Monthly Archives: October 2015

Calling All Foodies, Rock the Vote for BEST OF SRQ LOCAL

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This afternoon, the team at SRQ Media indulged in a little bit of nostalgia. We thumbed through past editions of SRQ | The Magazine going many years back. Somewhere in the time warp that is real life, it doesn’t seem like 2009 should feel like that long ago. But it was longer ago than we like to think. That year, we launched one of our most favorite platforms, The Best of SRQ Local Competition and began a tradition of listening to our readers and publishing their favorite things each April.

Back in 2009, Libby’s Cafe and Bar was the hot new restaurant and swept many categories including, Best Salad, Best Soup, Best Chocolate Dessert, Best Service, Best Martini, Best New Restaurant and Best Place to be Seen for an After Work Drink. We’re happy to see that local favorites like Libby’s Cafe and Bar are still thriving and setting the standard for the hot, new places to eat (like their sister restaurant, Louie Modern, which took home Best Modern Cuisine in 2015).

Really, the possibilities for the winning restaurants and dishes are endless. We’re just happy that we don’t have to come up with the list ourselves – we’re sure that staff meeting would end with a litany of to go boxes and maybe a friendly screaming match over the best pizza. We are serious about pizza.

Your tastebuds can swing the vote on categories like Best Sushi, Best Breakfast, Best Modern Cuisine, Best French Fries, Best Burger, Best Seafood and Best Restaurant. Years down the line when we look back at the winners of the 2016 competition, make sure that we remember the year fondly and that our stomachs growl a little louder before lunch. Be sure that when we rush out of our office to remember the taste of the burger that won in 2016 that it’s a good one.

So what can you do to leave your mark on the 2016 Best of SRQ Local competition? You can vote. You can tell your family and friends and neighbors and people next to you in line at Pasty Art or at the Sushi Bar at Jpan or waiting for their drink at State Street Eating House to cast their ballot. You could start a Best of SRQ Local club and make it your mission to hit every hot spot in town and vote for the definitive best. Host a party at your house with takeout of your favorite dishes and get your friends to vote together. Whatever you do, support the local kitchens that make our community as tasty as it is beautiful.

The greatest thing about Best of SRQ Local is that when local restaurants win, we all win. Living Local means that each one of us gets to savor every bite of local dishes that are prepared by men and women that make our community what it is today.

Stay hungry. And vote.

See you in April,
The Best of SRQ Local Team

 

BEST OF SRQ LOCAL IS OPEN!

F-2016-WEB-ABOVEFOLD_BOSRQLive Local Warriors,

Now is your time! The 8th Annual Best of SRQ Local Competition is officially open. You know what this means, it is time to rally the troops, sound the alarm from your respective social media outlets and VOTE for your favorite Sarasota establishments and causes to be recognized in one of our most popular editions of the year.

That’s right. Polls are open. No need to leave a little early for work or scoot out of the office on your lunch break to cast your ballot. You can vote for Best of SRQ Local 24/7 and we’re looking for voters like you!

Tell us where you go after a long day when only the best French fries will do. When you’re redecorating and you know just where to turn for the perfect period piece, we need to know the name of the Best Antique Store. Fitness buffs, what’s your local shop when picking out your newest pair of running shoes? Parents, we’re counting on YOU to name the Best Pediatrician, Best Private School and Best Children’s Attraction in our community. Foodies, you know the drill. We’re know you’ve been making a mental note after dinner on the town to nominate the very best places to dine. But we aren’t just looking for weekend haunts. Where is your favorite place to go on a business lunch? Maybe you’re meeting your accountant for lunch – even better! We’re looking for the Best Accountant, too.

While our competition continues to grow each year, we promise that we won’t neglect crowd-favorite categories like “Best Breakfast” and “Best Local Burger”. But we’re expanding our horizons to include the important places you turn to in a pinch, like Best Local Mechanic, Best Tailor and Best Shoe Repair.

Now is your chance to support the great businesses, people and happenings that make our community the best place we know.

Cast your ballot and honor your and encourage your family and friends to vote in this for the people competition brought to you by the people that deliver each monthly edition of SRQ | The Magazine!

The polls are open through February 15, 2016. All winners will be announced in the April 2016 edition of SRQ | The Magazine.

Best of luck and may the very best win!

