Summertime and the living is easy...and hotter.
Shorts are dress-up wear - and maybe the only appropriate wear - in Florida in Summer.
So I thought it would be nice to try some on....shorts that is…from the Beach Bistro's 32 years.
Annette has been with the Bistro family since its inception. Years ago a patron enquired of Annette...”What is the difference between the Scampis and the Scallops...?”
JP was presiding over the Dining room and had just served a beautifully prepared and presented Rack of Domestic Lamb....the best lamb in the world.
The gentleman patron leaned back in his chair...spread his hands as if in sacramental pose and proclaimed...
"I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight...?”
"We are waiting on you sir."
Steve Carini was the wait staff’s senior player.
He was very caring and attentive to two elderly lady patrons.
They became sufficiently enamoured of him to ask …"You are such a good waiter young man. Is it your ambition to own your own restaurant some day?”
Steve smiled and replied...
"No M'am. It is my ambition to stop working in this one."
On Steve’s last night, while opening the last bottle of wine he would open as a waiter, his corkscrew of twenty years broke off at the screw.
Just like that Steve was a retired warrior with a broken sword.
A young man with his ambition accomplished.
My favorite bartender in the whole world…?
I know some incredible bartenders. Fred and Brianna at Beach Bistro and Chris and Kaleigh at the Doctor’s Office but one day in Philly my favorite was working at the Black Bass.
I was early for a reservation at a pretentious place down the street. To kill time I sat at the bar and ordered some oysters and a glass of Sancerre.
The bartender opened with… “Where are you from….?"
Almost all bartenders open with. “Where are you from?”
Gets patrons talking about themselves and asks a question they know the answer to.
“I am from Anna Maria Island.”… I said
“Really,,,?” he said.
“My favorite restaurant in the whole world is on Anna Maria Island.”
All my senses tuned to high alert.
“And what restaurant would that be...?” I asked.
“A little place called the Beach Bistro.” he said.
“Well,” I said. “You just became my favorite bartender in the whole world.”
Last week I got a new favorite travel writer. Jan Tuckwood was writing for the Palm Beach Post, one of the Florida’s top newspapers.
Jan wrote that her favorite restaurant was the Beach Bistro, and that it was “the best restaurant in the state.”
She also loved the island's new bar - the Doctor’s Office.
Of The Doctor’s Office she wrote that it was “the cure for your old dull self”.
Sounds like a good way to start a hot summer.
Sean Murphy is the Head Coach of the incredibly talented team that runs the Beach Bistro, it’s little sister Eat Here, and their new craft cocktail bar, The Doctor’s Office.
Canada's two greatest exports have a shared heritage.
I am talking Poutine and Hockey.
They both came from rinks.
I was born in Canada and lived there a good chunk of my life.
That means that I can say outrageous things about Canada and get away with it.
It is like being Donald Trump. I can't be held accountable for what I say.
Poutine is basically French fries and gravy. The curd part is a variation from rural Quebec where they did not know how to get rid of curds.
Fries-n-gravy was a Canadian staple. It was hot and cheap and could be prepared anywhere there was an old stove. It was cold a lot so we didn't need much in the way of refrigeration.
We all know Canucks are crazy for hockey. As kids growing up we spent hours every day in hockey rinks. When we weren't playing on the ice we were playing in the corners with pop cans and tennis balls.
We lived in rinks.
We smelled like rinks.
Grownups called us “rink rats”.
These rinks were nothing like the Lightning palaces that Americans attend to watch NHL games.
These rinks were just big frozen tin cans. Some had outside toilets. They didn't stink until they thawed out in the spring.
Every rink had a “canteen”. The "canteen" in the rink consisted of an old stove and a kettle.
The kettle was for tea. Canadians love tea. They love drinking tea while watching hockey.
The stove was for poutine. It generally had an oven and one or two working burners on top.
The fries were dumped on a sheet tray and cooked in the oven.
The gravy was generally Franco-American Beef Gravy that was heated in a pot on top of the stove.
One of the rink ladies scooped the oven fries into a paper cup and slopped some of the gravy on top. And that was poutine.
Fries-n-gravy was a big chunk of the menu for high school kids.
Across from my high school, St Patrick's High School, (Catlick), there was a greasy spoon diner that sold a ton of "fries-n-gravy".
Marie and Flo presided over the lunch counter.
One day my buddy found a hair in his "fries-and-gravy".
He lifted the guilty specimen from his plate and announced to Flo that he had found a hair in his fries.
Flo plucked the gravied tendril from his fork, studied it, and proclaimed…
"It ain't mine. Must be Marie’s".
