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SRQ DAILY Oct 3, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"I developed the concept after researching food trends in California and Las Vegas, where high end Mexican restaurants are exploding onto the scene."

- Jason Dame, Executive Chef at Fuego Comida and Tequila Lounge

[The Dish]  Fuego Comida and Tequila Lounge Shines in Lakewood Ranch
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

This August, Lakewood Ranch got a taste of innovative and upscale Mexican cuisine at Fuego Comida and Tequila Lounge. After joining the Fuego team, Executive Chef Jason Dame investigated how trailblazing restaurants in the Southwest executed fine Mexican dining. “I developed the concept after researching food trends in California and Las Vegas, where high-end Mexican restaurants are exploding onto the scene,” he says. Dame decided to combine coastal Mexican seafood with steakhouse favorites, with an emphasis on American Wagyu steak.

The restaurant’s menu strikes an impressive balance between traditional flavors and creative presentation. “Our focus is on the Yucatan and Veracruz. We use heirloom masa to make corn tortillas. It’s a single-origin and unprocessed masa ground in Puebla, Mexico, then sent to us. We also use heirloom ayocote beans shipped to us from Puebla, which were first cultivated in 4000 B.C.,” he adds. “What separates us from other Mexican restaurants are the traditional recipes that we use.”

The corn tortillas shine in the Enchilada Skillet, which comes with salsa roja, melted Chihuahua cheese, lime crema, radish slaw and short rib barbacoa or pulled chicken tinga. Layered in a skillet pan and covered with salsa, meat and cheese, the tortillas add depth to this conforming dish. Dame recommends that meat lovers try the American Wagyu Kobe skirt steak, while seafood enthusiasts will enjoy the cast-seared day boat scallops, with roasted corn chorizo, succotash, oyster mushrooms, aji amarillo puree and lemon-truffle oil emulsion. Originally from Rhode Island, he drew upon the Native American tradition of corn succotash to round out the meal. Inspired by the Dungeness crab garlic noodles he sampled while in San Francisco, Dame set out to recreate the secret recipe for Fuego. “The dish comes from a family restaurant with a secret kitchen where only family members can make the noodles. We put our own spin on it and added Mexican chile peppers and salsa macha,” he says.

For Sunday brunch, Fuego serves up classics like huevos rancheros and playful dishes such as chicken and churros. Happy hour features cocktails designed by Dame, including the Day of the Dead Cocktail with Camarena Reposado, blood orange liquor, lime, hibiscus syrup float, activated charcoal agave and a smoke bubble that adds a visual wow factor to the drink. “We’re before the curve, where the food trend is going. Many top chefs from around the world are in Mexico seeing what’s coming,” Dame adds. “People are used to Tex-Mex, but here they get the real thing.”

Fuego Comida and Tequila Lounge, 11615 Florida 70 E., Lakewood Ranch, 941-751-5252, fuegotequilalounge.com. 

The Mexico City Garlic Noodles with a whole Dungeness Crab. Photo by Bianca Juzwa.

Fuego Comida and Tequila Lounge

[The Dish]  Tzeva Donates Funds To Maui and Launches Charity Dinner Campaign, Tzeva For Sarasota

Nestled inside the Art Ovation Hotel Autograph Collection, Tzeva features modern Mediterranean cuisine with Israeli influences that shine in beautifully plated dishes full of bright colors, unique flavors and global spices. The restaurant is partnering with Vintage Paws Sanctuary, an organization committed to providing a sanctuary for displaced senior dogs to live out their lives with dignity surrounded by the loving care they deserve. As an active member of the Sarasota community, Tzeva is committed to supporting the organizations that uplift the city. Guided by this commitment, the restaurant is launching Tzeva For Sarasota. This campaign will spotlight a different local charitable organization every month and Tzeva will donate 20% of dinner and lunch proceeds to the organizations on the third Monday of each month. On Monday, October 16, Tzeva is partnering with Vintage Paws Sanctuary whose mission is to provide a home-like setting for senior dogs to live out their natural lives instead of dying by premature euthanasia. The partnership aligns with ‘Adopt A Shelter Dog Month’ in October, and there will be an adoptable dog on-site that Tzeva and Vintage Paws Sanctuary hope to find a loving home for.

Tzeva, 1255 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Monday, October 16. Lunch is served from 11 AM - 2PM. Dinner is served from 5PM - 10PM. Reservations can be made via OpenTable. 

