Mar 8 2024

Beso


30 S Lemon Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

… mix pix n videos on Google Maps, Yelp & TA.

Probably will return.

Two floors – both have bathrooms. High ceiling toward front of the restaurant. Clean industrial decor. Good service with very good foods.

Love their cute glassware – short, fat and round.

One server brought our food as I was taking a picture. He apologized… shouldn’t I the one to apologize? I did. Then wondered why am I always taking pictures … oh right, for self consumption – my pictorial diary.

Wine – although both reds are good but Garnacha is definitely better than Triton: smoother and fuller.

We’ve:

  1. Fried artichoke – most appetizing and delicious
  2. Calamari – good
  3. Beef cheek, slow braised – very good

All is good and just when we’re thinking to have another round of wines and one more plate, I bit on a hard piece, that looks like plastic. When the bill came I asked our server who said, “which one it’s from?”

“Either the beef or calamari.”

“It maybe the skin of the onion, but I’ll ask the manager.”

When he returned for signature, he said nothing. So was it onion skin or plastic?

… after dinner, we went to the opera house for Carmen, which was a smooth sail.


Mar 8 2024

Carmen @ Sarasota


Celebrate the International Women’s Day with French composer Georges Bizet (1833-75) Carmen @ Sarasota Opera.  The opera was premiered in 1875. This one is long too: 7:30-11pm.

… more pix on TripAdvisor

This production is, perhaps the 3rd Carmen I’ve seen, or at least, remembered that I went:

1️⃣ NY Met: it was the best, with Denyce Graves
2️⃣ 2006 SF: too long … and the kids
3️⃣ 2024: this one is fine …

During the height of her career, Denyce Graves (1964-) was slim (when chubby is the norm) and beautiful. The roll of seductive and enigmatic Carmen was so fitting for her.

Chelsea Laggan (2001?-) is the Carmen of this production. Although I enjoyed her performance but her slightly chubby figure (which is the industry norm) doesn’t fit the bill. Denyce Graves and even figure skater Katarina Witt (1965-), who free skated to Carmen in her 1988 Calgary Olympics that won her the gold medal are constantly in my mind, as if I could get more joy out of thinking of them. ha ha ha

Victor Starsky plays the jealous Corporal Don José, and Andrew Manea, the bullfighter Escamillo.

kids come on at 10:40pm. (Both 2️⃣ and 3️⃣ used kids) I’m wondering, don’t the kids need to go to sleep? It’s well past their bed time. What’s the children regulation in the entertainment industry?

It’s Friday and the house is full. We purchased our ticket at the last moment, at the last row. Many, mostly women are dressed up.

The audience at this one is the worst so far: talking, phone ringing, (the orchestra stopped), dropped phones, candy wrappers; two couples near us got up and left in the middle of the Act.

这是我记得的第三个 “卡门”
1️⃣ 在纽约大都会: 最棒 是Denyce Graves (1964-) 在她事业的巅峰 苗条动人
2️⃣ 2006 三藩市: 老太太裹脚布 太长了
3️⃣ 2024: 中规中矩

纽约的制作没有用娃娃们. 今晚的制作 10:40 一群娃上场
想知道 他们不需要按时睡觉吗?
娱乐界怎么保障儿童的工作时间?

妞妞们 三八节快乐 [拥抱]

… dinner at Beso was ok.


Feb 28 2024

Brick’s Smoked Meats


Love the tiles: the top L was in my home, the top R in Shanghai, both were made by Chee Hsin  

1528 State St.
Sarasota, FL 34236

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp & TA

Another restaurant with ‘Brick’ in its name – hopefully this owner/manager isn’t going to be nasty as Hales Blackbricks, can take genuine and constructive critics.

Probably won’t return.

Love their decor – high ceiling, industrial. The last booth by the bathroom is angled. I don’t know they did that to shield the bathroom entrance or needed to be. In any case, it looks good. Two big open windows connect their outdoor area. The length of the bar looks out to a garage.

I particularly enjoyed their tiled tables: the patterns are familiar to Chee Hsin’s, which I’ve a book on it, self published on Amazon.

