WE'VE ENTERED MAY AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.........
Next Saturday, the grandaddy of all horse races, The Kentucky Derby kicks off Horse Racing's Triple Crown. Early betting has established Classic Empire and Always Dreaming as 6-1 favorites with McCracken 9-1. I'll be watching NBC Saturday. Grab your hat and go!!!
Well look who's back, and in a big way. Debbie Y heard the rumor, neither confirmed nor denied by Nancy's BBQ, of their considering a move to a bigger location in Lakewood Ranch. According to Debbie's source, negotiations are underway with The Polo Grille which will retain Fete Catering, but relinquish restaurant space to Nancy and another unnamed restaurant.
The second restaurant will supposedly cater to the craft beer crowd, which is growing all over Sarasota; especially the Lakewood Ranch area. The name Gold Coast Liquor Distributors was mentioned, but could not be confirmed. Stay tuned!
I can tell you this for sure, Nancy is now serving bbq ribs in her Lakewood Ranch location, Friday and Saturday. A word to the wise: ORDER AHEAD!!! 941-362-2833 11:30am-8pm.
Opening Friday at Asolo Rep is the World Premier musical BEATSVILLE. From the writers of The Little Mermaid, School of Rock, and Sister Act, this one has the pedigree and talent to go beyond Asolo. Beatsville is a co-production with acclaimed Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, where it will play immediately after its Asolo run. Unlike last season's Josephine which is no longer touring, Beatsville is highly anticipated to head to Broadway next season.
Beatsville is Greenwich Village in 1959-the world of" subterranean coffee shops, goateed artists, turtle neck poets, and bongo playing beatniks."
Beatsville, currently in previews, opens May 6, and continues to May 26. Call 941-351-8000 or click here for tickets on line.
Those of you who frequent Starbucks at University and Honore have met Barista Mike Spellman. He is the cheerful manager of this location. Mike told me of his new business venture last week which is far removed from coffee. Mike's Home & Garden LLC has everything from landscape lighting, garden designs and home repairs. Replace your old lawn with a new one. For a free on-site estimate you can reach Mike at 941-923-2131 or get in touch with Mike through this email link.
So many restaurants this week, I'm having difficulty choosing a few. A good number of you are familiar with Longboat's best casual restaurant DRY DOCK. Having been a customer for more than 15 years, even with new ownership, nothing has changed about this place. The food is terrific, and reasonable. The servers are pleasant and not pushy. The noise level is as good as it gets in a large and open restaurant. And, the wait can be intolerable during season.
Had dinner there this week. Arrived early, seated immediately, and had a wonderful meal along with perfect service. When we left the wait, even at this time of year, was over an hour. They do take preferred seating when available at 941-383-0102. Dry Dock is located 412 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Antoine's newest creation sits unceremoniously in a strip mall on 12th and Tuttle, across from Ed Smith Stadium. His neighbors are Peruvian, Mexican, Italian and American. But Antoine's has no competition for his many varieties of mussels, for which he is famous and popular. If you don't recognize the name, what once was Brasserie Belge on Main and Washington, then Fruitvlle and McIntosh has morphed into this location. I didn't expect such a charming interior from a restaurant fronted by a gas station. Somewhat pricey, but with much more than mussels. For a complete menu click here.
Reservations are a must at 941-331-1400. Closed Wednesday, but open every other night for dinner 6-10.
May 12&13 Ed Smith Stadium. This annual Sarasota Orchestra event features an American Idol favorite from season 14, Clark Beckham. Hot dogs, popcorn, soft drinks, beer, peanuts; all that's missing is a baseball game.
The Orchestra will be performing music from the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Mama Mia, the 1812 Overture and many more. Be prepared for a few hours of music topped off by a spectacular fireworks display. We've been to this event several times in the past and recommend!!! So popular, they've added a second night this year.
To order tickets call 941-893-6300 or click here to pick your seats on line.
JIM'S RANT.....With no fanfare the two new I75 north bound lanes from Fruitville Rd. opened to traffic this week. So far, so good. I even had the courage to try that route Thursday. No accidents reported. No backups. Let's hope a month from now I'm not ranting about the Diamond catastrophe. Bring on those 40,000 rowing visitors; Sarasota is ready...
No Jim Knows Sarasota the next two weeks. Back the week of 5/22 for a few more weeks of publication before summer break........JIM