[The Dish]  Duval's New Thank You Sarasota Menu

Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood. thanks Sarasota residents for their continued support. Duval’s was voted Best All-Around Restaurant for the fifth year in a row and Best Seafood Restaurant for the eighth year in a row by the Herald Tribune. To express their thanks to the community, they are offering an exclusive “Thank You Sarasota” menu to their valued fans and supporters. The menu features limited time chef-curated dishes designed to offer new and different items, as well as some of their Duval’s staples. The lunch menu features a choice of three entrées: Shrimp Po’ Boy, Duval’s Burger, or Southwest Wahoo Salad. With the purchase of one of these three entrées, guests can choose one bonus item from the following list: Starters: Tuna Poke, Summer Salad. Desserts: Signature Bread Pudding, Seasonal Crème Brûlée. Glass of House Wine: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon. The dinner menu also features a choice of three entrées: Seafood Alfredo, Southwest Wahoo Salad, or Grilled Porkchop. With the purchase of one of these entrées, guests can choose two bonus items from the list above. This menu is available from October 1 st – 31 st for dine-in, takeout, and free in-house delivery. Duval’s is located at 1435 Main St. Sarasota, FL 34236. Duval’s offers a free downtown shuttle to guests dining at the restaurant. To make a reservation with the shuttle, call 941.312.4001.  

To learn more, visit.

[Visit Sarasota County]  Discover Natural Sarasota - The Bay

The Bay

Zumba your way down to The Bay or take a yoga, tai chi, core or bootcamp class, all free at Sarasota’s newest public park perched along Sarasota Bay. With its impressive Ibis children's playground, Mangrove Bayou Walkway, Common Ground lawns and paddle launch, you’ll want to spend all day and maybe even stay for a spectacular sunset concert and views.  

655 N Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

Check out more on this feature!

[Celebration]  Sarasota Pride Festival

Celebrate love, diversity, and equality at the vibrant Pride Festival! Get ready for an extraordinary experience filled with captivating entertainment, an electrifying concert, and a bustling market. Immerse yourself in the rainbow of talent and creativity as performers set the stage ablaze with their artistry. Let the pulsating beats of the Pride Concert move your soul and ignite the spirit of unity. Discover a treasure trove of unique LGBTQ+-inspired products and indulge in mouthwatering flavors from around the world at the bustling Pride Market. Join us in this joyous celebration and let your true colors shine as we embrace a future where love knows no bounds. 

[Event]  A Bookstore1 Special Event: Reading and Signing with Award-Winning Poet Richard Blanco

Selected by President Obama as the fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco was the youngest, the first Latinx, immigrant, and gay person to serve in that role. In 2023, Blanco was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Biden from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami in a working-class family, Blanco’s personal negotiation of cultural identity and the universal themes of place and belonging characterize Blanco’s many collections of poetry, including his most recent, HOMELAND OF MY BODY, which reassess traditional notions of home as strictly a geographical, tangible place that merely exist outside us, but rather, within us. Blanco has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inauural Poet's Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Maimi Childhood.He has received numerous awards, including the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize, the PEN American Beyond Margins Award, the Patterson Prize, and a Lambda Prize for memoir. He was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary degrees. Currently, he serves as Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets and is an Associate Professor at Florida International University. In April 2022, Blanco was appointed the first-ever Poet Laureate of Miami-Dade County. Blanco has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered and Fresh Air with Terry Gross, as well as major media from around the world, including CNN, Telemundo, AC360, BBC, Univision, and PBS. Blanco’s poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including the Best American Poetry series, The Nation, The New Republic, the Huffington Post, and Condé Nast Traveler. With Ruth Behar, he is co-creator of the blog Bridges to/from Cuba: Lifting the Emotional Embargo, which provides a cultural and artistic platform for sharing the real lives and complex emotional histories of thousands of Cubans across the globe. Whether speaking as the Cuban Blanco or the American Richard, the homebody or the world traveler, the shy boy or the openly gay man, the engineer or the presidential inaugural poet, Blanco’s writings possess a story-rich quality that illuminates the human spirit. His work asks those universal questions we all ask ourselves on our own journeys: Where am I from? Where do I belong? Who am I in this world? Blanco was a featured poet at Bookstore1’s PoetryLife celebration in 2016 and 2019. We are pleased to welcome him back for this more intimate reading in the loft at Bookstore1. 

To learn more, visit.

