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SRQ DAILY Feb 6, 2024

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"It is a way to create a home away from home and bring people from Sarasota to the French Riviera ambiance and enjoy what the South of France has to offer."

- Paloma Barcelo, Co-Owner of Riviera French Cafe

[The Dish]  Beat the Winter Blues at Riviera French Cafe
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

In Sarasota, we’re surrounded by beach vibes, but sometimes, we yearn to explore a new coastline. If jetsetting across the globe isn’t in the cards, head to The Mall at University Town Center, where the delightful Riviera French Cafe invites patrons to experience a taste of the good life on the French Riviera.

Owned and run by husband and wife team Andrea Chretien and Paloma Barcelo, Riviera French Cafe is a Mediterranean oasis. The couple, now in their mid-twenties, grew up in Cannes, France, and met in high school. They both studied at Skema Business School in the South of France, with Chretien focusing on marketing and Barcelo on entrepreneurship. While they spent a year at North Carolina State University, they decided to relocate to Sarasota, which holds a special place in Chretien’s family history. Sixty years ago, his grandmother began traveling to Sarasota, introducing him to the area. Through her husband, Barcelo became acquainted with the city that they now call home.

“We wanted to create much more than a cafe because we wanted to bring all that we have from France and the South of France. Every time we see a French cafe in the U.S., it’s inspired by Paris which everybody knows,” Barcelo says. “But we are proud of coming from the South of France and we think it’s different. It’s what we want people to experience when they come here.” The bright navy blue and white featured everywhere from the cafe’s bistro chairs to to-go cups reflects the stunning beauty of the French Riviera, which the couple describes as having a relaxed lifestyle where it’s common to spend a leisurely afternoon on a cafe terrace.

Guests can channel this carefree attitude while enjoying eats and drinks at the cafe, which imports most things, like coffee, tea, flour and syrups from France. “Our syrups just have sugar and flavor, and no additives or bad components,” Chretien adds. The couple sells Belleville coffee, a specialty brand roasted in Paris by one of their friends. Riviera French Cafe is the only place in the United States where patrons can purchase a of cup of this bold and flavorful coffee. Customers can also buy bags of Belleville coffee to enjoy at home. From being fair-trade to offering training in areas such as latte art, Belleville shares Chretien and Barcelo’s commitment to quality and ethically produced products.

The pair recommends trying the bestselling vanilla latte or escaping to the lavender fields of Provence in the South of France with the lavender latte. “It’s not so sugary, but it’s floral and light and can be served hot or iced,” says Chretien. Aside from drinks, the cafe stocks locally-made pastries like croissants and pain au chocolat. They also make scrumptious crepes such as the Nutella, strawberry and banana crepe, which celebrates the popularity of the Italian hazelnut spread in the neighboring South of France. The cafe has savory options as well, such as croissant and baguette sandwiches, and will soon expand the menu to include waffles, savory crepes and a signature Riviera coffee blend.

While Barcelo and Chretien are focused on providing delicious food and drinks to their patrons, they hope to grow the business even more by opening additional locations and building a lifestyle brand based on the French Riviera. “It’s not only about creating a cafe, but it’s about creating a brand and experience because we’re starting with the cafe, but we want to follow with a clothing brand, perfumes, candles and home decor,” Barcelo adds. “It’s a way to create a home away from home and bring people from Sarasota to the French Riviera ambiance and enjoy what the South of France has to offer. It’s all about luxury and quality.”

Riviera French Cafe, The Mall at University Town Center, Second floor in front of the elevator, 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota, 813-825-1750, rivierafrenchcafe.com. 

Pictured: A selection of coffee, tea, crepes, pastries and sandwiches at Riviera French Cafe. Photo Courtesy of Riviera French Cafe.

