Saturday, December 17, 2016

DECEMBER 18, 2016


Available where SANTA lives at UTC MALL
In these frantic last minutes before Christmas and Chanukah come storming on the scene next weekend here are some ideas for this week.

HOLIDAY NIGHTS at Ca'd'Zan Thursday 12/22 and 12/29.   Only two more chances to see what has become a Sarasota tradition.  Celebrated the sights and sounds of the holiday season and help support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, serving Sarasota and Manatee counties.

  Visit The Ringling during extended hours on the above dates,  and enjoy holiday music and performances by local schools.  Performances will occur on the Museum of Art Courtyard with special performances in Ca'd'Zan. Food and beverages will be available for purchase until 8:00 PM.  Click here for schedule of performances and additional Ringling information.


Suzanne's window to the world
A new restaurant comes to us this week courtesy Ros Mazur,..... "and though  Simplay  Suzzane's Cafe 3172 Gulf of Mexico Drive" is small in size, it's ample in flavor."   She continues, "more than a  typical  mom and pop  breakfast and lunch restaurant, it serves a growing population on the Key.

It's about a mile down the Gulf after Publix next to a swim wear store and Michael Saunders.  It's very cute; lots of homemade items; friendly and warm; what you would expect from a restaurant of this type; Only Better!!"  Open daily 8am-3pm.  If you go please let me know.

We are a few days from The Perlman Music Program which begins its rehearsal schedule Saturday 12/24 and continues through their 13th annual Celebration Concert Thursday, January 5 at 5:30 pm in the Sarasota Opera House.

The free tickets for all events are long gone, but you are encouraged to buy E-tickets @ $7.50 each by clicking here. All events are listed. Following is just a few. 

A works-In-Progress Student Recital kicks off the festivities Christmas Eve at 5:00pm USF-Sarasota-Manatee 8350 N. Tamiamai Trail.  As with most rehearsals, this one takes place under a heated outdoor performance tent...however, as I write this it is in the 80's as December is winding down.  Several events follow.

The final concert features  internationally acclaimed violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman as he leads the fully rehearsed PMP string orchestra on stage at the Sarasota Opera House.  This special performance also features Patrick Romano leading the PMP chorus.  Always a  sell-out , you can get tickets at the above link for $40, $60 or $80.  If you prefer telephone to on-line 941-328-1300.  See you there.

Beginning tonight with Saturday Night Live and throughout the week,  the best viewing is special events, since most shows are on hiatus until January. 

Hosting at 11:30 on NBC,  is Casey Affleck, star of Manchester By The Sea.  His performance in a sure to be nominated Academy Award Best Movie, is career changing.  The movie, not at all what you would expect this time of year, is nevertheless one of the best I've seen in a long time.  It easily surpasses Moonlight, which is also pretty dark for end of year movie going.  La La Land opens here next week.

For me,  one of the BIG TV events of 2016 is Tuesday when NBC celebrates Tony Bennett with a splashy special 90: The Best Is Yet To Come.  Tony turned 90 in August, but you'd never know it by the sound of his voice. 

He is a musical genius and along with him will be Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin,  and more.  Many of Bennett's catalogue will be covered by these iconic artists.  Of course there will be Christmas music as well.  The show airs at 9-11pm.  Preceding Bennett, Michael Buble  has his annual Christmas special, also on NBC.

ABC is celebrating The Year in Review at the same time as TonyB!!!  You can't watch both; so I am going to tape Year and watch Tony in real time.  Your choice.

In just three years, Marcello, has established itself as the go-to Italian restaurant when you're looking for the REAL thing.  Tucked nicely in an inconspicuous strip mall 4155 S. Tamiami Trail,  and seating about 50 diners, this is one place where a reservation is a must.  Open 6-9pm Mon-Sat,  they can be reached at 941-921-6794.

Yes, there is noise.  But once seated.  you are more  overwhelmed with the smell of Italian coming from the open kitchen.  There chef Marcello creates his magic while Gus, or one of the other waiters is at your table with a chalkboard menu featuring the day's specials.  Everything is delicious from the pork chop to the pasta and most of all to the authentic caeser salad tossed fresh right before your eyes.  Delicious bread, an exceptional wine list and homemade dessert complete your meal.  Pricey, but well worth it.

JIM'S RANT...A letter to the editor in the Sarasota Herald Tribune caught my eye this week.... topic was bike paths and how narrow they are.  As a bike rider, I understand the writer's frustration; however, the major streets as well as several side streets have ample bike paths.  The ones that don't should be avoided!!!  They are dangerous and could result in an accident.  In addition, bike riders should ride with traffic and not  against it, as some do......

Before I leave, if some of you are looking for a great meal, other than Oriental on Christmas Eve or Day,  The Rosemary is open.  For reservations, give them a call at 941-955-7600. George and Carlos are sure to have some surprises to mark the occasion.

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