Sarasota Lifestyle

Woo hoo! More options at SRQ

Allegient Air just announced the addition of NINE non-stop flights out of our neighborhood airport. As a semi-regular traveler, I’m keenly aware of the benefits of flying local: a friend can drop me off without being put out for hours on end, I avoid parking fees, and I don’t have to be awake at 4 in the morning to get out on a 7:30am flight—So many positives! Check out all the new places we can go conveniently right from SRQ Airport starting soon!


Allegiant Announced New Nonstop Service from SRQ to 9 Cities

SARASOTA, Fla. Nov. 13, 2018 — Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) today announces nine new nonstop routes to Sarasota via Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) from: Asheville, North Carolina; Baltimore; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Nashville, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia; and Syracuse, New York. To celebrate, the company is offering one-way fares on the new routes as low as $45.*

“We’re excited to announce this unprecedented expansion in one of the newest destinations in our network - Sarasota,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant vice president of planning and revenue. “Sarasota offers world-renowned beaches, museums and dining, and we’re so excited to bring even more visitors to this amazing city.”
 
The new year-round routes to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) include:
 

  1. Asheville, North Carolina via Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) – beginning 2/22/19

  2. Baltimore via Baltimore / Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) – beginning 2/22/19

  3. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania via Harrisburg International Airport (MDT) – beginning 4/3/19

  4. Syracuse, New York via Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) – beginning 4/3/19

  5. Cleveland via Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) – beginning 4/4/19

  6. Columbus, Ohio via Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) – beginning 4/4/19

  7. Richmond, Virginia via Richmond International Airport (RIC) – beginning 4/4/19

  8. Grand Rapids, Michigan via Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) – beginning 4/5/19

  9. Nashville, Tennessee via Nashville International Airport (BNA) – beginning 4/5/19

The new nonstop routes will operate twice-weekly and will bring nearly 160,000 passengers to the Sarasota / Bradenton area annually, contributing to visitor spending in the local economy. Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found only at Allegiant.com.
 
“Working with Allegiant, the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport has developed into one of the region’s premier airports, further setting the Sarasota / Bradenton area apart and ensuring it remains competitive in a crowded market,” said Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The past few years have brought with them an unprecedented expansion of routes, including Allegiant’s. The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau applauds their efforts to make the destination more accessible than ever before for our visitors. We look forward to welcoming even more visitors from these cities onboard Allegiant flights.”
 
 “We are very pleased with the success of Allegiant at SRQ,” said Rick Piccolo, president and CEO of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. “The airport has experienced substantial growth since Allegiant began service in April. The addition of nine new cities will provide our community with many more ultra-low-cost options and we look forward to the continued growth and success of Allegiant at SRQ.”
 
“These flights are serving some of our most important origin cities for visitation and will have a huge positive tourism impact for Sarasota county,” said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota.
 
Allegiant offers a unique option to Sarasota-bound travelers with low base airfare and savings on rental cars and hotels. Travelers can book their entire vacation with Allegiant for less.

###


Allison-024.JPG

If you are planning to winter in Sarasota, visit us during holiday vacations, or come during Spring Break, check out the convenient access point to all things paradise, SRQ Airport. And for all your real estate needs while you’re enjoying the Sunshine State, give me a call today.

Contact Us

allison@allisonwerner.com | (941) 961-3212

Feeling Like Fall

We all caught the first glimpse of fall this past weekend as the temperature dipped below 80 and the humidity left the air…at least for a few hours! It was, however, enough for those of us who love the fall season to start buying apple cider and thinking about our Halloween costumes. But just because we do not get the nip in the air that our northern cohorts receive this time of year, that does not mean we don’t do the fall season right. Take a look at some area activities to help you celebrate autumn!

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 1.15.30 PM.png

Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival

Fruitville Grove Fresh Farmers Market puts on a fun-filled Pumpkin Festival each fall! Bring the whole family to enjoy a wide variety of fall farm activities such as pony rides, a petting zoo, a wildflower maze, and of course pumpkin picking! Kids will love the mini-train rides, while kids of all ages ;-) will enjoy laser tag and bungee jumps. The festival runs from 10am-5pm every Saturday & Sunday in October.

Ghosts & Gruesomes Tour

Sarasota Suncoast Tours puts on their fun & spooky Ghosts & Gruesomes walking tour of downtown Sarasota every Friday & Saturday at 7:15pm this month. Experience the spirited and sinister side of Sarasota on this one-of-a-kind walking tour to learn more about the area and some of the residents who still call it home – many, many, many years later. The tour runs about 75 minutes.

 A Sarasota graveyard explored on Sarasota Suncoast Tours.

A Sarasota graveyard explored on Sarasota Suncoast Tours.

Sights & Sins Trolley Tour

We love trolley tours. What better way to spend a chilly (😂) fall evening than with a cup of hot apple cider aboard a trolley with your closest friends hearing about local history, interesting trivia, and a few of the ‘Sins’ that happened here. Another gem from Sarasota Suncoast Tours, this Sights & Sins tour runs either 1.5 or 3 hrs on the air-conditioned trolley and covers from the Sarasota Airport to downtown & Lido Key.

Siesta Key Trick or Treating

Fun for the whole family, the Siesta Key Village businesses hand out candy in costume for a fun trick-or-treating experience. This event is fully open to and free for the public! Trick-or-treating runs from 3-6pm on Halloween, but stay all evening patronizing the wonderful establishments of the Village for some serious Halloween fun!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 1.14.23 PM.png

Who doesn’t enjoy this nostalgic performance during the spooky Halloween season? We know we do here at View From the Top! Lucky for us, the Players Center for Performing Arts is putting on an outdoor adaptation of Washington Irving classic at the Sarasota Polo Field. Opening tonight and running through the end of the month, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will be a modern twist on the classic story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.


Whether you enjoy the spook of the season or just the fun festivities, there are so many activities to enjoy this time of year in our area. If we can help you enjoy #viewfromthetopstyle-living in Sarasota in any way, please give us a call today. Happy haunting!

How To Be a Sarasota Foodie

 The dessert table at the Haye Loft, above Euphemia Haye

The dessert table at the Haye Loft, above Euphemia Haye

In a time when information is at the tip of our fingers, when crossing the country takes but a few hours, and when indulgence is not a rare treat but an opportunity offered to many, we are deciding where we visit and where we live based on simple luxuries like high-scale food scenes, nightlife, and access. Sarasota itself is a budding food city, with many fabulous award-winning restaurants as well as local favorites that are worthy of your tastebuds! Here are a few places to go, if you want to do Sarasota like a foodie.

Major Award-Winners

Michael’s on East

This Sarasota staple fine dining establishment boasts the most national awards in our area. It is Sarasota’s only AAA 4-diamond award restaurant, but it’s not just the awards and accolades that make Michael’s special. Its attached piano bar and wine cellar bring in guests who come just for the experience and who stay for the food, and the happy hour prices make this fine dining experience accessible for most. They give back, too! A frequent sponsor of our local non-profits, Michael’s also donates proceeds to one of them every Monday.

 Indigenous is located on S. Links Ave. downtown.

Indigenous is located on S. Links Ave. downtown.

Indigenous

When it opened in 2012, Indigenous came in with a bang, winning the Best New Restaurant award from Florida Trend right out the gate. Chef Steve Phelps is a two-time semi-finalist for the James Beard Best Chef - South award, the restaurant received a place on Zagat’s Best Restaurants in America list in 2013, and has landed on more Best Eats in Sarasota lists than we can came here. The ambiance of this restaurant is casual and chic simultaneously, featuring as many local, or indigenous, vendors as possible, from the wood used in the wine rack to the locally-sourced produce.

Food Network Accolades

Yoder’s

Featured on Man Vs. Food in 2009, this little Amish restaurant located just south of downtown has a reputation far louder than its comfortable dining room would suggest. The home-cooked comfort-food vibe makes you feel right at home. I, myself, enjoy the pies the most, but meat-eaters rave about their pot roast & fried chicken. A personal tip? Don’t be afraid of the name, just order the Shoofly Pie—a gooey and sweet molasses pie like nothing I’ve ever tasted before in my life. But really, any pie there will be the best pie you have ever tasted, even if you are a cake person. ;-)

Munchie’s 420 Café

Man Vs. Food was back in 2016 with a visit to the late-night Gulf Gate staple, Munchie’s 420 Café. Featured on the episode was a challenge to eat ghost pepper poppers, one we don’t suggest! But if you are craving literally every comfort food wrapped into one, Munchie’s is your place. My indulgence there is always the fries, as I’m a vegetarian so I don’t eat their sandwiches, but my foodie, meat-eating sister swears the Fat Sandy is where it’s at when you are searching for perhaps the most delicious thing you can put in your body at midnight: cheeseburgers, mac n’ cheese, chicken fingers, and mozzerella sticks on a sub roll. You read that right. It’s the king of good eats.

