Past Articles

Archive for 2012


New Restaurant Alert: Mozzarella Fella

The new kid on the block: Downtown Sarasota’s Mozzarella Fella. What’s in a name? EVERYTHING!!!   My gut told me Mozzarella Fella was going to be something good. My gut was wrong–it isn’t  just good, it’s GREAT! Slicing up glorious fresh mozzarella. Picture yourself tucking into real New York bread–you know, the kind you have to […]


Chef Judi’s Best of 2012

Since the fearless and unique Mr. Chatterbox announced his very own Best Of picks, how could I resist picking my own? There must be a best of second-tier list somewhere. Certainly we all have our own best of lists–some unique and some worthy of their own holidays. Heck, if there is a National Stinky Cheese […]


The Wedding of the Decade and a Baby Shower

David and Yara Shoemaker’s wedding decor. My husband, Paul, and me. It was a near out of body experience this past Friday evening. Yara and David Shoemaker celebrated their marriage with an incredible party that made us all feel like royalty. Yara, certainly one of the best additions to the style and hostess scene in […]


Chef Judi’s Weekly Eating

Not every week is filled with rock concerts and a New York/ New Jersey pig out (but I sometimes wish it was—see last week’s post). Still, in our own backyard there are those weeks where you just smile and say, "Darn good meal!" This was one of them. So, in no particular order, I would […]


Confessions of a Rock and Roll Pig-Out.

Anticipation builds pre-concert. I often compare great food to a three-hour Bruce Springsteen concert. It always leaves you wanting more, even after hours of great music fulfill almost every desire. A great menu is like a great playlist from the concert—you anticipate the next song, the next pasta dish, the next life-changing experience–whether it is […]


A Week of Sheer Yumminess

Ribeye and shoestrong fries at Fleming’s. It started with a great grilled Reuben at Lucky Pelican and ended with a bone-in prime ribeye and wedge salad at Fleming’s. In between was pure yumminess all week long (and yes, great hospitality mixed in as well). The 100 Mile Dinner at Indigenous was a locavore’s dream. Thanks […]


Hospitality 101

WWAS (What Would Andy Say)? Perhaps I miss Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes and his snickity way of saying what irked him. Perhaps I find that there’s an oxymoron in being in the hospitality business and not being hospitable. No matter what, I very seldom need to use my blog as a platform to vent. […]


Star Fish Company Market & Restaurant: A True Gem and a Great Grouper Sandwich

Star Fish Company Market & Restaurant Years ago, Sean Murphy of Beach Bistro and eat here fame introduced me to what Old Florida is really about: fishing. In the little enclave known as Cortez Village lives a gem with outdoor picnic tables and one heck of a good, fresh grouper sandwich. It’s called Star Fish […]


Comfort Food

Downtown Sarasota’s El Greco A reminder that some things are just plain comfort food: Although we all tend to believe that comfort food is meatloaf and mashed potatoes and country fried chicken with a slice of pie (and don’t get me wrong, I tuck into mac-’n’-cheese quite often), as I was sitting outside at El […]


Jimmy’s Sand Trap: A Deli with Jewish Soul Food, in a Dive Bar, Arrives

Jimmy’s Sand Trap. Do not be afraid of the name, which sounds more like a 19th-hole watering spot (but looks more like a somewhat dingy bar). Do not be afraid of the Kermit-the-Frog-green walls and Bud Light pool table lights (note: pool table has been removed). Do not be afraid of the 1960s green, scalloped […]