Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Restaurants

Dining planner: Skyway Soiree, Savor Sarasota and Beer Camp Across America

BRIDGING THE GAP: SKYWAY SOIREE

Let's meet in the middle. Or in this case, let's meat (and seafood) in the middle. June 12 will debut the Skyway Soiree, a collaboration between chefs from Sarasota, Bradenton and St. Petersburg — held at sunset on the North Skyway Bridge. Organized by Turtle Beach Natural Foods and overseen by Sarasota chef Paul Mattison, below, the evening entails a six-course wine-pairing benefit dinner, with six chefs each preparing a course with a land-and-sea theme.

"April Clinton, a sales rep at Turtle Beach, started putting the idea together; she has relationships with all these guys," Mattison said. "We had a meeting out on the bridge, looking at logistics and figuring out who is going to do what. I let everyone come up with what they wanted to do, and Jason Cline at the Birchwood said, 'Why not all seafood?' And someone else said, 'Why don't we make every course a surf and turf course?' "

Done and done. Poulet Rouge chorizo and Joe Island clams from Tyson Grant of Parkshore Grill; olive oil poached lamb and sous vide lobster tail brochette from Isaac Johnson of Lila/Pomona; and David Benstock of Il Ritorno coming up with an array of hors d'oeuvres (think charred Blue Point oysters with crispy guanciale pickled ramps, smoked creme and piave vecchio) for the cocktail reception. Mattison organized all the courses from lightest to heaviest.

Tickets are $125 per person and limited to 150 guests with proceeds donated to Sarasota's Mote Marine (World Oceans Day is June 8, after all) and St. Petersburg's Edible Peace Patch. Mattison says it's the first time he has collaborated with chefs on this side of the bridge, so it may be a hoot for guests to come out and cheer on the home team. This event will take place rain or shine (there is a covered dining area). (941) 921-3400. mattisons.com.

DINE AROUND: SARASOTA

And if that event whets your appetite for checking out restaurants to our south, now through June 14 diners can check out the annual Savor Sarasota. Choose from more than 60 participating restaurants, from elegant dining to casual eateries, each offering an affordable, fixed-price menu: $15 for lunch and $29 for dinner. Sarasota is known for having top-notch beaches, but it also has the highest concentration of Zagat-rated restaurants in Florida. At savorsarasota.com, diners can sort by chef name, menu, geographic area and cuisine. With a spread from Peruvian to French and a whole lot in between, you'll taste your way around the world pronto.

DRINK UP: BEER CAMP ACROSS AMERICA

Need more proof that the Tampa Bay area is nationally recognized as a hotbed of craft beer innovation? Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. kicks off its six-city Beer Camp Across America 2016 summer festival here.

Billed as the largest craft beer celebration, it brings together brewers from across the country to create one-time collaboration beers, in addition to staging huge one-day festivals for regional brewers and beer fans.

After the Tampa festival on Saturday in Curtis Hixon Park, it heads to Seattle, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles.

Why was Tampa chosen as the kickoff city? According to Sierra Nevada public relations representative Natalie Colli, the choice had multiple factors. First, "Florida is a prominent place for craft beer." Full stop. Second, in each festival city Sierra Nevada partners with a regional brewer, and according to Colli, Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park is a "favorite and innovative brand."

And then there's a logistical reason: With its second brewery built in Mills River, N.C., Sierra Nevada has a strong interest in bolstering relations with Southeastern breweries, and "Tampa provides a really good backyard backdrop to host this kind of event."

Tickets are $35-$70, it's 21 and older only and hours are 6 to 10 p.m. (530) 893-3520.

And even if local beer aficionados can't make it to the one-day festival, each of the six festival cities creates a "super group" of brewers to craft a regional beer that then is sold in limited-edition 12-packs across the country.

