Best Beach Bar 2017 Small

Each spring, since 2011, Florida Beach Bar asks its website visitors to vote for their favorite Florida beach bar. At the end of the competition, votes are totaled and combined with Florida Beach Bar’s proprietary Pink Flamingo Rating (determined based on proximity to the beach, amount of live music, availability of food and beverages, etc.) to decide the annual Top 10 Florida Beach Bars.

It's a fun contest that allows guests to show their Florida beach bar pride and recognize those beach bars that go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional Florida beach bar experience!

Click Here to Vote for Sharky's on the Pier - Venice

1600 Harbor Drive South | Venice, FL 34285 | 941-999-3467 | www.finsatsharkys.com

 

     

 

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Siesta Key Oyster Bar SmallSiesta Key Oyster Bar Beth Keith Cipielewski Owners
Being true to her eatery’s name, Siesta Key Oyster Bar restaurateur Beth Owen-Cipielewski served up a shucked specialty at the Grand Tasting in January: Grilled Oysters Casino. Insider Perspective: At an annual event in Southwest Florida that draws a trove of tourists, this oyster dish was a prime seafood introduction to coastal Sarasota.

Siesta Key Oyster Bar’s Forks & Corks Top 5 List:

Q: What are a couple of tips for prepping for the Grand Tasting?
A: Prep enough food so you have enough until the end. Plan a nice table-scape that represents the style of your restaurant. Bring a dolly to load and unload. Bring something to give to the patrons that will remind them of you later and bring them back to your restaurant. 
 
Q: Do you have a wine pairing suggestion for the dish you served?
A: Something fun and bubbly is a good start, like Chardonnay-based bubbles or Moscato. Sauvignon Blanc is good for the classic wine drinker. For the beer lover, a stout like Guinness would also be great.
 
Q: What have you learned from past Grand Tastings?
A: Make sure you bring enough food. You do not want to run out early. This is a fun event and your opportunity to shine.
 
Q: What were some of the best compliments you received about the dish you served?
A: We were flattered by the compliments we received, and we had quite a few people come back for seconds or thirds. We always love hearing that we are their favorite place to come for food, fun, live music and oysters.
 
Q: What is your favorite thing about the Grand Tasting?
A: This is one of our favorite events. We are always excited to showcase one of our specialties, and we really enjoy checking out what the other great restaurants have to offer.
 
Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB) | 5238 Ocean Boulevard, Sarasota | 941-346-5443 | skob.com

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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pier 22 21 10 SmallPier 22 Chef Greg Campell Manager
 
Executive Chef Greg Campbell and Pastry Chef Felipe Silva of Pier 22 have a dual strategy for making the annual Forks & Corks Grand Tasting a success. In January, they served their Short Rib En Croute, and the signature dish was an instant hit. Insider Perspective: A perfect little package of short rib, wrapped up in a savory crust with a creamy white sauce on the side.

PIER 22’s Forks & Corks Top 5 List:

Q: What are a couple of tips for prepping for the Grand Tasting?
A: We decide on the dish well in advance. A few days before the Grand Tasting, we prepare the portions and get ready to serve plenty of guests, Silva says.
 
Q: Do you have a wine pairing suggestion for the dish you served?
A: The Short Rib En Croute stands out all on its own. But when you pair it with the Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi 2014, from Michael David Winery, something magical happens. We enjoyed having the winegrower/owner, Michael Phillips, by the restaurant for a Forks & Corks winemaker dinner. His wines complemented the hearty, protein-rich dishes from our menu better than we ever could have imagined, Campbell says.
 
Q: What have you learned from past Grand Tastings?
A: To plan the menu way ahead of time, Silva says.
 
Q: What were some of the best compliments you received about the dish you served?
A: While Pier 22 is known for award-winning seafood dishes, we often like to switch it up for the Grand Tasting. The guests seem to enjoy something savory and different from what they might have come to expect. People cheer for a dish with quality protein, and we are constantly being asked for the recipe, Campbell says.
 
Q: What is your favorite thing about the Grand Tasting?
A: The event brings together many of the best restaurants from the Sarasota-Manatee area. It is a celebration of great food and great wine, and honestly, great people. As an Originals restaurant, it is always a wonderful day spent outdoors with people from the community, Campbell says.
 
PIER 22 | 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton | 941-748-8087 | pier22dining.com
 
Photo Credit: dineSarasota.com | www.dinesarasota.com

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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Sandbar 01 smallSandbar Ed Chiles Proprietor
 
Erik Walker, the culinary director for the Chiles Restaurant Group, introduced guests to a refreshing signature dish from The Sandbar at the Grand Tasting in January: Locally-sourced Mackerel Crudo with House-made Pickled Vegetable Escabeche. Insider Perspective: At an event like the Grand Tasting, with its bevy of hearty samples that leave guests quickly stuffed, The Sandbar’s light mackerel mixed with pickled veggies was a welcome respite for the palate

The Sandbar’s Forks & Corks Top 5 List:

Q: What are a couple of tips for prepping for the Grand Tasting?
A: Go big or go home. You never want to run out. Bring your A game. 
 
Q: Do you have a wine pairing suggestion for the dish you served at the 2017 event?
A: Of course, a dry Riesling such as the Lola Riesling has enough acidity to enhance the flavors brought forth by the escabeche. Further, the flavor profile of the mackerel (minerals) is complemented by the Riesling, which is traditionally an old-world, mineral-forward wine.
 
Q: What have you learned from past Grand Tastings?
A: You need to push the envelope to get noticed. Some restaurants bring the same dish every year, and that is fine if that is what works for them. But we always try to outdo ourselves and be better than the last year.
 
Q: What were some of the best compliments you received about the dish you served?
A: We heard that it was the most creative and the most unique. We also heard that it was delicious but also edgy and forward-thinking. And that is representative of what we are doing with our menus at the restaurants. 
 
Q: What is your favorite thing about the Grand Tasting?
A: Interacting with the locals and treating them to something new and exciting.
 
The Sandbar Restaurant | 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria | 941-778-0444 | sandbar.groupersandwich.com.

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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January 2017 

Our waterfront venue is one of Anna Maria Island’s most appealing sites for wedding celebrations. Located at the South end of the island, Gulf Drive Café overlooks sugar-white sand, the Gulf of Mexico’s turquoise-emerald waters and multi-colored horizon during sunset. Our team of experts will work with you on creating your perfect tropical dream wedding.

We have several options when considering where to exchange your vows.
Our most popular feature is tying the knot near the coastline on a romantic sandy walkway of multi-colored rose petals. You may also choose to have the ceremony performed at the Windsail Pavilion or Seastar Sands, each several feet away from the beach and al fresco favorites. Both are open-aired secluded spaces surrounded by miniature tiki huts. The Gulf waves provide a picturesque backdrop when saying, “I do.”

Our rustic Sunset Tiki is a reception space perfectly suited for groups over fifty people. Spacious and open-aired, our staff will create elegant tablescapes and arrange the musical equipment, flowers, white padded chairs and tables around the dance floor. The wedding party and guests are also welcome to dance barefoot in the sand. You also have the choice of renting the whole bar during the length of your reception for private use. Smaller groups of fewer than fifty people may also choose to have the reception at the Windsail Pavilion or Seastar Sands.

We invite you to visit our property, sample our chef’s creations and learn more about the wedding packages we offer.  Please contact us at gulfdrivetiki@gmail.com for more information.  Thank you!

900 Gulf Drive North | Bradenton Beach, FL 34217 | 941-778-1919 | www.gulfdrivetiki.com

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