Saturday, October 31, 2015

NOVEMBER 1, 2015

There is much anticipation after it was announced last week that  Sol Meyer NY Delicatessen was coming soon to downtown Sarasota.  It's location, 1473 Main Street is a few doors west of Patricks.  It will be small, including seating for only 44, but offers catering for up to 600. I curb my enthusiasm (thank you Larry David) before eating my first brisket or corn beef sandwich.  The logo and pictures on line look almost too good  to be true. The owners are an attorney and doctor which makes me especially skeptical.

What I do know is ROSEMARY, the new restaurant replacing Savory Street is about to open any day with very ambitious breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.  Breakfast and lunch will be served daily 9am-2:30pm; while dinner is Wednesday-Saturday 5pm-9pm. From regular omelets to Migas, Huevos Rancheros, waffles and more breakfast promises to be an adventure like no other here. 

Lunch and dinner will be more conventional with a wide variety of sandwiches, soups and entrees to choose from.  I drove by last Saturday and the place was crawling with painters and carpenters.  This one looks very promising.

Following last week's Donald Trump announcement making Sarasota his Florida campaign headquarters comes the appearance of Dr. Ben Carson this week at Book Store 1 on Main St in downtown Sarasota.

Appearing 12-1:30 pm this Wednesday, November 4th, Dr. Carson will be signing copies of his best selling book A More Perfect Union.  You must have purchased a book at the store for signing. At last count more than 500 have been sold with the numbers growing daily. People are being encouraged to get to the store before 11:30. Dr. Carson, leading in the latest Republican polls knows how to milk the publicity almost as well as Trump.  His book was an instant best-seller.

And if you need anymore of Trump, he hosts SNL next Saturday 11/7.  He just cannot avoid the spotlight.

Fassbender as Jobs
It was only a few weeks ago that I  touted the Steven Speilberg/ Tom Hanks movie Bridge of Spies, and put it on the list of pictures sure to be nominated for an Academy Award.  This week I saw one at least equal, if not better.  Steve Jobs.  I know the movie tanked at the box-office last week;  however, it means simply quality is hard to sell these days.

It too will be on that list along with several of its cast including Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogan.  Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aron Sorkin will also be on the list.  Based on the book, Jobs rolls along at a fast pace.  I was sorry to see it end. Friend Mickey Fine writes..."A powerful movie portraying a tough, brilliant man, almost impossible to work for, but undeniably brilliant."  She's 100% on this one.  Don't miss it.

Just saw a trailer for opening night CINE-WORLD feature...YOUTH with Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel ,Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano.  It has an 85 rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Date is next Friday 11/6 7:30PM, and the reviews I read as well as the trailer make this a must see!!

In a few weeks on Thursday, November 12th, Dynasty Dance Clubs together with the Alzheimer's Project is hosting a gala from 6-8pm at their location 2272 Main Street.  There will be refreshments, social dancing, a professional dance show and information about Alzheimer's.  Contact them at 941-955-8558 for more information.
There is room for only 70 with FREE admission so don't miss an opportunity to have fun while at the same time learn why dancing is the best tool to prevent dementia!!! 

Speaking of dancing, the Fusion Dance Company was recently renamed Sarasota Contemporary Dance.  This is their 10th year of dance performances, and though we've missed their first series there are several more coming up in future months. The next is December 3-6..Voices of Fusion at the Jane B. Cook Theatre/ FSU Center of Performing Arts.  For more information you can call 941-359-0099.   Ballet subscribers get a 10% discount.

Thanks to everyone who made HOWLING FOR HONOR A HOWLING success.  It is never too early to mark your calendar for our next big event.  PEDAL FOR PUPS along with two DOGGIE BONES RACE events that promise to be our biggest yet!!!  Mark the date March 6, 2016 Nathan Benderson Park.     

This one is for the entire family including dogs, kids of all ages, bikers, walkers, runners and those who like getting outdoors on an early spring morning.

Thank you Tracy for another job well done.  I couldn't do this without your help......JIM

JIM'S RANT.....I sincerely welcome back all snowbirds and tourists who fill our streets, restaurants, hotels, condos, movie theaters and cultural events.  Without you Sarasota would not be the wonderful place it's become.  BUT please while you are here drive sensibly and not the way you do in Minnesota, Iowa, or wherever you come from.  Stop signs mean just that.  Speed limits are established for a reason.  Here is what happens when you don't.....
On October 24 the person driving this vehicle was killed running a red light!!


