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SRQ DAILY Nov 21, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"Since last year, we started doing a serious dinner five nights a week, from Wednesday through Sunday nights."

- Christophe Coutelle, Co-Owner of Cest La Vie

[The Dish]  Delight in French Dinners
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

C’est La Vie, with its cozy, inviting atmosphere, is one of Sarasota’s favorite French restaurants. Owners Christophe and Geraldine Coutelle founded C’est La Vie in 1997, bringing delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options to the community. While many patrons frequent the establishment for morning and mid-day eats, Christophe encourages everyone to sample its dinner offerings.

“We started having dinner during season in 2002. Some years we did dinner, and some we didn’t. We tried different versions,” Christophe says. “Since last year, we started doing a serious dinner five nights a week, from Wednesday through Sunday nights.” The dinner menu changes based on the season, but C’est La Vie features certain staple dishes year round, like the lamb tajine with prune and apricot. “Tajine is a traditional North African dish,” he adds. The name tajine refers to the clay pot used to cook and serve the meal which features a lamb stew with honey sauce, apricot and prune served with couscous. In order to prepare large portions of the tajine, C’est La Vie uses larger vessels, but still serves the dish to customers in the special clay pot for an authentic touch. Other classic dishes include the sole, a mild, flounder-like fish accompanied by roasted vegetables and a lemon sauce. “Sole isn’t a strong-tasting fish. The meat is very tender and soft, and I think that’s what makes it popular here in America because some people don’t really like fishy fish,” Christophe says. “Sometimes when we try fish that are really strong in taste, they don’t sell well.”

He also recommends several appitizers, like the French onion soup, escargots, fois gras and a watermelon and feta salad with scallions and mint. The warm brie, which is melted on toasted bread with honey, tomato confit, rosemary and walnut is also a good option, as is the charcuterie board. If guests have room for dessert, Christophe suggests they try the crepe suzette, profiteroles or creme brulee. To complement the staple menu items, C’est La Vie will unveil new, seasonal dishes, like stews, in December, just in time for the winter months. With iconic favorites and exciting offerings to come, this French restaurant has something tasty for everyone.

C’est La Vie, 1553 Main St., Sarasota, 941-906-9575, cestlaviesarasota.com. 

Pictured: Sample the charcuterie board at Cest La Vie before dinner. Photo Courtesy of Cest La Vie.

[The Dish]  Tzeva Launches Tzeva for Sarasota, a Charity Dinner Series and Partners with Children of Fallen Soldiers for November

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 Children of Fallen Soldiers, a charitable organization founded in October 2003 to help military children and disabled/wounded veterans. 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, November 20, Tzeva is partnering with Children of Fallen Soldiers, whose mission is to provide programs that provide emotional support, college scholarships, financial assistance, morale-boosting, mental well-being, and children's enrichment programs that help with school trips, sports activities, equipment, etc. for our children whose parent(s) are unable to provide for these needs.

1255 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, Monday, November 20. Lunch is served from 11 AM - 2 PM. Dinner is served from 5 pm- 10 pm. Reservations can be made via OpenTable. 

[Holiday Dining]  Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar Open For Waterfront Dining On Thanksgiving Day

Phillippi Creek is the perfect waterfront destination for gathering with family and friends. The award-winning Phillippi Creek restaurant will feature the regular menu with additional specials like fresh Stone Crabs, baked stuffed seafood, fresh steamed oysters, and oysters on the half-shell and Seafood boats for two along with a traditional Turkey Dinner for those craving the flavors of the holiday. For over 40 years, the “Creek” as locals like to call it, has been a favorite to gather for the freshest seafood, cocktails, and daily specials for lunch and dinner. Large parties without reservations are welcome for al fresco dining or can enjoy one of the larger tables indoors. Whether early lunch, late afternoon family meal, or a cozy dinner for two, Phillippi Creek is your destination to enjoy the holiday. Thursday, November 23, 20223. Opening at 11 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Phillippi Creek Village Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 5353 Tamiami Trail South, Sarasota, 941-925-4444. 