My Faves - It’s time you knew!

Bijou Café

I just love lunches at the Bijou, where the experience makes you feel like you rolled back a hundred years. Pour from the left, take from the right, white-glove service. The middle-of-downtown location is perfect if you work in the area. The nostalgic elegance coupled with modern European food creates a fine dining experience that you will enjoy in the middle of the workday or just before the opera on a Friday night.

Shore

This new essential place to eat on St. Armands Circle features a lot of what I love all in one place: a balcony view of a beautiful place (right on St. Armands), a good rosé, and seriously the best truffle fries in the world. It is true that I make special trips to Shore for the fries. The rest of their menu is nearly flawless, with fantastic tomato bisque soups and hot-weather friendly salads, but seriously—go try those truffle fries!

The Haye Loft at Euphemia Haye

It’s my party and I’ll eat dessert if I want to! Euphemia Haye’s dessert room has always been one of my favorite makes-me-feel-special places. The location on Longboat Key makes this a destination for me, but the dessert room makes it worth it. The fancy atmosphere is highlighted by the dessert bar, where everything from absolutely indulgent pies, bananas foster, and homemade ice cream are featured nightly. Invite some friends on your next big occasion—you won’t regret it!

Sarasota isn’t just a beach town, it’s a foodie town too. For all your Sarasota real estate and lifestyle needs, please give me a call today!

Resort-Style Living is #ViewFromTheTopStyle

Here at The View from the Top, we specialize in luxury & penthouse living in downtown Sarasota. However, Sarasota offers so many different ways to live in luxury that occasionally we branch away from downtown to spotlight a #ViewFromTheTopStyle neighborhood that we know our luxury-lovers would be able to appreciate. (See our previous blogs on West of Trail, Beach Retreats, Deer Creek & Lakewood Ranch.) One of the reasons many of us live here in Sarasota (aka paradise) is to feel like we are on vacation every day. If you want to take that to the next level, welcome to resort-style living.

We’re talking everything right in your neighborhood, well-maintained luxury amenities such as olympic lap pools, lagoon pools for sunbathing and lounging on a float, state-of-the-art fitness centers, top-notch safety & security, and easy access to regularly-needed places like hair salons, post offices, and markets. Ladies and gentlemen, meet VillageWalk, where they have done resort-style living right.

VillageWalk in Palmer Ranch

Located south of Clark Rd. off of Honore, VillageWalk is one of the largest and best-equipped communities in Palmer Ranch. While many PR neighborhoods feature public space, pools, and small fitness rooms, few do it on the scale of VillageWalk. Here’s why:The

  • Their gym is better-equipped than many professional gyms.

  • They offer two pools, one for relaxing, one for exercise, in addition to a spa, and ample outdoor space.

  • Six professional-quality, Har-Tru tennis courts are available for use.

  • Forgot one thing for dinner? Worry not! Stop by the convenience store right within the gates when you’re in a pinch.

  • The shopping district inside VillageWalk includes a salon, gas station, post office, and office space for residents. Talk about all-in-one!

  • The beautifully-maintained community features innumerable paths for biking and jogging through the picturesque neighborhood.

  • This neighborhood is perfect for worry-free lock & go! Ultra-secure manned gated entrance 24 hours a day means this is not only a very safe place to live full-time, but you can rest easy that your home away from home is safe if you are seasonal.

  • Maintenance-free living means no more yard work for you! 😍

All the Perks of Condo Living

If you like having everything you need right in one building, but desire a bit more breathing room on the weekends or when family is in town, VillageWalk can be a great alternative! All the amenities above mean you literally just have to worry about the inside of your home—easy peasy!

If you frequently feel like a hotel due to incoming friends and family who sadly only get to vacation here on occasion, put them up in your villa vacation paradise a mere 15 minutes away instead!

Sound like something you want?

We have good news for you! We are currently marketing a beautiful, totally updated & move-in ready villa in VillageWalk with a sparkling private pool out back! High-end finishes you’ve come to expect, resort-style living you deserve. Here are the details:

7546 Quinto Drive

  • 2 bed, 2 bath

  • 1,534 sq ft under air + additional exterior entertaining space of nearly 600 sq ft!

  • Recently updated kitchen & baths w/quartz counters & high-end finishes

  • Listed for $339,900!

If you or someone you know is looking to live more #ViewFromTheTopStyle, give us a call today. We may specialize in downtown, but we are delivering luxury lifestyles from all corners of Sarasota!

Sculpture Parks Here & There

Sculpture parks from around the world were recently featured on Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Defined blog. Take a look at 7 they believe you can’t miss, and one of our own special parks right in downtown Sarasota!


OPEN-AIR ART: 7 MUST-VISIT SCULPTURE PARKS

From giant roosters, deer, and hares, to mysterious shifting fog installations, some of the most exciting works of art are sited outside the traditional confines of a gallery in sculpture parks, giving visitors a whole new perspective on the pieces themselves and the landscapes they dominate—all while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful open spaces. Here are seven to put on your outdoor-art agenda.

1. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Yorkshire, UK

A huge reclining hare, an army of imposing tribal figures, and a tree made of iron are just three of the sights that await visitors at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. The brainchild of founding director Peter Murray CBE, the park covers 500 acres (202 ha). Works by Henry Moore, Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash, and James Turrell are scattered around the grounds (as well as that Sophie Ryder hare, Zak Ové’s figures, and Ai Weiwei’s tree). “Viewing sculpture in the garden can provide a very different experience to an indoor gallery,” says Murray. “The changing light, the seasonal variations, and the elements all contribute to the experience.”

 The 16-foot-tall (4.9 m)  Caldera , by leading British sculptor Tony Cragg, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The venue’s indoor gallery recently hosted the biggest UK exhibition of his work to date. Tony Cragg,  Caldera , 2008. Bronze, 480 x 372 x 342cm. Courtesy the artist and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photograph: Michael Richter.

The 16-foot-tall (4.9 m) Caldera, by leading British sculptor Tony Cragg, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The venue’s indoor gallery recently hosted the biggest UK exhibition of his work to date. Tony Cragg, Caldera, 2008. Bronze, 480 x 372 x 342cm. Courtesy the artist and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photograph: Michael Richter.

This is also the only place where you can see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety. “Sited on the hillside, the work takes on the majesty of the trees as it absorbs the Yorkshire landscape, which had such a strong influence on Hepworth,” observes Murray.

 Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the only place you can view Barbara Hepworth’s  The Family of Man , 1970 in its full form. © Bowness. Courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photograph: Jonty Wilde.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the only place you can view Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man, 1970 in its full form. © Bowness. Courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photograph: Jonty Wilde.

2.Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
If you were in London between July 2013 and February 2015, you might have noticed a huge blue rooster surveying Trafalgar Square. That particular bird—Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock—can now be found in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, but you can view its identical sibling (the work is an edition of two) at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, part of the Walker Art Gallery. The garden reopened in 2017 following a $10 million renovation and is home to works including Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen.

 Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen’s  Spoonbridge and Cherry  (1988) takes pride of place in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Photograph courtesy the Oldenburg van Bruggen Studio. Copyright 1988 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry (1988) takes pride of place in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Photograph courtesy the Oldenburg van Bruggen Studio. Copyright 1988 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

3. Storm King Art Center
Cornwall, New York, USA
Just over an hour’s drive from Manhattan, Storm King Art Center was founded in 1960 by Ralph E Ogden and H Peter Stern. Originally a home for the works of the Hudson River School for painters, the park now spans 500 contiguous acres of wildlife-packed fields, former allées, woodlands, wetlands, and streams. More than 100 sculptures are dotted around the landscape, among them the futuristic, bright-red Iliad by Alexander Liberman, complete with its impossibly balanced cantilevered elements, and the rotatingFrog Legs by abstract expressionist Mark di Suvero. Storm King is currently staging two temporary exhibitions:Outlooks, a site-specific installation by Elaine Cameron-Weir, and Indicators: Artists on Climate Change, for which more than a dozen artists explore the impact of global warming through specially made sculpture, photography, and film.