[Voting]  Supervisor of Elections Announces 2024 I Voted Sticker Design Competition for High School and Middle School Students

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner announced Monday that he is challenging middle school and high school students to design a new, unique “I Voted” sticker for Sarasota County voters. “We are heading into a big year with countywide elections in March, August and November,” said Supervisor Turner. “The ‘I Voted’ sticker contest is a fun opportunity to involve students in the elections process and to help set them up for civic participation in adulthood.” The winning design will be announced in Spring 2024 and used as the official “I Voted” sticker given to voters during the November 2024 Presidential General Election. The winning design will also be displayed at elections offices in Sarasota, Venice and North Port and used in outreach efforts encouraging community members to vote. To be eligible, contest entrants must be enrolled in a middle or high school located in Sarasota County. Submitted designs must not advocate for a specific party, candidate or issue. Entries must be submitted with a release form and may be submitted through a designated art teacher, by email (StickerContest@SarasotaVotes.gov), by mail (Sticker Contest, Supervisor of Elections, P.O. Box 4194, Sarasota, FL 34230), or dropped off at one of three elections offices. “Sarasota County is known for its engaged electorate and creative students. I look forward to seeing all of the designs submitted,” said Turner. For the complete list of rules and entry forms, visit SarasotaVotes.gov/sticker-contest.Entry Deadline is January 26, 2024. 

[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]  BUSINESS: Business Networking and Cowork Session , August 22 – June 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attention all business professionals. Join us for a productive and inspiring coworking event every Tuesday at Out and About Coffee in downtown Sarasota. Take advantage of this opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow professionals in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Limited spots available, so register now on Eventbrite. O and A Coffee Supply, 1316 Main St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Working Conditions at The Ringling , August 26 – March 3, varied times

Explore labor through The Ringlings Working Conditions photography exhibit, running until March 3, 2024. The Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries radically changed the nature of human labor. That era is defined by a global shift from producing goods by hand to manufacturing by machines and technologies that emphasized efficiency. Working Conditions explores the myriad ways in which photographs have communicated ideas about labor since the nineteenth century through examples from The Ringlings photography permanent collection. For more information, visit ringling.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Women's Resource Center You Are Worthy Series , September 14 – November 9, 6-8pm

The Women’s Resource Center presents “You Are Worthy,” an eight-week series from September 14th through November 9th moderated by Chris Florand and Denise Whalin. This in-person series is part of the Women’s Resource Center’s life enrichment programs. The program is $25 for all sessions and takes place at WRC’s Sarasota office at 340 S. Tuttle Ave. To register, please call 941-256-9721 or visit mywrc.org/youareworthy. This program meets weekly on Thursdays from 6-8pm, with each session focusing on developing self-awareness skills, the building block where real personal growth and power to change lives starts.

[SOON]  DANCE: The Ringling Salsa and Bachata Dance Series , September 28 – October 12, n/a

Join in a Salsa and Bachata dance series from Sept 28-Oct 12 with DK Dance Instructors Kery and Dario at Historic Asolo Theater. Bachata is a dance and music genre that originated from the Dominican Republic. It is a dance form that can be compared to Bolero, tango and other more romantic dance styles. The music is reminiscent of “blues” with lyrics of lost love and sorrow. However, the rhythm itself is more upbeat and very addicting. The series costs $70 for non-member and $50 for members and individual, drop-in classes will be $16 for non-members and $12 for members. For more information, visit ringling.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Collaboration and Community: Art in Common Places at Creative Liberties , October 5 – October 28, 5-7pm

Creative Liberties Artist Studios and Galleries presents Collaboration and Community: Art in Common Places, October 5-28, at 927 N. Lime Avenue location. This exhibition is a retrospective of 34 broadsides, both one-sided prints and posters, created by artists and poets collaborating via the local non-profit, Art in Common Places. An opening reception is October 5, 5-7 p.m., and will feature live poetry readings. Jackie Cutrone will read The Rhythm of Structure by the late John Sims, Anne Morrison will read her poem On the Beach and Glenn Schudel will read Process. The founders of AICP, and many of its artist and poet members will be in attendance. Lite bites and refreshments will be available. For more information, visit creativeliberties.net.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra FREE Family Concert: Ferret in the Orchestra , October 6, 7pm

