Madama Butterfly, and that ever-popular “Nessun dorma” from Turandot. In addition to these well-loved scenes, audiences will hear excerpts from his lesser-known operas like Le Villi and Edgar (the only two Puccini operas that haven’t been performed by Sarasota Opera). Single tickets for The Music of Giacomo Puccini go on sale on August 1, 2023 at the Sarasota Opera Box Office, by phone at (941) 328-1300, in person at 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, or online at https://tickets.sarasotaopera.org. Ticket prices range from $37 to $101.  

[Arts & Entertainment]  Magic and Mystery at Creative Liberties Includes Handcrafted Items, Angel Readings, Illusionists and more: July 29

 Creative Liberties Artist Studios and Gallery, based on a foundation of artists helping artists, continues its season’s offerings with “Magic & Mystery,” Saturday, July 29, 7-10 p.m., at 927 N. Lime Avenue, Sarasota. This indoor market features area vendors selling handcrafted items, angel readings, food and drink, raffle prizes and wickedly exciting performances and interactive experiences. Guests are encouraged to dress in their magical best. Entertainment includes performances by illusionist Marshall Chandler, Light Dancer Ace of Wands, stilt performer KC Allen, and live poetry by Steve McAllister. Tickets are $15 at the door or available for purchase at www.CreativeLiberties.net. Food and entertainment are included in the ticket price.  

Pictured: Creative Liberties members. Photo by Peter Acker.

[Arts & Entertainment]  New Wander at Wellen Experience Introduces Augmented Reality in Downtown Wellen

Wellen Park is augmenting reality with a new interactive experience called Wander at Wellen, encouraging visitors to explore Downtown Wellen and see what comes to life. A blend of reality and digitally created content, Wander at Wellen adds another dimension to various points in downtown with QR codes and smartphones, including fish schooling around the floating dock, Florida butterflies fluttering about the natural playground and a blue heron taking flight from a mural. Visitors simply scan the codes at seven locations featured on red signs throughout Downtown Wellen to reveal a special encounter. Each offers a different experience, including selfie opportunities and storytelling videos. By completing all seven augmented reality experiences, guests will receive an exclusive prize offer that’s most definitely a reality. At the dock, people will see a real view of the Grand Lake with animated fish leaping up from the water and a narrator introducing the different species that live in the lake. At the playground, a butterfly lands on visitors’ noses. Markers are located throughout Downtown Wellen, including the Great Lawn, Canopy Green and under the Heritage Tree. Wellen Park partnered with Southwest Florida-based D3 Creative to develop the augmented reality experience using a unique web-based AR platform that allows AR to be widely accessible to visitors across many different backgrounds. Visitors can either interact with Wander at Wellen by scanning a QR code or by allowing location services on your phone. Web-based AR does not require downloading an app, making it significantly easier for people to access and enjoy.  

Pictured: Wellen Park is introducing a new interactive experience called Wander at Wellen.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: John Pirman, Diving Into Nature , July 22 – September 17, Garden Hours

Dive into nature this summer at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, where a retrospective-like show of the career of Sarasota artist John Pirman to date can be seen inside the Museum of Botany and the Arts and outside in the Gardens. The show features several of his signature views of Sarasota, including iconic scenes of Selby Gardens itself, along with diverse works from his 30-year career in New York City and even pieces from his childhood in Ohio. On view daily through September 17. Learn more at selby.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Geckos Grill and Pubs Trivia , July 1 – June 1, 7:30 pm