  Frog Legs  by Mark di Suvero (2002) at the Storm King Art Center rotates 360 degrees in order to give ever-changing views of the sky and surrounding landscape. Lent by the artist and Spacetime C.C., New York. Photograph: Jerry L Thompson.

Frog Legs by Mark di Suvero (2002) at the Storm King Art Center rotates 360 degrees in order to give ever-changing views of the sky and surrounding landscape. Lent by the artist and Spacetime C.C., New York. Photograph: Jerry L Thompson.

4. National Gallery of Australia
Canberra, Australia
Not all sculptures need to be solid, as the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) Sculpture Garden demonstrates every day between 12:30pm and 2pm. As the name suggests, Fog Sculpture, by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, envelops the garden in a mist that settles over its pond and pathways, shifting and moving with the wind. “The work is really intriguing because it acts very differently at different times of the year,” says Lucina Ward, senior curator, international painting and sculpture at NGA. “In foggy winters, the mist seems to continue onto the lake. On a hot summer’s day, meanwhile, it’s delightful to sit on a bench and have the vapor float onto your skin.” Also on display at the NGA isHeads from the North, by Dadang Christanto, a haunting work comprising 66 bronze heads staring out from the surface of a pond, and a life-sized model of Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North.

 Fujiko Nakaya’s  Foggy Wake in a Desert: An Ecosphere  (1982) uses natural elements to create a living sculpture. Water vapor, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 1977. © Fujiko Nakaya.

Fujiko Nakaya’s Foggy Wake in a Desert: An Ecosphere (1982) uses natural elements to create a living sculpture. Water vapor, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 1977. © Fujiko Nakaya.

5. Laumeier Sculpture Park
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
In 1968, Matilda C Laumeier bequeathed 72 acres of land to what would become Laumeier Sculpture Park. Today, it encompasses 105 acres, and is home to work from artists including Donald Judd, Jenny Holzer, and Tony Tasset, whoseDeer is a pensive and nervous—yet supersized—fawn ready to make her move. “I see the Laumeier as an intellectual playground,” says curator Dana Turkovic. “Artists use it as a platform, to add new voices to the conversation about public art in nature.” Laumeier also has an indoor gallery space, the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center, which this fall will showcase the work of David Hutson.

 Tony Tasset’s  Eye  stares intently back at visitors to Laumeier Sculpture Park in Saint Louis. Photograph: Alamy.

Tony Tasset’s Eye stares intently back at visitors to Laumeier Sculpture Park in Saint Louis. Photograph: Alamy.

6.Domaine du Muy
Le Muy, France
Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand knows a thing or two about sculpture: for almost 30 years he has staged exhibitions—and sold many works—at JGM Galerie (later renamed Galerie Mitterrand) in Paris’s hip Marais neighborhood. In 2015, Mitterrand and his son, Edward, opened a viewing space of a very different kind: one with no walls, and forests of pine and cork oaks as a dramatic backdrop. Situated 15 miles (24.1 km) inland between Nice and Marseilles, Domaine du Muy opened with an art trail of 40 pieces by contemporary artists spread across 25 acres (10.1 ha), curated in collaboration with Simon Lamunière, the brains behind Art Basel’s Art Unlimited section. The trail has been expanded even further for 2018, but pieces by resident artists Roman Signer and Claudia Comte remain.

 Claude Lalanne’s oversized bronze apple,  Pomme de New York  at Domaine du Muy in the South of France. © Claude Lalanne. Courtesy Domaine du Muy. Photograph: JC Lett.

Claude Lalanne’s oversized bronze apple, Pomme de New York at Domaine du Muy in the South of France. © Claude Lalanne. Courtesy Domaine du Muy. Photograph: JC Lett.

7. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Copenhagen, Denmark
Knud W Jensen loved art and culture. He also held other people’s love of it in high esteem, which led to him founding in 1958 what would become the most-visited art museum in Denmark. Today, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art houses an extensive collection of works dating from the Second World War to the present day, in a series of modernist buildings and outdoor areas.

 The stainless-steel and two-way-mirror glass piece,  Square Bisected by Curve  by New York-based artist Dan Graham, is on display at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Photograph: Kim Hansen. Credit: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

The stainless-steel and two-way-mirror glass piece, Square Bisected by Curve by New York-based artist Dan Graham, is on display at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Photograph: Kim Hansen. Credit: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Its adjoining Sculpture Park is modeled on an English landscape garden and cannot be viewed in its entirety from any one vantage point. “Louisiana should make itself known as a place for sculpture,” said Jensen, in his book Mit Loisiana-liv (My Louisiana Life). Standout works includeTwo Piece Reclining Figure No 5by Henry Moore, The Gate in the Gorge by American sculptor Richard Serra, and House to Watch the Sunset by American-Swiss sculptor Not Vital.


We’ll go ahead and add #8 ;-)

Sarasota Bayfront, Sarasota, Florida, USA

Our own bayfront area in downtown Sarasota has a wealth of sculptural and art appeal, including its annual Embracing Our Differences exhibit, which is billboard-sized expressions of creativity from people of all ages. In addition to this special exhibit on display during the winter, the bayfront has world-renown Unconditional Surrender (center) statue, and several smaller sculptures scattered all around, many of which are by Sarasota local artists.

This year’s Embracing Our Differences display is calling for art very soon! To find out more about how to submit entries to be a part of this large outdoor exhibit, visit their webpage here.

  • Deadline to submit art: October 15, 2018

  • This year’s exhibit is open: January 19 to March 15, 2019

Art Ovation: 21st Century Speakeasy

By Molly Russo

When the Art Ovation Hotel opened in April of this year, it followed the Westin to fill a much-needed gap downtown in the short-term accommodations department. But its heart-of-downtown location, as opposed to both Ritz Carlton and Westin’s west-of-41 addresses, makes it a great option for visitors who come to the area for our wonderful downtown arts scene. Located on N. Palm literally across the street from Florida Studio Theatre and a few paces from the Sarasota Opera, Art Ovation is an aptly-named for this artsy sector of downtown, and it was no coincidence that Realtor Extraordinaire and myself stumbled upon it one evening while leaving a show…

Come for the Music, Stay for the Ambiance

On a rainy Wednesday evening, while strolling back to our cars after a Cabaret performance at Florida Studio Theatre (a summer and winter series that we love — find out more about it here), the sound of jazzy piano hit our ears as we watched a cocktail-attired couple exit the Art Ovation Hotel. Modern and angular busts greet pedestrians from the sidewalk and look like a futuristic Easter Island Head. This coupled with the Roarin’ ‘20s vibe we felt from the music meant we had to go in.

Art Ovation is stark, contemporary, and clean on the inside. A formal dining room is to the right, the hotel and gorgeous rooftop bar & pool are above (the latter closed due to the inclement weather during our visit), and a bar, nestled in the midst of wide room is to the left. We made for the bar and passed a gallery of bright paintings on the way, reaffirming the hotel’s commitment to the arts. The expansive front space, ideal for cocktail parties or dances I’m sure, currently held a band, well known among Sarasota’s live music scene, Hot Club of SRQ.

Elevated, Classy, & Artistic in Every Detail

0AFDoZikQEil1e0XOUxHXg.jpg

We pulled out our stools and took a seat, greeted immediately by a bartender clad in a crisp white oxford with an undone bowtie hanging around his neck. This uniform, worn by the rest of the wait staff too, added to the classy-but-undone atmosphere. This place could be both—and everything from the bartenders to scent of the lobby told you so. Needing to tidy up my hair after being caught in the rain, I was surprised when I entered the Ladies’ to be greeted not by music, but by the soothing sound of the Great Gatsby being read to me. What a touch; they thought of every detail.

The rest of the evening passed over a bottle of champagne (pink, of course) and polite conversation. The drinks were reasonable and the ambiance was very unique and very Sarasota, pulling upon the cultural influences of our city and marrying contemporary class with the stylish atmosphere of a speakeasy. We loved it, and will be back!