The creativity of Mickey Fox

Friday, October 23, 2015

OCTOBER 25,2015


Shortly after the costume is put away, you can turn your attention to Thanksgiving and Christmas...As this is issued, the lights are already being installed at UTC!!!

Tickets are now available for this year's CINE-WORLD Film Festival taking place most days at Burns Court Cinema with a few scheduled for Lakewood Ranch Cinema. Since most of the films are Foreign and have received little or no play here; or ever will for that matter, I am going from gut when recommending them to you. 

I base the choices on days and times scheduled, since CINE-WORLD attempts to put their top picks in prime time.  

Men&Chicken... 11/6 7:00pm
Youth....11/6 7:30pm
Mustang...11/7 7:30pm
Marshland....11/8 4:30pm
How He Fell In Love...11/9 2:00pm
The Automatic Hate..11/11 7:30pm
My Name Is Emily...11/13 7:30pm
Lady In The Van..11/14 7:30pm
ElClub 11/14 7:00pm
Loreak 11/15 7:30 pm
There are many more movies scheduled throughout the Festival.  I urge you to go on line .click cineworld and then search virtual book for titles and information 

If you're looking for a good movie by all means see Bridge of Spies.  A true story brought to life by the creativity of Steven Spielberg and the wonderful acting of Tom Hanks and a supporting cast of little known actors who create a spellbinding two hour masterpiece.  Wonderful scenery, music and acting, this is the first true Academy Award potential nominee of the season. 

In the coming weeks several major releases are planned.  I will try to see them all and report back.  It sure beats the junk we are getting on television.  See Steve next week.

I paid a visit to Kona Grill the other night.  It's been a year since they were introduced to market.  In that time they have become popular; especially Happy Hour which has a great menu with reduced prices.  Quite frankly, our party was disappointed with food, service and noise level.  Since original crew, brought on board from other Kona locations has been replaced, the place has never been the same.

How many of you use a Pest Control company?  My guess is most.  And of those that do, how many are dissatisfied with their service?  Again my guess is most.  Well. no longer do you have to be concerned about unwanted guests in your home in any season.  HIRED GUN PEST CONTROL has been doing a termite inspection for years, but recently began full pest control service.  They not only leave your home pest free for months, but are efficient and within minutes of promised time.  I urge you to call 941-747-2948.  It will be one of the best calls you make.

If you are free tonight(Sunday) there are still tickets available for the SARASOTA FARMER'S MARKET party.  It will be fun and the monies raised will help keep the market growing.

Sunday November 8, marks the 5th anniversary of all faiths food bank Bowls of Hope.  As in the past, this event takes place at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail 11am-2pm.  Several local restaurants are providing soups, breads, beverages and desserts.  As a take away for your contribution, you receive a porcelain bowl to serve for your own soup recipe's at home. There will be music and a short ballet performance from the Sarasota company.  Tickets are $25 if purchased now or $30 at the gate. Call 941-549-8131 or  To order tickets on line click here.

Downtown SARASOTA is home to many wonderful restaurants; especially up and down Main St.  I recently had the good fortune to visit two, one lunch the other dinner.  Both are on the same block across the street from Hollywood 20, one a sandwich shop, the other a Sushi Bar.

Main Bar, 1944 Main Street serves some of the best soups and sandwiches from a creative lunch menu.  One word of caution; the sandwiches are large and come filled with many ingredients. 

  Be sure to study the menu for several minutes before making your selection.   The soups change daily, but the chili doesn't.  Their dining room is small, but with several tables squeezed in to create a cozy atmosphere.   Most is quiet and you can enjoy your meal and conversation without screaming at each other as in most Sarasota restaurants.  For menu and daily soups click here.

A few doors west is a Sushi Bar which serves up Sarasota's BEST sushi.  UTAMARO  which comes to Main st. from  St. Armands Circle, is usually not crowded, which does not at all fit the quality of product.  I am lover of sushi rolls.  Roberta and friends like the sashimi, and they all clamor for more.  The fish is of high quality as is the service. 

Tempura and several fish dishes all cooked Japanese style are also available.  Their bento boxes include rolls, rice and main course of chicken or seafood.  There is wine and beer, no hard liquor.  But it is the sushi that draws crowds.  Open daily for lunch and dinner until 9:30.

