The holidays are a time when we celebrate our community and embrace fond traditions. This Friday night, December 13th, we have the chance to do both thanks to the return of the Annual Anna Maria Holiday Walk. From 5pm until 9pm, businesses all along Gulf Drive, Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard will stay open late to give Islanders a chance to finish up their Christmas shopping and support local business all at the same time. Of course, since it’s the Holiday Walk, businesses will be doing far more than just keeping their doors open past normal closing hours. Many shops have special events planned as they get into the festive feel of the holiday season. Relish Café (which recently added a salad bar to their menu of quick and healthy lunch options) will be sampling some free tasty treats, and are putting their artisanal and kitchen items on sale for the evening. Swing by Hometown Desserts after that to nibble on one of their famous gingersnaps and place your Christmas dessert orders. And be sure to say hi to the Bob Brown Art Gallery’s special guests: they will welcome internationally-known artist and jewelry designer Kathryn Carlyle who will be showcasing her handmade jewelry as well as Richard Terpstra, the man behind Richard’s Candy Company, whose handcrafted fudge has been voted Best in Florida. Image Source: Kathryn-Carlyle.com The Holiday Walk also has superfun interactive components. The Anna Maria Island Historical Society and the Anna Maria Island SUN newspaper are sponsoring a Holiday Treasures Open House. From 5:30pm to 8pm, you can visit 37 businesses and merchants (including AMI Outfitters) to get your bingo cards stamped. And be sure to swing by the park at 402 Pine Avenue at 6pm to hear the Roser Church Children’s Choir and Bell Ringers as they ring in the holiday season. Be sure to make The Waterfront Restaurant part of your evening, too: have an early dinner and enjoy a leisurely walk and all kinds of fun holiday surprises afterwards, or come join us when your shopping and celebrating is done and relax with a seasonal craft cocktail. Image Source: SarasotaFarmersMarket.org No matter where your interests lie, you’re bound to find something that will delight and intrigue you during this year’s Annual Anna Maria Holiday Walk. It’s a little bit of Christmas magic, right here in our own neighborhood.
We are extremely happy to announce that this Thursday we will have an incredible tasting in conjunction with the Sarasota Originals Forks and Corks Festival. We will have winemaker Bertrand Ambroise of Maison Ambroise in Burgundy and Phillipe and Corrine Ehrhart of Domaime Ehrhart in Alsace all here with us, each pouring three of their wine offerings. Also on hand we will have Craig Baker, Division Sales Manager for Robert Kacher Selections, pouring two more wines from Chateau Mas Guiot, located in Costieres de Nimes, 15 miles from where the Rhone River meets the Mediterranean in the south of France. From Alsace you will be able to sample a Cremant Sparkling Chardonnay, a Tokay Pinot Gris and an elegant old vine Riesling. From Burgundy a delicious Bourgogne Blanc made from 100% chardonnay, a Bourgogne Rouge from pinot noir, and Aries, a fantastic blend of 50% Bertrand’s vielles vignes pinots blended with juice sourced from such famous communes as Nuits St. George, Volnay and Pommard. Craig will be pouring a Grenache-Syrah blend and Syrah de Numa, a jammy, powerful wine made using the finest grapes harvested and producing only a few hundred cases. All of these wines are imported by Robert Kacher Selections and not available in stores, only restaurants and fine wine shops, and rarely do you get the opportunity to meet the people responsible for making them. Greg and the Chefs are preparing some fantastic hors-d’oeuvres to pair with these eight delicious wines, so join us for our Grand Finale Tasting of this year, as, unfortunately, season is upon us, and we won’t have another tasting until sometime around May.
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The Fourth of July is fast approaching! We’ll be looking forward to spending some time with our friends, family, and neighbors and enjoying salty beach breezes by day and the bright crackling of fireworks by night. We hope you’ll come down and visit us: we’ll be open our usual hours. But if your party plans are elsewhere, we hope you’re planning to have a sustainable soiree. Here are a few of our tips and tricks to ensure you throw a fabulous and eco-friendly Fourth of July celebration: Shop Local When you’re planning the menu for your party, be sure to think about seasonal foods that you can buy locally. Not only will you be helping small businesses your community by purchasing from a smaller vendor at a farmer’s market or directly from a local farm, you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint since your food didn’t have to travel here. As an added benefit, it will also be much tastier. Blueberries have had an unusually long season in Florida this year: layer them with strawberries and fresh whipped cream to create a light, sustainable dessert, or bake them into a pie with star-shaped cut-outs on top in order to create some patriotic flavor and flair. Go Low-Energy, High-Fun Plan on hosting taking your festivities outside. You’ll save energy by keeping the lights off in most of your home, and by not blasting your air-conditioner on high to cool down a houseful of people. When the sun goes down, the party doesn’t have to end: if starts to get dark outside turn on solar-powered lanterns or light eco-friendly soy or beeswax candles in red white and blue. That should keep your party illuminated until the fireworks start. Craft DIY Decorations If you’re like us, and you have stacks of food magazines lying around, upcycle them into party decorations. We love these eco-friendly sparklers made from magazine pages. They have a much lower impact on the environment than real sparklers which are basically just metal sticks covered in chemicals that often end up discarded on the ground. We vastly prefer these faux sparklers for those reasons – and because we don’t have to worry about the kids setting each other on fire. Whether you come down and enjoy the Fourth of July at The Waterfront with us, or celebrate with your own gathering, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday. Happy Fourth of July!