Art Ovation Hotel | 1255 N. Palm Avenue | https://artovationhotel.com/

Why Travel When You Live in Paradise?!?

Sometimes you just want to get away, but as we always say in my family, "Why travel when you live in paradise??" Few national vacation destinations can rival the white sands of our beaches, the rolling greens of our golf courses, and the seemingly endless sunny skies (at least until 5pm! 😉), so really, why try anywhere else? We are advocates of changing up the scenery every once in a while, however, so take a look below at some stunning homes that can function as your weekend getaway from the downtown lifestyle...

627 Emerald Lane, Holmes Beach

This canal-front home on Bimini Bay is a boater's paradise. The mid-century home was recently completely renovated and expanded, including the addition of a 10,000 lb boat lift. We love the seamless blend of island style with contemporary flair.

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms
  • 2,125 square feet under air
  • Listed for $1,549,000

 

101 Cedar Avenue, Anna Maria Island

This massive beach house feels like Nantucket or perhaps Margaritaville. The shiplap paneling and tongue-in-groove ceilings feel nautical and somehow both casual and luxurious at the same time. Stroll through the backyard path right to the sands of north Anna Maria.  Yes, please!

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3.5 bathrooms
  • 2,828 square feet under air
  • 3,708 total square feet
  • Listed for $3,750,000

 

7251 Plovers Way, Siesta Key

This home on Heron's Lagoon feels like the most extravagant treehouse imaginable. Tucked into the rhythmic & lush greenery of south Siesta Key, this home has entertaining space galore inside and out as well as luxe high-end finishes that lend a 5-star experience every day.

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms
  • 3,000 square feet under air
  • 6,696 total square feet
  • Listed for $2,250,000

 

8325 Lindrick Lane, The Concession

When you really want to get away, head east to the luxury golf community of The Concession. Gorgeous mansions, award-winning golf, and quiet seclusion will make you feel like you're in a totally different world, all only 20 minutes from home! 

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 4 bathrooms
  • 3,646 square feet under air
  • 5,236 total square feet
  • Listed for $1,295,000

If you would like more information regarding any of the homes, areas, or neighborhoods featured here, please give me a call. We are downtown experts indeed, but we live and breathe Sarasota and its surrounding areas, and we can help you anywhere. Next time you are considering booking the flight, just remember, nothing measures up to paradise! ;-)

Downtown Favorite: Beulah

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 2.16.27 PM.png

By Molly Russo

Classic & Eclectic Dining

Beulah landed on the cuisine scene in 2015, opening its doors on Main Street near Osprey Avenue on the east side of downtown Sarasota.  The name doesn't give much away but when you enter this eclectic establishment, the smells of authentic Italian food drift in your direction and the vintage-y, Bohemian interior is a treat for the eye.  Mismatched tables and chairs and well-placed comfy couches coupled with the ornate décor and chandelier lighting made this feel cozy to me, like I had wandered into a very interesting old woman's house, à la Great Expectations. 

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 2.14.31 PM.png

Head in for Happy Hour...

The happy hour menu, which is available at the bar only (as many a Yelp-reviewer informed me prior to my visit), features a small array of appetizers, cocktails, beer, and wine for under $10.  Not a bad deal!  Try the Margherita pizza, mussels, or eggplant rollatine for a flavorful snack from 5-7pm with your drink, or the Caesar salad if you're trying to be good. ;-)

...or an Authentic Italian Meal

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 2.17.28 PM.png

Seeing as I was there for dinner, I did not partake in the happy hour menu, but moved right in for dinner.  A friend and I each ordered -- what else at an authentic Italian place? -- pasta!  She opted for the lasagna, which was so light, yet well-spiced; it reminded me of the fresh-made pasta an old friend from Italy had made me once upon a time.  Hands down, this was the best lasagna I've ever had (thank goodness she let me share a bite!).  I had the ravioli of the day, this particular day the flavor was mushroom.  It did not disappoint.  The ravioli were set in a white alfredo-type sauce and were simply mouth-watering.  We both cleaned our plates.

Though Beulah has been a part of our scene for a few years, this was my first time there.  The food was spectacular, the service friendly and professional, and the ambiance was just cool.  Brick walls juxtaposed with elaborate fixtures and artwork set a perfect stage for the new twist on old world cuisine.  I highly recommend Beulah for your next date night!

Side note: As I was writing this, an article popped up on the Herald Tribune naming Beulah's Aperol the cocktail of the summer.  Check out their article here.

 

A View from the Garden

People love their penthouses, but let's face it, the View from the Top isn't for everyone!  People who desire seeing more green than cityscape or those who want a more spacious feel over height might choose to live in a lower-level residence.  Let's check out some cool garden- and courtyard-view condos in Downtown Sarasota, where there are stunning views of more than just the water!  

(Some of these are not actively for sale at this time but we couldn't resist sharing them with you anyway!)


1000 SF of Terrace in Orange Blossom Tower

What a unique find!  At Orange Blossom Tower, which resides right next to 1350 Main in the heart of downtown and where each residence encompasses an entire floor, there is one extra-special condo on the 3rd floor, which includes a whopping 1000+ sq'  of outdoor space on two separate terraces.  This is a case of lower floor = more space!  With nearly 4,000 sq' of interior space, plus fireplace (inside) and fire pit (outside), there is truly no end to entertaining options in a home like this.  

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms
  • 3,954 sq ft under air
  • 4,936 total sq ft including exterior space
  • Sold for $1,599,000 in 2015
 

Private Open-Air Terrace in Sansara

Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 2.46.31 PM.png

Who says the top has more fun?  This 2nd-level condo in luxurious Sansara has one thing those higher floors do not: a stunning open-air terrace, which gives you the feel of pushing back the pocketing sliders right out to your backyard!  Nearly 2,800 sq ft of living space open up wide to the nearly 2,500 sq ft of terrace, complete with gas grill, fire pit, and covered pergola seating area.  All we can say is "Wow!"

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms
  • 2,794 sq ft under air
  • 5,379 total sq ft including exterior space
  • Sold for $2,249,900 in 2017
 

Endless Green in Burns Court Villas

Looking for lush and fragrant grounds to greet you every day?  Look no further than Burns Court Villas, a private enclave of 23 townhomes which share stunningly landscaped space and a warm, Mediterranean aesthetic.  All of the villas have cozy courtyards, but we love the whimsy vibe of this 2,000 sq ft townhome with a large wrap-around terrace.

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • 2,013 sq ft under air
  • 2,483 total sq ft including exterior space
  • Sold for $995,000 in 2017
 

Sweet Solitude in Library Mews

How do you get the feel of a spacious single family home in the center of downtown?  Library Mews, that's how.  The rarely-available, 11-unit townhome complex is situated on Cocoanut north of Main St, and despite its ultra-urban location, it has the excluded aura of sweet solitude.  This 1,490 sq ft townhome boasts nearly 700 sq ft of exterior living space, including a terrace and a rooftop patio.  

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • 1,490 sq ft under air
  • 2,141 total sq ft including exterior space
  • Currently listed for $649,000 (click to view listing here.)
 

Four Stories of Fun in Marquee En Ville

Things we love about Marquee En Ville: 

  1. The space.  Every townhome is over 2,200 sq ft.
  2. The 4th floor.  Paradise is the open-air covered patio with outdoor kitchen overlooking the city.
  3. The price point. These adorable townhomes have yet to hit the $1 million-dollar price point, and in fact, none have sold for more than $800K in the past 5 years!
  4. The location.  You can see the front of it from Fruitville so it's easy to tell your friends how to get there, and you are only minutes on foot from the opera, restaurants, Whole Foods, and more!
  5. There are actually 2 on the market right now!  
 2 bedrooms | 3.5 bathrooms | 2,290 sq ft  3,050 sq ft total including exterior space  Currently listed for $659,000!    (click to view listing.)

2 bedrooms | 3.5 bathrooms | 2,290 sq ft

3,050 sq ft total including exterior space

Currently listed for $659,000!

(click to view listing.)

 2 bedrooms | 3.5 bathrooms | 2,320 sq ft  3,000 sq ft including exterior space  Currently listed for $775,000!    (click to view listing.)

2 bedrooms | 3.5 bathrooms | 2,320 sq ft

3,000 sq ft including exterior space

Currently listed for $775,000!

(click to view listing.)

