THE RETRO ‘90S EDITION
BesT of SRQ Local It’s been 20 years since SRQ magazine first hit mailboxes in the (941) and beyond, and the sunshine’s only gotten sweeter since—as evidenced each year with the annual Best of SRQ Local Competition, giving mad props to the bangin’ local businesses that make each season better than the last. This year, we celebrate the here and now with a little trip to the way back when, to where it all started, to that weird and wonderful superunknown we remember simply as the ‘90s. Hold on hella tight and stay frosted, this trip ain’t for scrubs. Written by Phil Lederer, Brittany Mattie and Jacob Ogles. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.
READ ME. SHARE ME. LET US KNOW HOW YOUâ€™D LIKE TO SEE MORE LIVE LOCAL, LOVE LOCAL IN YOUR HOMETOWN MAGAZINE. TAKE OUR READERS ENGAGEMENT SURVEY ONLINE AT
F I R M S •
This page, center row:
Jessica Featherstone, Pamela Hernandez and Mallory Moretti. of Berlin Patten Ebling. Men, clockwise from top to bottom:
Will McCombs, Jamie Ebling and Evan Berlin.
Left to right:
Patrickâ€™s Kress Burger vs. Main Bar Sandwich Shopâ€™s Aztec sandwich.
IT AIN’T BREAKFAST AND IT AIN’T LUNCH, BUT IT BETTER BE GOOD.
IF THE ANCIENT TEXTS ARE TO BE BELIEVED, the highest form of the
Sarasota takes its brunch seriously and this year’s competition had no shortage of hungry voters making their voices heard. Station 400 served up a solid Platinum victory on the back of a spectacular Truffle Eggs Benedict and some wicked pancakes, while MADE strikes Gold with Bloody Marys and Billionaire Bacon. Duval’s picks up some Silver for its Shrimp, Crab and Lobster Cake Bennies, beating out Bronze winner Sun Garden Café and its healthful brunch options by a single vote. Rounding out the brunch table, Boca Sarasota and Louies Modern both garner Honorable Mentions. —PL
cow is the burger—making the worshippers of the golden calf perhaps not so much wrong, as they were simply premature, and making every local burger shack a potential house of worship. But which are worthy of your patronage and post-patty penitence? Patrick’s 1481 takes home the Platinum award yet again, practically reaching burger sainthood at this point, with Smack’s Burgers & Shakes nipping at its heels like a heretic at Gold position. Gecko’s Grill & Pub shares the Silver chalice in a tie with the newcomers at The Overton, and Shakespeare’s Pub says its prayers to the Bronze. Not to be excluded, Hob Nob Drive-In and Gulf Gate Food & Beer make the list as Honorable Mentions. —PL
Marilyn Highland (on Station 400): My favorite breakfasts include the Breakfast Fry Up and the build-your-own omelets, with brie and bacon my goto choice. Station 400 is one of the few restaurants that consistently cooks eggs the way you requested. Whether over easy or over medium, they always get it right. And their omelets are not overcooked and brownish. Their wheat toast is extra tasty, and their hash browns are excellent. When I meet friends for lunch, my favorite is the Havarti grilled cheese with the yummy jam on it. Fries are also a must. Definitely my favorite place. Laura Lovejoy Sambursky (on Station 400): I love Station 400 because it is close to home, family-friendly, has awesome servers and offers plenty of vegetarian options—including the imperative almond milk for my morning coffee! Christy Hutson (on MADE): My family and I love MADE! We go there several times a year for brunch. They remain my favorite spot for a spicy Bloody Mary, and their BGFT Benedict is something I’d splurge on anytime! We’ve visited for b-day celebrations, going away brunch and just because it’s Sunday and why not? So lucky to have local places like MADE right here isin SRQ. Britt Rader (on Duval’s): I really love the ability to sit out front of Duval’s on a quiet relaxing Sunday and enjoy our beautiful Florida weather. I absolutely LOVE the Lobster Eggs Benedict. It’s indulgent, delicious and pairs perfectly with a mimosa . . .or three. Terry Black (on Sun Garden Café): Terrific array of healthy, wonderful tasting food presented with style.
Thomas O’Hare (on Patrick’s 1481): Sully created his Sarasota tradition for many years. He gives a very good product for a decent price, and Sarasota loves it. Tourists and native Sarasotans love Patrick’s because it’s solid—good food, great atmosphere and great staff. Tonya Gowan (on Patrick’s 1481): Sully is from the original Marina Jack crew and he knows what makes a good burger.
Christine Botti (on Patrick’s 1481) They never fail to provide the best Bunless Burger Benedict!
Diane Lane (on Smack’s Burgers & Shakes): There’s something
about that special sauce! And, being able to get a bison burger close to home is full tilt! David Clark (on Gecko’s Grill & Pub): Delicious & affordable! $5 burger day cannot be beat! Kathy Martella (on The Overton): So fresh and tasty. Once you try it, you’ll know why too! Adrian Moore (on Shakespeare’s Pub): English pub atmosphere and food, plus killer giant burgers with delicious exotic ingredients. Messy but amazing. Amy Paul-
ishak (on Shakespeare’s Pub): Horseradish cheeseburger—need I say more!
BEST CREATIVE SANDWICHES Main Bar Sandwich Shop
BEST HOME FURNISHINGS Matter Brothers
WHETHER IT’S THAT PERFECT STAPLE PIECE FOR YOUR FOYER, or
the couch that tests your skills as a human to get up and do other than sink into its comfiness all day, these home decor and furniture stores make the the interiors you drool over in magazines come to life in your very own dwelling. Matter Brothers is applauded for its uncrowded adult playground, ruling in at Platinum, while Home Resource moves on up this year to the Gold. Voters appointed Blu Home and Soft Square a tie for Silver, in addition to a stalemate with Sarasota Home Collection and Baer’s Furniture for Bronze. —BM Karen Godmere Kanis (on Matter Brothers) If you are into coastal and/or contemporary interior design and furnishing a house, Matter Brothers on Clark is a playground. It’s huge, but not over crowded. When you walk in, you get a bit giddy with anticipation. I appreciate that I can take my time to stroll and imagine, as well as check out the outlet in the back, without feeling pressured. When I was ready to buy, the sales team was helpful and professional. Yvonne Naese (on Soft Square): Amazing contemporary pieces at great prices, and staff is not all high and mighty. Rob Stueber (on Sarasota Home Collection): Showroom rocks big city talent.
IF YOU WANTED “LIKE MOM USED TO MAKE,” THEN YOU’D STAY HOME. Going out for a sandwich means going beyond the child’s play of
peanut butter and jelly, to a place where foodie boundaries are meant to be crossed—and with delicious results. Main Bar Sandwich Shop serves up a Platinum award alongside Aztecs and Italians, while the folks at Anna’s Deli bring home a Gold award to show off next to its Surfer Sandwich. The Silver award gets a split order between the ingenious innovators over at Kurto’s Chimney Cakes and the local-centric menu at Michelle’s Brown Bag Café, and trailing by one vote, Duval’s makes yet another appearance in this year’s rankings with a Bronze award for those Shrimp Po’ Boys.—PL Michael Henshaw (on Main Bar Sandwich Shop): Main Bar has the best sandwich on Earth. It’s the Aztec. The crazy thing is I ate at the Main Bar for years before discovering it. My go to was “The Ringer,” but one day my friend and I tried the Aztec and our lives were forever changed. I’m not exaggerating by saying it’s one best sandwiches ever created. If you’re ordering it make sure you ask for some extra sauce on the side. Bonnie Rowley (on Anna’s Deli): Surfer sandwich is a classic. Niko Athena (on Kurto’s Chimney Cakes): Way to take a traditional dessert, give it a new look and make the world love it! Congrats! Erika Budai (on Kurto’s Chimney Cakes): Amazing grab-and-go urban food. The best is the Cajun shrimp salad in the everything bagel chimney cone. Samantha Emelock (on Michelle’s Brown Bag Café): Friendly staff, a menu based on local attractions, fresh produce and rotating specials. Marcy Greenspan (on Duval’s): Duval’s is consistently excellent, no matter what entree you order. srqme.com_ APR19 live local | 51
BEST COFFEE PERQ
WHETHER STARTING YOUR DAY BEFORE THE SUN or making sure you last long after its
absence, it’s hard to understate the importance of a reliably good cup of coffee. And if five years as reigning champion is any indication, the folks at PERQ have it mastered, bringing home yet another Best Of SRQ award and further cementing their place in the pantheon of local legends. But in a stellar debut showing, The Overton brings stiffer competition than seen in years, closing out with a Gold finish after a fierce bout. The Clever Cup takes the Silver as smoothly as it serves up those Honey Lattes, and Pastry Art and LeLu Coffee Lounge tie for the Bronze—PL
BEST LEGAL FIRM Berlin Patten Ebling
Shree Sastry (on PERQ): Coffee never tasted so good just the way they make it. Great service. Great vibe and atmosphere. Truly one-of-a-kind. Marc Cabanig (on PERQ): This place gave me hope and swayed my decision to move from Los Angeles, confidently! Terri Barcus (on The Overton): Amazing coffee, sophisticated options, wonderful staff, modern atmosphere—they put so much energy into their coffee and food, it’s inspiring. Linda Kindig (on Clever Cup): Because it’s cool and local and it’s not Starbucks. Brock Leach (on Pastry Art): I love the neighborhood gathering atmosphere of the place, and then there are the pastries... oh, the pastries. So what’s not to like? Laurie Troost (on LeLu Coffee Lounge): Excellent coffee. Groovy vibe. Healthy, fun, creative breakfast. Super service. We love this place. Cynthia Bennethum (on LeLu Coffee Lounge): Love this coffee. Get it shipped to my house in PA. Siesta Snow is my favorite!
Marlane Wurzbach (on PERQ): I live within walk-
Marlane’s 90s photo.
THE BERLIN PATTEN EBLING WINS in court translated into a big verdict
from our readers, who give the law firm a Platinum rating this year. And they did it without a single white Bronco car chase. The legal eagles at Williams Parker land a Gold award with some LA Law-level style. Icard Merrill celebrated a Silver victory, while Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick attorneys must settle for Bronze this year.—JO Theresa Skrzypkowski (on Berlin Patten): Everything they do is a cut above the rest. Their communication skills, use of technology and loyalty to clients is a cut above the competition. Brock
Leach (on Williams Parker): In all cases, they went beyond the call of duty, bringing a combination of expertise, professionalism and personal values that would be hard to surpass. Years ago, when I asked around about estate planning attorneys, Ric Gregoria was widely recommended as the best of the
best, and Ric has exceeded even those expectations. James Wil-
liamson (on Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick): They’ve always delivered excellent advice and contract work. Saralyn Abel Dorrill has helped me with personal and business real estate transactions. Jennifer Compton has provided sage counsel across several business areas. Mike Warm (on Shumaker): Juan Villaveces is the best. He is always available and has a way with clients and customers that puts even the biggest issues at ease.
ing distance of the shop, and it has impressed several of my northern houseguests who happen to take their coffee very seriously. I don’t make coffee myself and only drink it when I’m pretending to be a grown up. But showing off my new hometown to my discerning friends and family makes life easier and more enjoyable for all concerned. In addition to being a Sarasota cheerleader, I believe in shopping locally whenever possible. So of course I took our friends for a nice neighborhood walk down to PERQ instead of anything like a Starbucks.