     
Comments
Tampa’s 60-year-old Housewife Bake Shop may not be closing after all

Tampa’s 60-year-old Housewife Bake Shop may not be closing after all

For nearly 60 years it was breads, cakes and pastries, up before dawn for the Perrone family in Armenia Garden Estates. For a minute it looked like Tampa’s Housewife Bake Shop was going to close, but third-generation owner Tena Perrone said on Wednes...
Published: 04/19/18
Four new restaurants in Tampa Bay: Brazilian steakhouse, Chinese, juice bar and more

Four new restaurants in Tampa Bay: Brazilian steakhouse, Chinese, juice bar and more

TERRA GAUCHATerra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse, a classic churrascaria-style Brazilian meatery — you know, where the guys in South American cowboy attire walk around with the swords of meat until you capitulate in a carnivorous haze — has opened a loc...
Published: 04/18/18
Food events this weekend: Blueberry Festival, Whiskey Obsession, Taste of Carrollwood and more

Food events this weekend: Blueberry Festival, Whiskey Obsession, Taste of Carrollwood and more

WORTH THE DRIVE: Ocala Culinary FestivalThe Ocala Culinary Festival runs through Sunday with dozens of food and educational events throughout Ocala and Marion County. The list is impressive, tickets for events priced individually. Here is a sampler: ...
Published: 04/12/18
Tampa restaurant Steelbach’s Florida-raised beef program could be a model for true farm-to-table dining

Tampa restaurant Steelbach’s Florida-raised beef program could be a model for true farm-to-table dining

TAMPATrust me, this will be a restaurant review. In a couple of minutes. First, we need to dive into something the new Steelbach at Armature Works is doing that is ground-breaking, disruptive, way-outside-the-box. It’s so forward-thinking that Commis...
Published: 04/09/18
Updated: 04/12/18
10 questions with Molly Schuyler, the competitive eater who won $2,500 for eating a big Taco Bus burrito

10 questions with Molly Schuyler, the competitive eater who won $2,500 for eating a big Taco Bus burrito

When it comes to competitive eating, Molly Schuyler is one of the best in the world. Last weekend she dominated her competition at Tampa’s Taco Bus Burrito Eating Championship by taking down a 2.5-pound "El Jefe" in just over a minute to win $...
Published: 04/10/18
Caddy’s At the Pointe apologizes for putting diner’s race on their receipt

Caddy’s At the Pointe apologizes for putting diner’s race on their receipt

A Bradenton restaurant has publicly apologized for a server who described a table by including the diners’ race. A photograph of a Caddy’s At the Pointe receipt posted to Facebook shows the table was entered into the restaurant’s p...
Published: 04/09/18
Updated: 04/10/18
Maple Street Biscuits now open, bringing much-needed biscuits to St. Pete

Maple Street Biscuits now open, bringing much-needed biscuits to St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — I was prepared. I’d been to the Maple Street Biscuit location in Tallahassee in our circuitous escape from Hurricane Irma. The woman behind the counter was going to ask me my favorite childhood television show so it could...
Updated one month ago
This weekend’s food festivals: Celebrate wine, craft soda, shrimp and crawfish

This weekend’s food festivals: Celebrate wine, craft soda, shrimp and crawfish

CHEERS: TO DALÍRaise a glass or two to welcome spring as the Dalí hosts its seventh annual signature wine and food tasting, Los Vinos de Dalí, on Sunday from 3-7 p.m. Both Old World and New World wines are paired with tapas tastings from area restaur...
Updated one month ago
Florida chef Jeanie Roland talks competing on ‘Iron Chef Gauntlet’ and the time she beat Bobby Flay

Florida chef Jeanie Roland talks competing on ‘Iron Chef Gauntlet’ and the time she beat Bobby Flay

In August 2015, Punta Gorda chef Jeanie Roland beat world-famous Bobby Flay with her signature moules-frites (that’s mussels and fries). Let’s say Flay got filleted by a petite, now 51-year-old chef in a fairly sleepy waterside Florida town not known...
Updated one month ago
Free Little Caesars for lunch today for all of America, thanks to UMBC’s NCAA upset

Free Little Caesars for lunch today for all of America, thanks to UMBC’s NCAA upset

TAMPA — Who doesn’t love free food? Who doesn’t love pizza? Well, thanks to Little Caesars and some March Madness, everybody in the country can get free pizza today. Before the NCAA men’s basketball tournament started, Little...
Updated one month ago