[Holiday Events]  Unwrap the Gift of Joy at the Annual A Night Before Christmas Event

Toys and trains and some special visitors from the North Pole are some of the ways families can get into the holiday spirit with the joy-filled A Night Before Christmas event, Friday, December 8, 2023, from 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Bradenton’s G.T. Bray Park. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the park and taking pictures with the children. The event will include bounce houses, petting zoo, crafts, face painting and train ride along our Christmas path. Several local vendors and food truck line up will be joining in on the celebration. Entry for this annual event is FREE; however, a suggested donation per family of a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots is kindly requested. Wristbands will be sold for $5 apiece to allow access to a variety of activities, including bouncing, sliding, and crawling over the inflatables, a train ride and festive face painting. Pre-sale wristbands will be on sale beginning December 1 at the G.T. Bray Front Desk (no refunds or replacements will be issued). Wristbands will be available on a cash-only basis at event entrance December 8). G.T. Bray Park is located at 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West in Bradenton. Visitors may access GT Bray Park from 59th St. W. or 51st St. W. Parking will be available in various lots around the park. For more information about Manatee County Government, visit mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ManateeGov.  

[Holiday Events]  Wellen Park Announces Holiday Events Schedule to Celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Wellen Park is lighting up the holiday season in signature style with a tree lighting and holiday celebration, the spirit of giving, and much more. Throughout December, Wellen Park is hosting family-friendly events in Downtown Wellen, which are complemented by CoolToday Park’s annual Braves Jingle Jam and Tomahawk 5K. “The holidays really capture the essence of Wellen Park and our community’s emphasis on joy and heartfelt connections,” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing of Wellen Park. “We have planned fun, meaningful experiences that are unique to Wellen Park for families, friends and neighbors to create memories they will cherish for years to come.” The upcoming events take place in Downtown Wellen and Wellen Park. From Light Up Wellen to a fun-filled weekend of festivities at CoolToday Park, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holidays at Wellen Park. December’s calendar reflects the vibrant spirit of Wellen Park and foreshadows a full winter season of activities. For more information, visit wellenpark.com/events.  

[Holiday Event]  The Florida Turkey Trot Presented by Publix

The Florida Turkey Trot Presented by Publix is a 3.1 mile run/walk for all ages and abilities! Your registration includes a professionally managed race course, custom race shirt, and a beautiful, spinning finisher's medal to commemorate your achievement. After you cross the Finish Line, celebrate with delicious Publix pastries and fruit and sip on bubbly mimosas. All participants will also be given a special sweet treat to take home and enjoy! The first 100 Male and first 100 Female finishers will receive a special Thanksgiving themed award.

November 23, 2023, 7:15am, Kids $20 | Adults $35-40, 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota, fit2time@fit2run.com. 

[Holidays]  Support Local at The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime

The diverse community of over 40 local creators and curators inside The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime are offering amazing deals during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. As the holiday season approaches, The Bazaar aims to support local businesses, giving shoppers the opportunity to discover unique and one-of-a-kind items while enjoying exclusive discounts. With an array of talented artisans and entrepreneurs, visitors can explore The Bazaar's vibrant atmosphere and find something truly special for themselves or their loved ones. On Black Friday, The Bazaar will kick off the holiday shopping season with incredible deals that cannot be missed. From unique artwork, jewelry, and stylish clothing, to home decor, gourmet treats, succulents, and much more, there is something for everyone. Shoppers can take advantage of special promotions and discounts offered exclusively on this day, making it the perfect time to find the perfect gifts. But the excitement doesn't end there. On Small Business Saturday, Nov 25, the Bazaar continues to celebrate the spirit of supporting local. Shopping at The Bazaar on Small Business Saturday not only allows customers to find unique items, but also helps contribute to the growth and success of independent entrepreneurs. While browsing, guests can enjoy live music and delicious food from Hamlet’s Eatery. The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime is located at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. The hours for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are 10 am - 3pm. For more information, please visit www.BazaarOnApricotandLime.com or call 941.445.1938. 

