Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bradenton Starts Restaurant Week

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bradenton Starts Restaurant Week

Article excerpt

The Bradenton area is borrowing a page from Sarasota with the first annual "Culinaria" - two weeks of restaurant deals that are reminiscent of Savor Sarasota.

The core of the two-week festival, which runs from September 14- 28, is much the same as the early-summer dining weeks in Sarasota: Participating restaurants will offer a prix fixe, three-course menu that will be available for $15 at lunch (if they serve lunch) and $25 at dinner. No need to buy tickets in advance, although you may want to make reservations, depending on the restaurant you plan to visit. You can go back as much as you'd like to same restaurant, or skip around and sample menus from any number of the 20 or so spots participating.

The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau has put its own spin on Culinaria, however, that sets it apart a bit from Savor Sarasota. The group has teamed up with "Southern Living's" test kitchens to produce special dessert and cocktail recipes that will be available at some of the restaurants. (You'd think all we do in the south is eat pie and drink cocktails. On second thought, I think I'm fine with that.)

Be aware that not all the restaurants will be using the Southern Living recipes, since it is up to the individual chef's discretion.

You can also enter a drawing for a trip to Manhattan in October, if you're willing to go the distance and dine at 12 participating restaurants during the two-week event. Just ask the first spot you visit for a passport and make sure that each restaurant stamps it when they present you with the check.

Like Savor Sarasota, the $25 menu is a great deal at many of the Culinaria restaurants, when you consider what a typical dinner might cost you. At other places, the $25 price tag might seem to be on par for what you'd expect to pay, but the chefs are pulling a few extra tricks out of their whites for the event.

Beyond all that, however, Culinaria is a wake-up call for locals who haven't sampled Bradenton's vibrant dining scene, at places that span from white tablecloths to picnic tables and paper towels, from Ellenton to Anna Maria, from family Italian to upscale seafood.

If you decide to take part in Culinaria, go to ticketsarasota. …

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