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SRQ DAILY Aug 15, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"It is simple food, and even though we are not cooking, we are composing eye-catching plates and boards."

- Paul Diballa, Co-owner, Toastique.

[The Dish]  Toastique Is the Toast of the Town
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

When it popped up on Lemon Ave. like a slice of toast popping up out of the toaster, Toastique became a go-to eatery in downtown Sarasota. Laura Anderson and Paul Diballa own this location, which is the 19th in the franchise, and aspire to open more as time passes.

The restaurant is a gourmet toast and juice bar that also sells bowls and smoothies. Ingredients like homemade peanut butter, produced with no other ingredients besides peanuts, are prepared by the team and are then plated. “It’s simple food, and even though we aren’t cooking, we are composing eye-catching plates and boards,” says Diballa. Every detail has been thought out, including the knives sharp enough to easily cut through the toast without guests having to saw off pieces. This streamlined process means guests can chow down without long waits while enjoying the comfortable restaurant space, featuring high ceilings and light pouring in from the outside. “The interior is laidback and modern, but not too modern,” he adds.

The lovely setting complements the menu, featuring a delicious line-up of toasts. Diballa recommends the PB Crunch, a slide of raisin walnut toast topped with peanut butter, bananas, strawberries, granola, chia seeds, honey and a mint garnish. Seafood lovers can’t get enough of the Spicy Crab, which includes a piece of rustico toast topped with lump crab, melted Swiss and fontina cheese, siracha oil, tomato, bibb lettuce, jalapenos, micro greens and a lemon twist. Rustico toast compliments the herbed ricotta, tomato, burrata cheese, basil and balsamic glaze in the Tomato Burrata. Cap off the meal with a yummy smoothie such as the Iced Brew with coffee, banana, dates and almond milk. It’s a great afternoon treat for the summer heat.

Partnering together has made all the difference for Diballa and Anderson, who work as a team to provide guests with a welcoming place to enjoy a tasty meal or snack. “She’s been a true champion, and I look forward to collaborating with her in the future,” he says.

Toastique, 10 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, toastique.com. 

Pictured: The Tomato Burrata with rustico toast, herbed ricotta, tomato, burrata cheese, basil and balsamic glaze. Photo by Laura Paquette.


[The Dish]  Brain-teasing fun at Hamlet's Eatery Starting August 23rd

Calling all trivia enthusiasts, puzzle lovers, and general knowledge buffs! Hamlet’s Eatery is thrilled to announce the launch of our very own Weekly Trivia Night, starting on August 23rd and continuing every Wednesday thereafter. Prepare for an evening filled with laughter, friendly competition, and the chance to win amazing prizes! Join us at Hamlets Eatery, where we believe that great food and great company go hand in hand with a little friendly rivalry. The doors open at 5pm, giving you plenty of time to grab a delicious dinner and sip on your favorite refreshing beverages. Chef Teylor will be serving up mouthwatering dishes that will fuel your brainpower and keep you energized throughout the night!At 6pm, the real excitement begins as our lively trivia games kick off with Austin of Top Shelf Trivia. Test your knowledge across a wide range of categories, from pop culture to history, sports to science, and everything in between. With our creative and thought-provoking questions, you're bound to have a blast while exercising those brain cells! But that's not all – we've got some big prizes up for grabs! The first night starts off with the winners getting $100 gift Certificate to Hamlet’s. There will even be prizes for 2nd and 3rd place teams. Think of the bragging rights and the thrill of victory that come with taking home a prize! Not to mention, we will create a winners board to be displayed all year with top team names. So gather your friends, family, or even challenge your colleagues to join you on this unforgettable trivia adventure. Whether you're a seasoned trivia master or just looking for a night of entertainment, Hamlets Eatery's Weekly Trivia Night promises to be an absolute blast. Mark your calendars, set a reminder, and get ready to put your knowledge to the test! We can't wait to welcome you to Hamlet’s Eatery on August 23rd and every Wednesday thereafter for an evening of delicious food, refreshing drinks, and mind-boggling trivia. Let the games begin!