The service is good. The pretty young girl has red and purple nail polish – maybe I should go for the purple, to match my hair.

The food is a little trying. The bacon burnt end is on the sweet side but is tender. The brisket is thick and dry. With the butter knife, cutting became a chore. The ribs is a little softer than the brisket, but have it better many other places.

The young girl, the maitre d’ and a lady in black pants came over, asking how’s everything – they certainly care.


Feb 28 2024

Lucia di Lammermoor @ Sarasota


…at Sarasota Opera

Lucia di Lammermoor by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848). It was premiered in 1835 in Naples.

Another love story. Another good production. Another great opera.

This tragic drama was loosely built on Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.

Five scenes with two intermissions plus three pauses, 3:15 long. The set designs are really good.


Feb 27 2024

Saks Fifth Avenue


120 University Town Center Dr,
Sarasota, FL 34243

… more pic on Google Maps

Will return. I haven’t been to a Saks for a few years. The one I used to go was on 5th Avenue in New York. It never impressed me. Sandwich between Bergdorf Goodman and Macy’s, Saks, I think their Christmas light show is the standout. Walking into this small one – two floors with cloth and cosmetics, I’ve a little wow feeling – maybe it’s the time of the day – afternoon; maybe it’s not crowded; or maybe I shop online for too long and glad in a physical store … The overall feeling is refreshing. Their decor is mute and light. Staff is ready to help.


Mar 16 2023

1592 Wood Fired Kitchen


1592 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

Will return – Love their barn doors!

This mediterranean restaurant has outdoor tables, covered with white table cloth. Indoor tables, however, are bare – interesting.

Service is good. Servers have an accent – making them more authentic and believable? [I’ll never get ride of my accent -:)] And their small plates are delicious:

  1. Garlic shrimp
  2. Spicy falafel
  3. Grilled lamb chops
  4. Shishito peppers & mushrooms

We couldn’t finish them all – guess not too small after all.

Their house wine Proverb Cab Sauv 2021 is good, served in a Riedel glass.

 

Riedel glassware House red is preferred


Feb 26 2023

Sarasota Opera House


61 N Pineapple Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34236

… more pix on Google Maps

It situated near the Main Street, and cross street is their Selby public library. The house produced four operas in 2023 season.

The three floor opera house was opened in 1926. Architect was Roy A. Benjamin (1887-1963) who moved from Ocala to Jacksonville in 1902. Before, it was named Edwards Theatre for the first mayor of SarasotaArthur Britton Edwards, who envisioned it.

The mediterranean revival style theater has 1,119 seats. Although it had a major renovations in 2007-8, but the air conditioning system doesn’t work well tho.

A few operas we saw:

  1. Carmen
  2. Lucia di Lammermoor
  3. Madama Butterfly
  4. Don Giovanni
  5. Ernani

Near by, St. Pete has its own opera house.


Jan 26 2023

Sarasota FL 萨拉索塔


Their opera house
This small city (also the namesake county seat) is on the west side / Gulf Coast of Florida, with a 54,842 population (2020 census), which 77.7% are white, 2.1% Asian. The few times we were there, we hardly see any Asians.

They’ve an opera house, a botanical gardens in two locations, a tennis tourney, a pretty grand library, Ringling Museum, and many wonderful restaurants.

 

The part of Main St near the opera house has many decent restaurants, such as Duval’s.

… some of the eateries & bars in town:

Some events:

Selby (William G, an oilman and his wife Marie, history; their foundation😉 is everywhere: two botanic gardens are name after him/her: However, there seems no page for them on wikipedia at this writing.

2024.2.27

2023


Jan 20 2023

Duval’s


1435 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

… more pix on Google Maps

Will return – all are good with fresh painter’s palette.

That block of Main Street is filled with restaurants. Duval has outdoor too. We stopped by for a quick bite inside. The crab cake is really good, so is the mussels – the white creamy sauce is so good I asked for bread -:) – can’t take me anywhere. The calamari is bit too sweet for me. Their tableware World INF-150 is nice.