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SRQ DAILY Mar 7, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"The molcajete is a sharable and fun conversation piece."

- Rocco Mangel, Owner, Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar.

-35 Under 35 | Honorees of SRQ Magazine's 35 Under 35, 2022
[The Dish]  Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar Enchants Sarasota With Bold Flavors and A Vibrant Atmosphere
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Yesterday marked the long-anticipated opening of Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar at University Town Center. Owner Rocco Mangel opened the first Rocco’s Tacos in 2007 in West Palm Beach, FL. Having grown up in the restaurant industry alongside his parents and extended family, Mangel is well-versed in the food world. Before opening Rocco’s, he collaborated with the company’s current culinary director Rich Garcia at a Mexican restaurant called Moquila. At Moquila, Mangel and Garcia delved into the country’s diverse cuisine and culture, traveling to Mexico for inspiration. Their combined expertise has helped differentiate the Rocco’s brand, which emphasizes fresh and authentic flavors.

The tableside guacamole, made with Mangel’s recipe, is a staple at the restaurant, which prides itself on using the right technique to get the most out of the avocado. “Avocados are such a unique fruit because once they’re opened they start deteriorating,” says Garcia, “and to make the guacamole fresh right in front of you sets us apart from the rest.” Another unique dish is the molcajete, a stew served in a hot volcanic rock bowl sourced from Mexico. “The molcajete is a sharable and fun conversation piece,” adds Mangel. The molcajetes come with tortillas and garnishes which guests can use to make their own tacos at the table. “We’ve made the switch at the majority of our locations to cook, grind and form our own fresh corn tortillas,” Garcia says, “because the most important ingredient in a taco is the tortilla, and it’s a labor of love.” The tortillas stand out in the restaurant’s many street taco offerings, like birria, mahi and shrimp tacos. Rocco’s beverage menu also highlights well-thought-out flavors. “Our bartenders use fresh berries in our craft cocktails,” Mangel adds.

In addition to the food itself, the restaurant’s decor transports guests to the enchanting country of Mexico. The UTC location boasts metal star lanterns, intricate mosaics and a section inspired by artist Frida Khalo. The vibrant and mesmerizing setting provides a fitting backdrop for diners wishing to be whisked away, if only for one meal. “We’re looking forward to showcasing what we do and bringing joy and happiness to the people of Sarasota,” says Garcia.

Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar, 243 N Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota, roccostacos.com 

Pictured: The tableside guacamole made fresh at Rocco's. Photo courtesy of Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar.

Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar

[New Menu]  Michael's On East is Featuring Argentina for the March Epicurean Menu

The culinary team at Michael’s On East is challenged to create new dishes inspired by the world’s most exotic destinations each month. Join us to experience ever-changing, palate-pleasing global cuisine with Michael's Epicurean Adventures. We invite you to enjoy special wine pairings for $10 per glass or $18 for the pairing. The three-course dinner menu is available Tuesday through Saturday evenings for $42.95 per person. This month’s Epicurean menu is the result of a four day expedition to the Pampas Region of Central Argentina. Argentinian cuisine is known for its spices, which production is like an art form in this country. From the finest restaurants like Cabaña Las Lilas in Buenos Aires to the celebrated vineyards of Susana Balbo and Zuccardi Valle de Uco in Mendoza, GCCC members experienced the full breath of Argentine culture. Epicurean Argentina represents a sample of the local cuisine and exceptional wines discovered in this country of dramatic landscapes and endless diversity.  

Pictured: Brocheta de Solomillo de Cerdo con Puré de Batatas y Manzanas. Photo courtesy of Michael's on East.

[Arts & Entertainment]  R.A.D. Entertainment will be Performing Under the Stars at Hamlet’s Eatery

On March 10 enjoy an amazing free show under the stars at Hamlet’s Eatery. R.A.D. Entertainment will be performing from 5-8pm. R.A.D. is a collective of three talented performers known for writing dynamic hooks and delivering action packed performances. (R)aleigh Mosley, (A)riel Blue and (D)erric Gobourne, Jr. each borrowed a letter from their first name to become a soulful collective, where each member retains their own artistic identity. You may recognize their names from area shows including many at Westcoast Black Theatre. The trio will be performing pop, soul and R&B songs from the 70s through the present. Don’t be surprised when you witness some moonwalking dance moves and so much more!There is no charge for this show. Hamlet’s Eatery will be offering both traditional and vegan dinner options with craft beer, wine, and Prosecco on tap available. Located at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information visit www.Hamletseatery.com or call 941-445-1938. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Announces its Spring Semester Connections Documentary Film Series