Geckos Grill & Pub’s Award-winning Trivia-Think While You Drink! If you love Trivia, join the fun at Geckos all year round. All Trivia starts at 7:30pm. We will have prizes, giveaways and specials plus the Geckos made-to-order fare, signature cocktails and hospitality you love. Monday trivia will be held at the Clark Road location in Palmer Crossing and on Tuesdays at the SR 64 location in Braden River Plaza. The SR 64 location will be taking a break from Trivia in October, but will start back up in April. On Wednesdays, trivia will take place at the Hillview Street location in Southside Village. www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch Art Exhibition , May 8 – July 31, 9 am-5 pm
ComCenter Lakewood Ranch hosts local art groups to exhibit in the main lobby area of the building. The exhibits are open to the public to view Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, and the majority of the art is for sale. The artists are usually treated to a welcome reception by ComCenter as well. The exhibits continually change about every four to six months so there is always something new to see and our ComCenter clients and their clients enjoy the ever-changing exhibits. The next group, The Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch, will be exhibiting for the first time at ComCenter from May 8 through July 31. ComCenter Lakewood Ranch, 9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch, comcenters.net.
[SOON]  FOOD: SIN Nights at Geckos on Hillview , May 12 – August 31, 10 pm to midnight

Enjoy SIN Nights for Geckos Hospitality and Service Industry Colleagues. Join Geckos on Hillview Street in Southside Village and let us serve you late at night after your shift on Friday and Saturday nights. We will keep the light on late for you and offer Geckos food and drink specials just for you from 10-Midnight. Come in wearing your uniform or bring in your schedule and enjoy the camaraderie of friends at Geckos on Hillview. 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota, www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Identity, Exploring the Human Condition , June 1 – August 5, Gallery hours

The 2023 exhibition season continues with Identity, Exploring the Human Condition, which highlights the diverse talents of artists from across the southeast region of the United States and will be on display in all four gallery spaces. On view from June 1-August 5, the opening reception is Thursday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. The juror is Christy Paris, an art professor and PhD candidate in the College of Education at the University of South Florida. A Juror’s Critique, with Paris, will take place on Tuesday, June 6. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Comedy Lottery at Florida Studio Theatre Improv , June 3 – July 29, 7:30pm
It is the lottery where everyone wins. Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team by selecting the nightly lineup of games. Our cast of funny people are off to the races spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. Bownes Lab, 1265 First St., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Summer Circus Spectacular , June 9 – August 12, Various times

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat this summer at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts, thanks to the continued partnership of The Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling. The Summer Circus Spectacular returns this year, with exciting acts signed on for the one-hour, action-packed show. The 2023 Summer Circus Spectacular, which has become a seasonal highlight for locals, visitors, families and groups alike, takes place from June 9 through August 12. Tickets are $20 for adults, $13 for children 12 and under, and tickets for the 7 p.m. opening night performance and celebration on Friday, June 9, which includes a gala reception with the artists, are $50. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for an additional $5. Visit Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399 to purchase tickets and learn more. The Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Surfer Boys at Florida Studio Theatre , June 13 – August 13, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre kicks off its Summer Cabaret Series with The Surfer Boys,an energetic tribute to the music of The Beach Boys. Featuring such hits as California Girls, Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, and Surfin USA, The Surfer Boys is filled with the honey-tinged harmonies and unforgettable melodies that defined 1960s California and pop music. The Surfer Boys begins playing June 13 in the FST Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  GALLERY: 55 Frida Project , June 18 – August 18, Various times

Maverick, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo painted 55 self-portraits in her short and tragic life. View the commemorative exhibit by artist Beck Lane of her work at UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, her artwork merges extraordinary creative vision and innovative technique and has been collected and shown in pop-up galleries, solo shows, galleries, and private collections in Boston, California, New York City, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, Brussels, Switzerland, South America, and Israel. On her YouTube Channel, Catalyst and Co., Beck records herself painting live, while offering encouragement to fellow artists, and sharing her experiences as an artist and her painting process and techniques. These mixed medium works pulsate with powerful, vibrant energy, fluid color and rare style. On Sunday, July 16, Lane will be painting live from 12-2 pm at the Lexow Gallery. UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, 3975 Fruitville Rd., www.uucsarasota.com, www.becklaneartist.com.