There are a wide variety of options in Downtown Sarasota, from buildings ideal for boaters to ritzy high-rises to garden townhomes.  I can help you whatever your lifestyle desires may be. :-)

Bazaar on Apricot & Lime

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 3.37.04 PM.png

You Heard it Here First

Vigilantly looking for the newest to-do in downtown, we recently heard about a brand-new market that you simply MUST know about!  The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime is an indoor market full of local and independent (indie) vendors of art, handmade gifts, baked goods, collectibles, clothing and jewelry.  It features live music from 12-2pm, story time on Saturdays at 9am where every kid receives a free book, classes for kids and adults (such as Drawing with Paper, on June 29), and all sorts of other activities (such as Mommy & Me Sewing sessions, every Thursday in June for moms & kids from 6-9 years old).

Familiar Local Vendors

Some downtown favorites, like Keffie's Ecochic Boutique, and other vendors from around Sarasota, like Wild Ginger Apothecary from Gulf Gate, are making appearances at the Bazaar.  Here's a full list of vendors as of now:

  • Keffie's Interior Design & Ecochic Boutique - gift shop
  • The Gypsy Gardener - stationary, art, calendars, home goods
  • Goodbyes - gently used designer clothing & accessories
  • Blue Cat Vintage - artwork on the spot
  • Creative Hands of Sarasota - art & sculpture
  • Red Seed Studios - visual art
  • Holistic Treasures - healing crystal art & essential oils
  • Donna Lee - bags & accessories
  • Island Time Signs - handpainted art on reclaimed wood
  • Create Bakery - baked goods & gifts
  • Scattered Peaces
  • Steele View Art - one-of-a-kind art on reclaimed wood
  • Wild Ginger - apothecary, tarot readings
  • Life in Fantasia - handcrafted gifts
  • Karma Saw That - leather jewelry
  • Room Mates Gallery - visual art
  • The Cocktail Couple - vintage barware & glasses
  • Shipwreck SRQ - unique found home objects
  • LaraLu - jewelry
  • Every Child Inc - books
  • Bright Life - chakra balancing, feng shui, crystals, and active meditation
Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 3.33.52 PM.png

When & Where

821 Apricot Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34237 (off of 8th Street, one street West of N. Lime Avenue)

OPEN: Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 9 am - 2 pm

Enjoy investigating the new Bazaar on Apricot and Lime!

Savor Sarasota Starts Tomorrow!

Plan your culinary adventure around nearly 100 area restaurants that are slashing their menu prices for Savor Sarasota.  Starting tomorrow, a wide variety of local restaurants will offer a special prix-fixe menu of $16/person for lunch and $32/per for dinner for a 3-course meal.  Savor Sarasota runs from June 1 to June 14 only so the time to get out and try something new in our area is now!  

 Duval's Fresh Local Seafood

Duval's Fresh Local Seafood

Participating Restaurants

We can't wait to try many of these!  Here's a partial list of participating restaurants in the downtown area:

 Tsunami Sushi & Habachi Grill

Tsunami Sushi & Habachi Grill

  • Brand-new Element Modern Mediterranean Grill
  • Mozaic
  • Beulah
  • The Coolinary
  • Prague
  • Bijou Café
  • Café Epicure
  • Evoq @ the Westin Hotel 
  • Jack Dusty @ the Ritz Carlton
  • Louie's Modern
  • Lolita Tartine 
  • The Blue Rooster
  • El Greco
  • Mélange

There are literally more than we can mention in this post, but suffice it to say that if you have a downtown favorite, it's on the list.  For a full list of all the Savor Sarasota restaurants, visit their website here.  

Savor Sarasota is county-wide so you can enjoy some of our best restaurants off of Main Street downtown as well!  Here are some we recommend checking out around the rest of Sarasota County:

 Carmel

Carmel

University Park/Lakewood Ranch

  • Sophie's at Saks - UTC Mall
  • Capital Grille - UTC Mall
  • Carmel - Cooper Creek

Lido Key

  • One of our faves, Shore
  • Tommy Bahama
  • Crab & Fin
  • Café L'Europe

Longboat Key

 Shore

Shore

  • Another personal favorite of Realtor Extraordinaire, Euphemia Haye
  • Harry's Continental Kitchen
  • Chart House

Siesta Key

  • Ophelia's on the Bay
  • Siesta Key Oyster Bar
  • Café Gabbiano
  • Miguel's

North Sarasota

 Siesta Key Oyster Bar

Siesta Key Oyster Bar

  • Half-Shell Seafood House
  • Muse @ the Ringling
  • Rodizio Grill
  • Mona Lisa in The Meadows

South Sarasota

  • Off the Hook Seafood Co.
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House
  • Roessler's Restaurant
  • Mattison's Forty-One
  • Café Baci
  • Bravo Coastal Bar & Kitchen

Enjoy the opportunity this month to taste and sample many of our best restaurants!  Bon appetit!

Bayfront 20:20 Update

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 12.57.36 PM.png

The team from Sasaki Design Firm was back this week to present additional renderings of the future site, called The Bay Sarasota, what they hope will be a big destination and gathering area for our community.  If you're not up to speed on this exciting project, check out our blog on it.  

What Sarasota Wants

 Original  Bridge the Divide  concept

Original Bridge the Divide concept

After the feedback received from the last public forum and surveying our community, a dynamic design proposal was "selected" out of three.  That's in quotes because while this was the highest-ranked proposed design, the firm based all their surveying on ASPECTS of each design, so they could incorporate individual items to suit our community's wants and needs.  The firm adjusted their newest renderings of Bridge the Divide, the selected "winning design," based on the feedback that our community cares about:

  • Public access to the waterfront
  • Connectivity with the rest of downtown across Tamiami Trail
  • Providing the community with a balance of diversified activities
  • Preserving the existing Van Wezel structure

The South End

The questions, concerns, and feedback of Sarasota residents mainly affected the northern section.  Consequently, the south end of The Bay is pretty much set, said the design firm.  The design includes some exciting features!

  • Destination play area
  • Kayak launch
  • Recreation pier
  • Pedestrian bridges across 41
  • Picturesque waterfront drive

The southern portion of The Bay will also offer parking under landscaping, opening up the view to more green space and hiding the unsightly cars, as well as offer builders "simplified phasing" -- current buildings will be able to stay in use as development continues to the north.

The North End: Up for Discussion

A key feature of the original Bridge the Divide concept was a performing arts structure that spanned both sides of a waterway.  In their redesigns, this is depicted in two different ways:

Option 1: The Bridge

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 12.45.27 PM.png
  • Performing arts building bridges over the canal
  • Restaurants on south side of canal
  • Boat ramp on north side of canal
  • Event lawn
  • Small amphitheater near existing Van Wezel site

Option 2: Canal District

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 12.45.34 PM.png
  • More waterfront dining than The Bridge
  • Walkable setting
  • Boat ramp moved to the north
  • Frame of performing arts building spans the canal, provides a scenic overlook & a pier
  • Large shaded amphitheater

Both feature a boat ramp, performing arts areas of various type (lawn space, amphitheater, and indoor halls), and parking under the landscape.

Your Input is Needed!

Again, Sasaki is offering Sarasotans the chance to chime in on what they want out of The Bay.  To offer your opinion, please take their survey here.  To find out more about The Bay, have a look at their website.

Homes for the Sporting Life

Our partners at Christie's International Real Estate recently highlighted Homes for the Sporting Life.  Here in Sarasota, the outdoor life is attainable in most any home, thanks to our year-round ability to be outside, but there are some neighborhoods where outdoor lifestyles were the muse of entire developments!  Have a look at Christie's best homes for the sporting life, and a few of our own, right here in SRQ!

Christie's Pick's for Sporting Homes

DEL DIOS RANCH

RANCHO SANTE FE, CALIFORNIA

$28,000,000

 Sports enthusiasts of many stripes will appreciate the professional tennis court, premier equestrian facilities, and magnificent indoor pool and spa offered at the 61.24-acre  Del Dios Ranch , one of the largest available tracts in coveted Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Sports enthusiasts of many stripes will appreciate the professional tennis court, premier equestrian facilities, and magnificent indoor pool and spa offered at the 61.24-acre Del Dios Ranch, one of the largest available tracts in coveted Rancho Santa Fe, California.