BEST LOCAL ICE CREAM
Sweetberries Eatery and Frozen Custard WE’RE AS SURPRISED AS YOU; this is the first time this
category’s run in the Best Of competition. Frozen treats have certainly come a long way from screwballs, snow cones, big dippers and Powder Puff girl-shaped ice pops found stamped on the side of ‘90s neighborhood ice cream trucks. At some point, it became a culinary artform. Considering the number of new, standout gourmet scoop options in existence, it seemed appropriate to name the king of cones. Here’s the scoop—Sweetberries Eatery & Frozen Custard takes home the Platinum title for its custards and concrete shakes. Close behind is Siesta Key’s Orange Octopus in Gold and Abel’s Ice Cream in Silver for its creative housemade flavors. Meanwhile, Main Street’s Gelato To Go ties for Bronze with new kid on the block, opening only this past December—sliding into the competition like a sneaky DM—welcome Local Chill. —BM
Jason Flatch (on Sweetberries): Sweetberries is hands down the best icecream I have ever had. No ice cream place can top them. Adrian Moore (on Orange Octopus): The first warm January evening after we moved here, we walked down to Orange Octopus. Sitting out front, watching locals and tourists coming and going and sharing our many flavor choices around the family, we realized this ice cream was amazing and the setting made it sublime. The hardest part is not going back too often and giving up on our waistlines! Marie Bonilla (on Orange Octopus): Orange Octopus is a gem in Siesta Key! Not only do they have amazing flavors—the sea salt caramel and the Kentucky bourbon are beyond amazing and love that everything is made in house— the interior of the shop is so nice and modern, clean and just feels happy. And Ollie the Octopus is so cute! Karen Diamond (on Abels): Because they have hard frozen yogurt and coconut milk ice cream. The owner is friendly and it is always clean. Fun creative flax. Yvonne Naese (on Gelato to Go): This is the real deal, just like I had in Tuscany. Not overly sweet, just perfect to allow the unique flavors to stand out. Aurec Senenoi (on Gelato to Go): This will be some of the most authentic gelato you can find in town. They use no fillers, no unneeded sweetness and no heavy thickeners to fake you out. All legit, real, gelato here. And here the flavors taste exactly like they’re named. A hidden gem in Sarasota that’s extremely underrated. Tracy Frascone (on Local Chill): Siesta Key’s newest ice cream shop has a uniquely different menu with homemade ice cream, candy and more with indoor and outdoor seating. 52 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST BOUTIQUE L.Boutique
OVERALLS, CHOKERS, DENIM VESTS, fanny packs, bandanas, neon
windbreakers, crop tops, platform sandals and plaid skirts—some of this stuff has circled its way back into our hearts and wardrobes, but don’t play Clueless—there’s a clear winner when it comes to timeless fashion. A round of applause for Burns Court’s L.Boutique, which claims its seventh year of Platinum trophies. Foxy Lady’s two locations give them a run for their money however, close behind in Gold. Molly’s two locations as well, prove fashionably on point in the Silver landing, and Main Street’s Lotus Boutique sees fit to step into the competition as the Bronze holder. —BM
SHOP CITY AND THE
Doreen Clyne (on L.Boutique): Local owner, gorgeous clothing, shoes and jewelry. Wonderful employees who provide professional, kind and caring service. The ladies are passionate about their work and love keeping women looking good, fashionable and hip! Caren Levin (on L.Boutique): L.Boutique provides personal service that is missing from most shopping experiences today. Their staff takes the time to find items that actually look good on you. They are friendly, patient and knowledgeable. I love shopping here. Amazing selection for whatever event you need, from a black tie event to casual daywear. Pam Trapani (on Foxy Lady): The clothes. The service. The free beer and wine while shopping. Kelly Liebel (on Molly’s): Wonderful owner and staff, always can find something that you need at a good price. Leslie Laven (on Lotus): Fashion forward, huge selection, amazing staff. Harmoni and her crew make everyone feel special. It’s always fun to be in Lotus and there’s never a hard sell! They truly enjoy their customers.
The ladies of L.Boutique.
BEST HAPPY HOUR Boca Sarasota
LAST YEAR WAS THIS CATEGORY’S FIRST TIME in the Best Of competition, and proved to
be a popular one to vote upon. You guys sure love your happy hours. This year, it’s interesting to see some return winners mixed with a couple of different candidates altogether. Cheers to Boca Sarasota for moving up to the Platinum title this year. And to Gecko’s Grill & Pub for kicking down the doors from not even placing last year, now taking home Gold. Meet us at Element or Selva—who tie for Silver—for light bites and post-work drinks. Meanwhile, Mattison’s and Michael’s On East both raises the bar to Bronze, respectfully knocking The Table Creekside completely from the running.—BM 54 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
Helen Harrington (on Boca): Love to have their zucchini fries with my cocktails. Jenny Courtney (on Boca): Great deals on wine and flatbreads Gwendolyn Roberts (on Gecko’s): It’s all day, every day. Terri Gagliardi (on Gecko’s): $3 Titos. Joseph Loewy (on Element): Element’s Happy Hour is also Classy Hour. It’s nice to have an upscale atmosphere and service, with craft cocktails and fine wine at a great price. My favorite is the Smokey Corinthian Leather. Gabrielle Connor (on Selva): Small bites of full menu items and cocktails at half-price? You literally can’t get that anywhere else in Sarasota.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST CHILDREN’S ATTRACTION Mote Marine aquarium
NEED SOME PLACE TO TAKE THE RUGRATS ON A NICE WEEKEND? Mote Aquarium
swims to the top of our survey once again with a Platinum finish Hugh and Buffet both easily called. Gold Winner Sarasota Jungle Gardens also provides a place for kids to run wild. The Children’s Garden and Selby Rainforest Garden tied as Silver winners offering a place for kids to get a little loony. The Ringling and Big Hat Habitat tied at Bronze. —JO Crystal Phillips (on Mote): You learn so much and it also helps with keeping local sea life safe. Lou
Walton (on Sarasota Jungle Gardens): Set in a beautiful natu-
BEST GOLF COURSE University park country club
WHAT GOOD IS THE PERFECT CLUB WITHOUT THE PERFECT COURSE? SRQ voters chipped in on their favorite spots to hit that hole in one. University Park Country Club came in way under par for a Platinum
win, with voters citing a perfect balance of beauty and challenge—not to mention friendly instructors. Meanwhile, Laurel Oak Country Club cuts a few strokes off its game to roll into a Gold finish on an immaculate green, and The Ritz-Carlton Concession Golf Club celebrates the Silver under the subtle roar of a golf clap. And playing out the back nine, Lakewood Ranch Country Club comes back to the clubhouse with Bronze. —PL Judith McCann (on University Park Country Club): A beautiful. challenging course in pristine condition. Clinton Whitelaw (on University Park Country Club): The course is always in excellent condition and they have the best PGA instructors.
Scott Stevens (on Laurel Oak Country Club): You can actually play a lot of it without house interference. Claire Moxcey (on The Concession): Great course and golf pros are professional, kind and eager to help! Sandra Shahinian (on Lakewood Ranch Country Club): A wide variety of amenities and two clubhouses—and the French fries are the best! 56 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
ral wildlife preserve, the attraction allows a unique interaction with an assortment of exotic birds, animals and flowers as one walks along the “jungle trails.” Will Diamond (on Selby Gardens): I brought my 4- and 5-year-old grandchildren there. They loved the koi pond and the waterfall into the pond. They were interested in the amazing diversity of plants. But mostly they loved the children’s play area. There, they created their own plays with the stage set up and props, swung on the tire swing and hammock and were immersed in using their creativity. Ashley Murphy (on Children’s Garden): From the maze to the tire mountain and the sandpit, there’s just the right amount of activities to keep them busy, all while letting them connect with nature. Mary Garcia (on Children’s Garden): My 1-yearold son loves exploring each corner of the garden. He especially enjoys walking through the tropical rainforest and the pirate ship. When he goes through the tropical rainforest, he is always smiling as he gets splashed. Kathy Martella (on Big Cat Habitat): On our first trip with our granddaughters, they thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on experience with the goats and feeding the ‘big cats.’ Deby Rutledge (on The Ringling): As a child, I was taken to The Ringling Museum many times. My awareness, interest and love for the paintings and artists were kindled by the exposure. Taking my own children and accompanying classes of elementary children on field trips there has reinforced my belief that this is an experience (and treat), which enriches minds and hearts.
Left: Dr. Michael Crosby, President and CEO of Mote Aquarium
THEY MAY NOT BE FROSTING TIPS FOR THE MEMBERS OF NSYNC, twisting butterfly clips onto
Mary Kate & Ashley’s blonde bobs or crimping Tyra Banks’ mane, but these stylists know a thing or two about classic hair dos. A clear winner sweeps up the heated competition with an astounding flow of votes to boast about. This year, Nuovo Salon triumphantly overthrows its opponent for Platinum(blonde). Snipping away the title for Gold still is Cutting Loose Salon. And tallying up the rest of the votes in this voluminous category was seriously splitting hairs. Marmalade and Yellow Strawberry measure up for a tie in Silver, while Fresh Salon and Spa Hollywood also align for a ponytail tie in Bronze. —BM Marietta Varga (on Nuovo): I’ve been going there for 26 years. The place is like going to visit your family— everyone is wonderful, service is outstanding, waiting time is great. I recommend it to everyone. Danielle Logue (on Nuovo): When you move to a new area, it’s hard to find someone to cut and color your hair. I have been fortunate enough to find two artists at Nuovo! I recommend them to my friends and new residents. Not only do they have wonderful people, they also carry Aveda products that are great for me and the environment. If you haven’t been to one of their three locations, you should make an appointment today. Marsha Kolb (on Cutting Loose): Any person knows that moving to a new town is overwhelming in many ways and perhaps the most daunting task (other than finding new medical professionals) is finding a new hairdresser. Cheyanne had been recommended to me and not only did she go above and beyond in listening to my story and hair needs, she also recommended theaters, restaurants and shops. She is so warm and genuine—and has a great laugh! From Sierra, a receptionist, to Mary, an assistant to Cheyanne, all were concerned about me and making sure I felt beautiful and comfortable in my new hometown. It’s an appointment I look forward to every other month! Helena Thomas (on Yellow Strawberry): They get your haircut right the first time. Jennie Courtney (on Fresh Salon): The best eyelashes extensions and facial treatments I’ve ever had.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES—OR WHATEVER FLOWER YOU PREFER at Beneva Flowers, the Platinum winner this year. Of course, our readers also highly recommend Gold Winner Flowers by Fudgie, the force behind many a weddings, to Best Friends’ and otherwise. Victoria Blooms showed up with a centerpiece showing and landed the Silver spot while Bee Ridge Florist fans delivered the shop a Bronze. —JO
Annette P Landes (on Beneva Florist): I have been the recipient of several floral designs and each was creative and beautiful. Deborah Pruett (on Flowers by Fudgie): I hired Flowers by Fudgie for my daughter’s wedding, her baby shower four years later, my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary party, my son’s engagement celebration and a friend’s bridal shower. Becki listens to you and stays within the budget you give her, as well as makes suggestions to keep your costs reasonable.
BEST HOTEL STAYCATION The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Left: Beneva Flowers bouquet in a 90s-inspired fanny pack.
MAKE SURE YOUR WALKMAN HAS JUICED BATTERIES, grab some burned
BEST CHILDREN’S NONPROFIT Forty Carrots THERE’S NO MORE IMPORTANT MISSION. These
heroes continue to improve the quality of life of younger generations and always have our kids’ best interest in mind. The Platinum winner proves to be a real Full House. Forty Carrots is celebrated for its family-centric foundation and education programming. Children First secured a spot in Gold. And the competition remained thick with many a ties. shared Silvers go to Child Protection Center and Girls Inc., while EasterSeals SWFL and Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County scored ample votes for Bronze finalists. —BM
CDs and the paper map out of your car console, we’re heading on a vacay... give or take about 10 minutes away. It may seem a strange concept—we live where people vacation. But look around—it’s a pretty damn beautiful place to call home. When you’re able to block a weekend for a (941) “getaway,” look to book your next staycation at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, which wields a fivestar performance for Platinum. Enjoy the creative happenings in the heart of downtown’s Art Ovation Hotel who check in to the Gold suite. Then soak in the panoramic rooftop views at The Westin Sarasota, whose hospitality brings them in at Silver. Lido Beach Resort finishes with Bronze amenities, acclaimed by tourists and locals alike. Deserving of Honorable pillow mint mentions—The Hyatt Regency, Zota Beach Resort, Longboat Key Club and The Sarasota Modern. —BM Lynn Morris (on The Ritz-Carlton): Any time I want to indulge, this is the place. I love the healing waters in the spa. I love the Beach Club and sitting by the pool and being served—it’s heaven. Karin Lui (on The Ritz-Carlton): We stayed there over July 4th, and one of the ladies in the spa was talking to my son and found out how much he loved Ninja Turtles at the time. She went and had the pastry chef make him a cake with Ninja Turtles all over it for absolutely no reason and it made his entire stay. Doreen Clyne (on Art Ovation): Husband surprised me for my birthday in September. It was the best kickoff to my birthday month celebration. Very artsy and creative rooms, main entrance. Pretty city view of SRQ. Angela Kienzle (on Art Ovation): The art vibe is incredible and you feel so chic staying there! Barbara Bourgoin (on The Westin): The rooftop bar is fabulous— bright, great pool and amazing views of Sarasota. Michelle Teeter (on LBR): Drinks poolside and a walk to soft sand.