Riviera French Cafe

[The Dish]  Pre-Order Your Hooters Wings To-Go Packages for the Big Game

Pick the 49ers or Chiefs when you preorder a wings to-go package for the big game.  Choose correctly and win 10 free Buffalo Shrimp. Choose incorrectly and you still win 10 free Buffalo Shrimp when you buy 10.  Hooters is offering special packages to enjoy from your home for the big game. The 50 Wings package includes four sides of Blue Cheese or Ranch for $60.  The 70 Wings package comes with five sides of Blue Cheese or Ranch for $87.  This wings special offer is valid on February 11 for To-Go only. Phone in your pre orders or stop by your local Hooters restaurant. Dining at Hooters to watch the big game?  Our Buffalo Chicken Dip appetizer is back by popular demand.  The Buffalo Chicken Dip is made with shredded chicken mixed with a variety of cheeses served with ranch or blue cheese dressing and served with spiced tortilla chips.  Enjoy the Buffalo Chicken Dip and your other favorite Hooters menu items as you watch the game on many TVs throughout the restaurant. LTP Management, a Franchisee of Hooters of America, owns and operates 15 locations in South Florida.  For more information about South Florida Hooters please visit www.HootersFlorida.com or follow us at Twitter @HootersFlorida, Instagram @SouthFLHooters,  TikTok @southflhooters and Facebook @HootersFlorida.  

[The Dish]  Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar Serves up Valentine's Dinner Specials with a Relaxed Waterfront View

Looking for a delicious dining experience in a relaxed waterfront setting for Valentine’s Day? Look no further than Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar. Located at 5353 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, for over 38 years The Creek has served up the freshest seafood, steamed crab legs, stone crabs, seafood boats for two, and award-winning specials. This year enjoy Chef Pedro’s special surf and turf. Lobster tail paired with a filet mignon served with buttery mashed potatoes and jumbo grilled asparagus. The full dinner menu will be available offering steamer pots, stuffed grouper, seafood towers, iron cast-seared sirloin steak, an array of fresh and baked oysters, and more. Start or finish your Valentine’s meal with a chocolate-covered strawberry cocktail from the new cocktail and wine list while you enjoy the beautiful waterfront views. Dine indoors with waterfront views or on the comfortable waterfront patios. Whether you’re dining for two or twenty, The Creek is pleased to serve you. Come see why Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar consistently wins one of Sarasota’s best waterfront dining and top restaurants. 

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  Make Your Song Dedications for the Pops Upcoming Show-I Love You To the Moon and Back

It's time to make your song dedications for the Pops Orchestra's upcoming show: I Love You to the Moon and Back! If you have tickets to this performance and would like to dedicate a selection to that special someone, click the blue button below to fill out our "Song Dedication Form." You will see the list of songs we are performing when you click into the form. Come back to this email and click the red button below to make your $100 donation to have your dedication listed in the program and announced by Robyn at the show.  You can also use this form to tell us about someone’s birthday, an anniversary, or that special holiday memory that our show transports you to. Deadline for submissions is Thursday, February 8 at noon. 

[Ferry Service]  Ferry Service Adds New Bridge Street Pier Stop Starting Friday

The Gulf Islands Ferry will expand service to the historic Bridge Street pier in the City of Bradenton Beach starting Friday, February 9, barring any inclement weather. This stop is in addition to the existing ferry stops: the day dock in downtown Bradenton and Anna Maria City Pier. Visitors and residents can catch a ride on the water Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. with departures every hour, on the hour. Ride times on the water are approximately 30-35 minutes each way. The two catamarans hold 49 passengers and will have two crew aboard to ensure smooth transport to and from each port. For up-to-date information on run times, ticket information and scheduling, riders can contact Customer Service for the Ferry at (941) 357-2587 (voice) or (727) 200-6487 (text). Current run times and scheduling can still be found at gulfislandsferry.com. For up-to-date information about Manatee County Government, visit mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ManateeGov. 

