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This week we went in the kitchen at Cafe L'Europe, with owner Betsie Coolidge, while servers prepare two signature tableside dishes, shrimp Pernod and bananas foster.
Cafe L'Europe was opened in 1973 on St. Armands Circle and is one of the first fine dining restaurants in Sarasota. The restaurant offers a European ambience with an emphasis on professional hospitality, making it a favorite for both locals and visitors from around the world.
The menu at Cafe L'Europe features European continental cuisine. Many of the dishes are prepared tableside for a unique and entertaining experience. The restaurant frequently hosts wine tastings and themed dinners. Guests can sit inside the elaborately decorated dining rooms or enjoy the Florida weather while dining on the patio.
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Scroll down for an instructional video on how to prepare the dishes.
2-4 large shrimp
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup Pernod liqueur
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons butter
Add oil to pan and turn stove to high heat. Once oil is smoking add shrimp to sear on each side. After shrimp is cooked turn off heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and shallots while pan is still hot. Remove pan and turn up flame on stove. Add Pernod and flambe over the flame. Add lemon juice while flame is burning off. Set pan back on stove and turn down heat. Add spinach to wilt in pan. Add remaining butter and mix. Serve by plating spinach, then arrange shrimp over spinach and drizzle sauce over the whole dish.
2 tablespoons butter
2 bananas, cut in bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 ounces banana liqueur
2 ounces dark rum
2 ounces Bacardi 151 rum
Dash of cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream
Heat pan over high heat. Add butter to melt and coat pan. Add brown sugar and remove pan from heat. Add rum and banana liqueur and flambe. Add bananas and stir being careful not to overcook. Remove pan from heat and add Bacardi 151. Flambe again. Add cinnamon and stir. Remove from heat. Serve over vanilla ice cream.
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