LA DOLCE VITA

NEWPORT, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA

PRICE UPON REQUEST.

 Nestled within a desired and sheltered location in Newport, Australia,  La Dolce Vita  has exceptional amenities for aquatic sports, including a sandy beach, saltwater pool, boatshed with kitchenette, and a private jetty to accommodate a 40+ foot yacht, perfect for sailors.

Nestled within a desired and sheltered location in Newport, Australia, La Dolce Vita has exceptional amenities for aquatic sports, including a sandy beach, saltwater pool, boatshed with kitchenette, and a private jetty to accommodate a 40+ foot yacht, perfect for sailors.

THE ST. LAWRENCE ESTATE

PETITE-RIVIERE-SAINT-FRANCOIS, QUEBEC, CANADA

$1,295,576

 Built with the thrill of outdoor recreation in mind,  The St. Lawrence Estate  provides effortless access to some of the most spectacular ski hills in North America: the home is nestled next to Le Massif ski area in Quebec, which boasts the highest vertical in Eastern Canada.

Built with the thrill of outdoor recreation in mind, The St. Lawrence Estate provides effortless access to some of the most spectacular ski hills in North America: the home is nestled next to Le Massif ski area in Quebec, which boasts the highest vertical in Eastern Canada.

RIVER OAK FARM

MAHWAH, NEW JERSEY

PRICE UPON REQUEST.

  River Oak Farm  suits the sophisticated equestrian with its 20-stall barn, 14,000 square foot indoor riding arena, five paddocks, and private bridle trails.

River Oak Farm suits the sophisticated equestrian with its 20-stall barn, 14,000 square foot indoor riding arena, five paddocks, and private bridle trails.

SUNSET RIDGE

TELLURIDE, COLORADO

$27,500,000

 The indoor recreation enthusiast will enjoy the activity wing of Telluride, Colorado’s  Sunset Ridge , equipped for billiards, ping-pong, and personal gaming, all the while admiring magnificent mountain views.

The indoor recreation enthusiast will enjoy the activity wing of Telluride, Colorado’s Sunset Ridge, equipped for billiards, ping-pong, and personal gaming, all the while admiring magnificent mountain views.

Our Picks for Sarasota Sporting Neighborhoods

Sarasota itself is a wonderful place for those leading "the sporting life."  With our weather, we're able to be outside and active year-round, and so many communities have gone out of their way to build that into their neighborhood's signature way of life.  If you need help finding the perfect neighborhood to satisfy your lifestyle needs, let us help you! 

We've got homes listed in two fabulous neighborhoods that support the sporting life.  Have a look...

The Meadows

Residents of the Meadows enjoy the three 18-hole championship golf courses, 14 miles of sidewalks and bike trails, a 1.7-mile fitness loop and 5,000 square foot fitness center to satisfy their active lifestyle.  If you want access to it all, have a look at our featured listing in The Meadows, 4305 Highland Oaks Circle!

Mote Ranch

This off-the-beaten path neighborhood is not as well known as its nearby contemporaries in and around North Sarasota, but it's proximity to the entertainment of Lakewood Ranch Main Street, the new shopping mecca of University Town Center, as well as Braden River & Ward Lake make it the perfect location for those who desire a quiet community with ample access to everything else!  The launch right from the neighborhood community area (which also includes a community center, pool, nature trail, and playground!) means easy access for kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards heading down the Braden River.  Check out our listing in Mote Ranch, 6520 Grand Point Avenue!

Hidden Gem: Korean Ssam Bar

Written by Molly Russo

Time to try something new...

We are always on the lookout for new and interesting places in and around downtown, and this week, I got the chance to visit Korean Ssam Bar, located just north of downtown on US 301.  If you enjoy Asian cuisine, you simply must stop at this small family-owned Korean restaurant!

With only about a dozen tables, Korean Ssam Bar is cozy.  Immediately upon walking in, the smell of delicious Asian food hit my nose, and the big "SUSHI" sign piqued my interest.  About half the tables were still full, even though I was walking in at 8:15pm for dinner, and throughout the course of our meal, there were probably just as many carry-outs as there were in-house diners.  (The restaurant has a great carry-out and food-delivery business.  You can find them on Grub Hub or Bite Squad if you want it brought right to you!)

Yes, we did pig out a bit.

Kimchi Seafood Pancake - yummmm!

Seeing as our dinner was kicking off kind of late, my two dinner partners and I literally ordered everything that looked good: we started with a seaweed salad, edamame, and one of their specialties, the Kimchi Seafood Pancake.  A skeptic of all but my safe-bet edamame (which, of the three ironically was my least favorite, simply because of its simplicity in relation to the other appetizers we tried), I sampled both the others hesitantly, only to be utterly blown away by the deep flavor.  The seaweed salad bore a consistency that I wasn't used to, but I adjusted quickly and thoroughly enjoyed.  As a gluten-free person, I shouldn't have even tried the kimchi pancake, but it came out looking like an Asian version of cornbread and smelling so sweet with a soy-based sauce for dipping that I just HAD to try it.  The pancake was subtly sweet and light, but had a toasty flavor that complemented the cooked-in kimchi and seafood perfectly.  It was absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend it.  (There is a non-seafood version of the Kimchi Pancake too!)

Generous portions, beautiful presentation

For dinner, the two ladies at the table each enjoyed a version of the Bibimbop Rice Bowl, which we were told by our server would have extra flavor due to being cooked in a stone pot.  The presentation was beautiful: a fried egg and your protein of choice (I had beef, my friend, tofu) poised atop slivered zucchini, carrots, and bean sprouts, which were served on a pile of rice.  The server brought over a Korean hot sauce and recommended we drizzle the sauce, then stir the whole beautiful pot up.  There was enough for both of us to have leftovers as lunch the next day, and both fresh and reheated, the Stone Pot Bibimbop was flavorful and mouth-watering.

The third person in our party ordered Beef Bulgogi, which was seasoned beef served with 4 sides: bean sprouts, spicy bean sprouts, daikon radish, and spicy kimchi.  We all picked at the sides, which they graciously refilled several times, and my partner finished his entire plate of beef, sharing one succulent bite with me.  We both would recommend this dish!

We finished our meal with mochi ice cream, which was smooth & creamy mango and strawberry ice creams wrapped in mochi and served artfully with chocolate sticks and a drizzle of fudge.  It was another beautifully-presented dish, decadent and interesting in flavor.  If you are not turned off by the glutinous nature of mochi, you should certainly give this a try!

Do we recommend it?

In short, I was blown away by this small hole-in-the-wall Korean restaurant located in a strip mall on North 301.  The food was amazing and the service was impeccable, with the entire staff assisting each other in keeping glasses full, side dishes refilled, and making sure we had everything we need.  Next time you're looking for an adventurous meal, take the short drive to Korean Ssam Bar!

Korean Ssam Bar | 1303 N. Washington Blvd | Open for Lunch 11-2:30 and Dinner 5-9

A Quiet Retreat in Mote Ranch

Have you heard?

The downtown waterfront and beaches are no longer the only draw to our local area of Sarasota.  With expansion coming on all sides, Sarasota over the last decade has kept pace by creating other meccas around the county, making the former outskirts destinations all their own.  Allow me to introduce you to a small, north-of-University neighborhood called Mote Ranch.  It's located about 10 miles from downtown Sarasota, but only minutes from bustling Lakewood Ranch and always-growing and on-trend University Town Center Mall and the rest of the University Corridor, full of enough shops and restaurants to make downtown jealous!

Mote Ranch

This small community features mature landscaping in a tucked-away location.  The quiet neighborhood has a fishing pier, kayak launch, community center & pool, public playground, and its own nature trail.  It truly brings Florida's natural beauty to the forefront.

The eternal appeal of a walkable downtown lifestyle hasn't lifted, but if you desire a little more peace and quiet, our new listing in Mote Ranch is perfect for you!  Recently & thoroughly updated to have a super-spacious kitchen with built-in wine refrigeration and a gorgeous stone feature wall & 8' long electric fireplace in the living room, this nearly 2500 sq' home is a quiet retreat with a modern appeal.  Take a peek!

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 7.37.24 AM.png

6520 Grand Point Avenue

in University Park's Mote Ranch

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2,468 sq ft under air
  • Pond view, 1/4-acre lot
  • Spacious lanai & separate, fenced dog run
 Welcome home!  A neatly landscaped private courtyard, screened porch, and french doors greet you.