Mary Garcia (on Forty Carrots): My one-year-old and I enjoy the free group classes they offer at the local Sarasota libraries, Partners in Play (PIP). Forty Carrots comes to the local libraries and offers free parent-child classes. They bring various toys, sensory, musical, building blocks, books, and place them in different sections of the room. My toddler enjoys going from section to section and playing with the different toys. Towards the end of the session, they do circle time and everyone sings and dances to nursery rhymes. It’s a great way for my child to interact with other children and a great way for me to enjoy being outside of the home in a safe environment with my child—all for free! Joe Dzialo (on Children First): Access to high quality, affordable education is a fundamental human right. Children First of Sarasota is a World Class provider of educational services to Sarasota‘s most vulnerable children from birth to age five. Thank God for the Children First organization and Children First mindset. Michelle Lane (on CPC): Child Protection Center is doing the hardest work known. They help identify, protect and defend our children from horrific atrocities. There are far too many children being victimized today, and the team of experts at the Child Protection Center are there to investigate, treat and support children preemptively and post-trauma. It is terrific to see this vital cause recognized. It shows our community cares for its most vulnerable—not just in thought, but in action. Jannon Peirce (on EasterSeals): Where abilities shine six weeks in, supported by education, early intervention and pre-employment programs. Michelle Wieckowski (on BGSC): So many positive activities there to improve the future. 58 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
COLD-PRESSING ITS WAY into the Best Of competition for the first time, our region proves to be a real juicers’ paradise—full of pineapple carving, kale harvesting and immunity elixir shots. But no one even came close to touching CROP, who whisked its way to the Platinum position for its ultra freshness and nutritious vibes. Then taking the Gold medal for a ride in its standout food truck, SaraFresh proves some of the best juice can be made on the move. St. Armand’s Green Zebra stays upbeet about its Silver standing and Venice’s Island Organics deserves
a standing ovation for its sweet performance in Bronze. —BM Cynthia Bennethum (on Crop): Fresh variety of healthy juices that taste great! No better way to start your day off right. Love this place every time I come to Sarasota. Abby Odierna (on Crop): CROP has been flourishing into a wonderful company—with it only being five years old, it has spread so much awareness to others and has inspired people to be healthy, along with healing the sick. They are the only juice company in Sarasota that does juice the right way, with organic produce and glass bottles that make it so refreshing to drink. With their wonderful three locations, they have the best customer service and employees anyone could have. I’m telling you, it gives you the best results, making you feel so good. Christie Harpring (on SaraFresh): SaraFresh uses organic local veggies. Plus, if you would like to use your own glass bottles, SaraFresh will fill them up to help to cut down on plastic usage! Lisa Hartley (on SaraFresh): Lynn’s juice is delicious and energizing! Her love for local ingredients is inspiring and evident in every cup and bowl. Her passion and commitment to her customers’ health and the community makes SaraFresh the choice for SRQ. Olivia Schwartz (on Green Zebra): I love bringing my friends and family from out of town there—it is absolutely delicious and such a fun environment. I am an athlete, and Green Zebra always hits the spot after a hard practice. My favorite thing to do is bring my homework and enjoy a fresh juice and a healthy snack. I recommend it to everyone all the time! If you are starting a cleanse or new diet, start it at Green Zebra and enjoy food that is good for you and tasty. Tina Jensen (on Island Organics): The freshest ingredients and the place is small but so cute. Left: Polpo’s Bee
Sting pizza and CROP juice.
Detwiler’s Farm Market THE SUPERMARKET CHAINS don’t hold a monopoly in the market of localvores. Detwiler’s Farm Market bags the debut Best Grocer Platinum
Winner honor this year. But not far behind, celebrated Sarasota staple Morton’s Gourmet Market continues to feed a loyal customer base, enough to secure a Gold victory. —JO Joy Randels (on Detwiler’s): From local eggs, meat and cheese to organic produce, there is simply nowhere else in the area like it. They have a real butcher shop, farmers market, deli and health food boutique inside of one store that’s open six days per week. Barbara Bourgoin (on Detwiler’s): The sales are fabulous. The ice cream is a big draw when you can get a Big Olaf’s cone for $1.50 vs. $5-6 on Siesta Key. Jackie Barron (on Morton’s): I love their locally made chocolates and sweets! Of course, it’s also a Thanksgiving tradition to get our turkey and all the fixings from Morton’s. What makes Morton’s stand out from an increasingly crowded specialty grocer market is the true neighborhood feel you get the second you step through the door.
BEST FOOD TRUCK
WE HAVEN’T SEEN THIS CATEGORY RUN SINCE 2015. Fast forward four
years, and Sarasota and Manatee counties could fill an entire parking lot with a thriving variety of mobile kicka** kitchens. Hence, the outpour of votes and contenders fighting to make the rankings. Twirling its pizzas truck-side, Polpo’s takes Platinum. Fire Tacos claims the Gold for its on-the-go Cali-Mexican delights. And Peachey’s Baking Co. was incredibly close to prevailing, just a few votes behind but plenty of donuts to show for the Silver title. Smokin Momma Lora’s BBQ and SaraFresh call a draw for Bronze, while defeating Kuwai Venezuelan Street Food and Mouthole BBQ who deserve tasty Honorable Mentions. —BM Yvonne Naese (on Polpo’s): Polpos pizza is superb, the perfect Naples (Italy) thin but chewy crust. They use great quality ingredients that result in a very fresh taste. Rebecca Pendergast (on Fire Tacos): The best, fast, authentic lunch truck around. Lisa Redhead (on Fire Tacos): Fire Tacos is our go-to place on Tuesdays—they have dollar tacos and they are amazingly delicious. We have been known to go there other times during the week too, but you can’t beat it for a buck on Tuesday! Donna McKee (on Peachey’s): I voted for Peachey’s/ Amish Baking Co. because their donuts are simply delicious—light, airy and just the right sweetness. Just when you think it looks too big to eat at one sitting, it’s gone. Too good to wait. Rhys Miller (on Smokin Momma): An inspired, creative take on west coast-style food—delicious options for everyone, including vegans! Grace Johnson (on SaraFresh): A juice truck is out of the ordinary but adds so much to the food truck community and the SRQ Farmer’s Market. 60 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT Ophelia’s On the Bay
SIMULTANEOUSLY ONE OF THE MOST DECISIVE and indecisive categories of the entire competition, the question of candlelit dinners and amorous atmosphere revealed a clear victor in Platinum-winning Ophelia’s on the Bay, with its on-the-water environs and perfect mood lighting wooing voters by the droves. But that’s where the honeymoon ends. Indigenous seals the deal within the cozy confines of its intimate Links location, earning a solid Gold win from the voters, but Element and Bijou Café erupt into a lover’s quarrel over the Silver award, while Michael’s on East and Euphemia Haye tussle over Bronze. —PL
Diane Colby-Kost (on Ophelia’s on the Bay): Ophelia’s offers a quaint, waterfront dining experience that always feels special without feeling stuffy. Their menu is diverse and the meals are high quality. The strings of lights by the outdoor tables on the dock set the mood for a romantic evening and we love that ambiance. My husband and I choose Ophelia’s for our anniversary celebration and we are always glad. Victoria Cobb (on Indigenous): The intimate setting works. We love that the tables are scattered around the remnants of what used to be a Florida bungalow. Our favorite spot is the back room where the bar is. The wine menu works for our tastes and the seafood is always amazing, as it should be, considering the chef’s devotion to sustainable seafood. For me, knowing I’m making good choices for the environment while I’m indulging in a delicious meal makes it easier to enjoy a romantic date night. Barbara Carey (on Bijou Café): We always think of the Bijou as a special occasion restaurant, even though the pricing is in line with many other restaurants in Sarasota. Diners tend to dress up a bit more there. The ambiance is quiet elegance, the staff is always professional and the food is classic. Laurie Gomes (on Euphemia Haye): You just can’t beat all those little white lights—it creates such a special, romantic ambiance. R. Julio Diaz (on Euphemia Haye): Our first experience was special because we were able to see the chef prepare the meal while still feeling like it was our own space. The food was fantastic and the bar lounge area is great for live music and dessert.
BEST INTERIOR DESIGNER April White, DSDG Architects
THIS GROUP OF FIVE WOMEN MAY NOT BE THE SPICE GIRLS, but they really do
“spice up your life” in more ways than one. The Platinum winner continues to be renowned by locals for her clean eye and exceptional taste. April White of DSDG Architects garners the leading lady title once again this year. Dynamic duo Donna McKee & Denice Peoples of Double Vision hold on to their Gold ranking, as does Ana Santa Maria of Apex-Studio, taking home a shiny Silver piece of decor for her track record in ensuring a space truly feels like “you.” And finally, Hillview underdog Chelsea Dunbar of Blu Homes, creatively curates her way into Best Of for making the design process from start-to-finish fun. —BM Leanne Yarn (on April White): April White is a young interior designer beyond her years. April’s strong background in architecture has made her a perfect fit amongst a team of male architects. Her design aesthetic is clean, contemporary and consistent, whose innovative designs are becoming Sarasota’s new look for interior design. She’s in a work environment with lots of men, holding her own. Amanda Blanco (on April White): Amazingly hard working individual—will stop at nothing to design the house of your dreams. Ann Dellarco (on Double Vision): Two is always better. Dynamic duo who are able to effectively bring interior dreams to life while remaining within your budget! They truly believe that budget should never prevent you from creating the home of your dreams! Katie Scarfone (on Double Vision): What can’t you love about twins who have style? Easy to work with, unique ideas, listens to their clients and end result reflects client. Vanessa Dolan (on Chelsea Dunbar): She is so stylish and fun to work with. 62 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
there’s something about
Below: April White of DSDG Architects takes us back to this quintessential 90s movie.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST DOUGHNUTS Five-O Donuts
IF MAKING AMAZING DONUTS IS A CRIME, then someone call the cops, because Five-O Donuts has once again glazed right over the competition on its
way to the Platinum spot in this year’s contest, with hungry hordes clamoring for more croissant donuts and creative toppings. Similarly felonious, Peachey’s Baking Company holds the Gold position on the down-home doughy wisdom of its simple glazed donut, while the outlaws of Of Kors Donuts enter the scene at Silver with organic and vegan options. Rounding out the winner’s circle, Shipley’s Do-Nuts takes the Bronze. —PL
Nicole Chapman (on Five-O Donuts): The first time I walked into Five-O and saw all the donuts, I think the world got a little brighter, angels might have sung and I started salivating. These donuts make me happy any time I eat them. But if I had to narrow it down, I would say my two favorites are The S’Mores and the Super Trooper (maple icing with bacon—because anything with bacon is OK in my book). Emmalee Legler (on Five-O Donuts): The variety in their specialty donuts is fantastic. Plus, the traditional glazed are the best in town. Michelle Milazzo (on Five-O Donuts): I have been to donut shops all over the country and no one holds a candle to this place. Every week they have new, creative ideas. Their donuts are huge and full! They do not skimp on their fillings or toppings. Even the names of the donuts are fun and creative, along with the fun police theme of their locations! It doesn’t get any better than this! Yvonne Naese (on Five-O Donuts): The chocolate cronut is crazy good. Jayme McHale (on Peachey’s Baking Company) Tradition and simplicity! Peachey’s understands that the best recipe stands on its own. It doesn’t need mounds of toppings to enhance the taste or for visual effects. Nope. Peachey’s doughnuts WOW in size and a warm, melt-in-your-mouth glazey goodness that tastes fresh from first bite to last! Shauna Longshore (on Peachey’s Baking Company): I just tried Peachey’s for the first time last month and no other donut I’ve had can compare— they’re so melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Scott Moudry (on Peachey’s Baking Company): Trust me, get their weekly schedule, drive there and try a glazed donut—you will not be disappointed! Melts in your mouth. Adrian Moore (on Of Kors Donuts): I’ve been taste testing local donut shops for years. I long thought Five-O was the best, and they are great, but Of Kors beats them in a head-to-head taste test. The cronuts in particular are melt-in-your-mouth good. Sandra Quinn (on Shipley’s Do-Nuts): We brought some for my coworkers—they crazy stupid loved them! I guess everyone one proclaimed it a cheat day, because they were gone in a flash. The doughnuts just ‘don’t all taste the same.’
Left: Five-O Donuts, cookie monster, sprinkles and maple bacon.
LIKE THE SAUCIEST COURT IN ALL THE LAND, Nancy’s BBQ
Elliott Himelfarb (on Nancy’s BBQ): I’ve enjoyed Nancy’s Bar-B-Q since
reigns supreme yet again in the contest of consummate barbecue, more than doubling the votes of its closest competitor and pulling down a Platinum as easy as pork from a spare rib. But making a strong showing and steadily gaining since its arrival, Brick’s Smoked Meats bares its teeth and shows its appetite at Gold, with folks raving about everything from the tender brisket to the decadent s’more in a mason jar. Aldays’ BBQ saw a loyal contingent of localvores carry them to a Silver finish, while Pride of the South BBQ circles just below at Bronze. —PL
she opened the doors to her downtown location. Pork, ribs and chicken are smoky and nicely cooked, but brisket is the true star. Crispy, almost charred ends are an occasional treat if the timing is right. My favorites of the many side dishes are the edamame succotash and sweet potato mash. The screen porch dining area is casual and you often meet interesting fellow diners while enjoying lunch or dinner. Joanie Spadaro (on Nancy’s BBQ): Because it’s Nancy’s. She’s a local legend, always making her food interesting and delicious! Adrian Moore (on Nancy’s BBQ): They do the meats right, and that is core of a good bbq joint. I love the atmosphere and their brisket is to die for. Joy Randels (on Brick’s Smoked Meats): BBQ is great and the sides are killer, combined with craft cocktails, beer and a conscientious staff. Olivia Schwartz (on Brick’s Smoked Meats): The atmosphere is perfect for a night with family or friends. The service is efficient, and the food is so good! One of my family’s favorite spots. Aurec Senenoi (on Brick’s Smoked Meats): The simplicity and smokiness of the brisket is unmatched. Salt and pepper. Done. That’s how a brisket should be. Order it moist and you got yourself an umami bomb of five ingredients: USDA Prime Brisket, salt, pepper, smoke, & time. The smokiness flavor and perfect saltiness is the reason why Brick’s is the best BBQ in town. (And doesn’t need any barbeque sauce.) Terri Barcus (on Alday’s BBQ): Local, delicious hits-the-spot food, quick service and easy parking. Karen Kanis (on Pride of the South): Savory, moist and hearty portions, And fried green tomatoes and cornbread. 64 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST CHARITY EVENT
NOT EVERY HOUSEHOLD IN THIS AREA LOOKS LIKE AN EMPTY NEST.