[The Dish]  2023 Taste of the Beaches Dates Released

The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce has announced the highly anticipated dates for Taste of the Beaches 2023. For the first time ever, this year's culinary extravaganza will span over two weekends, starting with Kickoff on October 6th and running until October 15th, 2023. Taste of the Beaches is a week-long taste tour and celebration of the vibrant culinary scene on the Tampa Bay Beaches. Food enthusiasts and visitors from all over are invited to indulge in an array of delectable dishes, including freshly caught seafood and a diverse range of cuisines. The chamber is proud to welcome ReRoute Americas as the official sponsor for this year's festivities. ReRoute Americas, an eco-friendly and sustainable food packaging company, is the perfect partner for this event. Food lovers and adventure seekers alike are invited to save the date for this special culinary experience. Registration is now open for restaurants to participate in this highly attended taste tour as well. Join in the festivities from October 7th to October 15th, 2023, and stay tuned for more updates on participating restaurants and ticket sales by visiting the official Taste of the Beaches website: www.tampabaybeaches.com/taste. 

To learn more, visit

[Recognition]  Pickleball Magazine Names G.T. Bray Courts Among Best in the U.S.

Manatee County’s investment in infrastructure—specifically in the areas of recreation and court sports—is paying off with more honors. Pickleball Magazine has named the pickleball facility at G.T. Bray Recreation Center one of the best in the country in its “25 Great Places to Play Pickleball” analysis. The article curates a coast-to-coast collection of court complexes, “from ocean breezes to mountaintop views, finding outdoor pickleball courts open to the public is as easy as one, two, dink! We’ve compiled a list of just some of the wonderful places to play pickleball in the open air around the country.”  In addition to a rundown of the location, court count and contact information, the Top-25 list features a brief overview of the facility: Opened in 2022, the new C.V. Walton Racquet Center pickleball courts at the G.T. Bray Recreation Center are a terrific place to play. There are 20 courts, 14 of which are covered and include large ceiling fans to keep the air circulating during the hot summer months. Reservations for the outdoor courts may be made six days in advance. The reservation line opens at noon. Open play available daily. Click here for more information on Manatee County Sports and Leisure Services programs and activities. For more information about Manatee County Government, visit mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ManateeGov. 

[Recognition]  Discover Sarasota Tours Recognized as Tripadvisor 2023 Travelers Choice Award Winner

Discover Sarasota Tours today announced it has been recognized by Tripadvisor as a 2023 Travelers’ Choice award winner for Attractions for the second year in a row. The coveted award celebrates businesses that have consistently received great traveler reviews on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months, placing these winners among the top 10% of all listings on Tripadvisor globally. “On behalf of our entire team of exceptional Tour Guides, friendly Reservationists, and expert Drivers, we are proud to have won this award recognizing our entertaining and informative tours of Sarasota. The past few years have certainly been challenging and we want to thank all the supportive customers who have given our tour experiences such high ratings and amazing reviews,” said Discover Sarasota Tours Founder and CEO Tammy Hauser, M.B.A. “Congratulations to the 2023 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice winners,” said John Boris, Chief Growth Officer at Tripadvisor. “The travel resurgence we’ve seen throughout the past year has even further heightened the competition. Earning a Travelers’ Choice Award demonstrates that you have provided great experiences to those who matter most: your guests. With changing expectations, continued labor shortages, and rising costs, this is no easy feat, and I am continually impressed with the hospitality industry’s resilience and ability to adapt. Cheers to another successful year!” 

To learn more, visit

[Visit Sarasota County]  Discover Natural Sarasota - Blind Pass Beach

Blind Pass Beach

With Gulf-to-Bay access and tons of seashells, this park tends to be much quieter than others with just as much beauty. A beautiful hiking trail through the mangrove forest, fishing docks, canoe/kayak launches, playground and picnic facilities provide everything needed for a peaceful day at the beach. 

6725 Manasota Key Rd. Manasota Key

Check out more on this feature!

[Competition]  2023 Recipient of Hermitage Prize in Composition at Aspen Music Festival and School Announced

The Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, Colorado) announce that Matiss Cudars, a composition student at AMFS, has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Hermitage Prize in Composition. Čudars is the tenth recipient of this annual award, which includes a residency at the Hermitage, along with a $1,000 cash stipend. Cudars was selected by a jury that includes multiple Grammy Award winner Robert Spano, Music Director of the AMFS and the Atlanta Symphony and a past member of the Hermitage Curatorial Council; award-winning composer and celebrated arts administrator Alan Fletcher, AMFS President and CEO; and the composition faculty of the AMFS, including Grammy Award-winning Hermitage Fellow Christopher Theofanidis. Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg presented the award to Cudars at the Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Tent, alongside Fletcher, Theofanidis, and award-winning composer and Hermitage Fellow Nico Muhly. This unique initiative, launched in 2013 and now celebrating its tenth anniversary, reflects an invaluable partnership between AMFS and the Hermitage, designed to champion new and original works and to recognize exceptional talent in the field of contemporary classical music. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of this award, the Hermitage and AMFS produced a retrospective video featuring exclusive interviews with past winners, distinguished AMFS faculty members, and renowned thought leaders in music, which can be seen here (URL link below). The idea for the prize was first conceived when Robert Spano was in residence at the Hermitage and shared with his colleagues in Aspen how beneficial the retreat had been for him and his work. The Hermitage Prize in Composition was created to offer the same experience to young, talented composers just beginning their professional careers. 

[35 Under 35]  Nominate a Young Professional Today!

The 3rd Annual SRQ Magazine 35 Under 35 Competition recognizes and honors young professionals, innovators, scientists, creatives, entrepreneurs and philanthropists who have distinguished themselves with their leadership in the field. From pitching the next big idea to developing their bandwidth, young professionals are thriving in our region and leading the way for the next generation. Could you or someone you know be one of our 2023 Class of 35 Under 35 Honorees?  

Nominate Here!

[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]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Public Market , June 24 – August 26, 9 am to 2 pm

Realize Bradenton is pleased to announce the continuation of the Bradenton Public Market through the summer months. The summer Markets are scheduled once a month on the last Saturdays of each month, on June 24th, July 29th and August 26th on Old Main Street and 3rd Ave West in Bradenton. Our Market family is excited to see their customers throughout the summer while still enjoying some well-earned time off. The Market was founded in April of 1979 in a Downtown Bradenton parking lot. Over the past 44 years, the Market has grown and evolved to fill Old Main Street with produce, local artisans, and prepared foods. realizebradenton.com/market.

[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]  PERFORMANCE: Sights and Sounds at Waterside Place , July 28 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Head out to Waterside Place for a rocking evening as part of the Lakewood Ranch Sights and Sounds Program. Enjoy a live concert in partnership with Easterseals and EveryoneRocks, featuring artists who are rocking their spectrum. This event is free and open to the public; there is limited seating at the Plaza, but attendees are welcome to bring their own seats. Food and beverages will be available from numerous Waterside Place merchants. For more information on shows, dates, and times, visit lakewoodranch.com/sights-sounds/. Waterside Place, 1560 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Wine Tasting at The Reserve Retreat , August 17, 6:30-8:30pm

Indulge in a wine tasting at The Reserve Retreat. Hosted by in-house wine experts, the tasting will offer samples of Chardonnay, Riesling, Malbec and Montepulciano curated from past tastings. This is a perfect event for anyone looking for a cozy and inviting place to socialize and learn. Tickets are $15. The Reserve Retreat, 1322 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, thereserveretreat.com.

[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]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: August Lunch and Learn at the Conservation Foundation , August 22, 11:30am-1pm

Join Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast for an in depth look at the role we play in protecting the places that make a difference in our community, giving us clean water to drink, protected habitat for plants and animals, beautiful natural places to enjoy, great spots to hike and fish, and a world class shoreline. During this one hour presentation, we will discuss the history of our organization, programs, past and present initiatives, and ways for you to become a part of our conservation community. As a special bonus, after lunch, we will take you on a guided tour of Bay Preserve. Registration for this free event is required and space is limited. Register at conservationfoundation.com. Bay Preserve at Osprey, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey.

[SOON]  FOOD: South France Wine Tasting Dinner at Mademoiselle Paris , August 24 – August 25, 6:30 pm

Mademoiselle Paris will host the South France Wine Dinner at their University Town Center and Anna Maria Island locations. As wine lovers, we organize every month a wine tasting, on a specific region of France. The menu is designed by our chef Arnaud Wallet and related to the region. During this wine tastings we introduce the specific region or grape, talk about tourism and the vineyard. We introduce each domain, trying to pick family businesses, and every wine. Each time we also introduce a restaurant we recommend in France and we share a little bit of France Culture and history. We use a PowerPoint support to illustrate with pictures and graphics and to give more interest in our presentation. As the cherry on the cake, we have a quiz and we offer bottles of the wine tasting to the best participants. Reservations required. Reserve your spot at mademoiselleparis.com/winetasting.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

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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