Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Tidbites: October 17, 2012

October 17th, 2012Posted by admin

Originally published in The Observer
Date: October 17, 2012
by: June LeBell | Contributing Columnist

Sliders seem to be slipping into Sarasota … they’re everywhere we look. We saw Kobe meatloaf sliders the other day at Libby’s Café+Bar on Osprey, and a trio of what looked like roast-beef sliders slid past us last week when we were having dinner at Americano. Next up for Libby’s: a crushed meatball grinder, and there’s no ouch about it …

Change is in the air… at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota — so many that it’s hard to keep up. First, there’s a new executive chef. Dwayne Edwards is coming to Sarasota by way of Portland, Ore., where he grew up, and Morton’s of Chicago, where he worked. In between, he became intrigued by classical French, Mediterranean, Spanish and Northwest cuisine, with a special focus on Italian. (Talk about fusion!) So, about 10 years ago, he became executive chef and co-owner of a pair of Portland restaurants — one Italian, the other Spanish: Alessandro’s Northern Italian and Fernandos Hideaway. Now he’s been lured by Sarasota’s Ritz, so the question is, will one of our favorite spots for drinks and dinner before the Van Wezel turn into “a dark secluded place … a place where no one knows your face … a glass of wine, a fast embrace,” or something, well, Ritzier? …

Fall food makes its way in … to the Carmel Café on Cooper Creek Boulevard, which is trending toward autumnal selections. Executive Chef Steve Cook (what other profession could he have done?) says, “Fall offers an outstanding array of fresh produce and seasonal foods. By using these ingredients as inspirations for our newest ‘Mod Med’ dishes, we have come up with deliciously different ways to enjoy these popular foods.” That means more robust items such as a flatbread topped with caramelized pears, blue cheese and roasted red peppers, and a hearty seafood medley swimming with scallops, shrimp, calamari, mussels, olives, roasted red peppers and chorizo simmered in a saffron broth and served with Israeli couscous. Oh, and did I mention that Carmel Café sports a MenuPad app that allows guests to customize their dinners using tableside iPads to look at photos and descriptions of every dish and even “control the preparation, presentation and pacing” of the meal and “identify the perfect wines to pair with the food”?  Fun, delicious cuisine …

There will be “Culinary Rhythms” pulsing through the town from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19. The event features food from 20 of Sarasota’s top restaurants paired with craft beers from around the world. At $50 per person, this benefit, for the Center for Building Hope, includes unlimited tastings, samplings and live music.

For tickets, visit