WINE, WOMEN AND SHOES a Forty Carrots Family Center
DR. Ted Meyer
Parents and grandparents entrust their children’s care in the hands of Dr. Ted Meyer, the Platinum-winning pediatrician this year. Dr. Robert Weiss of Weiss Pediatrics also got a good share of votes, winning Gold, while Dr. Katherine Keeley appears in these pages once again at Silver. Dr. Howard Fuchs and Dr. Scott Featherman share Bronze status. —JO Ashley Wallace (on Weiss Pediatrics): Saying that Dr. Weiss and his staff treat your child like their own is an understatement. I seriously feel like he looks at my kiddos and interacts with them as if they were his grandkids. Reva Holcombe (on Weiss Pediatrics): Dr. Weiss is a very kind man. I interviewed his practice before deciding to make him my pediatrician. He and his wife were both there, answered all my questions and made me feel very comfortable. Kelly Liebel (on Dr. Katherine Keeley): We have gone to Dr. Keeley’s practice for 17 years. She is kind, has the most wonderful bedside manner for the children and is very informative for the parents. She absolutely puts her patients at ease and talks in an angelic voice. Ana Santa Maria (on Howard Fuchs): Dr. Fuchs was my pediatrician growing up, and is now my children’s pediatrician. He is kind, gentle, loving, and we love the fact that he listens to the parents. He understands that nobody knows your children better than you do.
Wine, Women and Shoes
event rises up as bell of the ball and Platinum winner of this category. Meanwhile, Giving Hunger The Blues, a music festival that helps The Mayors Feed The Hungry, played a Goldwinning set for our readers. Selby Orchid Ball at the botanical gardens named for the same patron nabbed the Silver space. Florida Cancer Specialists’ Party Under The Stars tied with the Designing Daughters Gala as Bronze winners —JO Allison Imre (on Wine, Women & Shoes): This event is coined “Best Day Ever” not only because of the festivities but also for the good feels you leave with, knowing how many deserving children you helped. This event is truly the “Shoeper Bowl!” Terry McKee
Where else do you spend the day with your favorite girlfriends, sporting amazing shoes (women and men!), drinking fabulous wine, all while raising half-a-million dollars for an organization that does so much for parenting in the community at-large? Samantha Haynes
(on Giving Hunger The Blues): I first attended because I have a love for music and a heart for those less fortunate in our community. This is no stuffy party! Giving Hunger the Blues is, by far, the most fun charity event of the year!
Amy Glasow (on the Orchid Ball): Selby Gardens is a place of God’s beauty, the closest thing to heaven here on Earth. Shelly
Glenn (on Party Under The Stars): This is not a typical gala as it is relaxed and fun. There are food stations with expert chefs. This year there were circus entertainers and a record crowd of nearly 300 attendees.
(on Wine Women and Shoes):
Left: Dr. Ted Meyer festooned with iconic 90s toys
BEST EYE CARE PRACTICE Center for Sight
WHO BOASTS A WINNING VISION IN THIS CONTEST? Readers clearly see Center for Sight as the top optic service locally, naming it Platinum winner. But Spectacle Gallery comes into focus as a Gold winner just behind it. Eye Associates will soon see a Silver award hanging in those offices, while Coastal Eye Institute can fit its Bronze certificate for the
finest frame. —JO Barbara Anderson (on Center for Sight): My husband was a patient of Dr. Lahners and Dr. Fezza. He has been going to Center for Sight for three years. The treatment you get at Center for Sight is top notch. Amy Schneider (on Spectacle Gallery): Dr. Doyle’s exams are very comprehensive and professional, and she is an absolute delight. And, no small thing, when I get my new glasses, I can see! The selection of frames is unbelievable. Ray Benjamin Kiekel (on Spectacle Gallery): They went above and beyond to stay open late one night when I first reached out with an eye issue and couldn’t get in touch with anyone else. Jayne Steiff (on Eye Associates): Dr. Tomas Schwartz performed my cataract surgery and cornea transplants. He and his staff are awesome and I would give them a ten-star rating if possible! Amber Gager (on Coastal Eye Institute): Dr. Silverman is wonderful. He treats my son great and really listens to what he has to say whether it is about his eyes or school. I have been seeing Dr. Sambursky for six years. He performed my LASIK surgery. I feel very comfortable with him.
66 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
THANK YOU FOR VOTING FOR SARASOTA FORD!
SARASOTA FORD 707 S Washington Blvd, Sarasota | Located where US 41 Meets US 301 941.366.3673 | sarasotaford.com
BEST NONPROFIT Cat Depot
IN A REGION RICH IN CHARITABLE CAUSES, Cat Depot once again pounced
Screaming Goat Taqueira THE BEST TACO COMPETITION
gets all shaken up like a carriage on cobblestones this year, with newcomer Screaming Goat Taqueria emerging victorious to claim Platinum status in a landslide, thanks to everinventive and always fresh toppings. El Toro Bravo ascends the rankings this time around, coming in at Gold, while Mi Pueblo falls two spots but holds on to the Silver position by its fingertips, edging out the folks at Wicked Cantina by a single vote.—PL Yvonne Naese (on Screaming Goat): Screaming Goat has fresh flavors, not a lot of fried or greasy ingredients. They have very creative combinations, including several awesome vegetarian. They use great quality ingredients and their attention to the little details is amazing. Sindy Slowinski (on El Toro Bravo): Best Mexican food in town by far. Ruben & Connie, the owners, are great & treat you like family. Lisa Carnes (on Mi Pueblo): My favorite Mexican restaurant. All their food is authentic! Doug King (on Wicked Cantina): Best house and happy hour drink ever—the house margarita it is all you need. Above:
Screaming Goat Taqueria taco on 90s music concert posters.
68 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST BARBER SHOP Modern Gents
IF THE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS TO THE SOUL, then surely hair is
at least a fine bit of roofing—the sort that catches the eye, but not the rain, and, if left to its own devices, will grow entirely out of control, much to its owner’s professional and financial ruin. With so much at stake (and a straight-razor to your throat), the particulars of coifcentric decision-making may not come easily, but the SRQ voters have your back (but you’ll have to shave it yourself). Modern Gents rises tall like a proud pompadour to secure a Platinum win—with as much, if not more, endorsement from the wives as from the gents—and Burns Court Barbers and American Shave match each other snip for snip to part the Gold award perfectly down the middle. Trimming up the edges, The Barber on Central Avenue sweeps up a Silver award, while The Barbershop 941 combs over a Bronze. —PL Cindy Weinrich (on Modern Gents): Wonderful atmosphere! It even has a bar in the back! My husband really enjoys getting his hair cut by Chris! Sam Mossler (on Burns Court Barbers): Having grown up in Sarasota, I had the pleasure of trusting my youthful coif to some of the finest old-school barbers the world has known. They were unpretentious but undeniably class acts. Most of the old timers have sold their chairs or retired, sadly, but Burns Court Barbers possesses that old school sensibility. Their work is artful but their sensibility is grounded in the great traditions of their vocation. Angela Kienzle (on American Shave): What I love about American Shave is that when my husband goes too long without a cut, he goes in a 3 and comes out a 10! They absolutely have an attention to detail. Marie Bonilla (on The Barber): I went with my fiancé when he got a cut at The Barber—Francisco is just great! The shop is super-clean and modern, Francisco runs on time and he really knows his craft! Great cuts at super-reasonable prices
past all competitors. As always, readers love anyone taking care of smelly cats and the Sarasota pet center continues to dominate this cat-egory year after year. But In The Pink, a local organization serving women with cancer, enjoyed plenty of support and secured Gold status, thanks in part to the noticeable difference made in so many of our readers’ own lives. Vintage Paws Sanctuary made sure dog lovers represented on the list, winning Silver recognition. The Dharma Footprint Project
stretched out enough support for a Bronze finish.—JO Mary McGrath (on Cat Depot): The cause is important to me because I think a kind society tries to care for animals and prevent overpopulation and cruelty. Lily
Hildewig (on In The Pink): I first became aware of it from a friend who was having a mastectomy, then I had to have one. Providing forms and bras free of charge is so helpful, physically and mentally. The women who work there are very kind, compassionate and caring. Joan Levy (on In The Pink):I am a three-time cancer survivor. I desperately searched for a store in Sarasota that could help me in my time of need and found In The Pink, a true haven that gives loving and sensitive support to cancer victims. They turn what is unbearably painful and difficult into something comforting, by infusing kindness and peacefulness into every aspect of their store and services. Andrew Santry (on Dharma): Their service is devoted to providing lifelong tools for individuals to make a positive change in their lives and everyone they meet.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
Jason Cannon, Associate Artist at Florida Studio Theatre in homage to the 90s cult film The Blair Witch Project.
BEST PERFORMING ARTS GROUP Florida Studio Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre
THE SHOW MUST GO ON! Especially at
these winners for Best Performance Arts Organization. Taking a bow in the Platinum position, Florida Studio Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre share the stage this year with an even audience split—and both praised for atmosphere, diversity of production and quality of cast and crew. Taking home the Gold, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe wowed viewers with incredible musicality and intimate performances, while the traveling shows of the Van Wezel garnered a Silver finish for the lovable Purple Cow. And, in the midst of a big move down to Lakewood Ranch, The Players Centre for Performing Arts hoists the Bronze. —PL Colleen Maguire (on Florida Studio Theatre): Florida Studio Theatre does not only put on amazing plays, musicals, cabaret and improv, it offers great classes for all ages. A couple of Friday nights a month, adult students perform in Mixed Nuts performances in front of other students, friends, family and anyone who wants to watch new budding talent emerge. For $5, it’s a fun way to spend a Friday night. Karen Bastis (on Florida Studio Theatre): Florida Studio Theatre is reminiscent of NYC Off-Broadway in terms of overall quality—selection of plays, quality of actors and relative intimacy of venues. I find the topics very thought-provoking and the performances emotionally moving. What more could one want from a theater? Diana Dawson (on Asolo Repertory Theatre): The selection of productions is diverse. They have a committed to the local community—they’re not just another theater. It is also a spectacular venue. Pam Waite (on Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe): They consistently have high quality standards and extremely talented performers! Their shows always move my emotions and give me something to think about. I never leave disappointed. Marilyn Highland (on Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe): We started attending performances at WBTT three years ago. We now hold season tickets. Nate Jacobs has done an amazing job heading up this troupe, with top-notch performances utilizing the most talented of actors. Kerri Bauer (on The Players): They offer so many fun kid activities and lessons.
72 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST MUSICAL | PLAY
Music Man, Asolo Repertory Theatre WHEN IT COMES TO BEST MUSICAL/PLAY, it seems like the Best of SRQ voters really liked them all, though Asolo Repertory Theatre’s winter production of The Music Man sang and danced its way to a decisive
Platinum win for the year’s competition. The Gold award becomes a double bill, with Venice Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream sharing the program with Florida Studio Theatre’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The Silver award goes to Asolo Rep’s Evita, marking the theater’s second but not final appearance on the rankings, as Bronze ends in a rare three-way tie between Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Marvin Gaye, Florida Studio Theatre’s Always Patsy Cline and Asolo Rep’s Ragtime. —PL
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST STORE ON ST.ARMANDS AS YOU CIRCLE YOUR WAY AROUND BOULEVARD OF THE PRESIDENTS, you scan for a convenient parking
space close to your favorite retailers. Here are the storefronts sought out the most. A one-stop-shop for all things fashionable and fun, Shore bears the palm with a significant outreach of votes for Platinum. Shoppers make their way to Garden Argosy next, who’s eclectic displays of gifts and goods achieve Gold. The Met tags closely behind with Silver and Foxy Lady cashes in for the Bronze. —BM
J Mayer (on Shore): I absolutely love everything about it—the vibe, the apparel, the accessories...and, of course, the super hip restaurant upstairs. Krystle Harvey (on Garden Argosy): This store has something for everyone—whimsical and tropical goods, artisan jewelry and smelly things, but I gravitate towards the quirky and humorous items. I’ve purchased from this store the book, “What’s My Pee Telling Me?” for an older male friend, a “Sh*t List” notepad for a colleague and a very touching greeting card for a loved one. Diane Jerdan (on Foxy Lady): Foxy Lady has a great selection of clothing for women, whether you are looking for a dress to wear to a wedding or a casual pair of jeans, they have lots to choose from. Also, the sales women are helpful and accommodating. They are not pushy and offer helpful suggestions and feedback. All in all, shopping at Foxy Lady is fun and not stressful.