Registration is now open for the 2023 spring semester at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College). The term, which runs March 13-May 5, 2023, once again includes the popular documentary film series Connections, held at Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The spring semester of Connections offers three screenings and a post-screening event. As the name CONNECTIONS implies, the themes of the films showcase the connections humans have with each other, with the physical world, and with other species that share our planet. General admission for each screening is $15. Julie Cotton, a member of the OLLI Advisory Council’s Strategic Program Planning Committee, is the coordinator and host of this series. Cotton has a doctorate in human development and is a former organizational consultant and executive coach. She is an aficionado of documentary films and a skilled facilitator of group conversations. Cotton stated, “The communal viewing experience offers our students the opportunity to connect to many of today's pressing global issues via the penetrating perspectives of contemporary films. After watching a film together, students can engage in a conversation, which I facilitate, about the film's content and impact, forging deeper learning and social connections.” 

To learn more click here.

[Recognition]  Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse to Honor Shining Stars at Luncheon

The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse (SCoSA) will honor the 2023 award winners at the 17th Annual Sarasota Shining Stars Recognition and Awards Luncheon. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, at Michael’s On East, 1212 East Ave., Sarasota. Tom Knight, former Sarasota County Sheriff, will serve as the emcee. Individual tickets are $80; table sponsorship is available for $1,000. Tickets are available online at www.SCoSA.org or by calling SCoSA at 941-928-4435.This year’s honorees are: Citizen of the Year - Mark Pritchett, President and CEO, Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Mark Pritchett is being recognized for his years of community service. He has served as the president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation since 2015; he is retiring this year. Under Pritchett’s leadership, the Foundation has tackled many of our community's toughest issues, including homelessness, affordable housing and mental health services. His smiling face and words of encouragement make you want to be part of his team to move forward, pull resources together and motivate people to do things for the greater good. Pritchett serves on the boards of the Florida Chamber Foundation, Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation, and the Community Foundations of Florida CEO Leadership Team. He is a Lifetime Member of Leadership Florida and supports many causes outside of his role at the Foundation. In 2021, he received the Civic Achievement Award by the American Jewish Committee. His caring attitude and sincerity make Mark Pritchett the perfect Citizen of the Year for the Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse. Community Leadership Award- Lt. Col. Michele Matthews, Sarasota Area Commander, The Salvation Army. The award recognizes the leadership and community contributions made by Lt. Col. Michele Matthews, who has served as The Salvation Army’s Sarasota area commander since 2021. During recent tragedies she led efforts to help people suffering from loss, homelessness and other issues. Matthews supervised The Salvation Army Homeless Shelter that housed two residential addiction recover programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ian. She facilitated food trucks and worked to provide assistance to many individuals in North Port in the aftermath of Ian, including temporary housing. Previously, Matthews was The Salvation Army’s national secretary for Social Services and Public Policy; national director for White House Relations; and territorial director for Pathway of Hope, a national poverty alleviation initiative, for The Salvation Army, USA Southern Territory. Matthews also has served as CEO of The Salvation Army’s Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Command and chief development officer for The Salvation Army Caribbean Territory. The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse is proud to recognize Lt. Col. Matthews with the Shining Stars Community Leadership Award. 

To learn more click here.

[New College Foundation]  Internships are Making a Meaningful Impact

New College of Florida student interns are making a lasting impact on the Sarasota-Manatee economy. Close to 100 local nonprofits and businesses have been assisted by interns through the College's Center for Career Engagement & Opportunity (CEO). Some local organizations which have hired interns include Sarasota County, Florida Department of Health in Manatee, Mote Marine Laboratory, Ringling Museum, 12th Judicial Circuit, Manatee School District, Art Center Sarasota, Save our Seabirds, Roskamp Institute and many more. Madeline Tympanick, M.Ed., Associate Director, Employer Relations & Work-Based Learning says, "We bring intellectually curious minds who can solve complex problems and think outside the box." 

