State street llamas trypdp

Cocktail of the Week: State Street’s Jimador en Llamas

Mescal and many other flavors combine for a fascinating wallop.

By Hannah Wallace  2/15/2017 at 10:47am
The Jimador en Llamas. And a plant.

THIS WEEK: The Jimador en Llamas at State Street Eating House + Cocktails

THE DRINK: Mescal, cilantro and coriander syrup, green chartreuse, lime juice, egg white, habanero bitters. Do not let its gentle froth fool you; this packs all of the kicks. The menu’s tasting notes read, “Mescal + herbal + lime + spicy,” which pretty much says it all. The smoky mescal stands up to all of the herby flavors, then the tart lime, and at the end you’re left with delightfully burny lips.

THE BAR: Singlehandedly responsible for making this Main Street-adjacent road a cocktail destination, State Street has expanded into a multi-bar, multi-seating area go-to for any and all occasions.

FOOD: If you haven’t had State Street’s happy hour lobster rolls, you’re seriously missing out.

OTHER NOTABLE POTABLES: State Street’s stellar mixological reputation is well earned. Check the menu for popular staples as well as new experiments, and don’t be afraid to make requests or ask for adjustments and recommendations.

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PlatedModernKitchenPlated Modern Kitchen

Chef/restaurateur Lesley Harb introduced her new dining concept, Plated Modern Kitchen, to guests at the Grand Tasting in January (patrons had already known and loved her Fast N Fresh eatery). Harb’s Plated dish for the Forks & Corks event: Marinated Grilled Chicken with Mediterranean Salsa Fresca and Greek Farro Salad. Insider Perspective: The refreshing farro salad (with chick peas, onions, and bits of crunchy red and green veggies) flavorfully popped alongside the salsa’s vibrant tomatoes—crisp and colorful.

Plated Modern Kitchen's Forks & Corks Top 5 List:

Q: What are a couple of tips for prepping for the Grand Tasting?

A: Plan, plan and plan. We start about two weeks prior to the event, calculating the number of portions and all of the components that comprise the dishes. We coordinate with our food purveyors to bring in extra products and then start prepping about 48 hours in advance so everything is fresh. 

Q: Do you have a wine pairing suggestion for the dish you served at the 2017 event?

A: Fortuitously, our booth this year was next to that of my favorite winery, Hook & Ladder. The dish paired beautifully with their 2014 Estate Chardonnay.  

Q: What have you learned from past Grand Tastings?

A: We have participated in Forks & Corks for the last six years, so we have learned to prepare for the unexpected. I always have a “crash kit” with tape, scissors, clips, ponchos and snacks (that’s the mom in me). I always plan on a cool start with warmer weather in the afternoon. This year was a little cooler but, once the rain clouds cleared away, it was a spectacular day.

Q: What were some of the best compliments you received about the dish you served?

A: We received a lot of great feedback. With so many of the dishes at the Grand Tasting being a little heavier, we are a nice departure to the lighter side.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the Grand Tasting?

A: Having participated for so many years, I love reconnecting with the winemakers we have gotten to know. It is always great to be able to visit with our fellow Sarasota-Manatee Originals members and sample their delicious food.

Plated Modern Kitchen | 8105 Cooper Creek Boulevard | University Park | 941-315-4500 |

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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One of Two Restaurants in Florida to Receive Honor for More Than 25 Years

MOE diamond award 2017

Michael’s On East has been awarded its 28th consecutive Four Diamond Rating by AAA. Michael’s On East Co-Proprietors Michael Klauber and Philip Mancini accepted the award during a brief presentation the morning of Thursday, March 2, 2017. Michael’s On East is the only Four Diamond Award restaurant in Sarasota, Fla.

“It’s hard to believe our staff has been recommending Michael’s On East for 30 years!” said Don Schwartz, Sarasota-Manatee field manager for AAA. As we present this 28th consecutive AAA Four Diamond Award, it’s important to recognize that Michael’s On East is one of only two restaurants in the entire state of Florida to maintain the AAA Four Diamond status for 25+ years.” Schwartz added that only 24 restaurants have held the Four Diamond status for more than 25 years across the United States and Canada

The AAA Diamond Rating Process is North America’s premier restaurant rating program, performed each year by professionally-trained evaluators from AAA’s national headquarters. Only 2.5 percent of the nearly 30,000 restaurants rated are approved by the AAA Four Diamond list.

“We value this important distinction from AAA and our entire team views it as a point of pride in the restaurant,” said Michael Klauber. “As we officially mark the restaurant’s 30th anniversary next month—April 27, 2017—we continue to be incredibly thankful to continue offering Sarasota residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations and visitors ‘Four Diamond’ service and cuisine.”

AAA defines a Four Diamond restaurant as being geared to individuals in search of a distinctive fine-dining experience. Often orchestrated by an executive chef and an accomplished staff, menus reflect a high degree of creativity and complexity, using imaginative presentations to enhance high quality, market-fresh ingredients. The equally proficient service staff demonstrates a strong desire to meet or exceed guest expectations. A wine steward is typically available to provide menu-specific knowledge on wine selection. The ambiance is highly refined, comfortable and well-coordinated, incorporating quality materials and a variety of upscale design enhancements to give a first-class impression. There are no payments or membership dues associated with the AAA rating system to ensure objective and trusted reviews.

Michael’s On East is located at 1212 East Avenue South, Sarasota, 34239. For more information about all offerings from Michael’s On East Restaurant, Wine Cellar and Catering Division, call 941-366-0007 or visit

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 MichaelsOnEastMOE 01Michaels On East Phil Mancini Michael Klauber Co Proprietors

Michael's On East is a Grand Tasting veteran, and this year, the Sarasota restaurant’s dish (as expected) wowed patrons. We asked co-proprietor Michael Klauber about the experience of the Forks & Corks annual event—from the prep work it takes to the day-of splash it makes. Insider Perspective: Michael’s Andouille Sausage and Ground Beef Sliders with Bleu Cheese, Pickled Okra and Alfalfa Sprouts was a stunning stack—with savory meat and cheese intermixed with crisp, refreshing vegetables. Layer upon layer of contrasting, surprising flavors broke up the monotony of any old standard slider.
Forks & Corks Top 5 List: Michael’s On East
Q: What are a couple of tips for prepping for the Grand Tasting?
Most importantly, make sure you do not run out of food! It is one of our team’s favorite events of the season. We go all out each year with our table décor to evoke the feeling of Michael’s On East (within The Ringling museum courtyard).
Q: Do you have a wine pairing suggestion for the dish you served at the 2017 event?
A: Absolutely. It is a special wine from my friend, Robert Kacher’s, portfolio: Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvee Alex,” Famille Mayard, FR, 2012.
Q: What have you learned from past Grand Tastings?
We have been proud to participate in the Grand Tasting since the very first event, which I helped cofound. We love the opportunity to work alongside fellow restauranteurs as we all learn about Sarasota’s ever-changing, sophisticated taste buds. It is a great opportunity to showcase and experiment with new food trends. 
Q: What was the best feedback you received about your 2017 dish?
I heard from so many guests who loved the spice and unique flavors of our sliders this year. 
Q: What is your favorite thing about the Grand Tasting?
It is a fabulous mix of great wines from around the world and the best flavors of the Suncoast. For me, it is a special day when my friends from the winemaking world join with local restauranteur colleagues and our loyal restaurant guests. The energy of the day is truly amazing. 
Michael’s On East | 1212 East Ave. S. | Sarasota | 941-366-0007 |
Author:  Abby Weingarten
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