[SOON]  THEATER: Black Pearl Sings , June 28 – August 6, Various times

In 1935 Depression-era Texas, two women from very different backgrounds discover the other holds the key to everything they have each been searching for. Susannah is an ambitious Library of Congress musicologist, determined to record undocumented slave songs. Pearl is an African American woman with a soulful voice, a steely spirit, and a sentence in a high-security female prison. Pearls memory is a treasure-trove of unrecorded slave era music, but can she hand over her ancestors’ songs without giving up something of herself? Black Pearl Sings tells the evocative story of an unlikely bond, preservation of musical heritage, and the human need for hope and healing. Florida Studio Theatre, Keating Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Creative Collaboration , July 1 – July 28, Various times

The newest artists at Art Uptown Gallery will be featured in the July exhibit, Creative Collaboration, showcasing their original paintings. Meet the artists, Donna Grossman, Christine Hales, Debbie Kadagian, Maureen Riesco and Kathryn Adele Schumacher at the First Friday public reception on July 7 from 6-9 p.m. All five award-winning artists are local, full-time residents of Sarasota. The exhibit opens on Saturday, July 1 and runs through Friday, July 28. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse work of regional award-winning artists is exhibited. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  THEATER: Divas Three , July 11 – September 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents Divas Three, a dynamic music revue featuring four decades of hits by some of the most influential women of music. With songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Carole King, and more, this original revue pays tribute to the artists whose musical impact has earned them the coveted title of diva. Created by Nancy Allen Productions, Divas Three begins playing on July 11 in the FST Court Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Wellen Park Summer Music Series , July 19 – September 30, Various times

Wellen Park invites the community to come out and enjoy music from local bands and artists during the Summer Music Series every Wednesday through Sunday in Downtown Wellen. Now through September, Wellen Park is hosting different musicians throughout the week. Every week, Wind Down Wednesdays, Thursday Tunes and Saturday Sounds will feature music under the Heritage Tree from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday Night Live, the first Friday of the month, will feature a band on the Solis Hall stage overlooking the Great Lawn from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday Groove, the second, third and fourth Friday of the month, will feature music under the Heritage Tree from 5 to 9 p.m. On Unplugged Sunday, every Sunday, there will be music under the Heritage Tree from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. The series is open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating on the Great Lawn and around the Heritage Tree. For more information, visit wellenpark.com/events/summer-music-series.

[SOON]  GALA: Toast Local , August 19, 1-5 pm

On Saturday, August 19th from 1-5pm, at Robarts Arena in Sarasota join us for Toast Local, and raise a glass to local charities. Benefiting The Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation, enjoy a craft cocktail and beer tasting with delicious bites, plus special musical guest Kettle of Fish. The fun begins with a free family-friendly car show from 9am to 1pm. The Rotary Club of Sarasota is a network of active and retired business, professional, and community leaders dedicated to helping make Sarasota and the world a better place. Each year, the club receives requests from a number of local not-for-profit agencies seeking support. Toast Local will bring the local community together for an afternoon this summer to taste local beers, cocktails, and food. All proceeds will then be donated back to the local community. Information and tickets at rotaryclubofsarasota.com/toast-local, 21 and older.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Conservation Foundation Trivia Nights , June 9 – August 11, 5 to 8 p.m.

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is excited to announce a monthly trivia series this summer at their Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey on June 9, July 14 and August 11. The free community events will take place from 5pm to 8pm with trivia beginning at 6pm. Each month a different food truck duo will be onsite offering a variety of tasty options the whole family can enjoy. The public is invited to come watch, play, or simply enjoy nature and food with family and friends. Each monthly event will have a different theme with a variety of questions covering categories ranging from movies and music to science and nature. Teams can have up to eight members and multi-generational teams are encouraged. The winning team for each individual monthly event will receive a prize package in recognition of their win. Points will also be accumulated across the series, with the overall winning team receiving their choice of a private, guided hike or kayak trip for up to ten people. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit upon for this outdoor, picnic-style gathering. In the event of rain, the trivia component will be moved to an area under cover. Learn more and RSVP at conservationfoundation.com/events. Conservation Foundation, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey.

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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