I used to marvel that the poutine served to me in rinks and honored by Marie with selections from under her hair net could be treated with such gravitas by foodies.
I came to realize that I am grateful for fries-n-gravy.
I could not have survived my misspent youth in rinks and high school without it.
My chef staff and I determined to express that gratitude by creating a helluva poutine for Eat Here.
We needed a phenomenal gravy. Our favorite light bulb went on…Foie Gras.
The best demis and gravies in New Orleans are called “debris” demis because they have bits of debris from the braising pan floating in the gravy. In our Eat Here version the debris is chunks of our pot roast and pieces of Foie Gras.
Because nobody really likes curds we garnish with an aged parmesan.
And that is how you make a helluva poutine.
When I was a snotty-nosed kid clunking around the rink in my rubber boots - hockey stick in one hand and a cup of poutine in the other - I never woulda guessed.
by Sean Murphy
Bartenders are listeners.
You sit at the bar. You drink. The Bartender listens.
The topics can be tricky.
The patron’s ex-wife.
This one is real tricky.
The bartender has to try to kill this conversation because the person to the left is somebody’s ex-wife and the guy to the right is going out with an ex-wife.
The patron talking about his ex-wife is not a happy guy. He gets a couple of drinks in he will get morose and then the bar will get morose and morose people tip poorly.
Politics. Not good right now. Republicans are morose.
Religion. Fire and damnation. Morose.
The Floridian’s Favorite Warm Coat. This is one of my favorites.
Every Floridian has one warm coat he wears during those coupla weeks in December when the Canadians slip us a couple of those too-dam-cold “Canadian Cold Fronts.”
This week that one warm coat is heading to hibernation in the back of the closet but next October it will be back again.
By October we will be sick of the heat and overjoyed to welcome that first, refreshing cool front.
People will laugh and drink and dance naked in the streets.
By December some of those cold fronts will get fiercer and colder and more belligerent.
There will be bitterly cold “Canadian Cold Fronts”. Dam Canadians.
Those warm coats will climb back out of their closets and the locals and their warm coats will march into the bar like critters marching into the ark – arm in arm – two by two.
On those cold nights it is as if every bar stool has two guests – the patron and their coat.
The coats are introduced to the bartender and the other patrons in the bar.
“I got this coat from my sister’s ex-husband - he played football at Notre Dame. SOB is still behind in alimony and I’m keeping the goddam coat.”
“I got this coat from the mayor of Buffalo – we got raided in a poker game and he had to rush out without it.”
“I got this coat in Failene’s basement for a dollar in ’72.”
There is always a lady in a great big fur – testimony to acres of forest denuded of small animals.
The lady with the fur loves her coat – as martinis slide down she begins to slide deeper into the fur and the warm, romantic memories of her lost youth.
“Ralph gave me this coat after he got back from Vegas”.
A guilty fur coat.
I’ll miss the winter coat talk. Memories of winter coat convesations will keep me cooler in the hot days from now until the next “big chill” in October.
One dog day in September, when the heat is cruel and relentles and crushing, I will dig around in the trunk at the back of the closet for my special warm coat.
I will slide into it like an old boot and go sit by the pool in the white hot sun and I will dream of cold fronts and all my friends around the bar in their special coats - shiny suede, broken zippers, mismatched buttons and matted sheepskin collars.
I will look forward to cooler days again and I will wonder what Ralph did in Vegas that was so bad he had to buy that fur.
Mom called. She wants brunch.
Eat Here Anna Maria Kitchen will be serving Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday, May 14th from 11:00 to 3:00.
Please call for reservations 941.778.0411.
Bottomless Bubbles with fresh fruit juice options ... $10 per person!!
As always, we love families and proudly offer menu items for children.
Here's the menu for Mom...
with an itty bitty kale garnish | 10.5
fine chopped kale salad
with currants and roasted almonds, diced little, less chewing | 10
brioche french toast
with real maple syrup and fresh whipped cream | 13
fruit, granola and yogurt
fresh seasonal fruit, greek yogurt and granola, drizzled with honey | 11
house cured salmon plate
with cream cheese, onions, capers and a toasted bagel | 16
choice of: applewood smoked bacon, cured salmon or sliced tomato, served with a side of fruit | 16
gulf coast seafood stew
fresh market fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, andouille sausage and fingerlings in zuppa broth | 21
not mama’s pot roast
port braised, roasted shallots, carrots and roasted fingerlings | 17
eat here burger
two beef patties, roasted roma tomatoes, grilled onions, choice of cheese,
arugula, bacon, bacon-onion jam, served with house fries and side of demi | 16
the sister mary rose
stacked jumbo gulf of mexico shrimp, with herbed aïoli, parsley, and tarragon on a toasted croissant, with house fries | 16
Beat the crowds of Black Friday with Bistro gift certificates and treat yourself to a visit to Sean's new bar, The Doctors Office.
