Sarasota-Manatee Originals members and supporters gathered Sept. 20 at Keating Marine Education Center for bites and brews celebrating the upcoming restaurant week.
The beer was flowing and the small plates were quickly replenished at the Eat Like a Local Restaurant Week Kickoff Event on Sept. 20 at Keating Marine Education Center.
Eventgoers sampled dishes from five restaurants and one bakery, all of which are members of Sarasota-Manatee Originals, a group of more than 50 locally owned independent restaurants bonded by their desire to maintain the community’s culinary identity.
Guests also sipped local brews provided by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing.
Eat Like A Local Restaurant Week is a chance for local foodies to support local establishments and sample restaurants that might otherwise be outside of their budget. The event will take place Oct. 2-15 at several restaurants throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties, all of which will offer price-fixed lunch and dinner menus ranging from $9-$49 a meal.
Sarasota-Manatee Originals Executive Director Sarah Firstenberger said the week is a way for the restaurants to not only help the community, but also for members of the community to help restaurateurs because October is a notoriously slow month for them.
She said she loves the collaborative aspect of the kickoff event.
“My favorite part is seeing all the businesses and restaurants together in one room,” she said. “It’s really representative of the community.”