BEST HOME BUILDER John Cannon Lynn Morris (on Garden Argosy): I love tooling
around in there! Always a great spot to get a meaningful gift.
Lynn’s 90s photo.
BEST STORE ON SIESTA KEY Beach Bazaar
WELCOME TO OCEAN BOULEVARD, where it may not be Beverly Hills, but
it has a certain charm and an interesting array of retail to shop after a day of getting salty and tan at the beach. For your coastal Florida attire and beach accessories, head to the drum circle to party with Platinum winner Beach Bazaar. Then pop in to Gidget’s, with the Gold medal in hand. Foxy Lady wins again, for its other Key location as a Silver finalist. Meanwhile, voters were torn when it came to Nutritious You, Marley Vibes and CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, with an unresolved tie for Bronze.—BM Josh Wayne (on Beach Bazaar): A Sarasota classic. Rachel Williamson (on Beach Bazaar): My favorite part about Beach Bazaar is that it is a family-owned business, even though it is in the center of a very touristy spot. When you walk in, you are treated like family. Even as a local, there have been many times I would get out to the beach and forget a towel, sunscreen, etc.— Beach Bazaar always has everything you need for the beach and it’s hard to leave without picking up a cute sundress or new suit. Cheryl Gregory (on Gidget’s): I was actually there yesterday and bought something for the condo and a couple things for me (three of course!). They have something for everyone, and the windows are always done up to bring people in. Pretty much the only store I stop in any more, it’s great. Gabrielle Knowlton (on Nutritious You): Amazing vegan and raw food, prepared with love. Carol Hartley (on Marley Vibes): The owner Bailey is salt of the earth.
WHILE MANY ‘90S BABIES were thumb-pounding on their Tamagotchis
and Game Boys, these master makers would’ve probably been found building their moated castle fortress of Legos. Say Sweet Home Sarasota to Platinum winner John Cannon. Nautilus Homes follows suit with Gold, and Voigt Brothers Construction scrapes close behind with Silver. Bronze finalist, Josh Wynne rounds out this category, with Neal Communities, Murray Homes, NC Ferguson and Westin Hills—all highlypraised—worthy of Honorable Mentions. —BM Gregory Arthur (on John Cannon): A reliable craftsman that demands excellence. Leanne Yarn (on Nautilus): Nautilus Homes is no longer Sarasota’s up and coming luxury home builder. Ryan Perrone, a second generation home builder, has expanded his business in just a few short years to compete with the biggest and best home builders in the Sarasota area. Not only is Nautilus known for their attention to detail and perfected craftsmanship, but Nautilus is re-landscaping Sarasota’s neighborhoods with a fresh new look. mantha Yell (on Josh Wynne): His hyper focus on the implantation of sustainable design and energy efficiency is matched only by his incredible attention to detail. His houses are like jewel boxes! He deserves everything because he gives everything.
BEST CONTRACTOR Voigt Brothers Construction
THESE BIG DOGS LAY THE FOUNDATIONS for this
community when it comes to building some of this region’s finest infrastructures and enviable abodes. Platinum holder Voigt Brothers Construction jumps from third place last year, to the very top this year, while Ryan Perrone of Nautilus Homes keeps his Gold standing for going above and beyond the call of a contractor. Josh Wynne Construction and Westin Hills Corp. both win Silver—continuing to boast outstanding reputations among readers. Willis A. Smith was installed by voters as the Bronze finalist for their hyper focus on their people.—BM
Ed Kolodzieski (on Voigt): If you want it to be special, to be unique and to be done just right, then call Voigt. Brittany Hagan (on Nautilus): Ryan has an impeccable eye for design, uncompromising expectation of perfection for this clients, and gives a customer experience that is unparalleled in the building industry. Valerie Lemmi (on Westin Hills): They did outstanding work, happily accommodated my last-minute changes and they worked collaboratively with the condo association. Tim Holliday (on Willis Smith): Willis Smith has worked on, and continues to work on, some of the most interesting projects in the area. For example, the recent firehouse remodels, the old Sarasota High School building, etc. In addition, they are great supporters of the community through their involvement and participation with many nonprofits, as well as their business being consistently voted as a Best Place to work by their employees. 74 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST YOGA STUDIO
BACK WITH GRATITUDE AND GOOD KARMA, this
IN A TOWN THAT LOVES ITS GOURMET FOOD, whether in restaurants or beyond, this contest was no easy service for any contender. But Michael’s On East served up on the most support from readers with the help of
Pineapple Yoga Studio
category spreads love across a number of different yoga studios in the region. But namaslaying Best Of again from last year, Pineapple Yoga Studio finds itself at the peak with the Platinum for her philanthropic esprit and community outreach. The Yoga Shack gals move to new digs in Rosemary and grasp the title of Gold, while Hot Yoga 4 You heats up the competition by flexing into the running for the first time with Silver to show for their flow. And Circus Soul and Body Heat join together for vinyasa victories in the Bronze bracket. Praiseworthy Honorable Mentions go to Rosemary Court Yoga, Garden of the Heart and Thavma Lakewood Ranch. —BM
Michael’s On East
some always event-appropriate recipes that would make Monica Geller compliment the chef. Morton’s Catering tastes success as the Gold winner. Meanwhile, Zildjian Catering’s full service offerings and solid performance at a variety of events sold enough readers to secure Silver status while Innovative Dining cooked up a Bronze finish.—JO Below: Yolanda Nash of Hot Yoga 4 You;
Claudia Baeza of Pineapple Yoga; Nikki Colorado and Courtenay Smith of Yoga Shack, recreating a Jane Fonda 90s workout moment.
Drew Effron (on Pineapple): Claudia and her staff not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. They are empathy in action. Her free classes are a blessing for those suffering from various mental and physical maladies. Jayme McHale (on Yoga Shack): I’m a yoga novice, and didn’t feel intimidated. In fact, it made me want to do more yoga! TYS makes it personal and meets people at all levels! Rosco Nash (on Hot Yoga 4 You): I love that they have far infrared heating and a ultraviolet light hepa air filtration system. It’s unlike no other studio. The instructors are amazing and they teach from the heart—it really is a second home for me.
76 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
Sharon Kunkel (on Michael’s On East): I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Michael’s On East crab cake addict! They are lightly crunchy on the outside and rich, sweet and tender inside. Yum! Beth Roth (on Morton’s): Morton’s catered a wine tasting for us at our home on the beach—I hate to cook, and to entertain for that matter. That day, I walked the dog, took a nap and they did everything. When I looked outside it was like a miracle—everything was set up and beautiful. Elizabeth Talatinian (on Zildjian Catering): All the food was so fresh and delicious. The food was labeled by what farms the food came from that day. It was so wonderful to go to an event that size, and to be able to enjoy every meal that was served. Coral Pleas (on Innovative Dining): We had the engagement party here at the house with amazing pass hors d’oeuvres. The passed food was bite size fillet, mini crab cakes, fried risotto balls. Not your usual appetizers.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST RESALE BOUTIQUE
Diane Lane (on The Exchange): I am thrilled with everything I’ve purchased, from an armoire
WHEN YOU DESIRE SOME BLOSSOM FASHION OPTIONS or some Golden Girls shelf trinkets, SRQ
readers recommend saving your dollars with a trip to Platinum Winner The Exchange (formerly The Women’s Exchange). Treasure Hunters who seek out Pretty Woman fashions without a trip to Rodeo may also want to check Fifi’s, the Gold winner. Any locations for Silver Winner Goodwill Manasota will offer deep savings, and Bronze Winner Laura Jean’s promises high-end brands for thrift shop prices.—JO
to lamps to two definite favorite dresses and a wonderful Kate Spade handbag, which was brand new. Paula Murray (on Fifi’s): I got a great pair of Jimmy Choo shoes last year that were affordable and in great shape. I have purchased many evening gowns for fundraising events, including a killer black gown by Tadashi. Also a fave black and white top that is really unusual; not the normal stuff you find in regular stores. I have sold some things at Fifi’s; they are easy to work with and keep track of what you’ve sold. Tim Holliday (on Goodwill): I go with my daughter and treasure hunt for cool clothes and decorative items. Have donated lots there. There are a lot of misconceptions about what goes on there, but once you really know what they do—turning donations into jobs, often for those who have barriers to employment, as well as making sure something happens to every donated item—it’s an amazing operation. Amy Paulishak (on Laura Jean’s): I found the most amazing Bed-Stu leather cross body satchel. This was such a find and I am not sure locals even knew how amazing of a find this was for this northeastern bred girl with many talented friends hailing from the real Bed-Stu neighborhoods.
WITH MICHELANGELO’S DAVID ON THE SARASOTA SEAL, a city named “Venice”
BEST BREWERY Calusa Brewery
THIS TOWN IS NO FRESHMAN to the
subject of old-school brewmaking. Leading the class of ‘19, Calusa Brewery remains kegged and Focus’d with savvy beertenders and funky craft brews— knocking last year’s popular kid from the podium and claiming Platinum prom king by a few votes. JDubs wins the Gold, for its community event vibes, Poolside-worthy beers and cool merchandise swag. Big Top Brewery keeps its place in Silver with local favorites like Key Lime Wheat and Hawaiian Lion, while hometown mainstay Motorworks taps in as the Bronze beauty of Bradenton.—BM Lissette Callejas (on Calusa): I love the beer selection and the environment. We’ve made it a weekly habit to go there and are never disappointed. Kayla Rigg (on Calusa): They nailed every beer they ever attempted. Albert Wooster (on JDubs): Every beer is top notch in each category. Passion Wheat and the Up Top are fab. Scott Watters (on JDubs): Small local brewery with a big reach across Florida. Great tasting IPAs. A. Rollings (on Big Top): Local boys were among the first and are still making innovative brews in a great environment. Sherry Davis (on Motorworks): Love sitting outside under the huge oak tree. I’ve never had a beer there I didn’t like. 78 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
frames from The Exchange.
on the map and a population long fostering its own personal MedRev movement, the Italian food better be on point. And with no shortage of options to choose from, SRQ voters proved decisive in naming the family-owned Caragiulo’s as Best Local Italian for 2019, with special mention of its Chicken Marsala and famous complimentary bread. Napule nabbed a Gold award in its inaugural year, with diners singing the praises of its authenticity and atmosphere, and Mediterraneo makes a splash at Silver with ovenfired pizzas. Also making its debut this year, Pazzo Southside takes the Bronze with one vote short of a tie for Silver, but lots of love for the veal.—PL Barbara Carey (on Caragiulo’s): We have been going to Caragiulo’s since we first arrived in Sarasota. The food is good (the lasagna is REALLY good), the pricing is very reasonable and the service has always been prompt. Angela Kienzle (on Caragiulo’s): Their bread is to die for, pizza is fantastic and they let kids make their own pizzas. Scott Maia Zildjian (on Napule) The only Italian pizza you’ll find in Sarasota. Everything Pepe makes is outstanding. Brigitta Sultana (on Mediterraneo): Hands-down the best italian in Sarasota. Consistently good for over a decade. Doreen Clyne (on Pazzo Southside): Great people, great vibes and awesome baked artichokes, pizza and eggplant parmigiana!