Sit at the bar’s beautiful reclaimed California redwood bar top, sip a superbly crafted single barrel bourbon Manhattan and congratulate yourself for being smart enough to stay away from the mall.
You can also receive Eat Here gift certificates as a bonus Bistro gift for buying Beach Bistro gift certificates and take the family out for some "Florida’s Best New Restaurant" tacos, pizza and pot roast.
A mirrored opportunity is in place for Eat Here gift certificate shopping.
Buy the relatives an Eat Here gift certificate and reward yourself with a celebratory evening out with dinner at the Bistro or a crafted cocktail evening at The Doctors Office.
Your Beach Bistro and Eat Here "smarter-than-the-mall" shopped gift certificate purchases will be rewarded with a 15% value on your pick of Beach Bistro, Eat Here or The Doctors Office bonus gift certificates.
Treat yourself and treat your friends and relatives to the bonuses of Beach Bistro smarter shopping.
Gift certificates can be purchased online, in person or on the phone...
*offer expires December 26th*
Mom called. She wants brunch.
Eat Here Anna Maria Kitchen will be serving Mother's Day Brunch this Sunday, May 8th from 11:00 to 3:00.
Please call for reservations 941.778.0411.
Bottomless Bubbles with fresh fruit juice options ... $10 per person!!
Menu highlights include:
Siesta's Chef Bryce has always loved Asian cuisine and draws much inspiration from it. Bryce has been expressing his passion for Asian food through the medium of Pho and Ramen for years now. Pho (pronounced phuh...kind of) differs from Ramen primarily with the spices used. Bryce's creations are delicious and have been a hit with the locals on Siesta as well as his Bistro and Eat Here Chef partners at our weekly chef meetings.
His wandering-eastward preparations reflect the new Eat Here policy of unchaining the Eat Here Siesta and Anna Maria Kitchens.
Bryce's Pho Recipe
2 onions, yellow
1 large piece of ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
2 anise pods
2 teaspoon coriander seed
6 cups homemade stock (beef, chicken or seafood)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Noodles (traditional rice glass or buckwheat (soba)
Quarter onions (leave root on). Split ginger lengthwise. Char onions and ginger. Toast the spices. Rinse onions and ginger to remove excess char.
Combine all ingredients. Pour stock in, bring to a simmer for an hour (or until everything comes together). Taste it!
Strain it all off.
Sear, grill or roast protein (shrimp, poultry or beef).
Bring pho broth to a simmer.
Combine broth, protein and noodles in a large soup bowl. Serve with chopped scallions, cilantro, limes, and sprouts.
Roasted shiitakes, chilies, chopped peanuts
Give the gift of culinary joy this Christmas....without leaving your chair.
Eat Here Siesta and Anna Maria Kitchen Gift Certificates can be purchased online or on the phone. (Click here to purchase Eat Here gift cards.)
Our Christmas giving lets you give more joy this year. If you buy three $50 certificates, we will treat you to another one to enjoy yourself or gift to another loved one.
If Santa gave Eat Here certificates then he could buy three for Donner and Blitzen and Comet and have a free one for Cupid and then buy three for ....you get the idea.
For that very special gift, Beach Bistro certificates are also available online (click here) or over the phone at 941-778-6444.
The astute shopper gets a $20 gift certificate to the Bistro Bar for each $150 gift certificate purchased for that special gift. Do your shopping at home and then ease from that comfy chair at home to a Bistro Bar stool to celebrate your shopping genius.
A unique feature of Eat Here’s Siesta Bar will be the opportunity to steal cheese.
Classic bar scenes in Old Nova Scotia taverns featured a round of sharp cheddar on butcher block and a bowl of ginger snaps. The ginger snaps were a perfect foil (a touch spicy and sweet) for the “Rat Trap” cheddar (sharp and intensely flavored).
The cheese was bait. Men were drawn by the cheese and then spent their money on the beer.
Every evening our new bar lounge area will feature complimentary extra sharp cheddar with snaps. Come steal our cheese.
We have carved out "the church" for private dining for your special parties and events.
The Church is so-named for the vintage gothic windows separating the space from the bar and main dining room. It is a perfect private dining area for larger parties up to 40. It is yours any time for special group meetings or celebrations. Menus can be customized from Siesta Kitchen menu selections or even Beach Bistro style menus.
Give the restaurant a call and ask for Dominic. 941.346.7800.