HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!!!! And welcome to another edition of JIM KNOW'S SARASOTA........
For more information click here .
For those of you who missed LES MISERARBLES at the Van Wezel, this show is still touring throughout Florida. I've spoken to several who saw a performance and all stated "this is a better show than the original and far superior to the movie." According to the Herald's Jay Handelman, the standing ovation did not stop for several minutes. I had a similar experience earlier this year for BRAVO BROADWAY. Could it possibly be we don't need as much sleep and are not ready to bolt to the exits after great performances?
If you are reading this before 2am Sunday, you can hop on down to THE GATOR CLUB at the corner of Main and Lemon to take part in a combination 100 Year Anniversary Party along with a more traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration.It's hard to believe GATOR has survived that long. If anyone knows of older SARASOTA survivors please let me know.
SARASOTA's new fun dinning additions. Before reviewing the restaurant, Debbie stated: "To all of Jim's followers and friends, I want to say I am not a restaurant critic or even an authority on good food. I just know what I like. I appreciate good service from the waitstaff and management that cares about the customer. My tastes run to fresh ingredients, not too fussy preparations and a table where we can hear each other speak. I hope that my opinions will encourage you to try more of the diverse dining opportunities we have in our wonderful town." I want to add, though not a restaurant critic, Debbie is the BEST travel agent in SARASOTA. She has planned our travel for several years.
MADE is surely not Brasserie Belge, (an entirely different menu) ; however, it has the sense of liveliness which Belge was famous for. An attractive young bar crowd, drawn to the restaurant by creative drink items add to the exciting feel to the place. Yes, it is noisy, but you can always sit in the back dinning room away from the crowded bar. Though, not trying the many items on MADE's modern menu, what we did sample was delicious. The BBQ rib appetizer, the brussels sprouts, risotto and impenadas all were delicious and highly recommended. With warmer weather on the way, the outside patio will make for a wonderful setting for a casual evening of dinning.
Last week, while reviewing ZITI, I incorrectly stated that this is one of 11 such restaurants. In truth, this is the only one of its kind among the other Midwest locations.
For several years, my walking group from University Park and Longboat Key have been walking the Ringling Bridge on Saturday and eating a hearty breakfast afterwards. The walk use to begin and end at the BLUE DOLPHIN. After we surpassed 12 in number, we needed a larger venue on the other side of the bridge. After a few years of searching, we have finally found a downtown location willing to cater to our large group which now includes a dog!!! The outside patio of STATION 400, located at Fourth and Lemon, is one of the best breakfast/lunch restaurants that have sprouted up all over SARASOTA. Due to their popularity and word of mouth, their second location in Lakewood Ranch is prospering as well.
From omelets, to oatmeal, to biscuits and waffles, to fruit and yogurt, there is surely something for everyone. The food is great, the atmosphere is charming and the downtown location is an easy walking distance from the Saturday Market and Whole Foods. If the weather is cold, the inside is cozy, but not quite as much fun. Wherever you sit, you won't go home hungry.
My weekly rant comes courtesy of another Fox, good friend, Mickey, who rightly so complains about bikers without helmets, ride on the wrong side of the road--facing oncoming traffic, ride instead of walk bikes at intersections, pay no attention to stop signs, ride in tandem, making them difficult to pass, neglect to signal when they turn and ride at night with no lights and worse yet, dark clothing. STAY IN YOUR BIKE LANE and be safe!!!!
Thanks again to Editor Tracy, to CIO Debbie, to Marcia Clark for her TREE UMPH heads up, to Mickey Fox for this week's rant and to George Miles, who feels neglected each week for not getting credit for discovering CHOO CHOO'S!!!! Next week I am going to tell you of an exciting trip friends recently took to Philadelphia along with more highlights of Jason and Adam's visit to SARASOTA......JIM