The SRQ Team

An Evening Like None Other: SRQ Bal Masque

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The historic Sarasota Opera House was transformed into a gorgeous garden on the night of Bal Masqué: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

On Saturday, October 3rd the historic Sarasota Opera House lit up downtown Sarasota with the sounds of music and laughter as guests gathered for the second annual SRQ Bal Masqué Gala: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil. Though the dazzling venue is best known for hosting the likes of famous operatic performances, guests arrived to find it transformed into a garden of beautiful blooms and branches, complete with a green carpet leading up to the door. The foyer entrance was flanked by gorgeous garden gates provided by Sarasota Architectural Salvage and nodded to the evening’s theme.

Jesse White (right), owner of Sarasota Architectural Salvage attends Bal Masqué on October 3rd. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Jesse White (right), owner of Sarasota Architectural Salvage attends Bal Masqué on October 3rd. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

Traditional jazz played by Swingtide Combo of Venice resounded along the first floor and expansive atrium, where guests posed at the Mojo Photo Booth and sipped southern-inspired cocktails. Flooded in a mirage-like light display, the courtyard garden featured sweet melodies by Jen&Ray, a local Sarasota duo known for their crooning of classic and acoustic melodies.

Guests enjoyed custom Tervis Tumblers provided by event sponsor Cool Today in the courtyard. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Guests enjoyed custom Tervis Tumblers provided by event sponsor Cool Today in the courtyard. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

Located on the balcony above the courtyard, Jen&Ray helped make the outdoor area of the event something spectacular. Students from Ringling College of Art and Design were stationed with easels throughout the floors of the Opera House, painting as the event stretched on into the night, providing entertainment and artistry as guests looked on.

Jaime Gee (right) entertained the VIP guests in the Harlequin Club on the third floor of the Opera House. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Jami Gee (right) entertained the VIP guests in the Harlequin Club on the third floor of the Opera House. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

The towering third floor hosted the Harlequin Club, a VIP experience providing reserved seating, a private bar (complete with a display of Cool Today Tervis Tumblers) and entertainment by Jami Gee. An incredible spread of southern delicacies graced the table, all provided by Fete Catering at Polo Grill. Classic favorites like shrimp and grits paired with a rich gumbo, fried green tomatoes and chicken and waffle sliders. Guests couldn’t resist grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches served up at the Sweet & Savory dessert bar.

Guests take their seats to enjoy thrilling performances from the arts community in Sarasota. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Guests take their seats to enjoy thrilling performances from the arts community in Sarasota. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

Doors to the auditorium opened at 9:45PM for an unforgettable main stage performance. Kicking off the evening with high energy and moving vocals, the Westcoast Gospel Chorus of Florida lit up the stage with colorful garb and a palpable enthusiasm that prepared the crowd for what was to come. Ringmaster and SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts greeted guests and led them through the performances on stage, beginning with a dizzying aerial duo performance by LunaStorme of the Circus Arts Conservatory. Hanging high above the stage, both performers exuded grace and acrobatic finesse as they whirled, at times intertwined, on a suspended hoop. The audience cheered at their amazing skill.

The Westcoast Gospel Chorus of Florida opened the evening with a resounding performance. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The Westcoast Gospel Chorus of Florida opened the evening with a resounding performance. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

LunaStorme, performers with the Circus Arts Conservatory shared a duo lyra number. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

LunaStorme, performers with the Circus Arts Conservatory shared a duo lyra number. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

When Sarasota Contemporary Dance took the stage, the audience waited in hushed silence for the music to begin. A solitary dancer, Jahrel Thompson, delivered a stunning solo number. Part physical storytelling, part dramatic performance and wholly incredible, Sarasota Contemporary Dance delivered a powerful example of how dance can be a transformative experience.

Jahrel Thompson with Sarasota Contemporary Dance (formerly Fuzion), delivered a moving performance. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Jahrel Thompson with Sarasota Contemporary Dance (formerly Fuzion), delivered a moving performance. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

Also with the Circus Arts Conservatory, Rikki delivered a stunning performance on the silks. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Also with the Circus Arts Conservatory, Rikki delivered a stunning performance on the silks. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

Students from the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School demonstrated the dedication and precision required of the ballet in a carefully choreographed display of strength and ability. The curtains opened once more for an astounding routine by Rikki of the Circus Arts Conservatory on silks. She mesmerized the audience with seamless movement striking physical stamina while suspended in mid-air.