[Feature]  Family Style
Kate Wight

FAMILY STYLE | Family ties are a key ingredient for the success of these four family-owned French eateries, November 2023. 

Read Here!

[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]  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: 34th Annual Hob Nob BBQ Event , December 6, 5:30-8:30pm

The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance is excited to announce they will be the new home for the 34th Annual Hob Nob BBQ event on December 6th, previously put on by Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation. This event has been the premier networking event in the region for decades, which brings together the business community from the Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch Region to enjoy an evening of food, drinks and fun. The event will be held at the Premiere Sports Campus from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.For more information, visit members.lwrba.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Breakfast with Santa , December 16, 10am-12pm

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources invites children ages 12 and under and their families to the free Breakfast with Santa event, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 16. Enjoy breakfast, holiday music, and a visit by Santa in person at Laurel Park and at Newtown Estates Park. Pre-registration is required to attend this event. Register children ages 12 and under online before Friday, Dec. 8, or until the event is full. Unwrapped toy donations for children ages 12 and under are being accepted through Monday, Dec. 11 at Sarasota County parks, events, fire stations and library locations throughout the county. For more information, or to register, visit scgov.net.

[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Market Returns , October 7 – May 25, 9am-2pm

Realize Bradenton is happy to announce the return of the Bradenton Market to its weekly schedule. This beloved community gathering will be held Saturdays through May 25, 2024 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Old Main Street in Bradenton. Founded in 1979, the Market has expanded to include more than 90 local vendors. In addition to the weekly shopping and music, the Market hosts special event days throughout the season. Halloween at the Market will be held on Saturday, October 28. This family-friendly event includes trick or treating with vendors, face painting with Manatee School for the Arts Academic Team from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, and a dance performance by Slick Motion Studios at 10:00 am. For more information, visit RealizeBradenton.com.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Second Installment of Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens , November 30, 5pm

The second installment of this season’s Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens series will take place on Thursday, November 30th at 5pm at Selby Gardens Historic Spanish Point campus with a panel discussion featuring Hermitage National Curatorial Council member Nataki Garrett, Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer Tom Kirdahy, and President of the Manasota Chapter of ASALH David Wilkins. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org, $5/person registration fee.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Feast Upon the Fields , December 3, 12:30pm
Join us for an unforgettable afternoon at the beautiful and conserved Myakka Headwaters Preserve. Located where seven creeks converge to form the mighty Myakka River, our Myakka Headwaters Preserve is a breathtaking slice of natural Florida. The property contains numerous diverse landscapes, including floodplain forests, marshland, longleaf pine flatwoods, and oak hammocks. Fields of wildflowers host pollinators of all shapes and sizes, and fern-lined streambanks rise just a foot or two above the clear-flowing water, which supports submerged aquatic vegetation unable to grow in the sunlight-blocked blackwaters found elsewhere in the Myakka River. Experience this stunning landscape firsthand at our eighth annual farm-to-table luncheon, Feast Upon the Fields. Featuring a one-of-a-kind menu by Chef Paul Mattison, this ticketed event will sell out quickly. Early reservations are strongly recommended. conservationfoundation.com.
[SOON]  SPORTS: 47th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run , December 9, 8am

Kick off the holiday season by participating in the 47th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run at Siesta Beach, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8am. Register by Nov. 17 to guarantee the best price, along with receiving a long-sleeve performance event shirt and runner swag. For more information, or to register, visit runsignup.com/47thannualsandyclawsbeachrun.

[SOON]  MUSIC: IL DIVO , December 20, 7:3opm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome IL DIVO A New Day Holiday Tour to Sarasota on Wednesday, December 20, at 7:30pm. The tour will feature the group performing holiday classics that include It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and more, in addition to songs from their vast catalog. Tickets start at $59.50 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 10am to 4pm. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. Pre-show dining is available through Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theater. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

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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