Welcome home!  A neatly landscaped private courtyard, screened porch, and french doors greet you.

The updated modern & coastal interior instantly relaxes you.  The open-concept space features a spacious living room for cozy, relaxing evenings; an updated kitchen perfect for entertaining with massive island with seating & built-in wine chiller as well as a breakfast nook overlooking the backyard; and a formal dining room for your more elegant occasions and holidays.

 Thoughtful details, such as this stunning feature wall, make this space unique.  Grab a blanket and settle down in front of the fire on chilly winter nights, or open up the sliders and let the breeze in on a warm spring afternoon!  The gorgeous stone wall with built-ins mean displaying your trinkets and photos in style!

Thoughtful details, such as this stunning feature wall, make this space unique.  Grab a blanket and settle down in front of the fire on chilly winter nights, or open up the sliders and let the breeze in on a warm spring afternoon!  The gorgeous stone wall with built-ins mean displaying your trinkets and photos in style!

 Soaring ceilings of 10-12' feet in height throughout the home make every space feel very open, and the multitude of windows keep the home light & bright!  The master retreat features a walk-out to the lanai, as well as a large master bath and two walk-in closets.

Soaring ceilings of 10-12' feet in height throughout the home make every space feel very open, and the multitude of windows keep the home light & bright!  The master retreat features a walk-out to the lanai, as well as a large master bath and two walk-in closets.

The ultra-private lanai opens up to the calm waters of a pond, where (yes, it's true!) sandhill cranes and other Florida fauna frequent.  A fenced in dog-run provides your best pal with a space all his own.  

This HGTV-style renovated home is waiting for you!  Bring your kayak and come enjoy the quiet peace and serenity of Grand Point in Mote Ranch.  For more information on this home, visit its property page here or give me a call today!

Just Listed in Brand-New VUE

Just Listed!

These past couple weeks we have been enjoying a very new View from the Top...that of our just-listed condo in downtown's newest high-rise, The VUE!  VUE sits right next to the Ritz-Carlton and Westin Hotel on the downtown side of the Ringling Bridge.  Owners have only recently begun moving into this stylish and modern building, whose construction Sarasota has been watching over the course of the past two years at the Gulfstream/Tamiami intersection.

Check it out! 

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 12.12.36 PM.png

1155 N. Gulfstream Ave #1404

  • 2 bedrooms + Den
  • 2.5 baths
  • 1,920 sq ft
  • Massive Terrace
  • 2 prime-location parking spots
  • Offered for $1,540,000
  • Jaw-dropping views!

At VUE, it really is all about the view! A private elevator and foyer lead you to this grand, pristine residence, where Italian porcelain tile and high ceilings frame the picture-perfect view. An ultra-modern kitchen features white quartz countertops, Nolte cabinetry, and a vast island. The open floorplan lends itself perfectly to hosting your most fabulous parties, with plenty of room for friends to spill onto the spacious terrace. Even better, you won’t have to get out of bed to enjoy the breathtaking view and day-long natural light! The master suite features a huge walk-in closet and contemporary master bath with double sinks and large walk-in shower. Need room for a library, office, or extra seating? Relax in the bonus den, overlooking the city skyline and the Gulf. You’ll love being steps away from Jacky Dusty at the Ritz or the new Westin rooftop bar; taking a short stroll to the Farmer’s Market or the Opera, or perhaps just riding your bike to the beach! Need to drive? You’ll find your cars in 2 prime-location spaces on the plaza level. If views are what you came for, and a life of luxury is what you desire, you have found it.

VUE Amenities

  • Community pool (it's huge!)
  • Spa
  • Large amount of outdoor entertaining space, including an outdoor kitchen for residents' use
  • Fitness room overlooking Sarasota Bay
  • Community room with bar
  • 24-hour concierge
  • Secure parking

They were not exaggerating when they named this building - the VIEW is the star here!  Spanning full views of Sarasota Bay, the barrier islands, the Gulf of Mexico, the Ringling Bridge, and the downtown skyline are offered from nearly every room in this perfectly luxurious condominium.  Are you ready to find your View from the Top?  Give us a call today if you would like more information!

Coming Soon to Downtown!

There is a LOT going on in downtown Sarasota right now and we want you to be in the know about every up-and-coming project!  While we will eventually highlight other new developments, today we're going to fill you in on 7-One-One Palm and BLVD, two new condo buildings breaking ground (both literally and figuratively) in downtown Sarasota.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 12.39.43 PM.png

7-One-One Palm

Location: You guessed it!  711 S. Palm Ave, across from Essex House and north of 41

Number of Residences: 16

Number of Floors: 4 levels above garage parking

Square Footage: Floor Plans range from 2000-2500 sf

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 12.40.07 PM.png

Approximate price point: Starting at $1,049,000

Time Frame: Groundbreaking happened in mid-January, and anticipated move-in dates start next winter.

Tell me more: In addition to your typical luxury-condo appointments like high-quality finishes, modern aethetic, fitness center, and pool/spa, 7-One-One is super pet-friendly!  They are putting in their own private, protected Paw Park for their 4-legged residents.  We think that's just top drawer!  Each residence also gets TWO parking spaces, which is not typical with many of our downtown and waterfront condos.


Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 12.54.02 PM.png

BLVD

Location: 500 N. Tamiami Trail in the Rosemary District

Number of Residences: 49

Number of Floors: 18

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 12.54.17 PM.png

Square Footage: Floor Plans range from 3550 sf to 5500 sf

Approximate price point: Starting at $1.7 million

Time Frame: Ground-breaking hasn't happened yet, but it looks like it will be a 2019 build.

Tell me more: The construction company (BCBE) working on BLVD is the same that built Aqua on Golden Gate Point, and the developer (Core Development Inc.) developed the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here in Sarasota, as well as Concession Golf Course and Residence.  The high-quality team will mean a sound and beautiful building, and the amenities like the rooftop pool, concierge, on-site wine cellar, and an open-air pet lawn on the 5th floor make this building simply luxurious.  We can't wait to find out more as this project gets further along!


Whew!  With so much expansion happening in and around downtown Sarasota, you may need a Sherpa to help you navigate the new downtown market!  Let us be your guide.  Give us a call today if we can help you purchase or sell in downtown Sarasota, or if you want to know more about what is on our real estate horizon.


Time to Find a Beach House!

Brrrr!  It's cold up there!

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 1.03.00 PM.png

With every type of cold-weather calamity coming through the northern states, including Bomb Cyclones and Polar Vortexes (!!!), now is a great time to consider buying a beach house!  Despite the fact that today the temperatures are in the 40s, our January average temp is around 70 degrees! 

Your perfect vacation home is waiting for you in Sarasota, so pack up the car, bring the sunscreen and check out some of the amazing beach houses currently for sale!

5527 Avenida Del Mare, Siesta Key

 This cozy beach house has garage space for up to 3 cars, and living space for your entire extended family to come visit!

This cozy beach house has garage space for up to 3 cars, and living space for your entire extended family to come visit!

Looking for a nightlife worthy of the pages of a magazine?  Look no further than this beach house on Siesta Key.  Less than a 3-minute walk from the pristine white sands of the #1 beach in the USA, and also a short stroll to the lively Siesta Key Village–you can’t find a better location on Siesta Key for under $1 million.  The updated, beachy interior is cozy and perfect for your island getaway.

  • 3 bed/3 bath
  • 1,320 square feet under air
  • Listed at $875,000
 Located right on Sarasota Bay with deepwater dockage for your boat, this charming and updated townhome makes a great vacation, seasonal, or permanent home.

Located right on Sarasota Bay with deepwater dockage for your boat, this charming and updated townhome makes a great vacation, seasonal, or permanent home.

The deepwater dockage outside of this updated townhome makes this vacation home perfect for boaters!  You can literally be on the boat and in the open waters of the Gulf within minutes of waking up in the morning.  A beautiful interior features 3 bedrooms, an updated kitchen, a rooftop terrace as well as outdoor living space.  Bonus: this small community of 12 has a pool, tennis & pickle ball courts all of which are next door!

  • 3 bed/2.5 bath
  • 1,803 square feet under air
  • Listed at $819,000
 This beach bungalow sits across the street from the glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the sands of Lido Beach.