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Post performance, the party continued into the courtyard for dancing and desserts. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

 

As midnight quickly approached, desserts and dancing commenced in the courtyard under the moonlight. An assortment of cookies from Sift Bakehouse in the shape of masks and apples were the perfect bite to close out a fantastic evening in Sarasota.

SRQ Media is incredibly grateful for the community’s support of this magical evening. Special thanks to Bal Masqué Sponsors: Chillounge, Cool Today, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Mojo Foto Booth, Morton’s Gourmet Market, Sarasota Opera House, Short Stop Market, SignZoo, Sift Bakehouse, Siesta Key Rum, Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue, Spotlight Graphics, SunTrust Bank, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tropex Plant Leasing, US Tent Rental and Victoria Blooms.

Thank you to the Harlequin Club, performers and beneficiaries. For a full gallery of photos from the night, click here.

See you next year!

 

2016 Home of the Year Competition is Open!

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Here we go! Builders, architects, designers and landscape companies: get ready! The 12th Annual SRQ Home of the Year Competition is officially OPEN!

This year, we are proud to include two new categories to the traditional categories of competition: Overall Home Under $1 Million and Great Room! Beginning now, the each category is open for submission:

  • Overall Home: Over $2 Million
  • Overall Home: Between $1-$2 Million
  • Overall Home: Under $1 Million
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Great Room
  • Remodel/Renovation
  • Landscape Design/Pool
  • Sustainability/Green

Each year, SRQ Media is thrilled to host such a popular program. And each year we think that there’s no possible way that the entries can get any better. That being said, we’re bracing ourselves to be blown away by gorgeous homes across the Gulf Coast. In 2015, submissions ranged from traditional architecture and materials to ultra modern to inspired, concept-driven design.

The process of judging is highly involved. Out of market judges within the home design field are supplied with blind submissions to ensure that every entry’s critique is balanced and based upon industry standard criteria, like design concept, function, integrity of design and creativity.

Submissions will be accepted through December 10, 2015 with a late deadline of January 7, 2016. Official rules and submission information are on the SRQ website, SRQMAG.COM/HOTY. 

Winners will be announced in the March 2016 edition of SRQ | The Magazine.

Good luck!

Get Ready for Season with the October Edition of SRQ

The October 2015 Edition of SRQ | The Magazine is on newsstands now!

The October 2015 Edition of SRQ | The Magazine is on newsstands now!

Today is the first day of the month! How is October already here? Working in publishing is a funny thing – you’re in advance of every season (if you hear SRQ employees singing Christmas carols, it is for good reason—we’re already in knee-deep in the December edition). And then when the first day of each month rolls around, you’re shocked that it has managed to pop up so quickly, even though you’ve long moved on in spirit.

Often for us, we’re so engrossed with future editions, that we forget to savor the present. Each month we’re treated to a box of advanced copies of SRQ | The Magazine. In that moment, we all stop what we’re doing and we read our new edition and spend a few precious moments in the present.

This edition is special. We’re fond of it in a way that is distinctly different that other monthly editions that land in your mailbox each month. There’s a special tribute to the late Allyn Gallup, an undeniable and very missed force in the Sarasota art scene. Written by Staff Writer Phil Lederer, this story is one that we are enormously proud of – in a similar way of the pride we have that Sarasota was his home.

Our cover story is one that strikes a chord with our staff and community: “Young, Creative and Adrift” explores the reality of life as an artist (the good, the bad and the artsy) along Florida’s culture coast. And speaking of art, we turned our attention to The Rosemary District for an exploration of the proposed developments that promise a change of scenery and artful buildings just north of Fruitville Road.

For the first time, we have a fancy digest that turned our gaze to the upcoming season, called the Culture Coast Primer. In it is everything you need to know about this year’s major performances and productions. Designed for quick reference, we’re sure you’ll refer back to it all year long.

Of course there’s food in this edition. And if you’re looking for the season’s hottest trends, we’ve got you covered there, too. We hope that you enjoy this great edition of SRQ | The Magazine. And we hope it inspires you to live local.

See you next time!
The SRQ Team

PS: Our annual gala, Bal Masqué is on Saturday, October 3rd! We love the chance to mix and mingle with our friends and others who make it their mission to live local! We hope you’ll come and experience a great evening of food, entertainment and libations at one of Sarasota’s most historic and premier event venues, The Opera House. A portion of proceeds go to local community organizations. If you’re interested in purchasing tickets, HURRY! Price increases at the door and you’d hate to miss out on a fun filled evening. Visit SRQBALMASQUE.COM for details!