To learn more and recruit New College students, please click here

[Forage]  A Home to Call Their Own
Kevin Allen, kevin.allen@srqme.com

A HOME TO CALL THEIR OWN | Florence and the Spice Boys left their food truck behind to bring culinary joy to The Landings, March 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel Foundation Inspiration Gala with Kenny Loggins , March 10, 5 pm

Join us as we celebrate the 35-year partnership of the Van Wezel Foundation and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for an intimate experience featuring exceptional dining and Grammy-winning musician Kenny Loggins. Proceeds from the evening will the support the mission of the Van Wezel Foundation: to create and sustain a vibrant perfoming arts center, advance education, and enrich communities by inspiring minds through the power of the arts. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 5:00 Cocktails, Dinner & Program, 8:00 Live Performance. Gala co-chairs: Kathy Martella and Susan Travers. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Julie Schwartz at 941-271-4180 or jschwartz@vwfoundation.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Friendly City Flea Market , March 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meet us at Oscura in Downtown Bradenton for our March Friendly City Flea. Outdoors there will be over 70 artisan vendors and a DJ. Indoors there will be jazz and brunch with a specialty food and beverage menu. Oscura, 816 Manatee Ave E., Bradenton, friendlycityflea.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Green Weekend at The Bay Sarasota , March 17 – March 19, Various times

There’s no better place than The Bay to celebrate two important green holiday favorites: St. Patrick’s Day and Global Recycling Day. Green drink specials, a visit from Sunshine Composters, a lunchtime concert by Garage Men Band... and more! Various locations at The Bay park. thebaysarasota.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: History Day in the Park at Phillippi Estate Park , March 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phillippi Estate Park, as the home of the Edson Keith Mansion and the historic Keith Farmhouse, is holding History Day in the Park on Saturday March 25 2023. We’re helping preserve the fascinating history of the greater Sarasota area by presenting local history to residents and visitors. The event will feature live music, kids' activities, historical fun and more. Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. historydayinthepark.com.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Exploding Costs of Living in Paradise Workshop , March 16, 4 to 7 p.m.

DSCA Workshop: The Exploding Costs of Living in Paradise, Mitigating the Pain of Increasing Condo Fees. Residents are increasingly feeling the pinch when it comes to condo living. Do you find yourselves asking what can be done about it? Is there anything residents can do to help control and manage their rising insurance costs? Bring your questions and concerns to this comprehensive discussion. Cost: $10-Members, $15-Non-Members. Goewey Hall at Church of the Redeemer’s Robinson Center, 222 S. Palm Ave Ste B, Sarasota, FL 34236, downtownsarasotacondoassoc.com

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: PoetryLife 2023 , March 11 – March 13, Various times

Each year since 2012 PoetryLife, a project of Bookstore1Sarasota, has been bringing the best of the world’s poets to Sarasota. PoetryLife 2023 features renowned poets Martin Espada and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, along with poet Philip Terman and Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate Haley Peace. Join us at Florida Studio Theatre for a celebration of heritage and poetry. The event will include readings and conversations as well as poetry writing workshops. Visit sarasotabooks.com to purchase tickets for specific events and learn more. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Cirque des Voix , March 10 – March 12, 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. for select shows

The Circus Arts Conservatory and Key Chorale are thrilled to come together again for this year’s production of Cirque des Voix, or Circus of the Voices, a one-of-a-kind performing arts experience. This unique arts presentation combines the more than 100 voices of the Key Chorale with the 40-piece Cirque Orchestra and live circus artists. Featured in this season’s three performances will be circus artists of national and international acclaim as well as youth performers from the CAC’s Sailor Circus Academy, will dazzle audiences with acts performed to exquisite musical accompaniment. Performances will take place at the CAC’s Sailor Circus Arena, 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota on Friday, March 10 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. Tickets for Cirque des Voix are $35-$75. Visit CircusArts.org or call 941-355-9805 to reserve your seats.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: ObSEUSSed- A Seussical Celebration Flower Show , March 10 – March 11, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Manatee River Garden Club presents ObSEUSSed, a Dr. Seuss-themed flower show. The show is atribute to Dr. Seuss and his whimsical books and art. There will be 24 artistic floral designs competing in 6 different classes. Educational exhibits will cover Butterflies and The Homegrown National Park Project. Botanical Arts exhibits will include Artistic Crafts and Photography. The show will be judged by nationally accredited Flower Show Judges on Friday morning and will be open to the public from 2:00 until 5:00 pm on Friday, March 11, and 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday, April 17. The show is free to the public. Food will be available for purcahse. Manatee River Garden Club, 3120 First Avenue West, Bradenton. manateerivergardenclub.com.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Celebration at the Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota , March 23, 7:30 p.m.