State of the Arts Gallery CREATING THE PERFECT ATMOSPHERE for a successful gallery that satisfies creators and clientele alike is an art unto itself, and David Steiner and Tre Michele, the duo behind State of the Arts Gallery, have clearly become masters of the craft, with SRQ readers voting theirs Best Gallery once again. Also hanging accolades next to the art this year, 530 Burns Gallery grabs some Gold to match the handmade jewelry, but from there the colors get muddier. Chasen Gallery and Grace Howl Contemporary Art tie for Silver, with gallery-goers criss-crossing the town in equal measure to fill their walls, while Alfstad& and Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art represent the Rosemary
District and Palm Avenue, respectively, with a neck-and-neck tie for Bronze.—PL Ashley Murphy (on State of the Arts Gallery): State of the Arts Gallery is a place that not only has great pieces of art from talented artists, but it is family-friendly. Our children have enjoyed viewing the sculptures and art pieces in the gallery over the last several years whenever we stop in. The atmosphere is very welcoming, without the typical pressure to purchase. Karen Diamond (on 530 Burns Gallery): A quaint, great location, and good selection of unique art. Elliott Himelfarb (on Grace Howl Contemporary Art): Grace comes by her curatorial skills the best way—she is also an accomplished artist whose vivid paintings set her apart from the rest. I’ve been to three or four shows at her gallery, and find the art to be among the most original in Sarasota. She takes chances by showing work with “edge,” far from the model condo art I see here too often. Melissa Lane (on Chasen Gallery): They are one of the many galleries in town that retains a sense of community— connecting art and people. Lynn Morris (on Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art) I knew Allyn, and love his wife and how she has continued his legacy.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
Mark Sultana, DSDG Architects WITH SO MANY MASTER ARCHITECTS TO NOTE in this mini metropolis
we call home, this category received an impressive amount of names from design enthusiasts and happy clients alike. For the fourth year in a row, Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects once again wins our poll with a blueprint laid in Platinum. Jonathan Parks of Solstice Planning & Architecture garners an impressive amount of votes, dubbed an architectural “genius” and nabbing Gold. Meanwhile, Clifford M. Scholz enters the Best Of competition this year, achieving kudos for Silver, and respectfully knocking Javier Suarez of Apex-Studio to the Bronze spot. Deserving of Honorable Mentions—Guy Peterson and Sweet Sparkman Architects.—BM Ed Kolodzieski (on Mark Sultana): Mark was our architect and we did win the SRQ Home of the year. The award pales in comparison to the thought and diligence he pours into every home. No one is better. Samantha Emelock (on Jonathan Parks): A refreshing contemporary architect that blends the best of the past with an optimistic future. David Ohrenstein (on Jonathan Parks): He believes architecture can make the world a better place. His work demonstrates a commitment to reaching these ideals and I especially love two of his latest projects, Art Ovation Hotel and Rosemary Square, putting Sarasota on the cultural map. Jeff Pflugner (On Clifford Scholz): I have known Cliff from the time that we were together in Leadership Sarasota in the mid-1980s. He was one of the designing architects in the initial stages of The Oaks Country Club. He has always been a civic-minded citizen of Sarasota, with a great deal of talent. I have worked with him and observed his work, and firmly believe he is one of the best architectural minds in Sarasota over the past 30 years. Marie Bonilla (on Javier Suarez): The Sabal Palm Plaza building is a work of art!
BEST ANIMAL NONPROFIT
BEST FRENCH FRIES SMACK’S BURGERS AND SHAKES
FOR THE FOURTH YEAR RUNNING, Smack’s Burgers & Shakes holds
on to the title of Best Local French Fries, wielding those golden-brown crinkle-cut fries like magic wands dipped in truffle oil and parmesangarlic, and casting their starchy spell across the land. But newcomer The Overton stalks close behind, with the string fry throwback earning a Gold finish in its first year on diners’ plates. Shore Diner, a perennial favorite, stays on the list but drops to Silver, while Mandeville Beer Garden splits the Bronze with another newcomer, Gulf Gate Food & Beer. Trailing by one vote, a third newcomer, Public House Tap & Grill, nabs an Honorable Mention.—PL Charles Ross-MacCormack (on Smack’s Burgers & Shakes): Never had a crinkle cut so damn delicious! Kristin Cooper (on The Overton): The size of the fries is enough to share with someone else, but the shoestring style makes them easy to devour alone. They are cooked in beef tallow, which makes them extra addicting and unique, but also can be cooked in coconut oil for a friendly vegan option. Samantha Emelock (on Shore Diner): Their truffle oil is beyond belief, and one order is perfect to share (or keep to yourself). Jayme McHale (on Mandeville Beer Garden): The sweet potato fries are next level. Waffle cut. Baked with a honey glaze. They will ruin you for all other sweet potato fries. Mike Rines (on Public House Tap & Grill): The Beer Cheese and Bacon Fries could be the best thing ever.
HOMEWARD BOUND WE GO, to an adorable and feel-good category we all find ourselves melting in. Pass the lint roller and heavy Platinum medal to longtime winner and no-kill cat shelter Cat Depot. Nate’s Honor Rescue gave them a run for their money however, tailing behind in Gold, while Vintage Paws Sanctuary found a home as Silver finalist. An always go-to resource for adopting pets, the Humane Society of Sarasota County treats
itself to a Bronze biscuit. —BM Diana De Veer (on Cat Depot): Not only do they care for cats and people with utmost compassion and respect, they partner with Animal Services to help find homes and medical for cats found on the street, and take large groups of cats from hoarding and disaster situations. They make me wish I was a cat. Alecia Yancik (on Cat Depot): To visit is to love them, but their mission and their heart for animals is lived out in their facility and their work in the community for these sweetheart kitties. Darlena Strong (on Nate’s Honor): They go above and beyond to find pets in need and match them with loving families. Charles Renner (on Nate’s Honor): A great group—follows through with adoptions to make sure the animals and owners “fit.” Beth Getz (on Vintage Paws): Senior pets often get overlooked and end up spending their final time alone in a cold shelter. This rescue does amazing work helping those sweet seniors live out their golden years. Lora Erclauz (on Vintage Paws): They give dogs a chance that most rescues don’t—older dogs most times, with medical issues. Lisa Freed (on HSSC): Best run shelter I have seen in the whole country. Above:
Cat Depot “Catagotchi.”
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEING ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY, you’d think nailing down the best dessert in town would be easy as pie, but a bevy of ties speaks otherwise, making this list no piece of cake. Yoder’s Restaurant slices its way to the Platinum spot this year, with locals and snowbirds alike going nuts for more Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, but the Bananas Foster in the dessert loft brings Euphemia Haye to an uncomfortably close Gold finish. From there, the saccharine showdown gets out of hand, with C’est La Vie and Duval’s tying for Silver and a three-way tie between Der Dutchman, Of Kors Bakery and Pastry Art at Bronze revealing distressing fault lines beneath the buttercream icing of this beach community. —PL
Denice Peoples (on Yoder’s Restaurant): I am a baker and a cook, but, every year when Thanksgiving comes, my son requests a banana cream pie from Yoder’s. Thanksgiving doesn’t come otherwise. Kristin Helmuth (on Euphemia Haye): After a delicious dinner downstairs, it is a fun change of pace to go upstairs to the dessert room. Not available on display is my personal favorite, Bananas Foster. This dessert is meant for two people to enjoy, as it is a very large portion of pure heaven. Perfect to share for a date night. Ann Senenoi (on C’est La Vie) The almond croissant is worth cheating for. Loretta Beaumont (on Duval’s): Duval’s has a wonderful apple tart dessert with vanilla ice cream. Scott Stevens (on Pastry Art): Bread pudding made of danishes instead of stale bread. Richard Haynes (on Der Dutchman): Der Dutchman uses the finest ingredients, baked fresh every day from scratch, like mom used to make.
BEST LIGHTING Franklin Lighting
Left: Neon 90s outfit with Yoder strawberry rhubarb purse.
IF YOUR INTERIOR NEEDS SOME LUMINESCENCE meander to
any of these illuminating light fixture boutiques with installation services. See your space in a whole new light, just by replacing your old, dull lamps with some upscale ambiance at Platinum winner Franklin Lighting. Embracing the puns, Light Up My Life flicks its switch to Gold. Bee Ridge Lighting proudly displays a glow of Silver, while Bradenton’s Lyteworks assembles itself for Bronze—BM Sonia Blais (on Franklin Lighting): For over 30 years, I had been looking for a particular vision of a chandelier for my dining room and all I could find were the same types of traditional or ultra modern chandeliers, none of which pleased me, until I walked into Franklin Lighting one day. Right there before me was the chandelier of my dreams. Also, it fit perfectly within my budget. Caren Levin (on Light Up My Life): This store has a huge collection. Every piece was checked before it was delivered to our home to ensure it was right, and unbroken. Totally recommend.
BEST NEW RESTAURANT The Overton
IT’S TOUGH BEING THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK, but The Overton
made it look easy this year, with on-trend menu and décor meeting laid-back atmosphere to win over the town and garner nearly twice as many votes as the closest competition. From there, it was a nailbiter, with Gold, Silver and Bronze all separated by one vote each. Ultimately, the delicious pasta and family feel of Pazzo Southside claimed the Gold, while Gulf Gate Food and Beer took Silver with creative offerings like Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings, and Napule and its pizza oven and Public House Tap & Grill hugged the Bronze. Earning too many votes to ignore, Spice Station rounds out the list as Honorable Mention.—PL Daniel Ohrenstein (on The Overton): The amazing courtyard, I can get Avocado Toast with Duck Egg and a Matcha Lemonade—all the things a Millennial could want. Colleen Maguire (on Pazzo Southside): Pazzo Southside has become a second home for me and my husband. We were there for the grand opening a year ago and have been there countless times since. The number one draw is the food. It is authentic New York Italian, so to truly appreciate that, you must try the baked clams, mussels, homemade mozzarella, veal spiedini, lobster or shrimp fra diavalo, and all of the pasta dishes. The sauces are unbelievable. My favorite entrees are the Lobster Risotto and Chicken or Veal Our Way. The Calore family run this restaurant with professionalism but make it feel personal. They will remember your names and do everything possible to please their customers. The pizzas need a special mention because the crust is out of this world. Come hungry. Rhys Miller (on Gulf Gate Food and Beer): I was just there last week, sitting outside on the patio, and they were firing pizzas out of their new pizza truck onto the paddle and right onto the plate on our table. So fun. Samantha Marciano (on Public House): Food is phenomenal! Poutine fries, burgers and so much more.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
BEST JEWELER Diamond Vault
YOU MAY NOT FIND TITANIC’S HEART OF THE OCEAN in any local gem collections, but you can find high-quality jewels at Diamond Vault, our readers’
Platinum winner recommendation. Gold Winner Coffrin Diamond Jewelers also won the exclusive support. Carats Fine Jewelry & Watches timed in as Silver, while McCarver & Moser Jewelers locked in the Bronze win.—JO
Josh Kitchner (on Diamond Vault): Their customer service is tremendous and they are very patient with decisions. Jennifer Hardwich (on Coffrin Jewelers): My husband had my wedding ring made there, and it’s just really beautiful, unique and special to me. When I stop by to have it cleaned, I am treated like family. Shari Shepard (on McCarver & Moser Jewelers): My favorite piece is the last one purchased: a Baum & Mercier stainless timepiece. I asked the sales associate, a young man learning the business alongside his grandmother who worked there, for advice on selection. The Grand Lady offered suggestions based on my need for simplicity, quality and appearance. As it happened, I favored a piece identical to her personal watch, without the jeweled crystals.
BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL Out-Of-Door Academy
AT A CAMPUS COOLER THAN WEST BEVERLY HIGH—and a learning environment where students occasionally go to class—Out-of-Door Academy
scored high on this test as readers graded it a Platinum winner. St. Martha’s Catholic School graduated up to Gold this year, and Bradenton Christian School earned a glowing letter of recommendation for the Silver. Incarnation Catholic School and Sarasota Christian School were Saved by the Bell with Bronze finishes.—JO Andra Hansen (on ODA): They are an amazing school with the best students and teachers. You can trust that your child will get the best education and have the support from the whole community. Sheila Smillie (on St. Martha’s): My son has been at St Martha since we emigrated from England in 2010, whilst in 3rd grade we had to make an urgent visit back to England due to a family member’s ill health. All the school faculty supported my son (being so young) on how to deal with the trip and possible outcome.
Christine P. Dowell (on Incarnation Catholic School): I am a graduate of Incarnation, and currently
perfect pairing for the ultimate 90s mix tape.
BEST COMPANIES WHO GIVE BACK Pineapple Yoga
THIS PHILANTHROPY-RICH COMMUNITY wants businesses to do more than
show them the money. Plenty of companies devote a share of time and treasure to helping a range of causes. Readers celebrated Pineapple Yoga for offering more than stretch classes, naming the business the Platinum winner in this contest. Publix and Michael Saunders & Company tied as Gold winners for the support they provided for decades. Kerkering Barberio, Gecko’s and Detwiler’s Farm Market all ties at Silver. And to show just how many companies open wallets to good causes, readers also gave a three-way tie in this race to Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Michael’s On East and Cool Today for Bronze.—JO 84 | srq magazine_ APR19 live local
have three students attending, as well as one who is a recent graduate. My daughter was well prepared with social, organizational and time management skills, as well as the necessary academic background. She transitioned smoothly to honors classes in high school. It’s such a great feeling to know that someone else is looking out for your child’s wellbeing. Deby Rutledge (on Sarasota Christian): Many caring, prayerful faculty members at Sarasota Christian make it their priority to know and encourage their students, desiring the best personal outcome for them.
Andrew Santry (on Pineapple Yoga): I am a trauma-informed yoga instructor. When I came to Pineapple Yoga Studio, I found a community focused on service to these and other marginalized communities. With the support of the studio, we quickly added two new yoga-for-addictions classes in Sarasota, these in addition to the near-daily classes that the studio offers free or for donation to other subgroups within our community. Bob Buren (on Detwiler’s): When Hurricane Irma just missed us, the Detwiler Family fed over 4,000 who had lost power. To handing out apples and bottles of water to our International guest rowing at Benderson Park. Luanne Kirschner (on Cool Today): The owner, Jamie takes great pride in his ability to make his customers happy. The company is very involved with several local nonprofits.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITION—WINNERS SHOWCASE
Now accepting new patients!
HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER KIDS
RQ MAGAZINE ~S ~
2016 Best of
Meyer Pediatrics is dedicated to making your children happier and healthier little people. We offer a morning walk-in hour, weekend hours, 24-hour on-call support, and same-day scheduling on all sick appointments. We treat patients from birth to 21 years of age and accept a wide variety of insurances. If you are about to become new parents or would like to become a new patient , please call the office. Let us help you with your registration or transfer. Or if you prefer, visit meyerpedpediatricsonline.com and choose the new patient tab to fill out forms on-line!!
Theo L. Meyer III MD, FAAP Arin Jackson, APRN • Cyndy Rodriguez, APRN 1666 Mound Street, Sarasota 34236 • Main Office: 941.365.5898 • meyerpediatricsonline.com
BEST CAR DEALERSHIP Wilde Automotive Group Beep beep. While nostalgic models like the Dodge Viper, VW Jetta and Pontiac Firebird may have been discontinued in the late ‘90s, we welcome the progressive production of today’s roadsters. On cruise control to the Platinum-plated odometer, Wilde Automotive Group triumphantly garnered the most vehicle-related votes—mostly, at its Honda dealer, and then parked its fellow Japanese make into the Gold spot, at Wilde Lexus. Sarasota Ford fills up a Silver tank of premium gas as a leading player, while Sunset Auto Group’s Chevy and Cadillac dealers prove well, alongside Gettel’s Nissan and Hyundai dealers—together detailing the Bronze medal to share.—BM John Wheeler (on Wilde Lexus): Wilde Lexus cured my car dealer phobia (I’ve avoided them for more than 40 years). The salesman was friendly and no pressure. The entire process was low key. And, I love my Lexus. Definitely returning. Allison Kummery (on Sarasota Ford): It’s like a mini amusement park. Diane Colby (on Sarasota Ford): Sarasota Ford treats their customers with respect and courtesy. They offer relaxation in massage chairs, a snack at their cafe and feedback as to how your vehicle is progressing through the service department. You are updated via text message as well. The service advisors explain all necessary repairs before moving forward. Judy Mason (on Sunset Cadillac): I went in to buy a car and came out feeling like family. Wish I could work there—the employees are that great. Karen Hughes (on Gettel): Whether you are buying a Toyota or a BMW, they really roll out the red carpet for you.
BEST SUSHI Pacific Rim The King is Dead! Long Live the King! In an upset years in the making, Pacific Rim ascends the Platinum Throne to claim the crown of Best
Sushi from perennial favorite Jpan, which has held the title for three years running (at least) falls to Gold. Was it the salmon or was it the “sexy” atmosphere—either way, it garnered Pac Rim enough votes to pull one of the biggest upsets of the year. Following up at a respectable Silver, Tsunami had fans raving about vegan options, while Yume rolls up a Bronze finish with Tuna Bombs and a fresh selection.—PL Barbara Anderson (on Pacific Rim): Love the owners, sexy on-trend atmosphere, great drinks, good music, love the vibe, top-notch service, friendly staff and excellent menu. Aurec Senenoi (on Pacific Rim): Their salmon is the best you can get in Sarasota. It is a non-GMO salmon fed a real fish diet. No grain feed or any artificial fattening feeds. The salmon has a great marble. Emma Swier (on Pacific Rim): I love Pacific Rim because of the freshness, tastfulness and overall exquisite experience they provide. Olivia Schwartz (on Jpan): I will never go anywhere else for sushi. The staff is wonderful, and the food is always fresh. My absolute favorite. Terese Bollman (on Jpan): Lobster Roll is so amazing, I can barely think about getting anything else on their extensive menu but am always happy when I do. The green tea is a wonderful treat as well. Angela Kienzle (on Tsunami): Always fresh and the environment is edgy and romantic at the same time. Jeffrey always ensures you have the best experience. Carol Hartley (on Tsunami): Sam, the owner, has done such a great job in bringing a very fresh and creative menu to us. Having live entertainment and great service is a huge plus.
BEST BREAKFAST Station 400 It may be that breakfast as the most important meal of the day is nothing more than a propagandist dream for the religious zealots and cereal tycoons of the 19th century, but it’s also true that most breakfast places stay open through lunch—so bring on the eggs and bacon. Station 400 holds on to the top spot this year, claiming a Platinum finish with a plate
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
full of Huevos Rancheros and Fried Green Tomatoes, while Sun Garden Café rises in the ranks like a homemade biscuit to take home the Gold. Toasted Mango Café and its ever-popular waffles with mango butter drop one spot to Silver, and list newcomer Oasis Café makes an entrance at the Bronze position. Trailing by less than a handful of votes, The Serving Spoon and Millie’s Café scramble up some Honorable Mentions.—PL Carol Pleas (on Station 400): We started going to the one in Lakewood Ranch when my grandson was old enough to love the trains.The pancakes are my regular go-to item. Terese Bollman (on Station 400): Who else can make Eggs Gringo this yummy?! Karen Diamond (on Sun Garden Café): I always get the Med Revival egg. It’s the best tasting egg dish I’ve ever had. The basil oil on top of the spinach, artichoke and feta cheese is as about as good as it gets. They give you fresh fruit, if you prefer a gluten-free option. Ingredients are always fresh, servers are always friendly and orders come out in a timely manner. And it’s in Siesta Key village! How can you go wrong? Susan Scarbrough (on Toasted Mango): The Toasted Mango is a dependably good breakfast place. Whenever you go, it is hot and delicious with no unpleasant surprises. Barbara Bourgoin (on Oasis Café): Oasis Café is a great neighborhood spot where you always run into friends. Their baked goods are the greatest temptation, but every breakfast entrée on the board is special because of the fabulous sauces and healthy combinations. Bonnie Rowley (on Millie’s Café): The food is fabulous. One of my favorites is the chicken pasta salad, which is served with lots of wonderful fresh fruit and topped with toasted almonds. Breakfast is a tough choice between the stuffed French toast and the Millie’s omelet. Vicki Dworski (on Serving Spoon): Hometown feeling and anything you like for breakfast can’t be beat anywhere else. Greek omelettes and pancakes. Yum.
BEST SALON Diane Lane Massage & Bodywork DIANE LANE MASSAGE & BODYWORK offers Sarasotans something
better than a Walk On The Moon. Readers dub the local coddler the
Platinum winner for Best Local Spa. The Met also pampers clients, who express satisfaction by naming the locale to the Gold. Flow Massage & Wellness rubbed enough readers right to secure the Silver slot. And Elements and L. Spa both tied for Bronze, offering service to put Phoebe Buffay to shame.—JO Lillian Blessing (on Diane Lane): I go to Diane for health reasons. She is the best. My wellbeing and health are important to me. She is worth the drive. Karen Diamond (on Flow Massage): I always ask for Samantha. She is knowledgeable of body mechanics, trigger points and pain relief. She uses and recommends essential oils and is extremely knowledgeable of their medicinal purposes. Marissa Rossnagle (on L. Spa):L. Spa is my favorite place to go for a relaxing massage. Once I was expecting, I was pleased to find that they offer prenatal massages, too! It’s 80 minutes of bliss. R. Julio Diaz (on Elements): I always ask for Amy. She has the right balance of pressure and style. It is always delivered as scheduled and consistently super.
BEST VETERINARIAN Clark Road Animal Hospital Whether the doggy needs a doctor or the cat needs a little care (maybe the bird needs a Band-Aid or the lizard needs some love?), these local vets have the full faith and confidence of the SRQ voters. Clark Road Animal Hospital avoids the cone of shame and comes home with a Platinum award to share with all its furry (and feathered) friends. Bee Ridge Veterinary Clinic and Bay Road Animal Hospital share the Gold with wagging tails all around, and Dr. Nina’s Animal Hospital snaps up the Silver like fresh catnip. Herding cats in the back, Sarasota Animal Hospital and Forest Lakes Animal Clinic wrangle up a split Bronze.—PL Cindy Gourley (on Clark Road Animal Hospital): We have started seeing Dr. Evelyn at Clark Road and we are very pleased. She’s very compassionate with the animals and we found them to be very helpful in making suggestions about what
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
were the best medications for our animals. Carey Beychok (on Bee Ridge Veterinary Clinic): Bee Ridge Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Ronni Tudin are experienced in routine services as well as complex surgeries. Dr. Tudin is loving and compassionate and will never recommend a procedure or medication that isn’t absolutely necessary. He actually advised against a procedure I inquired about for my dog. Gary Weiner (on Bay Road Animal Hospital): Bay Road Animal Hospital is exceptionally good at the care they provide. Dr. Smith is easygoing and professional and their facilities are spotless. Heidi Napolitano (on Dr. Nina’s Animal Hospital): I have been bringing my two dogs to Dr. Nina for six years now and she and her entire staff are very caring and helpful. I have large dogs that do not always do well around other dogs/animals and the team tries very hard to get you right into a room so that you do not need to wait with other dogs. Leigh Anne Novak (on Sarasota Animal Hospital): It’s so nice to see the same staff visit after visit and be addressed by name—and my pets and I know who they are, too. They handle my pets with great care, and affection. My dogs love going to the vet.
and trustworthy, as well as wise advisors. Carey Beychok (on Miles and Thirion): Sandy Thirion is prompt, responsive and knowledgeable. Her passion for her work and her desire to help her clients understand the daunting new tax laws is second to none. Denise Kowal (on Cavanaugh and Co.): As a fairly new firm when I moved to Sarasota in 1982, they built a consistent reputation as the go-to firm for not-for-profit organizations, which is why the Chalk Festival became a client of theirs in 2010. Luanne Kirschner (on Cavanaugh and Co.): My husband and I have known the owner of this firm for many years. Mr. Pender has grown his business by taking great care of all our business matters with professionalism and knowledge. Lynn Blackledge (on Natherson and Co.): Natherson & Co. are very knowledgeable about taxes in other states as well as Florida, making it easy when you move to the area from somewhere out of state. Their knowledge about unique tax situations and their responsiveness to questions throughout the year, not just tax season, is outstanding.
BEST CPA FIRM Kerkering Barberio
These days, it takes more than a line-up of bullfrogs pronouncing a brand name to get the attention of consumers. Digital sophistication and glitzy marketing put BCC Studio this year in the Platinum prime time this year. But Grapevine Communications scored enough endorsements to secure a Gold award. Alyssa Gay Consulting debuts on the list as a Silver winner, and Eclipse Agency got a wassup from enough voters to pick up a Bronze certificate.—JO RJ Díaz (on BCC Studio): Their work is
Adding up the support for Kerkering Barberio among our readers requires a whole lot of counting. The firm won the Platinum award as top CPAs. Suplee, Shea, Cramer & Rocklein accounted enough support to get a Gold award from this year’s returns. Miles & Thirion calculated a Silver win. Meanwhile, Cavanaugh & Co. and Natherson & Co. tabulated a tie for Bronze.—JO Michelle Mitchell (on Kerkering Barberio): Since setting up our accounts with Kerkering Barberio, I see their teams doing pro-bono work for various NGOs and know Partner Rob Lane was involved on the Bayfront Project. I like that they are a local firm and so involved in community support. Deby Rutledge (on Suplee Shea): Ray Suplee has been a friend for over 40 years, beginning as neighbors. He and Norm are very ethical, available
BEST AGENCY Studio BCC
second to none in SRQ. We’ve created a branding and market strategy along with branding collateral that we are very proud of. Brian Carlock has put together an intelligent and creative team. Lori Downing (on Alyssa Gay): This agency helped my workplace with a few aspects, as well as worked for a nonprofit I served as chair for and handled their account. Everything she did turned out very well. We were happy with her work and the results proved it by themselves.
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITIONâ€”WINNERS SHOWCASE
THANK YOU FOR VOTING FOR US. KEEPING SARASOTA BEAUTIFUL FOR 27 YEARS.
BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR Allegiant Private Advisors Which advisors will help investors find the next Google? Our readers turn to the market wisdom of Allegiant Private Advisors, this year’s Platinum winner. David White of Morgan Stanley proved a solid bet as well as Gold winner, while Gregory Carlson of Stifel Nicolaus wins the Silver. Jakob Hart of Hart Financial, Brent Campbell of Edward Jones and David Molineau ring in at Bronze.—JO Bonnie Hitt (on Allegiant Private Advisors): I would not hesitate to refer them to anyone. They are a fee-based advisor and do not collect commissions on the investments that they place their clients in, which was important to me. They are constantly involved with the customer in creating a financial plan and ensuring that the plan remains current by meeting with the customer on a regular basis. Carey Beychok (on Gregory Carlson – Stifel Nicolus): Gregory is not only my financial advisor, but a certified fiduciary. He looks at the entire picture of someone’s life, not only in present time but well into the future, and advises them with unparalleled knowledge. He treats each individual client as if they were family.