[SRQIST]  Go With the Flo
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

GO WITH THE FLO | Florian Trinkwalkder crafts premium raw kombucha, February 2024. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: 42nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival , February 17 – February 18, 10am-6pm
Grab your sunglasses and your appetite, and come on out to celebrate a way of life on the shores of Sarasota Bay during the 42nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. Celebrate a real working waterfront community dedicated to preserving their fishing way of life. Soak in the sunshine along Sarasota Bay while you boogie to live local music, browse aisles of original local artwork and nautical crafts, sip cold beverages and sample some really tasty seafood. Get up close and personal with local marine life and feed your science side during Dock Talks, educational spiels put on by the University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant. The touch tanks and the Dock Talks are located on the Fulford Docks, right across from the Kids area and next to Starfish Co. Check out the Florida Maritime Museum and the Cortez Cultural Center, which are steeped in the history of the region. Buy a raffle ticket to be entered to win one of the beautiful, refurbished custom boats lovingly restored by the F.I.S.H Boatworks. Tickets are $5, and children 12 and under get in free. To learn more, visit fishcortez.org.
[SOON]  FOOD: Cooking for Wishes , February 22, 6pm
Save the date for the 14th Annual Cooking for Wishes 2024, presented by Exceptional Dentistry of Sarasota. The event features an interactive cooking dinner where guests at each table will prepare a one-of-a-kind 4-course meal led by Chef Jamil Pineda and Phil Mancini of Michaels on East. Guests will also enjoy specially-selected wines curated by Michael Klauber. The dinner and Wizard of Oz-themed gala will feature an exciting raffle and Live Auction for a festive evening of cooking, fun, and fundraising. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.cookingforwishes.com.
[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: Late Night Happy Hour at Geckos on Hillview Street , November 29 – May 31, 10pm-Midnight
Join your friends, after-work buddies and the team at Geckos for our new Late Night Happy Hours. Every Friday and Saturday from 10 pm to Midnight, we will offer food, wine, cocktails and beer specials sure to prolong your weekend fun. Join us and ask your friendly barkeep or server about our Late Night Happy Hours. ONLY at Geckos on Hillview Street in Southside Village. GeckosGrill.com.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Coffee with a Scientist , December 12 – March 26, 10am

Join us for our Coffee With A Scientist series, a free public event held on Tuesdays in Boca Grande and hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory. Hear from Mote scientists on January 16, February 13 and March 26 as they share with you the latest in their groundbreaking research and their plans for the future with a Q and A session to follow. On Visit mote.org/pages/coffee to sign up and for more information.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Lets Connect at Oscura in Old Manatee , August 31 – December 26, 8:30-10am

Connect with local business owners at every Thursday at Oscura. Lets Connect is a community of collaborative business professionals from the Manatee and Sarasota County areas. RSVP on Eventbrite to attend, admission is free.

[SOON]  FOOD: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

[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]  PERFORMANCE: Jimmy Buffetts Escape to Margaritaville , January 19 – February 18, Various times
It is always 5 oclock somewhere, so escape to Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville. The popular musical with a buffet of Buffett hits promises to change your attitude and latitude. Paradise is found in this jukebox jam, Jimmy Buffetts Escape to Margaritaville. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit venicetheatre.org.
[SOON]  FOOD: A Taste of Art , February 1 – January 31, 5:30-8pm
Longtime friends Chef Charles Amherst of Chaz 51 Steakhouse in Venice and Barbara Gerdeman, co-founder of Creative Liberties Artist Studios in Sarasota, have joined forces to create a series of interactive live art dinner showcases called A Taste of Art. The first of these events takes place Thursday, February 1, 5:30-8 p.m., at Chaz 51 Steakhouse, 549 US 41 Bypass N, Venice. The events will continue on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Guests who visit Chaz 51 on these evenings will be able to witness the creation of captivating works of art in real-time. To make a reservation, call Chaz 51 Steakhouse at 941-484-6200. To find out which artists are scheduled for February, check out the calendar at CreativeLiberties.net.
[SOON]  GALA: SRQ Social Valentines Formal , February 10, 7:30 to 10:30pm
The SRQ Social Valentines Formal on February 10th will be held in the exquisite Sarasota Art Museum lobby. This exclusive event promises an enchanting evening filled with waltzing, live music, and sophisticated entertainment, creating a classy affair with formal attire, a live violin performance, a photo booth, delectable food and drinks, and even a touch of poker. SRQ Social is a group dedicated to building a vibrant community of young adults in Sarasota. To learn more, visit facebook.com/groups/srqsocial or instagram.com/srq.social.
[SOON]  FOOD: The Big Game , February 11, Various times