This beach bungalow sits across the street from the glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the sands of Lido Beach.

This adorable 1,500 square foot beach house is across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and Lido Beach.  Updated on the interior and with an open floor plan, a group of friends or family on vacation will really enjoy this space.  There is also a lot of outdoor entertaining space, and it even has a fireplace for “chilly” Florida winter nights (haha!).

  • 2 bed/3 bath
  • 1,579 square feet under air
  • Listed at $1,450,000

Ready to find your perfect beach house?

Start your new tradition – coming to the beach house!  For more information on any of the featured properties above, or about Sarasota real estate in general, please reach out to me and let me help you find your paradise here.

New Year's Celebrations in Downtown Sarasota

Happy New Year!  

We have the skinny on the best New Year's Eve events in and around Sarasota.  We hope you find the perfect way to ring in the New Year & cheers to 2018!

 View from Siesta Key of the Downtown Fireworks

View from Siesta Key of the Downtown Fireworks

Downtown Sarasota

The Downtown Fireworks are shot off of the waterfront at Marina Jack's at midnight.  Of course, if you want to be on Marina Jack II, or viewing from one of the Marina Jack dining rooms, reservations are encouraged and cost of dinner would apply.  However, otherwise these are of course free to view from high-rises and penthouses near and far, as well as from Bayfront Park.

 Downtown's Pineapple Drop

Downtown's Pineapple Drop

SRQ NYE is a massive party, starting at 9:00pm at the Municipal Auditorium.  Tickets cost $160 at the door (if it's not sold out) and DJ JAC of All Trades will be spinning music until 1:00am.  The all-inclusive ticket covers red carpet, valet service, a top shelf bar, champagne toast, catered appetizers, and dancing to the DJ and live music all night.  You can find more information on the event's Facebook page.  

The Pineapple Drop takes place on downtown's Main Street from 1:30pm on New Year's Eve to 1:30am on New Year's Day.  Free entry, with open access to bars, restaurants, food trucks, and carnival activities pay-as-you-go, this event attracts more than 20,000 people each year.  The pineapple drops at midnight and the aforementioned fireworks from Marina Jack's are visible from the event.

Siesta Key

As usual, tourist destination and #1 beach in America Siesta Key puts on a great New Year's Eve.  Local bars on the island are jam-packed and the downtown fireworks are viewable from the beach. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 3.34.42 PM.png

Don't miss Daiquiri Deck for live music, raw bar,  and of course, a bevvy of frozen drink selections.  Enjoy the tiki atmosphere while you toast to 2018.

Gilligan's will have a DJ spinning until 2am.  Visitors and residents alike who don't want to venture off the island will find a good time here.  

The Beach Club has a New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball, so if clubbing or dancing is what you seek on your New Year's Eve, grab a mask and head here!  There are two levels of tickets, depending on how much access you want, and prices are either $35 or $55.

For all your real estate needs in the upcoming year, please give me a call.

Enjoy your View from the Top this holiday season & cheers to 2018!

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 3.28.26 PM.png

2017: The Year Sarasota Got Recognized... over and over again!

Our team over at the Michael Saunders corporate office put together this (very) long list of accolades our small city received in 2017.  While it's nothing those of us who already live here don't know, it's nice to see the world at large is paying attention!  Check our all the notoriety from 2017!  Reblogged directly from www.michaelsaunders.com/blog/

Accolades for Sarasota, Bradenton & Beyond: Why We’re No. 1

 By: Kathryn Parks | December 6, 2017 

From “#1 Beach” to “Best City for Small Businesses”, our region saw its share of notable achievements in 2017. We’ve compiled a list of Manatee, Charlotte, and Sarasota accolades – 20 more reasons why we love where we live.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 10.16.17 AM.png

#1 Beach in the United States | Siesta Beach
Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach), coastal expert and professor at Florida International University, named Siesta Beach the #1 beach in the United States based on fifty criteria, including water,  sand quality, number of sunny days, safety and management.

Happiest Cities in the United States  | North Port / Sarasota / Bradenton
According to National Geographic Explorer, our region has joined a very happy collection of 20 communities across the Unites States. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton was noted as a place where “locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals.”

The Best Place to Retire in 2018 | Sarasota
US News and World Report named Sarasota as No. 1 retirement spot in the country, providing a high quality of life at an affordable price.

Best City for Young Entrepreneurs  | North Port / Sarasota / Bradenton
MoneyRates.com named the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton region as the number one city in the county with a welcoming climate for young business owners. They considered factors like growth rates, educational attainment, young adult affluence, and business tax environment.

 Useppa Island

Useppa Island

10 Best Car-Free Island Getaways Useppa Island
Coastal Living encouraged readers to leave their keys and cars behind, featuring top destinations in the United States where no car is needed.

Most Extraordinary Beaches in the World | Venice Beach
Expedia named Venice Beach to this illustrious list of beaches from all over the world, noting it’s moniker as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World.”

Best States for Business | Florida
Chief Executive Magazine ranked Florida #2 for the fifth year in a row in their comprehensive list of “Best & Worst States for Business” citing Florida’s annual job growth rate of 3.2%, exceeding the nation’s rate of 1.7%.

The Preppiest Wedding Locations around the World | Boca Grande
With a penchant for bright colors and fun fabrics, Town and Country Magazine named Boca Grande to this preppy list, recognizing the Gasparilla Inn & Club for its picturesque setting.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 10.19.13 AM.png

100 Best Places to Live | Sarasota
US News and World Report analyzed the 100 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. They named Sarasota #21 based on its good value, desirability, strong job market, and high quality of life.

Healthiest Regions in Florida | Sarasota County
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked the 67 counties of Florida in terms of health and wellness. Sarasota was named 3rd for overall health outcomes (length and quality of life) and 2nd for overall health factors (behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment).

 Venice

Venice

Best Places to Retire | Venice
GoodCall.com named Venice #14 to its 2017 Best Cities for Seniors to Retire.

Safest Cities in Florida | Punta Gorda & Venice
The National Council for Home Safety and Security looked at the safest cities in Florida based on the number of reported crimes per 100,000 people. Punta Gorda was named #14 while Venice clocked in at #28.

Happiest Cities in America |  North Port / Sarasota / Bradenton
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton ranked at #6 in the United States for highest well-being communities by Gallup-Healthways.

#1 Beach in the United States | Siesta Beach
TripAdvisor’s Travelors’ Choice Awards gave Siesta Beach the #1 spot to it’s collection of the top 25 beaches in the United States.

Best Place for Small Business | Sarasota-Bradenton
Topping the list, American City Business Journal named Sarasota-Bradenton #1 for Small Business Vitality Rankings.

 Cast of Asolo Rep’s production SHOW BOAT. Photo by Frank Atura

Cast of Asolo Rep’s production SHOW BOAT. Photo by Frank Atura

Happiest Seaside Towns | Sarasota
Coastal Living noted Sarasota’s world-class beaches and top-shelf arts and culture scene, ranking it as the 3rd happiest seaside town in America.

Top Selling Master Planned Communities | Lakewood Ranch
Real estate consultant firm, RCLCO, named Lakewood Ranch the third most top-selling master-planned community in 2017.

#1 Performing Arts Hall | Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
The fifth time winning this title, Sarasota’s favorite purple venue topped the national list from Venues Today of performing arts halls in North America in the 2,000-seat category.

 LECOM Park in Bradenton

LECOM Park in Bradenton

Best of the Ballparks Spring Training | LECOM Park
Fans voted overwhelmingly on Ballpark Digest, naming LECOM Park in Bradenton as the Best of Ballparks in the Grapefruit League for Spring Training.

Florida’s Best Kept Secret | Sarasota
Beyond accolades, Vogue Magazine did a feature story on the Sarasota area, touting it as perhaps Florida’s best kept secret. Author Christina Perez noted that our region was home to some of the country’s finest examples of mid-century modern architecture, beaches, and cultural attractions.

Do you want to find out why so many people, publications, and research analysts love Florida’s Gulf Coast? Contact your Michael Saunders & Company sales agent to learn more about Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota real estate.


If you have decided that you agree with all these kudos and are ready to make Sarasota your home, please give us a call for all your real estate needs!  If you are moving from out of town or out of state, we can even help you find a great Realtor from our nationwide network!