The program includes music by five Jewish composers in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Felix Mendelssohn's powerful Sinfonia in B Minor opens the program. George Gershwin's Lullaby for Strings adds a jazzy touch. Boris Levenberg's Hassidic Scene features concertmaster Christina Adams in a heartfelt violin solo which evokes the world of Fiddler on the Roof. Noubar Aslanyan's Trumpet Concertino features Robert Smith in a brilliant work for trumpet and strings. The program concludes with Ernest Bloch's exhilarating Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra and Piano Obbligato with Ann Stephenson-Moe, pianist. General seating. First Presbyterian Church, 2050 Oak St, Sarasota. chamberorchestrasarasota.org. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: History Hop Trolley Tours in Englewood, Sarasota and Venice , March 14 – March 16, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Join us for History Hop, our annual week-long celebration of Sarasota County history in partnership with the Lemon Bay (Englewood), Sarasota and Venice Historical Societies. Explore one community each day, or visit all three. Each 2-hour tour offers guests a narrated tour of each community and the chance to “hop” off the trolley at various historic sites to learn from docents about each community’s history in Sarasota County. A percentage of net proceeds will be donated to each participating partner to support the programs and services they provide that keep Sarasota County history alive. discoversarasotatours.com

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Jazz Festival , March 13 – March 18, Various times

The Jazz Club of Sarasota presents the Sarasota Jazz Festival. A variety of jazz styles will be on display for audiences. The event will feature four evenings of main stage performances, a jazz trolley tour, late night jam sessions and jazz films. Programs will be held at University Town Center/Nathan Benderson Park and the Burns Court Cinema. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit sarasotajazzfestival.com.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Manatee Pride Festival , March 11, 12 to 5 p.m.

Manatee Pride is a fun family event with all proceeds benefiting ALSO Youth. ALSO Youth provides Advocacy, Leadership, Support, and Outreach for LGBTQ+ youth in Sarasota and Manatee Counties and is dedicated to supporting, affirming, encouraging, and empowering all LGBTQ+ youth, their families, and allies via two youth centers that host weekly programming, support groups, scholarship opportunities, and more. Our annual Manatee Pride festival will showcase incredible live entertainment, music, delicious food, refreshments, health checks, and more. We would like to give a special thanks to Craig Byers for our beautiful logo for this incredible event. Riverwalk Pavilion and Event Area, 452 3rd Avenue W. Bradenton, alsoyouth.org. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Ranch Nite Wednesdays at Waterside Place , February 8 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy a night of fun at Waterside Place during Ranch Nite Wednesdays. The event features food trucks, live music, a night market, a vintage mobile bar and cornhole. Visit lakewoodranch.com to learn more. Waterside Place, 1561 Lakefront Drive, Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Bradenton Spring Festival , March 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Humane Society of Manatee County is proud to present the first Bradenton Spring Festival Fundraiser. Located at Caddy’s of Bradenton, 801 Riverside Drive East, this family, and pet-friendly festival will allow guests to enjoy an abundance of activities such as a dog lure course, photo booth, DJ, games, raffle prizes, local vendors, adoptable dogs and more. Individuals and fundraising teams can buy tickets now by visiting the events page at www.humanemanatee.org. 

[SOON]  FOOD: 2023 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , April 20 – April 24, Various times

The 2023 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival will return for its 16th year. The Festival is scheduled for April 20-24, 2023 and offers a world-class weekend of winemaker dinners, interactive wine seminars and wine tastings that culminates with the alfresco Grand Tasting event at The Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard. Guests will savor delicious dishes presented by over 40 members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals restaurant group and sample from a collection of more than 300 unique wines from across the globe. There will be live musical entertainment and an expansive silent auction of rare and collectible wines and experiences. Due to the unprecedented demand this year, there are three available ticket levels: VIP, early access and general admission. For more information on Forks and Corks and to purchase tickets, visit EatLikeALocal.com. Follow Forks and Corks on Facebook and Instagram.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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