BEST 12 DENTISTS
Dr. Si McAninch, Dr. Stephanie Cole, Drs. Jill Morris and Burr Bakke, Dr. Michael Dorociak, Dr. Thomas Bowles, Dr. Janet Bailey, Dr. David Schroeter, Dr. Ann Mooney, Dr. Thomas Doan, Dr. Douglas Fabiani, Dr. Adam Still and Dr. Jenny White. Who should you trust to operate miniature mining equipment in your mouth? Look no further than these Top 12 dental practitioners, as identified by SRQ’s smiling voters.—PL Karin Lui (on Dr. Si McAninch): He is just so great with the kids. They have no fear of the dentist,
and that is because of him and his great staff. Katie McDonald (on Dr. Stephanie Cole): Dr. Cole is truly one-of-a-kind in her field. She takes away the anxiety and fear from nearly every dental-phobic patient. Not only is she trustworthy, but also a compassionate, hardworking, independent woman who truly wants the best for her patients. She comes in early, stays late, or sees you on the weekend in case of emergency. She is a well-known individual in her community who always puts a (healthy, beautiful) smile on your face. Joy Randels (on Drs. Jill Morris and Burr Bakke): Jill & Burr are great. Jill corrected my TMJ years ago and they have a very unique practice. Both Jill & Burr are teaching dentists and I was excited to learn that her two children will also be joining the practice shortly. Sheila Vincent (on Dr. Janet Bailey): he first time I met Dr. Bailey was actually an emergency—one of my molars cracked while eating popcorn and my regular dentist (make that ex-dentist) said he did not have time for me. Dr. Bailey fit me in first thing in the morning and immediately relieved the pain I was in. One crown later, she invited me to continue to be her patient (who “invites” patients anymore?) and I have been there ever since. Her assistants are all 101% professionals and her daughter, Chelsea, is the best dental hygienist I have ever had—always gentle and kind and very thorough.
BEST SARASOTA ELECTED OFFICIAL Hagen Brody Is the voting booth starting to smell like teen spirit? A number of political newcomers make up the list of relative winners this year. Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody wins this election with Bill Clinton-esque wit and charm, taking the Platinum spot. Sarasota County Commissioner Al Maio also proved a solid vote-getter as this year’s Gold winner. State Rep. Margaret Good rose to Silver status this election cycle, while Sarasota City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch tied for Bronze with Sarasota County Commissioner Paul Caragiulo,
BEST OF SRQ LOCAL READERS COMPETITION—WINNERS SHOWCASE who just retired after dominating this category for years. —JO Thomas O’Hare (on Hagen Brody): He represents “us.” He is against the parking meters that twice before the city installed then ripped out at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars. Dan Barzel (on Margaret Good): She’s genuine, involved and invested in the health of our community and state. Jessica Stevens (on Jennifer Ahearn-Koch): Jennifer actually cares about this town. She is not in her position to advance herself personally. She takes into account the history of Sarasota, as well as the direction we need to be headed in order to be a successful, safe and happy community.
BEST MANATEE ELECTED OFFICIAL Carol Whitmore and Mayor Wayne Poston Do we need a runoff? Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore tied with Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston for this Platinum award, bringing a little grrl power to a category long dominated by the city leader. Meanwhile, voters carried Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh to a Gold finish in this race among all Manatee area elected officials. —JO Marci Brown (on Carol Whitmore): A few years ago I put on an event at the Manatee County shelter. It turned into a huge event and I was told that Carol was there and wanted to meet me. A few hours later, I walked into the cat room and there was a very upset older woman who wanted to adopt a cat. I took the time to meet her at that point. Carol was a “friend to animals” when she believed no one was watching, which speaks volumes to me. Keith Pandeloglou (on Vanessa Baugh): Having someone with her experience and knowledge of the community participate in our small group, dedicated to keeping our street the vibrant Town Center that it is, said a lot to us all about her ability to be a community leader.
BEST LOCAL COCKTAIL State Street Eating House Dive into the liquid culture Sarasota has collectively crafted, and check out the movers and shakers doing it best, with intricate craft recipes and farm-to-glass ingredients around town. Top-shelf contender and seven-time winner State Street Eating House and its charismatic Bramble-making bartenders highball Platinum by a land (mud)slide. Jack Dusty sneaks its way up from last year, winning Gold for its lush Siren. Veronica’s debuts in the competition for the first time with a celebratory clink of her flute. Battling for the most seductive atmosphere, liquor selection and intriguing concoctions, Pangea Alchemy Lab and Cask & Ale tie for Bronze. —BM Kelly Fried (on State Street): Brambles and bubbles and bush, oh my. Ethan Weiss (on State Street): They hit hard. Joani Spadaro (on State Street): When I’m here I feel like I’m in a fancy New York bar, except that everyone is friendly and nice. The mixologists will make custom drinks depending on your taste and will be happy to do it. The atmosphere is sophisticated and homey. The bar food is excellent. A perfect experience. Crystile Carter (on Jack Dusty): The Siren is the best cocktail I’ve ever tasted, beautiful scenery and amazing service! Rebecca Pendergast (on Veronica’s): The barrel cocktails that they serve with the ice balls are strong and different. You can taste the wood in the liquor. Minta Getzen (on Pangea): From the mystery of entering through the alley, to the magic of the mixologists— this place is a treasure! Charles Ross-MacCormack (on Cask & Ale): Wildly creative and always working on bringing something new to the table.
BEST PERUVIAN RESTAURANT Selva Grill A spontaneous trip to South America may not quite be in the budget (not to mention the hassle of finding a last-minute babysitter for your dog and kennel for the kids), but your mouth can take a voyage to Peru almost any night, thanks to the winning restaurants in this new category. Selva Grill and its stunning ceviches emerged a clear winner, holding the Platinum trophy up high on the shoulders of twice as many votes as any competitor. Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine holds a solid Gold finish, with diners raving about creative dishes and fresh fixin’s straight from Peru, while Peruvian Grill takes home the Silver alongside scrumptious yucca fries. And battling neck-and-neck for a dead tie across the finish line, Maemi Peruvian Cuisine and Brasa & Pisco tie as Bronze winners. —PL Nancy Schulman (on Selva Grill): Chimichurra Steak with Plaintains—probably my favorite meal in town. Steak is flavorful and tender, service is always good. They even serve it in a smaller portion for happy hour! We like to sit in the bar area—cozy dark red walls. Becky Brodkorb (on Selva Grill): My absolute favorite! I have been to Peru and this is by far my favorite Peruvian around here. Michael Henshaw (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): This is one of my favorite go-to spots outside of downtown Sarasota. The steak tacos, chicharron de calamar, and truffle chive risotto are amazing. Any time we have friends in town, we stop here for a quick meal and every time everyone leaves happy. Sheila Vincent (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): I have been a fan of Darwin Santa Maria since his days on Swift Road. He and his wife, Lelys, always strive for the best flavor, the best presentation, the most authentic Peruvian food. The success he has brought to Selva Grill, to Darwin’s on 4th and now to Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine shows his cre-
ativity, market-savvy, and excellent public relations. Not only an excellent chef but a wonderful and philanthropic human being. Shari Shepard (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): Darwin is a local chef and owner. He is inventive in his menus. He brings his children in to assist with meal prep, teaching them the beauty of cuisine. He travels home to Peru often searching for the ordinary to extraordinary! Evolutionary is not just a name: it’s Darwin. Marie Bonilla (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): Elegant Peruvian food, amazing flavors and presentations. Marie Bonilla (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): Elegant Peruvian food, amazing flavors and presentations. Chris Grandstaff (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): Fresh, exciting dishes with flavors that dance. April White (on Peruvian Grill): Peruvian Grill is a favorite of mine and my fiancé. We probably pick up takeout at least once a month from here. My favorite dish and the thing I order every time is the shrimp picante. So yummy! Kim Fineout (on Maemi Peruvian Cuisine): Yucca fries are amazing. James Meade (on Brasa & Pisco): The menu had many delicious entrees. Music during dinner was provided by the Hot Club of SRQ—my favorite acoustic jazz band. It was a memorable evening.
BEST KITCHEN DESIGN State Street Eating House Imagine what your kitchen looked like back in the 90’s, and it’s easy to conclude how far modern design has come since then. These are the Home Improvement folks replacing your dated oak wood cabinets and your garish vinyl flooring. Campbell Kitchen and Bath close the pantry with Platinum. Metro Cabinets and SRQ Woodworks share the Gold knobs. Paradise Kitchens nail down the Silver, while Taylor Games Fine Cabinetry and Affinity Kitchens take home a tie as well, in Bronze. —BM Cindy Balliette (on Campbell): Campbell Cabinetry Designs installed a new kitchen for us. They have the highest quality product, construction and installers. Darrin Campbell was our designer. He listened to us and gave us exactly what we were looking for. Darrin was always pleasant to work with and always available to us. We could not have been happier. Steffani Drass (on Campbell): As an architect, I always feel confident recommending Campbell Cabinetry to clients because I know they will be provided with excellent customer service and the upmost attention to detail. Charon Schwartz (on SRQ Woodworks): Wonderful talent creating your dream kitchen. Impeccable perfection. Jade Custer (on SRQ Woodworks): Everything is custom designed and hand crafted by true wood craftsmen. Mercedes Movilla (on SRQ Woodworks): Their kitchens are pieces of art. I’m talking as an architect. Beck Boydston (on Paradise Kitchens): They remodeled our kitchen and did an outstanding job. They came up with great ideas, stayed within our budget, communicated well and did super work. Highly recommend them. Diane Lane (on Affinity Kitchens): Tiffany Farrell runs her business with the utmost level of integrity, and her granite products are gorgeous. Chris Miller (on Affinity Kitchens): Tiffany has done an outstanding job of developing a team who cares about their customers. SRQ
Thank you to our readers for the incredible outpouring of completed ballots for this year’s 2019 Best of SRQ Local Competition. We appreciate you investing the time to live and love local!
AWARDS Claudia Baeza Sarasota Magazine UNITY AWARD Winner 2019 Pineapple Yoga Studio BEST YOGA STUDIO Sarasota Magazine 2017 Pineapple Yoga Studio BEST YOGA STUDIO SRQ Magazine 2018 Pineapple Yoga Studio BEST Business Partnership Award from the, Community Foundation of Sarasota County
RQ MAGAZINE ~S ~
2018 Best of
Pineapple Yoga Studio What products and services do you offer? Pineapple Yoga Studio offers the practice of yoga for a diverse clientele–from the new yogi/yogini to the advanced practitioner. Our classes include: Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Alignment Flow, Restorative Yoga, and Vinyasa Flow. The studio also offers indoor cycling classes for those looking for a low impact, high-intensity cardio workout to shed those last stubborn pounds! We have added unique stress-busting offerings this year which takes your yoga practice outdoors such as: Sailing + Boat Yoga to secluded beaches, Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga at various secluded coves in Lido and Longboat, and private and semi/private Beach Yoga on Lido, Siesta and Longboat beaches. What sets you apart? What sets Pineapple Yoga Studio apart from all other studios is our welcoming body-positive approach to wellness and spirituality and our dedication to inclusivity. We believe the practice of yoga is for EVERY BODY no matter how adept at handstands you are. Our core message is one of humility, acceptance, awareness and belief in ONESELF. We want to spread the message that yoga can benefit EVERYONE, no matter your age, shape, size, or ability. Yoga is about showing yourself kindness and grace when it doesn’t feel like you can and giving yourself the space to ‘ebb and flow’ through the process of yoga and life.
How does Pineapple Yoga enrich the lives of your clients and community? We fully embody our ideals in every class we teach. While most teacher training programs focus on the postures, we focus on how to teach all populations by taking a deep dive into anatomy/physiology and the needs of special populations. Our training program is closely aligned with our community yoga programs. These specialized yoga offerings include: Yoga for the sustainable recovery from addictions (Y12SR), Yoga for Parkinson’s Disease (Mindful Movement), Trauma Sensitive Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, Cycling for Parkinson’s Disease and Yoga for Juveniles in Detention. The minute you step in the door you feel our authenticity and dedication to our clients’ experience. The message of ‘self-love’ is at the core of our studio. What do you love the most about what you do? The best part of working in the field of yoga and wellness is making a difference in people’s lives. That makes me and all the teachers extremely proud. What does it mean to be recognized in the Best of SRQ Local 2019? Being recognized in the BEST OF SRQ LOCAL 2019 means the world to our studio. We are a tiny studio in downtown SRQ but we have the BIGGEST heart of all! We are committed to the Sarasota community and we want everyone to know that we have their back.
PINEAPPLE YOGA STUDIO | A YOGA CYCLING AND FITNESS STUDIO | 517 SOUTH PINEAPPLE YOGA STUDIO, SARASOTA FL 34236 PINEAPPLEYOGASTUDIO.NET | INFO@PINEAPPLEYOGASTUDIO.NET | 941-210-3739
Spend time learning about the local places, experiences and people SRQ Magazine's readers voted as their favorites in this year's 2019 Best...
Published on Apr 2, 2019
Spend time learning about the local places, experiences and people SRQ Magazine's readers voted as their favorites in this year's 2019 Best...