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Arts and Entertainment Friday, Apr. 13, 2012 8 years ago

Eduardo's Nightlife Diary: Downtown Eats and Club Beats

by: Eduardo Anaya

Let's talk beauty, fashion, art, music, living, food, drink and our social scene ... because let's face it! We are much more than clothes! PREEN & CHIC is a lifestyle, and I've got the key to our local hot spots, the trendy PYTs, the beauty and fashion gurus and of course an intimate setting of friendship with all the movers and shakers in town. The taste-makers have it, and I will share their secrets with you. So watch out, Sarasota! A new voice has arrived at TWIS, and this time I come armed with short shorts and bow-ties. PREEN & CHIC is your way to be in touch with what's hot and on the edge in Sarasota's pulsing trends.

We'll start with Eduardo's Nightlife Diary: "Downtown Eats and Club Beats."

It is Saturday night and I smell excitement brewing in the air. The gang consists of Kelly Campbell, who's currently starring in Cloud Nine at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training; Whitley Floyd, a Ringling College of Art + Design graduate and the designer/ model for her wooden dress at Art Center Sarasota's recent iConcept Fashion Show; and Stavros Vichos, the young Greek guru in world politics and economics and recent Sarasota local. Sushi is on our minds as we gather downtown. We make the Drunken Poet Cafe our choice to kick off the evening. Quickly we sit outside underneath a light show displayed on the pavement ... luckily none of us suffer from epileptic attacks. The ladies pick out the rolls for the table, including the Sexy Man Roll (there are two women and a pocket-sized gay at the table, you know) with tuna, avocado, tempura eel and "sexy sauce." A few pieces of their tuna nigiri and curry puffs---stuffed with chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and curry powder---are also part of our meal, which was over before it began. It was all so delicious, and since we ate “family style,” we acted polite about sharing equal parts when really we all wanted to take all of our favorites. After the meal was done and the raving about the food was over, both Stavros and I had to try the Sexy Woman Roll, containing shrimp, eel tempura and veggies ... once again, like savages we took it all in one breath. It was outstanding. A definite must-try.Now stuffed out of our minds, we all trotted around the corner to check out the hot place everyone is talking about: State Street Eating House + Cocktails---and cocktails we surely had. The interior design reminded me of the meatpacking district of NYC. The Thomas Edison-style lightbulbs captivated me, as did the mirror behind the bar, which has been aged to give it a restored mid-century feeling. My first sighting was Mr. Terry McKee, a fellow style icon and fashion editor of Sarasota Herald-Tribune's Style Magazine, as well as co-owner and partner in leadership at Nuovo Salon Group. After a warm welcome, we sat at the bar's very comfortable chairs. I am pleasantly surprised to see Heather Dunhill (another of my local fashion icons) sitting at the bar as well. She's a fellow style blogger and columnist for Sarasota Magazine's Fashion IQ. The stylish crowd is going for the bar instead of a table. Do I sense a trend of bar dining?After a quick scan, I spot other major players in the Sarasota social scene: Phil and Kim Mancini are dining tonight, and Katie and Michael Moulton are also in the restaurant enjoying a lively dinner with friends. Even the restauranteurs approve of State Street, and it's no surprise. After a few questions to the bartender, I decide on the French 75 (later I learned that it is Kate Moss' drink of choice): Champerz, a splash of gin and lemon. Kelly gets the Bramble (Gin, lemon, sugar syrup, tonic, muddled fresh blackberries and ice). Both are bold and refreshing. We pass them back and forth, taking sips of the delightful hand-made cocktails. A few minutes into our conversation, Heather comes visits both Terry and me with a bite of "something we must try”. Alas, it is fried fresh okra with white truffle oil! It is hot, it is tasty---it is what stylish people ate that night!

The drinks are drained---and the hostess' shift has ended as well, so the gang and I decide to kidnap the gorgeous young lady and take her along for the ride. I proclaim my need to dance. My remedy is a visit to the “tranny club." This temple of wigged goddesses and erotic shot boys does exist in our backyard. Its name is nothing out of the ordinary ... Throb! We get in the “silver bullet," the nickname for Stavros' car, and after a 10-minute drive we find ourselves going through an industrial park to get to our final destination. The roughness of the surroundings just add a touch of bad-boy allure. Hidden away in the corner of the park, we find a bright pink exterior with a chandelier over the entrance. Leave it to us gays to make it over-the-top. The $5 cover charge is just a regular procedure at any of these establishments. Wristbands go on, and the door is opened for us to go in.

To my left are a couple of pool tables. I've done my rounds there---mostly losing, unless partnered up with a good player. To the front is a large bar stocked with yummies. A few colorful glasses in hand, which took no time to procure, and I am off to the dance floor in the second room. The lights are flashing, the music is pumping and I am ready to PARTY!

As a rule of thumb it is never fun to be the first to arrive nor the last to leave, so my entourage and I decide to hit the sack after our fun journey through some of Sarasota's hotspots. From a delicious and exotic dinner at Drunken Poet, to the beautifully decorated space and tasty concoctions of State Street Eating House + Cocktails, to Throb, the new place for the alternatively-gendered, it was a memorable night and a great way to discover the different realms that exist in our community.

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