Date: April 24, 2013
by: June LeBell | Contributing Columnist




+ Jack Dusty’s takes the edge off taxes
For those of us still reeling from the April 15 crunch, Jack Dusty’s, in the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, offered some relief — offering “Tax Day Cocktails” to take the edge off the last-minute rush to the post office. In case you missed out (on your taxes or the cocktails), they’ve given us the recipes so we may drink at the hot spot or in the privacy of our own homes.

The “Tax Man-Up” consists of Applejack, Maker’s Mark, maple syrup and coffee liqueur stirred and strained on the rocks into a large, double, old-fashioned glass with a baby apple for garnish.

The “Tax Day Sweet Relief,” on the other hand, is made of port wine, Disaronno, Frangelico and egg whites shaken well with ice, strained into a port glass and garnished with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Frothy and fragrant, a couple of these will give you sweet relief.

+ The Green Room at FST is open and informal
The season may be almost over but parking is still difficult, especially in the downtown theater district. Now that Florida Studio Theatre has so many stages, and they’re all going at the same time, getting to any one of them — even a half hour before curtain — can mean several trips around the block or a ride to the top of the new parking garage.

One way to beat the odds is to make a reservation at The Green Room, FST’s new café and bar, located in the new Hegner Theatre Wing, adjacent to the Gompertz. The menu is simple, with old standbys such as shrimp cocktail, burgers, sandwiches, quiche and salads so, unless you’re looking for a candlelit, gourmet evening, it fills the pre-performance bill with well prepared, satisfying, fun fare.

With an ambience similar to a Lenox, Mass., bistro or a West Village café, the drinks are large and well-made, the food fresh and the service pleasing and efficient. To make reservations, call the FST box office at 366-9000.

+ Morton’s Gourmet holds first ‘American Made’
Morton’s Gourmet Market is interested in more than gourmet food and fine wine. Morton’s also has a Culinary Education Fund, and a couple of weeks ago it invited wine enthusiasts to sample more than 40 different wines from around the U.S. and enjoy tastes of artisanal cheeses and other gourmet treats in what it promised is the first of many annual “American Made” events to benefit the fund.

Wines from Napa, Sonoma, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico and other grape-growing, wine-making areas of the country were available to participants, while Morton’s chefs stood at cooking stations around the market serving their own spin on classic American dishes.

There’s nothing like an in-house foodie fundraiser to draw crowds. We’ve been to some in New York City and we’ve never eaten as well. Morton’s, a place I think of as Sarasota’s Zabar’s, has been this town’s full-service specialty food shop for more than 40 years and its prime meats and seafood, bakery, deli, flowers, gift baskets, cheeses, pates and wines fill our refrigerator, freezer and cupboards more than any other market. It’s nice to know it is spreading the wealth.


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