Attention UPCC residents, your next community function is November 10 5:30pm at Brio Tuscan Grill in UTC.  Enjoy a special pre fixe dinner with neighbors.  To reserve a place at the table for a sure to be sold out event email

JIM'S RANT....For me the baseball season ended Wednesday when my beloved CUBS were swept by the always Amazing METS....Hat's off to them for four dominating games.  They deserve to be in the World Series.  I will now be able to catch up on American Horror Story, Empire, Good Wife and all the recorded shows put aside for baseball....And get ready for the HOLIDAY SEASON........

Tracy, thanks for your support during these trying times as I get over the CUBS, RAVENS, BEARS.......  
Don't blame the GOAT!!! Blame the Mets!!!!


Friday, October 16, 2015

OCTOBER 18, 2015


If you are reading Jim Knows SARASOTA on Saturday, Tracy Morgan returns to the stage tonight at 11:30 as guest host on Saturday Night Live. This will truly be an emotional start to a program that seems to get better with age.

Last Wednesday, FST/ CABARET kicked off the season in grand style with SOUL MATES: A Journey to Hitsville.  Four young and very talented performers combined to sing hit after hit from an era most of us not only remember, but can sing along to as well; the dawning of R&B as interpreted by Motown. Too many songs to mention here, but all should bring back the wonderful memories of  My Girl, I'll Be There, ABC and more.  Soul Mates is playing at the Court Cabaret through February 7, 2016.

Also debuting on Wednesday at WESTCOAST BLACK THEATRE  was The Color Purple.  First a novel, then movie starring Oprah Winfrey, to a Broadway musical generating 11 Tony nominations, it is now the first of what promises to be a string of sure to be sold outshows this season.  The director, James Harkness from the original Broadway cast was last seen on Broadway in Beautifulthe show written by Carole King.  That too will be playing later this season at The Straz Center in Tampa.  Purple runs through November 21.  Saturday performances are already sold out.  Call 941-366-1505 or click here for schedule and ticket purchase.

Purple is being revived on Broadway as well.   Starring  Jennifer Hudson with Oprah as producer.  My guess, our production, though not as elaborate, will be just as good or even better than NY!!!
The Main stage opens its season in a month with a show recently performed on Broadway, ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORSCombining music, slapstick and serious issues, this show takes place in England, I can guarantee you will be charmed and delighted by the cast assembled for this one. For more seasonal information or to purchase tickets call 941-366-9000 click here to visit their wonderful website. 

The Great Escapes series of themed contemporary music also began its season on Wednesday with a collection of music culled from famous Hollywood musicals.  Music from Jurassic Park to Bugs Bunny to Amadeus thrilled the audience.  Though there were scattered empty seats, their season is also close to selling out.  Our Sarasota Orchestra under the direction of Andy Lane has never sounded better.  Call 941-953-3434 click here for this season's schedule of popular and classical music.

Benefit for Nate's Honor Animal Rescue Medical Fund

BULLETIN....BULLETIN....In addition to Premium seats for the Howling For Honor benefit at McCURDY'S Comedy Theatre, A block of performance only tickets  are now available at $75.  Open seating starting at 6:30 with performance at 7:00.  Food and drink will be available for purchase before the show.  Tickets will go fast so I urge you to click here to purchase tickets now!!

Here's some breaking news for those of you who have dinner before theater.  Savory Street which closed recently is about to reopen with new owner, name and menu.  The team that made Treviso such a success is moving over to Savory's location as THE ROSEMARY. They will also serve breakfast and lunch as well.

A perfect spot for before theater dining.  Within shouting distance of WestCoast Black TheatreFST, Opera House and Van Wezel, they will get you to the show on time!!!  And, the good news is no absentee management.  The owner, who I personally know will be working to assure his success as well as your satisfaciton.  More on menu, hours, etc. in a few weeks.

More restaurant news:  Maria Van Brunt writes...."Wheat and Water...good home cooked Italian food, served by an efficient staff in a delightful environment.  We recommend the Caesar Salad, done just right, wonderful pizzas, especially the Arugula and Artichoke Bainca, homemade meatballs, great pasta Fagioli and many signature dishes such as Fettuccine Caprino and Lasagna Bolognese.  All with a full bar and very reasonably priced.  Located at 7303 52nd place E. Bradenton in Bells/Lowes strip mall.  Bon Appetite!!"