Join Geckos Grill and Pubs for the Big Game and the most super seat outside of Nevada. Seating is limited so reserve today with a $25 per person deposit. Reserved guests will receive a $25 GC to use on Big Game day, but they must be present 15 minutes before kick-off. Enjoy giveaways, a special football menu and new cocktail menu, small batch spirits and our usual huge variety of craft beer. Ask your friendly server or barkeep for more details and reserve today! www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Valentines Day at Heart Heart Burlesque , February 14, 8pm
Hard Heart Burlesque is toasting two years of bringing Sarasota the art of the tease on Feb. 14 at 8pm at McCurdys Comedy Theatre. Join fine burlesque and variety performers as we celebrate our anniversary and the most romantic day of the year. Whether you are in love this Valentines Day or you are on your own, there is something for everyone. There will be some tease, some live vocals, dance, comedy and more. As the local burlesque company of Sarasota, Hard Heart is proud to bring artists from all over the state, and beyond, for your viewing pleasure. Created by your producers Miss Marina Elaine and Karma Kandlewick, the show features Las Vegas-based Mayven Missbehavin, Luci LeClaire, Gisele Ardente, Le Belle Michele, the Distinguished Daredevils, Nicole Dreger and emcee Burly Nathan. This is an 18 and older show. Tickets are $37. Visit mccurdyscomedy.com to learn more and purchase tickets.
[SOON]  SPORTS: 5K Fun Run and Walk , February 24, 7am

In the spirit of the new year and all things fit and healthy join us at the free Fun Run and Pancake Breakfast. This event is held In conjunction with the Zoomers non-profit running club at New Balance University 315 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota. Check-in opens at 6.30am, run/walk starts at 7am. There will be pancakes for all after the race. RSVP required https://stores.newbalance.com/sarasota CLICK on EVENTS.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Hooray for Hollywood with Michael Feinstein , February 9 – February 10, Various times
This is your opportunity to see Hooray for Hollywood with Michael Feinstein, February 9-10 at the Venice Performing Arts Center. You will be enraptured as this legendary artist sings New York, New York, The Way You Look Tonight, Singin in the Rain, and more in his signature style backed by Maestro Troy Quinn and the full Venice Symphony. Feinstein has played at The Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Buckingham Palace, and the White House. Now you can see this 5-time Grammy Nominee up close and personal in Venice at this special event concert. Visit thevenicesymphony.org. or call The Symphony box office at 941-207-8822 to purchase tickets.
[SOON]  GALA: The 50th Anniversary Orchid Ball, Infinity , February 10, 6pm
We hope you will join us Saturday, February 10, at 6 p.m. for The 50th Anniversary Orchid Ball: Infinity. This elegant evening will celebrate the 2024 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia OKeeffe throughout the grounds of the Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus. Enjoy champagne, dinner, dancing and a silent disco. Proceeds support Selby Gardens in their community education programs, international research, conservation, and beautiful world-class horticulture displays, while enabling thousands of underserved children and their families to connect with our bayfront sanctuaries. For more information, please visit selby.org or contact the Institutional Advancement team at 941.248.3583 or orchidball@selby.org.
[SOON]  FOOD: Super Bowl Party at Daiquiri Deck , February 11, 6:45-10pm

For the Super Bowl, all five Daiquiri Deck locations will have fun festivities going on, making Daiquiri Deck the perfect option for those who want to watch at the deck, pregame, pick up a platter for their watch party, or celebrate after. On Sunday, Feb. 11, from 6:45 to 10 p.m., all locations will be offering a free Super Bowl party. Attendees can enjoy giveaways, along with great food and drink specials, including wing platters, taco platters, frozen daiquiris, Landshark and margaritas. Learn more at daiquirideck.com.

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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