Downtown blows up, Judi Gallagher validates my English biscuits, and Frank Brunckhorst continues to abuse my love.
By Hannah Wallace
>>Oh, Frank Brunckhorst, why do you hurt me so? You know how much I love your tasty turkey, my passion for your provolone, and yet? While I’m making sandwiches you’re off fraternizing with another hockey team. And of all teams, the Elite Fire? Our Sunday-night rivals, our novice-league nemeses? I have to read for myself on the schedule that they’re now called the Ice Hogs? Don’t try to deny it—I saw the Boar’s Head logo on their brand new uniforms. Damn you, Frank. You don’t love me at all, do you?

>>I collected a punchbowl full of blackmail at an office brunch on Sunday, but even hearing one of your bosses sing “I Love the Nightlife” doesn’t beat the cooking compliment I got. To wit: Judi Gallagher likes my scones. She high-fived me. Beat that.


BRUNCH BUNCH: Look at all those bosses, lined up in a row. I’m saving the other pictures to leverage for a raise.


>>Now, keep in mind I won the office race to write about Drag Queen Bingo a while back, because dear Lord have I fallen behind on Ceviche, First Street’s four-story hot spot that’s been the toast of the office (and the town) since before I knew it existed. Copy Editor Megan was there all hanging around with Matt Orr the other night, while CCB and I were at home doing our puzzle. (What? All those water pieces were hard.)


ALL TOGETHER NOW: Our latest hot spot? The dining room table. With our puzzle.


>>Not to be outdone, Rosemary District’s Rustic Grill is holding its first-annual Venetian Ball benefiting the Child Protection Center this Saturday. Charity? Costumes? Sounds like a Sarasota good time. I dig the pricing, too—tickets drop by 60 bucks after 10 p.m., which means they’re expecting to party well into the night.
>>In fact, downtown now officially has more hot spots than I can keep up with. The grand opening of Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse on Monday garnered quite the turnout. Camped out in a corner, munching on duck confit pizza, lobster salad cones and mini kobe burgersssss (oops, I think my saliva short-circuited the keyboard), I took note of all the Sarasota faces I recognized: Debbi Benedict, Martine Collier, Ron and Rita Greenbaum, Jody Kielbasa, Scott Sosso, Andrew Foley, Tony Souza, DeWanda Smith-Soeder. Feels like an accomplishment to be able to rattle off the names of the big-hitters. Unfortunately, I think their knowing me on sight would be the real accomplishment—and I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Whatever, I’ve always got my puzzles.
(An odd Hyde Park postscript, though: When CCB, en route to the dessert table, asked someone where the bathrooms were, and that someone offered to escort CCB to them, CCB said, “Oh, no thanks. I’m just scouting for someone.” The man responded, “Well they can ask for themselves, can’t they,” and walked away. I have to assume that man was masquerading as a Hyde Park employee; the real employees were incredibly friendly.)