Sarasota Orchestra kicks off its 75th anniversary season at Van Wezel with a special, full orchestra concert for families entitled FREE Family Concert: Ferret in the Orchestra on October 6 at 7pm. Sarasota Orchestra invites families to come out for an evening of symphonic music in a narrated concert specially designed for elementary and middle school aged audiences. The live orchestra will entertain listeners of all ages with high-energy classical music and favorite popular tunes. Conductor Christopher Confessore, Principal Pops Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, leads the concert. For more information, visit SarasotaOrchestra.org/Family-Concert.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Under the Stars with SRQuintet , October 7, 7-9pm
Superb and smooth jazz. SRQuintet plays everything from songbook standards to bebop classics, blue note gems, Bossa Nova favorites, and new original tunes, the quintet is a cannot-miss feature of the Sarasota jazz scene. The Reserve Retreat, 1322 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jazz-under-the-stars-with-srquintet-tickets-716464784457?aff=ebdsoporgprofile.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Orchid Show 2023: A 50th Anniversary Celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , October 7 – November 26, n/a

The Orchid Show 2023: A 50th Anniversary Celebration will be on view October 7 through November 26 at the Downtown Sarasota campus. Since its establishment in 1973, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has formed the best scientifically documented collection of living orchids in the world. The Orchid Show 2023, presented by Better-Gro, will celebrate Selby Gardens 50th anniversary and highlight spectacular orchids from the living plant collection for which it is known across the globe. The Orchid Show 2023 will include a horticultural display in the Tropical Conservatory and an exhibition in the Museum of Botany & the Arts. Orchids of various shapes, colors, and patterns will abound in the Conservatory, illustrating the beauty and diversity of one of the largest and most beloved families of flowering plants. The Museum exhibition will present a selection of rare artifacts and historical images to help tell the rich story of Selby Gardens’ first 50 years, with emphasis on the plants and people who have made it such a special place. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  DANCE: Romeo and Juliet at the Van Wezel , October 8, 5pm
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome the International Ballet of Florida’s production of Romeo and Juliet to Sarasota on Sunday, October 8, at 5 p.m. For over ten years, the International Ballet of Florida, IBF, has gained a reputation for original full length ballets and has garnered acclaim across the state. Alongside its students, IBF proudly welcomes principal guest artists from the National Ballet of Ukraine, Lithuania Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and more as they begin the 2023 through 2024 season. Tickets are available now, starting at $30 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should call 941-263-6726.
[SOON]  THEATER: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its 24th Season , October 11 – November 19, n/a

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is thrilled to open its 24th theatre season with "Once On This Island," a Tony Award-winning musical set on a Caribbean island and featuring Afro-Caribbean rhythms and instruments and spectacular costumes. The show tells the coming-of-age story of a peasant girl searching for love and her place in the world, while dealing with complicated social issues of race, class and affairs of the heart. The production runs from October 11 through November 19; individual tickets are on sale. For more information, visit westcoastblacktheatre.com.

[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.

[SOON]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Sarasota Hooters Jeep Nights , September 16 – December 21, 6pm

Calling all Jeep Enthusiasts! The Sarasota Hooters location is hosting Jeep Night on the third Thursday of the month starting at 6pm. Hooters is giving away raffle prizes during the monthly events. The September 21 raffle prize is a Flashcal For Jeep Superchips Calibration Tool. Congratulations to Shawn Miller who won a Jeep Tow Kit during the August 17 Jeep Night. Upcoming Jeep Nights will take place on December 21. Hooters of Sarasota is located at 6507 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Visit Hooters during Jeep Night and present your Jeep key for 15% off food and non-alcoholic beverages and an entry for the giveaway. Jeep Night has become a favorite thing to do for the Sarasota community. From regular customers to Hooters Girls who own Jeeps and Jeep lovers everyone is enjoying this opportunity. For more information, visit www.HootersFlorida.com.

[SOON]  FOOD: Thought for Food, Thinking Critically About Food, Nutrition and Agriculture , October 25, 6:30-8pm
Many fantastical claims are made about our food and how it is produced. Some are accurate, some are half-truths, some are outright lies. Join us to learn tools and principles to think more critically about our food and food production, and where to go to get unbiased, research-based information. Register now to save your seat, only through ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com. Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Rd., Sarasota.
[SOON]  GALA: Brunch on the Bay at USF Sarasota Manatee , November 5, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Tickets are on sale for Brunch on the Bay, the annual marquee fundraiser for the USF Sarasota Manatee campus, which returns on Nov. 5. Attendees will enjoy culinary delights from local restaurants and caterers, and get a sneak peek at a major campus expansion project, a new student center and residence hall set to open in the fall of 2024. Proceeds from the 2023 Brunch on the Bay will support student scholarships and campus initiatives. Brunch on the Bay will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, on the USF Sarasota Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Visit sarasotamanatee.usf.edu/brunch for ticket and sponsorship information.

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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