JIM'S RANT.....many of you responded to last week's rant in reference to my answer to all the negative response surrounding Nathan Benderson Park. The best was from rkline..."You hit the nail right on the head.  Reading the letters to the editor is frightening and the paper itself isn't much better.  What is their problem with Benderson?  The rowing will bring in far more revenue than the 12 baseball games played in our 35 million dollar ball park!"
As usual, a fine editing job by Tracy....thanks for reading.....keep your fingers crossed...until next week....JIM

Friday, October 9, 2015

OCTOBER 11. 2015


If you are free this weekend or Monday, there is a charming movie playing at a theater near you.  Though not getting nearly the play as Martian or Sicario, it is an enjoyable way to spend a few hours with an adult cast tackling modern issues.

I am talking about The Intern, starring  Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway along with Renee Russo and Linda Lavin who are seldom seen on screen anymore, but are quite capable of stealing every scene they are in.  If you want to wait for The Parkway Cinema it should not be too long.  Several new releases now and through the end of year will displace everything playing now.

Hard to believe HALLOWEEN is a few weeks away and then you know what follows very quickly.  So it was no surprise to get JuneLeBell's email this week announcing her 2016 Music Mondays schedule. See for yourself by clicking here. At the same time you can subscribe to her series.

Last season, moving from their Holley Hall location to the larger Church Of The Palms 3224 Bee Ridge Rd, June was able to double capacity . Season begins1/24/16 and runs through March 23rd.  Purchasing tickets now gives you an automatic 30%discount over single admission.  There is also a Venice series on Tuesday, if that is an easier location for you.  Whatever, I urge you to click above and get set to enjoy programs ranging from classical, to opera, to singers, to conductors and more.

The Global Series starts its 45th anniversary season which runs five days a week in five different locations; even an evening series in Lakewood Ranch.  Their information is also included with above website.  Topics from China to Russia along with the Middle East and the Arctic make up much of this year's program.  Speaking of which, for former subscribers, the booklet is in the mail.  Others can get their own by clicking link above.

For over 25 years and counting CAFE BACI has been serving authentic Italian cuisine.  Easy to find south on the Trail just beyond Bee Ridge, it has an inviting atmosphere, great food, and exceptional service along with a large convenient on site parking lot.   What with all the Italian restaurants open the past several years, this one could easily be overlooked.  You shouldn't. 

The food is delicious and tastes like it could have come out of your kitchen.  I am going to mention the service one more time.  Sometimes lacking due to inexperience of server or too ambitious a station, it is just the opposite here.  Try it.  Once you do, I am confident you will go back.  Open for lunch and dinner click here for hours and menus.

Cafe Baci is offering a discount with your season subscription to FST. Tickets are in the mail, and I will have further information next week.

It would be impossible for me  to go to every restaurant in Sarasota/Bradenton.  But if you have a favorite gem that is unknown to the marketplace,  please send a review to my email and I will print in a future blog

The turn about at Main and Orange is finished, and already accommodating traffic.  South Orange is open; North is not.  Main Street is now open between Lemon and Orange.  Construction continues on buildings to house Pho Kali, Melange and Dead Poet's Society.

BUT, the newest, classiest, EVIE'S with it's many TV screens and same great bar food is open and thriving. And guess what, their Bowling Alley is alive and well.  Consisting of two lanes it is a great place for parties or a night out with a group of friends.  I suggest you visit here to get the rate schedule. Shoes and balls are provided.

What with all the rain we've experienced this season many of you are in need of some power washing.  We used a company Quality Window & Pressure Cleaning, and without a doubt they are the best we've found to date.  Owned by Laszlo Farkas you can call (941) 726-6098 or email  Arriving exactly on time with two other workers, the washing and windows were finished in a little over two hours which includes setting up and shutting down.  Reasonable and professional, I highly recommend. 

JIM'S RANT....So many citizens are misinformed when it comes to progress, commerce, growth and tourism dollars.  Read the Herald Tribune letters to the editor and you'll get what I mean.  One company seems to get all the wrath.  WHY??? You tell me. Is it they're more successful and creative than their competitors?  AND, maybe the Herald will editorialize their community wide  generosity one can only hope!!!! 

                                              YOU KNOW WHO I'M ROOTING FOR!